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Old 03-06-2015, 05:17 PM   #1
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Magnesium or Aluminum?

In the past, the RV Techs have replaced the anode rod in our water heater but I think it's a simple chore that I can handle. After checking around I find that there are two different materials that these rods are made of. Is one better than the other?
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:20 PM   #2
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Dunno if one is better than the other,
but I just ordered two Camco's from amazon for our 38gk...(3/4" NPT fits Suburban/Mor-Flo water heater)
and it was easy to swap out after winterizing...

just have the right deep wall socket and extension and know it will take a bit of lining up to get it back in as the weight of the rod will make it droop and not line up like you would like
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
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I get the magnesium because I thought it would last longer, but it needs replaced again after 1 year. of very little use.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:52 PM   #4
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I believe the heaters originally come with aluminum, so I usually put aluminum back in.

We sell house water heaters and they all come with aluminum rods. Some people in the country (NW Ohio) have water that reacts with the aluminum anode and the result is a rotten egg smelling hot water. Sometimes switching to the magnesium eliminates the smell.

Might be more information than you want...

Keith
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:14 PM   #5
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Keith...Good to know. Always wondered what did that to the water. Thought it was stagnation, more or less.
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:46 PM   #6
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As already noted it takes a little work to line up properly without cross threading. I apply a little thread dope as well since my first one was a real bear to get out! I pull them each year to make sure the tank is completely empty when winterizing. Don't forget to turn OFF the electric hearter when winterizing and DON"T turn it on until you have the water heater completely filled in the Spring.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradPAjax View Post
Don't forget to turn OFF the electric hearter when winterizing and DON"T turn it on until you have the water heater completely filled in the Spring.
That's why I love that little switch on the tank itself. I even use the cotter pin in it, because the pin laying inside reminds me the switch is on. I know its redundant to the one inside, but its has worked for me for 20 years so I don't want to break the habit
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:06 AM   #8
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We don't full-time, so my water heater mostly sits shut off w/o power. Still, every Fall, when I remove the anode rod to winterize, it's a throw-away - almost completely dissolved.

I always replace with the OEM magnesium because that was the default in the manual. It also says for people who experience rapid dissolving or special water conditions, the aluminum dissolves slower - but of course that gives less protection. I know it's a sacrificial anode and it's job is to dissolve, but I might try aluminum this year.
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