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Old 09-21-2021, 03:08 PM   #1
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Anode rod for Suburban water heater

Hello, I have a Suburban water heater model SW6DE in my 2017 FR Wolf Pup. I phoned Suburban and they say it takes a 3/4" x 9" long aluminum rod which is $25 each from Suburban (they are just looking it up in a catalog and don't seem to have any real-life experience). I have found many aftermarket aluminum anode rods at 3/4" x 9-1/4" Long for $9.99 each. I stuck a tape measure into the anode rod hole and measured 14" deep.
Is their any practical reason why I can't just use a 9-1/4" long rod?
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:14 PM   #2
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You can use aluminum or magnesium, which ever fits your needs. 1/4 inch makes no difference.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:51 PM   #3
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In theory, if you have an aluminum rod you are not supposed to use the hot water for cooking or drinking. Many people don't so it often is not an issue.

"The most unfortunate thing about this is the fact that aluminum can be horribly harmful to the body, potentially damaging the brain and other internal organs."
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:57 PM   #4
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Suburban OEM Rod is Magnesium (teat in center of Hex Head)
*If water smells (Micro's in water source reacting with the magnesium then switch to Aluminum

Optional Rod are Aluminum (flat hex head)
*If you use a water softener the the Aluminum will be eaten away faster/less protection

ANY 3/4" NPT anode rod less then 10" can be used
*most aftermarket are 9 1/4" long
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:38 PM   #5
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Amazon has lots of them, both aluminum and magnesium! Personally, I would replace it with magnesium.
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:24 PM   #6
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How long they last will depend on water quality. We are full time and filter and soften all the water into the trailer. We run a washer/drier and a dish washer, plus all normal water use. I will typically check and flush the water heater once a year and replace the anode as needed. Typically after a year, there is plenty of sacrificial metal after a year, but I will replace it at that time.

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Old 09-24-2021, 05:30 AM   #7
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Definitely depends on the water you are putting into the water heater. I've had the same magnesium anode rod in for a couple years and there is very little degradation of the rod.
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:37 PM   #8
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My 2010 Cougar came with a magnesium anode rod that was pretty much gone after the first one or two summers and we only use the trailer from June to September. I replaced it with an aluminum one and it has hardly degraded at all in eight or nine years. I have just switched back to a magnesium one since I don’t think the aluminum one was doing anything at all.
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heat, heater, suburban, water, water heater

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