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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.

https://homewaresinsider.com/water-h...-vs-magnesium/

"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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