My name is Aleks and I am new to this forum. My Partner (Steven) and I are travelling around Australia in our American RV. We have a Suburban Hot Water Service and what my question is, how often should we change the anode rod whilst we are staying in Western Australia, I have heard that the water is very bad here and our hws has rusted out already and it's (4 years old). We have managed to source another from the US and was interested to know if anyone had any idea in regards to this. This would be much appreciated because when we changed (six months) it was pretty much eaten away.
And how much is too much eaten away and how much is being wasted... If you can give me an example as in picture, that would help.
Thanks for your kind help
Nice to meet you
Aleks and Steve
Aleks & Steve
American 5th Wheeler Montego Bay
Kathy and Frank currently at Home near Quirindi NSW
jules"Love is good for the human being!!"(Ben, aged 10)
There is an RV online store ,the following link should take you there.They are in the specials category page 5
Suburban anodes,at that price a new one and a spare seems a good idea.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the welcome and yes the water here is terrible (and it's not bore water) but apparently WA water has high contents of calcium and eats through everything... I have spoken to some grey nomads in the area and they said check it every 3 months. So I might have to start being diligent.
We carry a couple of spare ones always so that we don't get caught.
Yes, you do have to take care when travelling as to what type of water is available and the damage it causes to the hws...
As you can see I have no idea as how to write to everyone separately, but I'm sure I will learn soon enough...lol... Thanks for the website address, I do have that one and it's good to have these on hand...
Thanks again for all you wonderful responses.
There are two types of Anodes available for Suburbans- one is a magnesium alloy for reasonable good water areas and the other is a Aluminium only which is purported to last longer in Bad/Hard Water areas. Probably not as protective against electrolysis for the tank, so definitely I would be inspecting more regularly in Bore/Hard water areas. I have replaced some in vans where only the End Plug/Nut was left even the wire gone. I have seen others where the End/Plug Nut was that seized that when they tried to remove same, have torn partial threads out and heard of another that cracked the Tank fitting off. So be Careful when unscrewing Anode, plenty of DWF/WD40 type of lubricant or similar.
Check at least every 12 months.You'll also need a 1-1/16th or 27mm socket and carry some teflon tape.Cheers, Ozjohn.
Retired Engineer, Ex Park Owner & Caravan Consultant. Holden 2.8 Colorado - Roma Elegance 17'6" Pop Top.Location: Mornington Peninsula Vic.
Welcome Aleks & Steve
My Surburban HWS lasted 12 years before I replaced it in error .. but that's another sad story. Over that time I always used whatever water was available including in WA for several months (not Coral Bay though).
I check my sacrifical anode after every trip & certainly no less often than every 3 months.
I clean off any corrosion on the anode & use the water pressure to blow out any corrosion that may have fallen to the bottom of the tank. Then I leave the tank empty till the next trip. I screw the anode back in before leaving.
The rods are replaced when there is any significant wear .. usually it's only corroded at the end near the thread.
ps. 'The Error' ... I was having trouble lighting the main jet of the HWS. We tested the gas pressure & it seemed OK. The error was failing to test the pressure with appliances turned on. This is just like testing the terminal voltage of a battery when it's under no load. A largely useless exercise.
Woke up to this after replacing the HWS unit.
The problem was that the regulator was gunked up with the stuff that they add to give the gas its detectable odour. New regulator & all was 100%. Got the old HWS in the shed!!!
Cheers ... G
If you are going through hell, keep going. ... Winston Churchill
Aleks wrote:And how much is too much eaten away and how much is being wasted... If you can give me an example as in picture, that would help.
Here is a picture taken last week.
Dont use the HW much but it is always full of water. Last check in August 2012 when it was about 1/2 as much material on the rod. Water has varied from council to beautiful artesian bore and rain water.
I also flush out the tank after checking and repressurise and test as once forgot and was unable to get the water pressure up when on the road. I have a spare one.
Got to keep moving and as Hippocrates the modern medicine guru once said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food
Recoup wrote: Hi ,I came across this warningHealth Warning : To avoid nasty smells developing in your water system under No Circumstances use anode made for marine use. So why do they sell them ?Hans
Every time we are based in WA we have to replace the Anode more often than in any other state in Oz,I recon it is because of bore water usage ,as in a lot of places north of Perth that is all that is avaliable .
Time To Sleep Later In Life.
Because boaties are happy to shower in salt water
Below is a quote from the Kedron Owners Group.....
Quote: ">>>We recently had a problem with 'rotten egg' smelling water after some eight years of trouble free but very active motorhoming. Our water lines are all catering quality hoses and fittings. The cause has been traced to the HWS anode and by telling this story we may be able to help others avoid a similar baffling experience.
Sacrificial anodes are built into Suburban hot water systems to protect the storage reservoir from corrosion. That is, the anode corrodes, first leaving the system intact provided the anode is replaced when necessary - which is normally at not more that two year intervals, and we have done this regularly. With the valued assistance of Coast-to-Coast RV Services we have been advised genuine Suburban anodes be made from magnesium. Unfortunately they look very similar to different anodes, which are made from aluminium and zinc to prevent corrosion in marine motors, which are constantly flushed with seawater.
If a marine type anode is inadvertently fitted to a Suburban HWS, an opaque type jelly may eventually appear on the anode and a foul odour will affect the water, particularly if the system is not used frequently. Merely flushing with fresh water will not get rid of the odour. It is necessary to flush the system and replace the anode with a genuine Suburban magnesium part.
Unfortunately we purchased our replacement marine type anode from a caravan repair business and assumed it was the right type. Hoping this tale may save other members from having contaminated water.<<<<<<<"
vk6tnc , useful information , thanks for that ,Hans
Hino 145A towing a trailer (the shed)
Back on the road heading for Vic and SA
beiffe wrote:Ozjohn.Would not the Teflon tape cause an electrical barrier for the electrolysis to work through the anode and therefore cause the reaction somewhere else in the system.it is an electrical action and therefore needs a metal on metal to work ???RegardsBrian
Ozjohn.Would not the Teflon tape cause an electrical barrier for the electrolysis to work through the anode and therefore cause the reaction somewhere else in the system.it is an electrical action and therefore needs a metal on metal to work ???RegardsBrian
Brian,No, as the thread cuts through the tape when tightened, but seals the thread faces to prevent leaks.Cheers OJ.