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Old 03-18-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
rvthereyet
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Default '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Please note picture attached.

33K mile TB that we still enjoy :)

Need some advise on the "rusted" water heater element.

I *think* that i need to replace it but checking my owners manual I didn't find any part number or procedure to replace it.

Oh, and do I need a special socket wrench to replace the element?

Any thoughts and recommendations most welcome!

--To
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:27 AM   #2
hotfudge
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Assuming you have a Suburban gas/electric WH, I think what you are referring to is NOT the heating element. It is the Anode rod/heater drain plug. Have you been checking it (anode rod) annually for 'consumption' when you drain the heater to winterize? This is a very important normal maintenance procedure. I have changed out the Anode rod every year on our 2015.5 TB...whether it needs it or not. Use a 1-1/16" socket (I think) to remove/install the rod/plug and teflon tape on the threads of the new rod assembly when replacing. Cheap insurance to protect the heater tank/core.

Last edited by hotfudge; 03-19-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:30 AM   #3
rvthereyet
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Excellent!

Can you give me an idea as to the part number?

We'll need to order a few "anodes" for the yearly replacement.

Thank you!!!

--Tom
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

You can use a Suburban 232767( magnesium) [https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-2327...%2C229&sr=8-7] or Suburban 232768 (Aluminum) [https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-2327...%2C229&sr=8-5]. I've used both and the Aluminum rod seems to last the longest. Magnesium anode rods tend to be consumed quicker than Aluminum or Aluminum/Zinc/Tin anode rods due to the higher voltage they create during the sacrificial process. Suburban recommends either, “All Suburban water heaters are protected by a magnesium or aluminum anode to prolong the life of the tank. Under normal use, the anode rod will deteriorate. Because of this, we recommend it be replaced annually or when consumption or weight loss of the rod is greater than 75%". Plumbers recommend either, it's boils down to personal preference. I have seen articles that say even though Magnesium anode rods normally corrode at a slightly faster rate than most anode rods, dissolved magnesium in water can offer many health benefits. Use a Camco rinse wand, https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Rinser-...r=8-5-fkmrnull, to thoroughly rinse the tank before replacing the anode rod. Here is a video on how to replace the rod, use a 1-1/16" socket with at least a 3" extension so you you can get to it without scratching your paint. Remember to have the power to the water heater off, city water disconnected and always relieve the pressure in the tank with the pressure relief valve before you try and remove the anode rod.

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Old 03-19-2019, 11:38 AM   #5
rvthereyet
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Thanks again...

Final request - is the socket wrench a standard 1 1/16th inch six sided wrench?

Do you have a recommendation on Amazon?

--Tom
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

You need to use a 1/2" drive socket, (https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-14284-...s%2C234&sr=8-5) and a 1/2" drive ratchet, (https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-03103A-...gateway&sr=8-3), and a 5" extension, (https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-14266-...ateway&sr=8-13). I use a 3" extention but I think it's a little short, I would rather have bought a little longer extension so you can get your hands on it it for a good grip. You can also get these items at any Harbor Freight, Northern Tools, Tractor Supply or other big box stores (Lowes/Home Depot).
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Old 03-19-2019, 01:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

IRRC, 1 1/16" 6 sided 1/2" drive socket. Something with a thin wall to slip into the crease around the drain plug. A long 1/2" drive or a couple to clear the side of the RV. Big fat 1/2" drive handle. Or this:

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...BEgJM4PD_BwE#/ and a breaker bar.

If it is the OEM "plug" it probably doesn't have an anode.

The plug will be corroded in and probably has calcium crud on the threads extending inside the tank. Be very careful and don't try to "muscle it out' ......... I soak ours in Corrosion X HD a few days before working on it. You want to break the corrosion bond between the tank and plug before you start wrenching.

You can put a straight anode in or if you are related to Crow find one with the anode AND drain valve in one.

https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...BEgIUgPD_BwE#/

That makes it easier to winterize or drain for long term storage. Just open the valve and the pressure relief at the top of the tank and let'r run. Also, a good idea to cycle the pressure relief vave a few times before every trip. They also muck up.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Old Crows makes a good point, if you have never removed your anode rod before it will be virtually welded in place by all the corrosion. You may want to buy an 18" breaker bar (https://www.amazon.com/GreatNeck-BB1.../dp/B000CMDQCK) instead or a rachet so you can have a longer length for more leverage force. Or you can use a length of metal pipe slipped over the end of the rachet to increase your leverage. Either way it will take a lot of force to get this plug to move. Spraying it with a penetrating oil first and letting it soak a while may help, https://www.amazon.com/Blaster-16-PB...s%2C216&sr=8-5.
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:52 PM   #9
BUSYBOB
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

Some safety issues to keep in mind before starting any anode rod replacement:
1. Make sure your water heater switch inside the coach control panel is off.
2. Make sure the electric on/off switch in the lower LH corner of the water heater is off.
3. Shut off or disconnect the fresh water feed to the coach, and make sure the water pump switch is off. You do not want to remove the anode rod with the hot water tank under pressure.
4. You can either isolate the hot water tank using the winterization valve or open the H/C water faucets to relieve any pressure in the piping lines.
5. Best time to do the work is when the hot water heater has not been used for a while so you won't get scalded.
6. In the outside water heater box flip the lever on the pressure release valve a few times to ensure there is no pressure in the tank.
7. When unscrewing the anode rod stand to one side to avoid getting soaked.
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: '15 Water Heater Core Replacement?

if you have issues, you can also upgrade to a Truma on-demand water heater.

we are stopping by next week to do so, and look forward to reduced propane consumption, faster hot water, lower hot water temperature (safer than the default 140 degrees)

will trade annual de-scaling (which uses $20 worth of tablets) instead of the anode replacement.

will post the details after the install. looks like this is around a $1600 upgrade.
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