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Old 09-06-2008, 11:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Winterising trailers

Went to drain the water heater today and was a bit surprised to find a white powdery substance in the water heater.

All the water inside was a milky white.

The plug (which I've never pulled before, so I don't know what it's supposed to look like) has a wire rod sticking out from it. Is this supposed to have something on it? It looked more like black rock candy on a stick with the white powder stuff all over it.

The trailer has always had a filter and a water softener inline and we've never seen any discoloration of the water before.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bob, it's probably an anode on the plug. Get a new one and install it.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The white powder is probably salt from the water softener.

Is the wire rod a heating element?
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bob, it's probably an anode on the plug. Get a new one and install it.
I'll have to find a new one and give that a try.

Unfortunately, I'm 500 miles from the trailer now, so It'll have to wait until I can muster up some time to make a run down there.

Now that I'm home, I'll see if the manual says anything.

Lisa says hi and asked if Patty's out in TN with you.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Haole View Post
Went to drain the water heater today and was a bit surprised to find a white powdery substance in the water heater.

All the water inside was a milky white.

The plug (which I've never pulled before, so I don't know what it's supposed to look like) has a wire rod sticking out from it. Is this supposed to have something on it? It looked more like black rock candy on a stick with the white powder stuff all over it.

The trailer has always had a filter and a water softener inline and we've never seen any discoloration of the water before.

Any ideas?
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Bob, it's probably an anode on the plug. Get a new one and install it.
Yup.... it's a sacrificial anode. They need to be replaced from time to time as they corrode away.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lisa says hi and asked if Patty's out in TN with you.
Look left, that's old news
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Like others said, it is a sacrificial anode. Any RV store should carry it, as there are really only two rods. The long one for the Suburban and the short one for the Atwood. You probably need the long one (about 12"), as Atwoods come with a plastic plug from the factory. It should run you about $15.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haole View Post
Went to drain the water heater today and was a bit surprised to find a white powdery substance in the water heater.

All the water inside was a milky white.

The plug (which I've never pulled before, so I don't know what it's supposed to look like) has a wire rod sticking out from it. Is this supposed to have something on it? It looked more like black rock candy on a stick with the white powder stuff all over it.

The trailer has always had a filter and a water softener inline and we've never seen any discoloration of the water before.

Any ideas?
Normal. You can use that anode until it is all of the way gone. It is just like a big fat stick of welding rod. The steel center will stay. That goop is why I recommend to people that they pull the plug once a month to flush the water heater when they are living in the unit. Just make sure the 120 switch is off, or the unit is unplugged. If not, you just bought an element.

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Like others said, it is a sacrificial anode. Any RV store should carry it, as there are really only two rods. The long one for the Suburban and the short one for the Atwood. You probably need the long one (about 12"), as Atwoods come with a plastic plug from the factory. It should run you about $15.
Highway robbery! $10.69
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Look left, that's old news
Well, then the next time I'm down through your neck of the woods, I'll give you a call.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Highway robbery! $10.69
Hey, I was estimating on the high side. It might be that much wherever he is.
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