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Winterization Caution:


Mainiac
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Make a check sheet. Follow the check sheet. 

To drain the water heater: Step one, open the T & P (temp and pressure relief valve). 

                                                Step two, then remove the anode plug

Failure to open the T &P valve first could cause that anode plug to fly out under extreme pressure. Some idiot just did that, and the anode flew out over five feet  and soaked the unaware actor. Lucky that no one got hurt. 

(I should have known better, as I had written the check sheet. And in a former life I used to winterize over 40 units a year. And boy was that water COLD)

Another note: the anode had a lot of holes in it. That is great. It means it is doing it's job. And the more holes means the more area exposed to the water. Over 6 years and don't have to replace it yet. Guess we are lucky and have used "good" water. Will only replace it when it is down to a wire and about 3 or 4 inches long. Some dealers like to sell tnem.

Think Spring

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I have done exactly what you described, it happens when you get distracted and start operating on autopilot…. I doubt that you will do it again; it is like forgetting to open the grey tank isolation/ vent valve - running water in the bathroom sink and soaked socks is a good lesson learned… Did you flush the WH tank? Get much white crud out?

Do you have a 3/4 MPT tap or thread chaser? They are spendy! You can get an internal square drive pipe plug like this at NAPA for maybe $5.

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Use a hacksaw to cut about a dozen deep cuts (all the way past the threads) parallel to the axis. Clean up the cuts with a wire wheel. Voila, now you can cut out all that white crusty stuff that is blocking the water heater drain threads using your 1/2” extension. Blast the debris out with water or air. This also works very well if you have to replace a valve or fitting on your home water heater.,…

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

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Should have opened a faucet inside, to relieve the pressure, per the winterization video.. HOWEVER, the video casually mentions to drain the waterheater, with no mention of opening the T & P valve. Live and learn...

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Even though Mainiac poked a bit of fun at himself in his original post above - this is no joke.

Serious injury could result from this "anode plug" given the force behind it.  

As John Davies mentions above - bad things can (and do) happen,

On 10/11/2022 at 8:24 PM, John E Davies said:

when you get distracted and start operating on autopilot

Bill

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Well, yes and no to bad things … the only way to take out that drain plug is with a big socket and  handle. If the tank is pressurized when the threads come clear, water will rush out and the tools will prevent the long rod from flying out of there. When it happened to me I saw the gush and just held on… it was not like a gun going off, I just got pretty  wet. Maybe if the anode was completely rotted away to a bare wire it could maybe possibly come out IF you let go. But the heavy “nut” is captured inside the socket. Just don’t drop the darned tool!

FYI trying to do this with 140 degree water inside would be most foolish. Feel the tank first. ***** Turn off the inside circuit breaker!. ***** If the tank is dry and power goes to it, the heating element will fry in seconds.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/water-heater-anode-replacement-guidelines-suburban-service-bulletin/

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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When I removed the anode I was using a 1/2" ratchet with a 6" extension and socket. When the water heater decided to flush itself below and against my belt buckle I jumped back rather forcefully. Never released the ratchet. It might have slowed the projectile a little, but that anode still traveled past me better than 5 feet. I still think it was laughing as it flew by...

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With the current cold front moving deep into the South, this might be important.  A few that don't usually winterize, a few novices, or those that usually do this later; remember to open the T&P valve before taking out the anode.

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57 minutes ago, Mainiac said:

remember to open the T&P valve before taking out the anode.

OR,

if you don't remember to have your face and/or private parts out of the direct line of that anode rod!😬

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Just finished winterizing and it always makes me kind of sad that Winter is about. I now look forward to Spring and the next camping season.

BTW, after 5 + years, the anode was just a wire. I have a new one (Aluminum) to install when I sanitize next year. What is the best anode?

Legacy Elite I

#240

ALCTDEFLGAKYMEMDMANHNJNYNCPARISCTNVTVAWV
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Not good that the old anode was just wire.  Nothing to be done about that now except to be sure that you have flushed out the water heater well.

1 hour ago, skalywag said:

What is the best anode?

I've been told that the "best" anodes are the magnesium ones - Similar to these - .

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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1 hour ago, skalywag said:

Just finished winterizing and it always makes me kind of sad that Winter is about. I now look forward to Spring and the next camping season.

BTW, after 5 + years, the anode was just a wire. I have a new one (Aluminum) to install when I sanitize next year. What is the best anode?

A magnesium anode protects better and lasts longer than Aluminum Anodes. Sacrificial Anodes are used to protect the hulls of ships, water heaters and other metals in contact with water or a dissimilar metal. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all 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 SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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

 

 

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magnesium anode protects: have to agree. A wire and about 3" of material are about my time to replace. Lot of holes mean more surface area. I would screw the anode back in the ( loosely) water heater just to keep bugs out.

When you sanitize? Do you keep the water heater on bypass? Probably a good idea. We have a brass nozzle that screws on our hose that gives a fine high press stream. We direct it into the anode hole and it will flush out most of the "crap" in there. I have heard of, and have done, is pour a mixture of vinegar into the water heater and let it sit overnight. And then flush in the morn. It does seem to help remove some "stuff". And then Teflon tape and the new anode.

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I have been using Teflon tape on my anode threads.  Never have had a problem with the threads or removal of the anode.

Any reason not to  use Teflon tape?  

Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

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1 minute ago, Geronimo John said:

I have been using Teflon tape on my anode threads.  Never have had a problem with the threads or removal of the anode.

Any reason not to  use Teflon tape?  

No reason, I use it, but what can perhaps happen is you install a new rod and the threads are a little smaller diameter, and instead of screwing in smoothly and a little deeper, it hits the white crusty “ridge” in the hole threads that forms from calcium deposits. It can leak then, because the nut isn’t quite deep enough. That is why a thread chaser should be used to clean all the gunk from the threads each time you remove the rod. I mentioned this at the top of this page. You can make one easily.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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10 minutes ago, Geronimo John said:

have been using Teflon tape on my anode threads

I ALWAYS use Teflon tape on the anode. I do try to "chase" the old tape out of the threads before wrapping three new turns on. You always have to be careful when starting the anode in (especially a new one),_because the weight inside makes it difficult to line up the threads. You don't want to cross thread this item. If you get it in a little and have to take it out just make sure Teflon is still in good shape. If not remove it all and start over.

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I used to wonder if using Teflon tape would somehow (electrically) insulate the anode from the tank thereby somewhat reducing its effectiveness. 

But, I used to wonder about a lot of things that don’t seem to bother me anymore. 
 

Never mind. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all 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 SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

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

 

 

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I used to wonder if using Teflon tape would somehow (electricallyinsulate the anode from the tank

I think the water itself would provide any path for  an electrical charge from the anode rod and tank, bypassing any Teflon tape isolation.

I still wonder about stuff, but that is what the internet is for. It is just that I get distracted and forget what I was wondering about...

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