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Old 11-10-2020, 11:08 AM   #1
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Aluminum or magnesium anode rod?

I need to change out my anode rod and noticed that there is an aluminum and magnesium anode rod. Which is better to use. Some writers say that the aluminum will last longer.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:28 AM   #2
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I have never looked at which will last longer but rather which I feel do the best protection. I go with the more expensive magnesium which seems to sacrifice itself faster.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:31 AM   #3
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Maybe it's just me....but I don't want my anode rod to last too long. When it gets "eatin' up", it means my tank isn't! And since I have to remove mine every year for winterizing, it's cheap enough to replace annually ---- at least cheaper than replacing the tank.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:45 AM   #4
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I have had both and they seem to last about a year to maybe two years at the most but that is all. Cheap insurance to buy a new rod every camping season for me, which I do now.
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:46 AM   #5
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Over in the FAQ subsection under water heaters we keep a sticky there of 5 video guides provided by suburban. There is one there that explains the anode rods and also the difference between the use of the magnesium or aluminum type.

See if this link takes you there. I have a problem with doing this on an app sometimes

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...es-135977.html
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Old 11-10-2020, 11:51 AM   #6
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Here's what a plumbing company says (as do dozens of others when you do a net search)

Quote:
Magnesium anode rods are expected to work better in a home with soft water.
Aluminum anodes are appropriate for homes with hard water and a high PH.
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Old 11-10-2020, 12:39 PM   #7
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Thank you wmtire for the links and TitanMike for your comments (along with the other posters)
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:43 PM   #8
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I have had both and they seem to last about a year to maybe two years at the most but that is all. Cheap insurance to buy a new rod every camping season for me, which I do now.
Depends on your water. The one in our previous trailer lasted 7 years before needing replacement.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Flip a coin
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:26 PM   #10
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As already mentioned, Cheap insurance, try one,then the next time try the other,See what works best for you ?
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:03 PM   #11
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As already mentioned, Cheap insurance, try one,then the next time try the other,See what works best for you ?
Just for grins and giggles, there is a third type of anode for another specific purpose other than tank electrolysis. ZINC or Aluminum/Zinc. This rod is used to combat the rotten egg smell some water sources are prone go create.
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Old 11-11-2020, 07:38 AM   #12
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Flip a coin
Copper or silver?
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:03 AM   #13
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Copper or silver?
It would have to be an old one to find either metal.

You find zinc anodes on marine engines
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:40 AM   #14
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When I had a suburban WH it came with a zink anode and after a few years it was about 50% gone. I burned out my heater rod and while changing it I also replaced the anode with aluminum. After a couple years it was hardly pitted at all.
I took that to mean the magnesium was better- in my case anyway.
I meant it came with magnesium anode!

Question: who here has had their water heater tank rust out and leak??
Anyone??
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:30 AM   #15
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Nothing wrong with the anode in the photo. This ain't a beauty contest. Years of life left.

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Old 11-11-2020, 10:42 AM   #16
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After doing a little research and watching the video, seems for most applications the mag probe is the way to go for me. If it gets eaten more quickly it would stand to reason it protects better. As it sacrifices itself more easily. Our water isn't hard either. Maybe for well water it would be different.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:44 AM   #17
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After doing a little research and watching the video, seems for most applications the mag probe is the way to go for me. If it gets eaten more quickly it would stand to reason it protects better. As it sacrifices itself more easily. Our water isn't hard either. Maybe for well water it would be different.
And even then that will vary from region to region, depending on the mineral content of the well water.
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Old 11-11-2020, 10:46 AM   #18
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Thank you Chuck_S for your comment.....At what point is the anode rod no longer good if this one has more life?
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:01 AM   #19
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Thank you Chuck_S for your comment.....At what point is the anode rod no longer good if this one has more life?

When all you see is the center wire.

Problem is, when that happens you don't really know how long it's been like that and how long the tank has been unprotected.

The rods are not all that expensive. Tanks are.

Replace and don't try to squeeze the last little bit o use out of it.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:22 AM   #20
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