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SACRIFICIAL ANODE


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Have you pulled the plug on your hot water heater Yet ? We just pulled ours for the first time since we owned our Ollie. We were a bit worried about how it would look because the accepted wisdom on other forums is that it must be pulled and the tank flushed every Winter. Most of the time they recomend a curved water hose attachment to flush the tank out with. We went thirteen months because we used ours all during the first winter we had our Ollie.

Since this is our second Winter with our Ollie and the water heater plug and sacrificial anode had never been pulled, also since our hot water tank had never been drained, we were somewhat worried.

The worry was for naught ! The anode had been pitted but was aproximately 70%. The tank drained and flushed easily with very little particulants noted.

Photo to follow. I am trying out a new camera. Yeh I know, it's about time !

Ok, gotter":

100_0011.jpg

So, whadda' ya' think ? Go for another year on the anode ?

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Want more info about the water heater's sacrificial anode ? Here is a link to the search results for "sacrificial anode" over on the Casita Club's Forums:

http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/index.php?act=Search&CODE=show&searchid=d08dba01aaf273610b76db5d7bcda348&search_in=posts&result_type=topics&highlite=%2Bsacrificial+anode

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Larry,

 

It looks eaten up to me. That thin attachment right behind the plug is actually the core wire in the anode. Yours appears to have been eaten away right below the plug. But, on the other hand, that might not make any difference in the overall performance of it. I'd ask someone smarter than me.

 

Steve

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Larry...

 

I think Steve is right on that anode. In my prior life, we used to have zinc anodes installed on alot of different heat exchangers and whenever we saw one like yours, there was never a question about replacing it. Odds are the rest of the anode is punky and will only cause further problems if its not replaced.

 

I think, what the bigger question is... Is this normal? I can't say that I've ever seen one in that condition after only 1-2 yrs of service. If its not normal, then whats causing the problem... perhaps a call to the heater Mfg is warranted.

 

Has anyone else seen this type of deterioration?

 

Paul

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I was quite curious as to what is a sacrificial anode so I googled it. Well worthwhile reading at plumbingstore.com. Look for search by alphabetical listing and choose a then anode rods, water heater or just google sacrificial anode. The plumbingstore.com/sacrificial_rods explanation appears. Will a water heater last longer if distilled water is used since water softners shorten the life of the anode rode? jam49

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I'm afraid we're all stuck in the same boat... Our freshwater must come from the closest tap..home, campground, whatever. We don't have softened water on the garage filler spigot., nor do most campgrounds. We do use an inline filter on the freshwater fill hose, as does everyone I know on the forum. This keeps out the big stuff, but can't control all the minerals, etc. from varying sources across the country. I lived in southeast Kansas for a short while, and remember the water being very high in minerals, and smelling like sulfur. Spent one year in a small town in western Iowa, where the rust in the water turned my blond hair, well, red. So, as mountainborn posted, it's a good idea to keep an eye on the sacrificial anode. That's why they call them sacrificial... They go before your water heater liner, keeping you free(er) of problems.

The question my husband posed earlier was...Why did the anode go bad so quickly? It may have to do with water quality, or it may have to do with an electrolysis problem within the water heater itself.

Sherry

PS That varying water quality across the country is why I carry a few gallons of water from home or the store for coffee & drinking when the local water is not to my liking.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry,

The reference to googling a sacrifial rod was for others like myself who might like to know the purpose of such a rod. It sure didn't answer why the sacrificial rod went bad so quickly. I find it much easier to communicate in person. Anyway, I love your idea of extra water jugs. I am going to take some when I pick up my Oliver. Hope yall stay warm and no long freezes come your way this winter. jam49

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When is your Oliver due? I'm sure you're excited as we all were. How far do you have to drive? If you're coming near our area, feel free to let us know.

 

Sorry, a little off topic...

 

Steve

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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Hi, Jam49,

Sorry, guess I didn't communicate too well either. I didn't think you were trying to answer the question of what happened... You ask a lot of good questions, and come up with some interesting ideas. Keep 'em coming!

 

I know you're looking forward to your new Oliver as we were about this time last year!

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I'll be coming from Taylor, Texas about 25 miles northeast of Austin. If all goes as planned I will be camped at the gates to the factory bright and early Monday morning on March 16th at 8:00 a.m. unless it isn't open til later! Too bad spring break had to be a week later this year. Being with the grandkids is the only thing I look forward to more than getting REVILO. Everytime they see me they say Meme when are you getting Revilo? They are excited too because we are going to have a lot of fun as I am sure all of yall are having. Learning about sacrificial anodes, and winterizing, and batteries, and solar power! Wow, my head is spinning. All the contributions on the forum about the different topics can't help but make my Oliver adventure the best it could ever be. I look forward to meeting my further neighbors wherever further happens to be as I travel down the road of life. Until then, Jam49

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Steve,

Me too - sorry for being off topic. I sure will let yall know if I decide to go home through Mississippi. So many roads to travel home. Gas prices in March may determine my road home. Now apologies to all and back to the topic. I think I willl buy a spare sacrificial rod. Somehow I feel sorry for that litle ol rod. Couldn't the person who first called it a sacrificial rod come up with a better name? Sacrificial sounds so forlorn and hopeless. jam49

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Found this Anode on eBay for $12.70 delivered to our door. While checking to see what the final cost would be, I took the shopping cart to check out in paypal, and for some reason there was a .97 cent discount deducted from the final cost. Since they will combine shipping I also picked up a spare. Here is the Url:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RV-Anode-Rod-for-Suburban-Water-Heater-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em20Q2el1116QQitemZ370029491121QQptZMotorsQ5fRVQ5fTrailerQ5fCamperQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

The local RV store was $14.95 plus tax and the expense of a 48 mile round trip.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Some aftermarket anodes come in a bubble pack that has a bushing for the larger pipe fitting that the suburban has. Most of them are brass and work well. The one I bought doesn't need an adapter bushing. The one that has a drain petcock in the end of it has an adapter bushing and will fit either size. The drain anode version is pretty handy in some cases. For example, you know that your anode is ok, but just want to drain the water heater. A few turns of the petcock does that for you.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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To back up to your question "are they all the same?". No. However, the Suburban model we have is kind of the "gold standard" for the industry in our class... Most people would say it's the best in its class. So the proper anode for our water heater is readily available, on-line, or at the local RV supply, prices vary. There is another arguably lesser brand waterheater, the Atwood, that has a shorter anode rod. Just make sure that what you buy is made for the Suburban model we all have, and you're good. As it is readily available, unless you live in a very rural area, I probably wouldn't bother stock-pile this item. What I mean to say is that the time when you normally check for sacrificial anode deterioration is at the same time that you lay up the trailer for a period of time, with the water heater turned off and drained or winterized, so in most cases you have plenty of time to order the replacement anode. ... (This does not hold true for full-timers. They have to pick a date, as you would at home for replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms, to check and replenish if needed. Birthdays or New Year's works well there.) Right now, with camping season sadly over for most of us, we have plenty of time on our hands .... looking around, surfing the internet, and deciding where to go camping next spring and summer! Hope to see you on the road somewhere in 2009!

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thanks Seadawg and Mountainborn

Can this info be added to the manual when it gets up and running? This is such helpful information. When I finally get Revilo I think I am going to move into Revilo out in the driveway. Poor thing- it might get so lonely. jam49

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The anode for the Oliver's Suburban Water Heater is aproximately 9 3/8" long and a larger diameter. Which translates to more surface contact area for better performance in protecting the heater. It is long enough and end heavy enough that when you go to screw in the new one , you have to make a concerted effort to make sure it is level so the threads will mate up readily. I have read on some forums that the installer thought they had the wrong anode because they found it was difficult to start the threads. Level alignment is the secret to quickly threading up a new anode to the water heater housing.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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This auction , currently running on eBay, has a good photo and explination of the aftermarket anode that will fit both brands, note that it is smaller in diameter and shorter than the factory Suburban anode:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230311078393&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT&viewitem=

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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The new anodes arrived from the eBay seller in a padded envelope, no insurance to run up the cost, for such a durable item as this.

Here is a side by side comparrison of the old one, 13 months use, and the new one.

100_0011.jpg

100_0017.jpg

Yep, you know they will be exchanged and the extra new one will go into the spare parts stowage under the dinnette.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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Good photos, Larry...

 

Just a quick addendum to the installation, add a few turns of Teflon tape to the inner threads. Make sure it does not extend past the end of the threads, it could tear off and get into the pipe-works, pump etc. This tape will keep the like-metal of the threads and the heater body from adhering to one another.

 

Steve

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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