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Old 04-19-2019, 03:36 AM   #1
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Location: AZ
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Suburban SW6DE Element issues

So, after living in our 2018 Flagstaff 26BHWS for 6 months straight in Arizona, decided I might check my Anode Rod and element on our Suburban water heater. The Anode Rod was partially eroded and our element was fused by hard water. Went to local RV dealer and purchased both items. Anode wasn't a problem at all to install without leak, however the element was another thing. After two different elements that both leaked after install, put old element (cleaned up a bit) back in. No leak issue. The elements I purchased to use were Camco 1400 watt and a shorter 1500 watt, new out of the packages recommended by the RV dealership. Neither would tighten to the point of not leaking. Decided I will order from an authorized Suburban dealer the element and pray it fits when it arrives in 4 to 10 days.

So, I guess the question is, is the thread on the water heater slightly different to where the Camco element doesn't lock tight in it? The threads were not damaged on either element or on the water heater, though admit putting the original back in was easy by finger where the Camco could only turn a full turn by hand then had to use the tool to tighten. Oh and I put teflon tape on it too and it still leaked terribly where my old part didn't need any thing on it's threads.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:44 AM   #2
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Your problem could be that you over-tightened the element. The element does not seal with the threads (and they should not have PTFE tape on them) ó it seals with the rubber gasket. When installing the element, you want to spin it on as tight as you can by hand, then just give it a little bit more torque with a wrench. Not much ó just a little. Due to the shape of element gaskets, they can easily twist and distort as they get over-tightened, causing them to leak.

You may think that it needs to be tighter since they can be tight when taking them off, but they are only tight taking them off because the threads have corroded together some. You donít want it to be as tight going on as it was coming off.

Remove the PTFE tape from the threads of the new element and the tap on the water heater, and try again.

Bruce
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