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Old 03-20-2016, 02:47 AM   #1
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Water Heater Element & Tank flush

3 years of service on water heater element was trashed with calcium/limestone from either hard or well water

calcium deposits had bridged across element and was beginning to short out

will buff old element with bench wire wheel and clean for backup when i get home

Tank was full of large chunks of old anode or calcium cottage cheese flushed tank forever

Fresh anode and element with tank flush chunks were so big had to reach in with my finger from element side to stir up chunks so they would come out anode hole

Should have better elect 110volt water heater recovery now and less calcium sediment going into hot water side of interior faucets to and reduce faucet clogging restrictions

Karl b.
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:06 AM   #2
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is this the first time you checked the anode rod? It is interesting that all this took place in one year. I check mine every year and never had a problem that you are talking about. In three years I have only replaced my anode rod once
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Old 03-20-2016, 01:57 PM   #3
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During our stay in Az. this winter I had the dreaded rotten egg smell coming from the hot water heater. A flush with bleach would stop it for about 3-4 weeks and then have to do it again. I think my problem was that a replacement anode rod is aluminum whereas I need to get a magnesium rod. So watch which replacement rod you use.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:48 PM   #4
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If yo are camping in the US southwest the life of the anode is very short, I check ours every year because I have to winterize in the spring upon our return to Canada. Our anode was toast after one winter so I ended up getting a water softener which substantially increased the anode life and reduced the "stuff" in the WH.

I also had to replace the shower head as even trying to take out the deposits with vinegar didn't help after a year in the SW USA
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:18 PM   #5
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is this the first time you checked the anode rod? It is interesting that all this took place in one year. I check mine every year and never had a problem that you are talking about. In three years I have only replaced my anode rod once
just bought camper used it had original oem parts

had dealer replace anode at purchase

but he didnt inspect and or replace element and flush tank of calcium chunks

now good to go new parts ,heats right up fast and plenty hot


so true hard water has restricted flow in faucets replacing them slowly

toilet water vavle next and kitchen faucet
k
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:23 PM   #6
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is this the first time you checked the anode rod? It is interesting that all this took place in one year. I check mine every year and never had a problem that you are talking about. In three years I have only replaced my anode rod once
would depend on the hardness of the water/calcium,iron,etc.
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:24 PM   #7
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The anode rod in our Water Heater was completely eaten up in a little over a year when I checked it.
I do not remember a anode rod getting eaten up that fast on previous 5ers, must have been something in the water where we were staying.
Flushed the tank, replaced the anode rod, been working good since.
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:26 PM   #8
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During our stay in Az. this winter I had the dreaded rotten egg smell coming from the hot water heater. A flush with bleach would stop it for about 3-4 weeks and then have to do it again. I think my problem was that a replacement anode rod is aluminum whereas I need to get a magnesium rod. So watch which replacement rod you use.
think the aluminum one go into atwood water heaters ? not surburban

k
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:32 PM   #9
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3 years of service on water heater element was trashed with calcium/limestone from either hard or well water

calcium deposits had bridged across element and was beginning to short out

will buff old element with bench wire wheel and clean for backup when i get home

Tank was full of large chunks of old anode or calcium cottage cheese flushed tank forever

Fresh anode and element with tank flush chunks were so big had to reach in with my finger from element side to stir up chunks so they would come out anode hole

Should have better elect 110volt water heater recovery now and less calcium sediment going into hot water side of interior faucets to and reduce faucet clogging restrictions

Karl b.
this camper is used, but new to me, the hard water /well water ? has caused increased repairs due to component degradation i work 7 days a week lately and these things take time after work
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:38 PM   #10
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is this the first time you checked the anode rod? It is interesting that all this took place in one year. I check mine every year and never had a problem that you are talking about. In three years I have only replaced my anode rod once
no just acquired this used 2012 36re redwood camper bout a month ago looks like this service item was overlooked

k
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:58 PM   #11
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think the aluminum one go into atwood water heaters ? not surburban

k
I believe you can use either in our hot water heaters but while watching HGTV not long ago and the plumber was talking about that rotten egg smell and he recommended (if I remember right) to always use an aluminum anode rod to prevent it. The smell had to do with the reaction of the magnesium to the minerals in the water. Maybe someone on here is a retired plumber and can give some insight.
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:00 PM   #12
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I just looked at the suburban manual on the anode rod, and other than telling you that warranty is over for not using a genuine suburban anode rod, they are silent on whether they should be aluminum or magnesium.

I suspect the only difference is the aluminum degrades faster.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Suburban Hot Water Manual.pdf (716.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
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Yes, I get confused as to which type of anode rod to use. I know the rod that came with the heater when new did not last too long and I got no bad odor from it. The replacement that I bought is not deteriorating much at all and I am getting bad odors. I am thinking that the magnesium rod is best. Think I will replace my aluminum rod with magnesium rod to see if odor stops.

Here is a link with discussion on the matter.
https://www.heartlandowners.org/show...um-or-Aluminum
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:48 PM   #14
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Atwood water heaters do not have a anode rod.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:52 AM   #15
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Our water heater lasted from 2/10/15 to 12/20/15. The anode rod was eaten up and had calcium deposits. The kicker was the rust hole in the tank. Suburban replaced it. RW would not touch it, told the service center to go straight to Suburban.

6.5 months in AZ using a water softener did not seem to help.

I hope we do not have to put a water heater in every year.

Rick
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:43 AM   #16
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I think that is the trouble with a glass lined tank - any defect in the lining and it's shot in a short time.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:38 PM   #17
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Camping World has a great little tool, that's very inexpensive, which allows you to jet the inside of your water tank. I replace my rod every year and clean the tank every year with the tool. Basically, it's a restricted, 1+ foot long wand; works great.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:04 PM   #18
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At the park we use in the summer, our hot water would always smell. Last summer we started using a softener. The smell is completely gone. If or when it's time to replace it, I'll look hard at a tankless. The Atwood in our 2000 truck camper is still doing fine.

Mark
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:24 PM   #19
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We were in Az. this winter and had the smell from hot water heater. Flushed it with bleach and got a water softener. Smell came back in about three weeks. Still think it was the anode rod I am using. Will change it to a different type and see what happens. In some of the reading I have done online, the use of a water softener can make the problem worse!!! We shall see.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:55 PM   #20
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Guess we've been lucky, no stinky hot water. We do have a softener & I flush the tank & check the anode rod 3-4 times a year. As far as aluminum or magnesium rod I don't have clue, whatever is available when needed, I just replaced the 3rd one in just over 3 years on the RW last Nov & it was probably 60% gone.
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