Save Your Tank – Hot Water Anodes

RV Hot Water Systems aren’t set and forget. Here’s what you need to know about sacrificial anodes

Hot water anodes are a crucial part of hot water systems. They are designed to prolong the life of the water tank, but exactly when should you change it? Is it something that is DIYable? How does it even work?

To find out the answers to these questions I went straight to the professionals, my local trusted caravan repair man, John at Man of Steel Caravans and Trailers.

What Does It Do?

The anode is a sacrificial rod, made up of a weaker material, which is designed to corrode and break down so that the water heater tank does not.

When To Change?

There is no hard and fast rule as to when it should be changed, as different water parameters will greatly affect how long it lasts. So a regular inspection is essential.

How To Tell When To Change?

The only sure way to know is to pull it out and have a look. Unless you have let it go too long and you have a hole in the water tank, there is no external sign.

It should be part of the annual service on any caravan or camper with a hot water system.

Can Or Should You DIY Tt?

It can be a straightforward DIY job if you are handy with the tools but there are a few essential steps such as isolating the power supply, water supply and depressurisation. If it’s your first time, then maybe check out a few how to videos online or chat to a professional.

Why Should You Change It?

If left too long and the rod has completely corroded away then the water will start to corrode the water tank which will result in a hole in the water tank.

Any Other Tips?

Make sure to keep the hot water tank full when storing the caravan. A partially or fully empty tank will not allow the anode to do its job.

After speaking with John, I feel like I have a much better understanding about hot water system sacrificial anodes and I hope this information helps clear up any questions you may have had about it too.