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Old 03-21-2014, 06:27 AM   #1
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Installing the anode rod.

Once again, I have run into a bit of a problem. I have decided to put an anode rod into my Suburban 6gal water heater. Since I've owned the rig, there has been a plastic plug in its drain . Enough people have told me that they didn't one in their water heater that I knew there had to be a good reason to have one. ( Over time I have gotten enough BS from supposed experts that I find it hard to believe anyone) I wanted magnesium and couldn't find it locally so I ordered it on line. Got the rod in short order and it was packaged as a Suburban product. The anode rod itself is just at 8 inches long. After draining the tank and flushing it out, I tried to install the rod. It turns out that there is something obstructing the rod when it is in about four inches. There is a mark at about this depth on the rod but no instructions to trim it to fit the job. Anyone ever run into this before? In the meantime, the stupid plastic plug is back in place.

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Old 03-21-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
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I remember reading somewhere that the Suburban WHs need an anode, but the Atwoods do no not. If you manage to get the anode rod in don't forget to use Teflon tape on the rod's threads.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:12 AM   #3
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The rods are made in two lengths. The shorter may be for the six gallon, and the longer for the ten. Sounds like you need the shorter rod.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:17 AM   #4
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I have the Suburban 6 gal and the anode is ~8" long. The OP stated that it will only go in ~4", so there are two possibilities. One, it doesn't need one. Two, something is obstructing the path.

I'd grab a flashlight to see what the obstruction is.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:12 AM   #5
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Could be the reason the Plastic plug was installed. As suggested, take a light and have a look. See page 6 of the manual.
Good luck
http://www.livinlite.com/pdf/service...stallation.pdf
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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I Have the Suburban 6 Gl. and use the 8" rod, it goes in like it should, all the way in. something is stopping yours, check it out before cutting it shorter.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Just take a hammer and place the rod in the hole and tap it in..
Ok just kidding. But those rods already look like its just bar stock cut to length. I would bet cutting it shorter should be fine.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al2ride View Post
I remember reading somewhere that the Suburban WHs need an anode, but the Atwoods do no not. If you manage to get the anode rod in don't forget to use Teflon tape on the rod's threads.
Don't ever use Teflon tape on the threads for the anode. If you do it will insulate the anode and it will be just like the nylon plug and do nothing.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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If there are no clear instructions in the owner's manual I would call Suburban and ask to speak to a tech.
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by geezerb View Post
Once again, I have run into a bit of a problem. I have decided to put an anode rod into my Suburban 6gal water heater. Since I've owned the rig, there has been a plastic plug in its drain . Enough people have told me that they didn't one in their water heater that I knew there had to be a good reason to have one. ( Over time I have gotten enough BS from supposed experts that I find it hard to believe anyone) I wanted magnesium and couldn't find it locally so I ordered it on line. Got the rod in short order and it was packaged as a Suburban product. The anode rod itself is just at 8 inches long. After draining the tank and flushing it out, I tried to install the rod. It turns out that there is something obstructing the rod when it is in about four inches. There is a mark at about this depth on the rod but no instructions to trim it to fit the job. Anyone ever run into this before? In the meantime, the stupid plastic plug is back in place. geezerb
I would not cut the rod. There is an obstruction in the heater that you need to find and resolve.
IMHO, there is likely a build up of scale on the bottom preventing the rod from going in. Suggest you get two or three or four gallons of Vinegar (it's cheap), turn off the outlet of the heater, open the over pressure valve and pump the vinegar into the heater using the water pump with the winterizing suction line into the vinegar.
Once you have the vinegar pumped into the heater, let it sit for 3-4 hours and pull the plastic plug to drain. You will likely see a bunch of white scale.
Turn the valves back to summer operation and run water through the heater. Pull the plug and observe what comes out. Once it runs clean, try putting the rod in. My bet is it will fit in no problem.
Not only will the rod fit, but the heater will be much more efficient.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:47 AM   #11
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Don't ever use Teflon tape on the threads for the anode. If you do it will insulate the anode and it will be just like the nylon plug and do nothing.
Not true Capn Dave. I've always used lots of Teflon tape and the anode always comes out as having done it's job. The threads cut into the tape. You can check this by checking for continuity between the anode and the body of the WH.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:49 AM   #12
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I would not cut the rod. There is an obstruction in the heater that you need to find and resolve.
IMHO, there is likely a build up of scale on the bottom preventing the rod from going in. Suggest you get two or three or four gallons of Vinegar (it's cheap), turn off the outlet of the heater, open the over pressure valve and pump the vinegar into the heater using the water pump with the winterizing suction line into the vinegar.
Once you have the vinegar pumped into the heater, let it sit for 3-4 hours and pull the plastic plug to drain. You will likely see a bunch of white scale.
Turn the valves back to summer operation and run water through the heater. Pull the plug and observe what comes out. Once it runs clean, try putting the rod in. My bet is it will fit in no problem.
Not only will the rod fit, but the heater will be much more efficient.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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Not true Capn Dave. I've always used lots of Teflon tape and the anode always comes out as having done it's job. The threads cut into the tape. You can check this by checking for continuity between the anode and the body of the WH.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:12 PM   #14
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Don't ever use Teflon tape on the threads for the anode. If you do it will insulate the anode and it will be just like the nylon plug and do nothing.
I had too....mine would leak otherwise. Whats the alternative?
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