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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Water left in Suburban water heater - UPDATE!

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pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Joined: 05/13/2009

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Posted: 10/05/20 11:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have to thank everyone for their thoughtful replies. [emoticon]
After reading them I think I'm in the market for a new WH!

We bought our B used at 12 years old - it really didn't look like the guy used it much - everything was brand new. At this point I'm thinking he never changed the anode rod and the tank may have been compromised. The hot water has smelled ever since we got it. (This was new to us as we never had a problem with our... what... now 30 year old Atwood WH). We initially took out the anode rod and it was very new looking with just some little white speckles on it. And the same each year at winterizing time. The anode rod was probably replaced just before we bought it - so we don't know the past...

Anyway - thanks again - we'll see how this next trip goes and maybe next spring will have to replace the unit and keep it emptied and use vaseline on the threads... [emoticon]

Although I do see what ajriding and BB_TX are saying about how you should be able to leave water in it... [emoticon]


"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

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kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 10/05/20 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I drain our Suburban twice a year, after sanitizing and after winterizing.

We average about 10 days per month camping which likely negates the negative impact of WH just sitting.

If I knew for certain that we'd not be camping for several weeks then draining the entire system would be the way to go.

Nothing wrong with suburban WH so if you decide to go that route again, drain it for extended periods of inactivity.

wopachop

Who run bartertown

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Posted: 10/05/20 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was shocked to find water still sitting in my suburban tank after at least a month. Next time a water hose breaks on you cut off and keep both ends. I stick a 2 foot length of hose into the water heater and use a shop vac to suck out the water now. Its hot and dry here too. Just checked current weather its 87F and 10% humidity. I do not think my valve leaks. Because i would notice water dripping from the drain hole. Would land on the dirt, make a wet spot and catch my attention. Best guess is that it takes a really long time for water to evaporate out. Much much longer than i would expect.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 10/05/20 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RV Water heater drain holes are not on bottom of tanks but down low on side of tank

Yes some water is left in bottom of tank after draining

But that level is below the anode rod or electric element...neither of which will work properly w/o being submerged in water

It is OK to leave tank full of water UNLESS tank is old, glass-lining is cracked-fallen off and tank is rusting
Then doesn't matter cause the steel tank is rotting away from the inside


OP...
You stated the anode rod looked new with just some white specs on it
Suspect it is an 'aluminum' anode rod vs the OEM Magnesium rod
Magnesium is quicker to sacrifice itself vs the aluminum BUT the magnesium can react with microbes in water supply and cause a sulfur smell

Suburban ships with the OEM Magnesium But offers an OEM Aluminum also

OEM Mag will have a teat on end of hex head (part #232767)
[image]


OEM Alum will have a smooth hex head (part #232768)
[image]


Is it time for your medication or mine?


2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
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BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 10/05/20 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use one of these pumps to get the water out of the bottom after draining.

wopachop

Who run bartertown

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Posted: 10/05/20 02:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:


OEM Mag will have a teat on end of hex head (part #232767)
[image]
I know a way to remember that info.
Thats a MAGnificent teat!!!

pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Posted: 10/06/20 03:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all for more info...

BB_TX - when winterizing I've been getting that last bottom water out with paper towels - slowly but surely - will look into that pump or see if we have something around that would work.

Old-Biscuit - thanks for the pics - our anode rod is aluminum. Got a magnesium one on the way - we'll see how that goes for our next trip. And if the tank is ruined we'll get a new one next spring - doesn't look too difficult to replace. [emoticon]

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 10/06/20 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pasusan wrote:

Thanks all for more info...

BB_TX - when winterizing I've been getting that last bottom water out with paper towels - slowly but surely - will look into that pump or see if we have something around that would work.

Old-Biscuit - thanks for the pics - our anode rod is aluminum. Got a magnesium one on the way - we'll see how that goes for our next trip. And if the tank is ruined we'll get a new one next spring - doesn't look too difficult to replace. [emoticon]


Unlike Atwood....Suburban does not have/sell replacement tanks
So New WHOLE water heater would be required

wopachop

Who run bartertown

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Posted: 10/06/20 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pasusan wrote:

Thanks all for more info...

BB_TX - when winterizing I've been getting that last bottom water out with paper towels - slowly but surely - will look into that pump or see if we have something around that would work.
Shop vacs come in handy. I used a 2 foot piece of hose to vacuum out the propane heating section. Wiped the hose clean and then vacuumed out the water and white deposits in the water heater.

I have tried to use water pressure to push those white deposits out. Water pressure alone wont get them all. Proof is when i empty the shop vac. Its able to suck out debris that water pressure couldnt force out because the drain hole is too high on the tank.

bsinmich

Holland, MI

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Posted: 10/08/20 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never was concerned about the few drops of water left in thee bottom of the tank. Freezing does damage when the water expands and in the bottom of the tank there is no problem with expansion. There are also rods that are just coated with a thin cat of magnesium. They are cheaper. I didn't drain my tank after each trip and never had a smell problem. In the 6 years with my Road trek I never cooked or ate in it. So many nice restaurants and no dishes to do.


1999 Damon Challenger 301 Ford

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