The Joy of Water Heater Maintenance

Posted In: Blog, Maintenance, RV Products

Have you cleaned your water heater recently? Most of us, sadly, have not. Water heaters are often ignored until they stop working. All it takes is one icy cold shower to appreciate the importance of this hardy appliance. One step towards maintaining a water heater is keeping it clean. But how to clean the interior?

This is the sort of task that’s easy to put off, especially if you don’t winterize your RV. But postponing it may lead to premature water heater failure. Which will lead to significant shrinkage in the shower, not to mention a large dent in your bank account.

The Camco Water Heater Tank Rinser Wand ( will help extend the life of your water heater. It’s a tool handcrafted by Chinese plastic artisans just for this task.

Here's a photo of a rinser wand alongside our rig on the Alaska Highway. Because just the wand by itself is kinda boring. (CLICK THE PIC to get your own.)

Here's a photo of a rinser wand alongside our rig on the Alaska Highway. Because just the wand by itself is kinda boring. (CLICK THE PIC to get your own.)

The Camco water heater tank rinser wand is designed to wash out the gunk and crud (also known as “sediment”) that collects over time in the base of your RV water heater.

It lifts sediment that collects at the bottom of your hot water heater and washes it out of your water heater tank. As an added bonus, it usually removes an ounce or so of towable weight (improving rig fuel efficiency by at least 0.0000000000007635%).

Using this tool is easy. Just hook a garden hose to the rinser and insert the business end of the device into the water heater drain. Turn on the water and wash out your heater. Next, turn off the water and remove the wand. Did you really need me to tell you how to do that?

Note that the rinser is equipped with a shut off valve, so there’s no excuse for squirting water all over your shoes. Fancy, fancy.

Why clean your water heater? Because it’s written, that’s why! (Old Monty Python joke.)

Unless you enjoy cold showers, hot water is a crucial camping amenity. Yet for some reason, water heaters are not a really fun purchase. No one gets excited about bringing home a $500 candy apple red water heater to show the neighbors. What’s really exciting is keeping the water heater you already own in good working condition.

In fact, as I grow older I realize that this axiom applies to many areas of life. Possessions that silently and reliably work as designed are quite sexy. My 14-year old garbage can, for example, is drop dead sexy. Possessions that break? Not so sexy. Cleaning your water heater helps to keep it working as designed, and thus is a small investment in its longevity.

Click here to get your own rinser wand.


Have you serviced your rod lately?

Rinsing the inside of your RV water heater clean with a rinse wand ( is the first step towards maintaining it. The next step is to install a fresh ALUMINUM ANODE ROD ( into the unit. This begs yet another question: what the heck is an aluminum anode rod?

Replacing your ALUMINUM ANODE ROD will help extend the life of your RV water heater. (CLICK THE PIC for more info.)

Replacing your ALUMINUM ANODE ROD will help extend the life of your RV water heater. (CLICK THE PIC for more info.)

Anode rods are designed to prevent the harmful buildup of corrosion inside your water heater. They work by attracting the corrosive elements themselves. Instead of attacking the interior of your valuable appliance, corrosive elements are attracted to the rod.

The enemy of your water heater (not to mention just about every other piece of metal you own) is corrosion. It is harmful corrosion that will lead to the unit’s untimely death.

If your unit’s anode rod is working, it will take the brunt of the damage. Hence these rods are intended to be replaced on a regular basis. Many RV owners choose to replace the rods when winterizing their RVs.

When most of us hear someone talking about an A-rod, we think of baseball superstar and serial Madonna dater Alex Rodriguez. Sadly, Rodriguez is currently out of action due to a groin injury. He also has some aches and pains from playing baseball.

This is a very different A-rod, and it’s one we all should be concerned about. Replacing an water heater costs hundreds of dollars. A little preventative maintenance can help extend the life of your unit.

Click here to get a new aluminum anode rod for your RV.

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