Anode rods...Magnesium vs Aluminum

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. New Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Buffalo, NY
    I actually ordered a spare anode rod for future replacement in my new 30 gallon electric hot water tank. (I had replaced one before in the previous tank. )

    But I never know what material is the best to buy. Magnesium or Aluminum? What is the difference? Also, when I cut the new rod...should it be 4 to 6 inches from the tank bottom?

    I have ordered aluminum, only because it was cheaper and I like cheap 6 year tanks, too as my water is public water system but it seems to eat the rods fast. I believe it is hard water, a lot of white deposits collect in hot water tanks/ showerheads...etc.

    Thank you.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Different metals react differently with the local water quality. As to which is best, it also depends somewhat on the water quality is. Some can react and release gas into the water that comes out when you draw water at the tap. So, as to whether one is better than the other, it is a local decision.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Magnesium can create an odor, but as a practical matter as far as changing anode rods is concerned, I agree with the plumber I was talking to last Friday. He said the number of anode rods he has changed is ZERO, and I said I had changed ONE. My normal anode rod replacement is a 3/4" brass plug. My experience with them is the same as draining the heater. If you do it, the heater might last 7 years, if you do not, it may only last 84 months.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Mar 30, 2011
    Rocket Scientist
    Houston, TX

    That is Funny, I don't care who you are. lol

    I agree.
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