Did you know that you should perform an anode check for your caravan hot water system every six months?
There are two main brands of caravan hot water systems – Suburban and Truma and the large majority of our customers have a Suburban hot water system. If you fall into this category then regular anode checks for your caravan hot water system are vital to extend the life of your hot water system. The anode is a magnesium rod that is designed to corrode and degrade over time for the purpose of protecting the tank from water corrosion. The manufacturer’s recommendation is that the anode be replaced with a genuine Surburban anode when the rod has degraded to 50% of its original diameter. We regularly replace hot water systems that have corroded and leak irreparably simply because the anode was forgotten about and had not been replaced.
Here is a guide to anode corrosion:
How do you check the anode?
- Turn off the power to the water pump.
- Turn off the gas supply and electrical power to the water heater.
- Make sure that the water is cool before attempting to remove anode.
- Empty the hot water tank by turning on the hot tap inside the caravan to release the pressure in the tank. It is a good idea to open the pressure relief valve on the hot water system. Check it for lime deposits and clean as necessary.
- If you are working somewhere that you don’t want a puddle, place a bucket underneath the hot water system as water will leak when the anode is removed.
- Remove anode rod by rotating counterclockwise using a 1-1/16″ diameter socket wrench. You may need to use a lot of force to loosen the anode rod, especially if the anode has not been removed for an extended time. Stand well clear when the rod exits the drain hole to avoid water splash.
- Inspect the anode for corrosion and determine whether you need to replace it. Replace the anode with a new one when it has corroded to 50% or more of its original diameter.
- Give the tank a flush out to remove any sediments from the bottom of the tank.
Re-install the anode or replacement anode
- Wrap the threads of the anode with plumbers white sealant tape.
- Insert the anode in the drain opening and tighten in a clockwise direction.
- Turn on the water supply to refill the tank with water. Check for water leaks around the threads of the anode. Tighten the anode as necessary to prevent leaks.
- Turn on the gas supply and electrical power to the system and enjoy your hot water.
- If you are planning to keep your caravan in storage over the winter months then it is a good idea to to drain the hot water system to prevent damage to the system in the event of freezing temperatures. Use the same process listed above to drain the tank as for removing the anode.
- Ensure that the tank is refilled before re-lighting the hot water system.
Regular anode checks every six months will extend the life of your caravan hot water system. At the RV Service Centre we stock replacement anodes in our showroom. Checking and replacing the anode on caravan hot water systems is one of the many services that we offer at our professional workshop. If you discover that the tank on your caravan hot water system is leaking then our experienced team can diagnose and repair or replace a faulty system. Call into the RVSC showroom or phone us to book your service.