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RV Hotwater Heater
Anode Rod Replacement

A friend, Dave, the President of the King of the Road RV Club read my article about changing the pressure relief valve in a hotwater heater. He then emailed me to say I needed to change my anode rod immediately. Well, having never seen an anode rod before my relief valve maintenance I did not realize it should look different. The anode rod reduces the amount of corrosion in the hotwater tank which is a good thing since the replacement would be about $400 plus labor to install. Look at the difference in the rods from old to new below. Remove the old Anode Rod
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe Compare the old with the new

To begin the replacement, turn of the electricity and gas going to the hotwater heater and turn on a hot water faucet to drain all the hot water from the tank.

Turn off the water supply or guess what will happen when you remove the old plug and rod.

The drain plug is 1-1/16" so I used a socket and wrench to easily remove the plug.


  Wrap the new threads with teflon plumbers tape. Wrap the threads with plumbers tape
New rod in place Tighten the new plug to about 8 ft-lbs of torque. Do not overtighten.

Turn on the water supply with a faucet open to allow the air to excape.

I mark the date of replacement on the back-side of the waterheater cover.

Replacement of the rod should happen with a little less than half the rod remains. Obviously, my rod should have been replace months ago.

Replacement is recorded on back side of cover
RV Repair

Bob Livingston has a great book available which not only includes hotwater tank repairs but much more. Here is a link to the site where you can check out the table of contents and much more:

RV Repair and Maintenance Manual,
4th Edition by Bob Livingston

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