While we were travelling around Australia, we ran into Bucko and Janet quite a few times. Bucko mentioned to Rob that it was a good idea to change the hot water system anode from time to time, and showed him how to do it.
This week we performed this essential bit of maintenance on our van. Here are a few pics to show you the difference between the old anode and the new, and some links to online videos that demonstrate the technique. We have the Suburban brand hot water heater, which is the most common type in use; however there are different brands out there that do not have an anode, so best check your water heater brand before going in with all spanners & tools blazing.
(Oh, and at this point we need to issue a disclaimer: we chose to do this ourselves after being shown how with our caravan, but if you’re at all unsure, get a qualified tradesperson to do it.)
You might – as we did – get a bit of a shock at the way the anode looks when you pull it out; it doesn’t look anything like the new one! This is because the job of the anode is to protect the inside of the hot water service. It does this by ‘sacrificing’ itself, which is why it looks like it has been gnawed by a rat.
- Make sure electricity or gas feed to hot water system are turned off
- Make sure water supply to van is turned off.
- Take care with hot water spilling out if you have not allowed water to cool first.
- Use a search engine and type in something like: “replacing an anode in a caravan water heater” and you’ll find detailed instructions on websites and and videos on YouTube.
- Check the size of the anode – they come in different lengths.
- Before turning back on the electricity or gas supply, ensure the water heater is refilled.