Water Heater

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Bigmau

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Dec 29, 2018
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94
I contacted the manufacturer of my MH water heater (Atwood) to inquire if it already has an Anode Rod and if not, can I install one. Their response below:

Maurice,

We do not recommend that you use an anode rod. This will damage your tank.

Sarah

What do you, experts, think of this answer?
Also, I noticed that the water was a little too hot and checked the water temperature and it was at 140 degrees. That is enough to scorch you. Atwood said that they are not adjustable and set at 140 out of the factory. I know that the average temperature at home is about 125 degrees.
Any opinions?


 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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RV water heaters typically run hotter than residential heaters to extend the limited amount of water farther by mixing more cold with it for a comfortable shower. Atwood water heaters do not need an anode because the aluminum tank serves as its own anode. Suburban's glass lined steel tanks do use an anode.
 

docj

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Oct 16, 2010
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1,807
I'm not at all sure how an anode rod could damage a tank.  If a tank doesn't need an anode because of its composition, I can't see how having one would be a problem.  If the electrochemistry doesn't take place there should be no reaction whatsoever.

Although aluminum tanks are less reactive than steel ones, that doesn't mean that anodes don't provide a benefit, if the anode is more reactive than the tank metal.  Atwood states that its aluminum tanks don't require anodes, but some other manufacturers do.  The appropriate anode material for an aluminum tank would be magnesium.

Putting that aside, I think you'll find that 140F is a pretty common set temperature for small water heaters of the kind found in RVs and boats.  Yes, it's a bit hotter than the recommended home use temperature, but some public health people say that 125F can be dangerous because it isn't hot enough to kill the Legionnaires Disease bacteria.  There's no perfect solution and the hotter tank temp effectively gives you more hot water to use.
 

Gizmo100

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Sep 28, 2018
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NY_Dutch said:
RV water heaters typically run hotter than residential heaters to extend the limited amount of water farther by mixing more cold with it for a comfortable shower. Atwood water heaters do not need an anode because the aluminum tank serves as its own anode. Suburban's glass lined steel tanks do use an anode.

X's 2 What they said
 

kdbgoat

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Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,329
Yep, Suburban- anode rod, Attwood- no anode rod. I like having the water at 140?. The amount of hot water in an RV is limited, so one has to add a bit more cold water to temper it down. Being most places in an RV that use hot water are flow limited in volume, the available hot water lasts for a longer time.
 
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