Anode Maintenance

Discussion in 'Plumbing Systems (The Fresh, The Blue, The Grey, &' started by generok, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    So, I am putting my TT to bed for the winter, and I drained the water heater via the anode rod port. I noticed the rod was pretty worn, so I consulted the manual and got a new anode.

    The anode literature and the water heater manual said two things I wonder if most folks do:

    1. Replace the anode annually.
    2. Remove the anode every 30 days and rinse out sediment.

    Ok, so #1 maybe, the rod is only $13, and if I order on Amazon, I can have a spare in the garage on hand any time. You have to drain the tank each winter anyway, that's not a big issue.

    #2. REALLY? Pull the anode every 30 days during camping season and rinse out the tank for sediment??? Well, considering in my 40-something years I've NEVER seen an anode replaced in a residential water heater, I'd think that is excessive PM. I think you'd potentially do more damage pulling the rod in and out that many times a year, than you would simply flushing it out each winter during winterization.

    So, does anyone do these two things per the instructions?
    nineoaks2004 likes this.
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
    Just a thought , on a residential heater your supost to flush every year , and if you replace the anoid it lasts longer. They are giving good advice so the unit lasts longer and they have no culpability if the unit fails.
  3. tzmartin

    tzmartin Active Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    I flush the WH out several times a season. It's really not too messy in there. The anode rod doesn't seem to "dissolve" much because I don't keep water in it all the time. When I bought the camper, the rod was completely gone and there was lots of sediment in the WH (white granules) from the old rod.
  4. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    Thousand Oaks CA
    I check the anode annually, and flush the tank out at that time.
    Since I live in SoCal, I don't empty the HW tank in the "winter". Usually by the end of the 2nd year, I'll need to replace the anode.
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    When I had a water heater that used an anode rod, i would change it every spring as part of the de-winterization process but I only flushed the unit in the fall and again in the spring.. Now, I just flush in the fall and spring.
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    I don't even have an anode in mine anymore, since I switched over to electric. I suppose when the tank rots out, I'll just buy a new one. [8D]

    First anode lasted 15 years, so not overly concerned.
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    We check the anode every time we drain and rinse the HW tank. This is the 4th main season on the TT, we bought it in Oct '14, but didn't use the water system until '15. (We didn't want to have to empty and winterize more than necessary, though that has proved to be much easier than we feared.)
    We're still on the first anode, though we dutifully bought one early on, assuming we'd need to change it at least annually, given the hard water we have. (We start with the tanks full, since we often camp where filling isn't easy or dependable. On last week's trip, we didn't know if the water wold be on past the holiday, so we took jugs of water from home and used those to refill the tank.) It's down the width of the wire for 1/4" or less, right next to the "handle". The rest is pitted, but nowhere near that eroded.
    We have no set schedule for draining the tank (or sanitizing the rest of the system) during the season. We usually end up draining and rinsing maybe 2 or 3 times during the March/April-Nov season. The amount of grit we rinse out varies, and doesn't seem totally related to timing. Since the anode is a pain to replace, we don't do it any more than we need to. I think this year we've only drained it once, since after 2 trips, it sat for 2-3 months with water in it.
  8. jonkquil

    jonkquil Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    I have only replaced my anode rod once in 10 years. I drain and flush my tank once a year, a couple of times it ended up being 2 years. I have a real problem trying to screw the rod back in as it's heavier one end, I have come close to cross threading it on more than one occasion, which worries me. Any one else have this issue? Got any top tips for putting it back in?
  9. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    Checked it last year and it looked good for a year or so. Just ordered a new rod. Will replace when it arrives. Rods seem to last a long with if you drain between trips.

    We still have about 40 days of camping this year, so figure I would switch out before our next 20 day trip to upstate NY.

    Yep they are a pain to get started. Just take your time. Holding it with a 6 point socket and extension make it a little more easy. But they are a pain to put in.
  10. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Escondido, CA
    My anodes last me about 2 seasons before they are down to the wire....
    Not sure if it the hard water here, or something else going on with the system.

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