The water heater anode rod is one of the most important components of your RV. It is responsible for ensuring that the water flowing to and from your water heater is free of sediment and other corrosive elements. Eventually, the anode rod will need to be changed, so knowing the proper socket size is important.
The standard size of an anode socket is 9.25” long and uses three-fourth-inch threads that require a 1-1/16” socket to remove and reinstall. Most anode rods that you purchase will use these measurements but just to be safe, you should double-check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure. It is likely that your anode rod has a socket size that fits the standard specs.
If you still have more questions regarding your anode rod, this guide will cover the most important information regarding standard sizing, changing your anode rod, and other helpful tips for keeping your RV’s water heater in good shape.
Are All RV Water Heater Anode Rods The Same Size?
While there is an industry-standard for RV water heater anode rods, there is a slight chance of variation in socket size. This means that it is important to check the specifications provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you have to right tools to replace the rod when it is time.
The standard size of an anode rod for an RV water heater is 9.25” with three-fourth-inch threads. This standard anode rod size can be removed and replaced using a 1-1/16” socket. If you find that your anode rod is not the standard size, you will need a socket that fits the threads accordingly.
How Do You Change The Anode On A RV Water Heater?
The first step in changing the anode on your RV water heater is to find the water heater door. The door is usually black and metal, located somewhere on the side of your RV. Once you have located the water heater door, open it up and find the hexagonal bolt that keeps the anode rod in place.
Before you unscrew the hexagonal bolt, which will give you access to check or replace the rod, be sure to turn off the water heater and the supply of water flowing to it. You should also ensure that all the pressure has been drained from the water lines going to and from the water heater.
After you have done this, allow the water time to cool and find the pressure relief valve on the tank. It is important that you follow these steps to ensure that hot water does not pump out onto you after loosening the hexagonal bolt.
Once everything is ready, loosen the bolt and remove the old anode rod and put it to the side. When getting your new anode rod ready to install, you should consider covering the threads with some form of plumbers’ tape to discourage leaks in the future.
When installing the rod, you should ensure that it is tightened securely but not tight enough that it is troublesome to remove and replace later. Once you have tightened your rod in securely, re-screw the bolt and you are good to go.
What Is A Suburban RV Water Heater Anode Socket Size?
A suburban RV water heater anode has the standard socket size of 9.25” and three-fourth-inch threads. The proper socket size needed to remove this anode is 1-1/16”. This is the standard size for all Suburban RV water heater anodes.
What Size Is An RV Hot Water Heater Drain Plug?
The size of the drain plug that your RV hot water heater uses will vary depending on the brand of water heater that you own. It is also important to note that thread size and head size will also differ between plugs of the same brand.
The head size is the larger of the two and the one that you will need to match the socket size up with. Typically, the thread size of a water heater drain plug is around ½ inch. The head size will vary depending on the brand of water heater you have installed.
This means that different sockets will be required if you decide to change between Dometic, Atwood, or Suburban water heaters. All you should really be concerned with is the thread size. As long as the thread size matches up, you should have no issue installing or replacing a drain plug.
If you own a Dometic water heater, the thread size will be ½ inch. Dometic water heater drain plugs are especially fragile, so you will need to be extremely careful not to damage them when taking them off or installing them. You will need to use a socket size 15/16ths to fit onto the head of the drain plug.
Atwood water heaters also use ½ inch drain plugs but require a different socket size to fit the head. The proper socket size for an Atwood water heater drain plug is around 7/8th inches. Again, you should be careful when removing or replacing the drain plugs, as they are easily damaged due to their material.
Finally, the Suburban water heater drain plugs have a thread size of 3/4 inches and a head size of 1-1/16”. If you are interested in changing out the drain plugs on any brand of water heater you may own, consider upgrading them to brass or metal to minimize the risk of damage and lengthen their overall lifespan.
How Often Should You Check Your RV Water Heater’s Anode Rod?
It is important that you check your water heater’s anode rod at least twice annually. The best thing you can do is to check it at least every six months. If you live in an area where you have to winterize your water tank, it is best to do both at the same time.
Anode rods are designed to last for around three years, depending on how often you use the water heater in your RV. The more that you travel and use the water heater in your RV, the faster the anode rod will degrade.
You can identify an anode rod that needs to be replaced by visually inspecting it for degradation. If your anode rod has dissolved significantly, around 75 percent, then it is time to replace it. It is best to order a new one and begin planning the replacement if you notice that it is reaching the end of its lifespan.
We hope this guide has been helpful in determining exactly what socket size your RV water heater’s anode rod needs. It is important that you keep an eye on your anode rod and ensure that it is in good shape, especially if you frequently use the water heater in your RV.
As previously mentioned, the anode rod is responsible for keeping corrosion and other harmful additives out of the water that is flowing to and from your hot water heater. Keeping the anode rod in good shape will also extend the lifespan of your water heater.
If you are unsure about removing and installing a new anode rod, you should contact a professional for more help and information regarding your specific water heater.
Nick Lopresti is the founder of YourH2Home and a home improvement expert. He has years of experience writing about various home improvement topics, mostly as it pertains to water systems.