Does My RV's Water Heater Need an Anode Rod

by Anonymous

Does Your RV's Water Heater Need An Anode Rod

Does Your RV's Water Heater Need An Anode Rod

I have a 2002 Fleetwood Mallard with a 6 gal water heater tank. The area where the Anode rod is inserted is plastic, with a plastic plug, and I was told this type setup doesn't use the Anode rod.

Being new to camping, I'm not sure what to think as I was told all tanks need the rod to avoid corrosion.

Is there any way for me to check?

ANSWER: Hi, the simple answer to your question is that if your RV's water heater is an Atwood than it does not require an Anode Rod (pictured above) If it is a Suburban Water heater than in all likelihood it does require an Anode Rod.

I am pretty sure that your Mallard is equipped with an Atwood Water Heater, but you should still take a look at your water heater and see if Atwood or Suburban manufactures it. The fact that your water heater is equipped with a plastic (nylon) drain plug pretty much indicates that it is an Atwood.

If you do have to replace the Anode Rod in your Water Heater; you will find that it is a simple and straightforward job, but you still may want to take a look at the video below to see how it is done.

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As the video states when you are replacing the Anode Rod it is also a good time to flush your RV's Water Heater to get rid of any Sediment etc.

A Suburban Water Heater requires an Anode Rod because the tank of the Suburban Water Heater uses glass enamel over a steel tank. If the enamel cracks for any reason, it will expose the steel to the water, and the steel will start to corrode even from a pinhole in the enamel. The rod attracts the corrosive elements in the water that could corrode the water heater tank, and the rod itself gets corroded.

The Anode Rod is part of the Suburban Water Heater's drain plug. It should be checked at least once a year and should be replaced when half of the rod has been corroded away.

So why doesn't the Atwood need an Anode Rod? The water tank on the Atwood Water Heater is made of aluminum which does not have the same corrosive properties as steel

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I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Does My RV's Water Heater Need an Anode Rod

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Anode rod?
by: Keith

I have a 2018 Winnebago mini does it need an anode rod currently it just has a plastic plug-in it should I change it out

Atwood doesn't require rod...but tank corroded
by: Anonymous

My Fleetwood 2015 class A had an Atwood water heater. Dometic I believe now owns that and is selling the same water heater under their name.

1. My original water heater was severely corroded. It did NOT have an anode rod.
2. The water heater was replaced under my extended warranty.
3. The installing dealer told me the reason my water heater was so badly corroded was because it did NOT have the anode rod so they installed one.
4. They installed the same water heater now under the Dometic name and the manual says it does NOT need an anode rod and that installing one will invalidate their warranty.

SOOOOO...What am I supposed to do? The dealer says it needs one. The last water heater was so severely damaged I'm surprised it still held water. They vidoed the inside with a camera and showed me the damage. It was excessive.

Do I trust the installer and leave the anode rod in or do I trust the manufacturer and remove it and then have to replace the water heater again in 2 years?

Anode Rod
by: William

I've just learned that the Anode Rod must be changed every once in a while. I'm now waiting for my new water heater to arrive.

Anode for Attwood
by: Toober

I contacted Attwood and they told me they recommend against adding an anode to their tanks due to electrolysis of dissimilar metals.

Attwood Water Heater
by: Skipper

With all the chemicals in our water today.. would it hurt or perhaps help to add an anode rod to my 2010 Attwood water heater ?


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