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Old 03-12-2018, 06:13 PM   #1
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2009 sun seeker anode rod

HI, I am brand new to this. We just bought a 2009 sun seeker. I wanted to replace the adore rod, but I am not sure if there are different sizes? Canal one direct me towards the right one?
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:32 PM   #2
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Efranco77 ... you probably should have started a new thread, but I'll answer. First you need to know which HW you have ... Atwood or Suburban. Generally Atwoods don't have an anode as the tanks are made of aluminum ... thus it probably has a plastic drain plug. Suburban tanks are enamel over steel and require an anode. You'll need your model number or tank size (6 -10 -12 gal) to get the right anode. I prefer a magnesium anode over an aluminum one. It usually requires a 1 1/16" socket to remove it and Teflon tape to seal it when you go back together. Flush the tank out good while you have the anode out. Be sure the water pressure has been removed and that the tank has time to cool before removing the anode.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Efranco77 View Post
HI, I am brand new to this. We just bought a 2009 sun seeker. I wanted to replace the adore rod, but I am not sure if there are different sizes? Canal one direct me towards the right one?
TiA
Assuming it uses an anode, they are generally one-size-fits-all.

A key bit of info. The anode will say it fits 3/4" pipe thread. Then you look at the hole and its MUCH larger than 3/4". it's almost 1". What gives?
Well, the dimension is based on a plumbing standard which is:
3/4" galvanized or black pipe is 3/4" INSIDE diameter. The Outside of the pipe (and the female connector it goes into) is closer to 1". As dieselguy says, you'll need a 1 1/16" socket to remove/install the anode. Guess what? Your socket set probably does not include a 1 1/16" socket.
Fortunately, there is Harbor Freight, where you can buy an entire set of SAE deep well, 1/2" drive IMPACT sockets dirt cheap (about $25). Or you can blow $10 for a single 1 1/16" socket at O'Reilly's or Home Depot. In fairness, a cheap set of these sockets can be had at Walmart and other places for a similar price, but you should know about Harbor Freight. And before you go, snag a 20% off coupon from online...they are always available.

Anyway, anodes are cheap:
The Camco is pretty much the same as any other and 1/3 off. Get a couple, but remember where you put the spare.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:42 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:56 PM   #5
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Not sure about that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselguy View Post
Efranco77 ... you probably should have started a new thread, but I'll answer. First you need to know which HW you have ... Atwood or Suburban. Generally Atwoods don't have an anode as the tanks are made of aluminum ... thus it probably has a plastic drain plug. Suburban tanks are enamel over steel and require an anode. You'll need your model number or tank size (6 -10 -12 gal) to get the right anode. I prefer a magnesium anode over an aluminum one. It usually requires a 1 1/16" socket to remove it and Teflon tape to seal it when you go back together. Flush the tank out good while you have the anode out. Be sure the water pressure has been removed and that the tank has time to cool before removing the anode.
In my limited research, it seems that the same size anode rod is used in 6, 10, and 12 gallon Suburban water heaters.

The anode rod has a plastic ring gasket below the head. No need to use Teflon tape on the threads.

Just as an aside, I've seen RV/TT people put Teflon tape in many places where it's not needed. As a general rule:
  • Put Teflon tape on any fitting where the threads are tapered. For example joints on galvanized or iron pipe, certain brass fittings.
  • No Teflon tape is necessary on fittings where the threads aren't tapered and the seal is provided by a flare or compression ring.
Just as one example, look at the spot where your propane tank hoses go into the regulator. There is a brass adapter here.

The end of the hose has an inverse flare which seals to a mating shape in the well of the brass adapter fitting. No tape necessary.

The other end of the brass adapter has tapered threads which screw into the tapered threads in the cast zinc regulator. Tape is needed here.

You may have noted that it's easy to apply tape on tapered threads. They screw in easily. On non-tapered threads the tape is shredded off as you start threading the parts together; it mostly doesn't even go into the fitting.

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Old 03-13-2018, 01:25 PM   #6
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Larry ... I reckon my experience here is different from yours. A 12 gallon HW anode can be longer than a 6 gal, but either will work. Any anode that I've had on Suburban tanks is tapered pipe thread and one would be wise to apply thread tape. Tapered threads do not bottom out against the head of the anode, so I dunno what a plastic ring would seal against. Perhaps a Atwood aluminum tank has straight threads with an oring seal. I've never owned one. I am a believer in Teflon tape's use on tapered threads, but I do agree with you in that Teflon tape doesn't help a thing when you're talking flair fittings.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
<<SNIP>>
Just as an aside, I've seen RV/TT people put Teflon tape in many places where it's not needed. As a general rule: <<SNIP>>

Larry
Larry
Great info.
FWIW, I don't bother with teflon tape on my anode. It's in and out often enough that it doesn't "freeze" in with rust, and any tiny drip is inconsequential since it's on the outside portion of the hot water heater cabinet.

I'm not recommending no tape as much as I've found it to be unnecessary. The reason I don't use it is that getting the threads started on my anode is a bit of a challenge due to it's location somewhat behind the burner tube. I can't really get my hands in there.

The weight of the anode rod misaligns the threads. To get it started, I must push hard on the end of the plug with one thumb while using the thumb/first-finger of my other hand (in this tight space) to slowly turn the plug "backwards" until the threads seat, then gently tighten until it's finger tight. The teflon tape complicates this process...making it more difficult to do that maneuver, because the tape can substantially reduce the "feel" of the threads seating to avoid cross-threading.

I drain the hot water heater several times a season, and, of course, when I winterize, so the regular removal and insertion of the anode prevents it from rusting in place. I haven't noticed any appreciable leaks, so I'm getting away without using the tape.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:49 PM   #8
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PS, "Pipe Thread Dope" is an alternative...the precursor to teflon tape.

In my situation, if I felt the need for a perfect seal, and to help prevent rust freezing the joint, I'd probably resort to this. It can be applied in such a way as to allow full tactile feel of the threads seating while staying in place while snugging up the fitting.

I'm sure every anode fitting is a little different, but mine doesn't go in very many turns before it's snug...maybe 4 or 5. That's not a lot of thread overlap, so positioning teflon tape "just right" to be of any use has proven to be a bit of a challenge while also not buggering up the ends of the plug threads.

White lithium grease might protect against rust, but I've heard that lube can make it "too easy" to overtighten the plug and strip the threads. I have no experience with this, but I think I read this in this forum--perhaps in reference to lug nuts.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:01 PM   #9
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Suburban recommends use of teflon tape when installing an anode.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
The anode rod has a plastic ring gasket below the head. No need to use Teflon tape on the threads.
I've never heard of a plastic ring gasket on an anode rod.
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