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Old 05-03-2012, 10:03 PM   #11
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Cast iron boiler; hammer nut breaker.
Maybe not.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Mine is 1 1/16. I have a 6 point socket and the last time I couldn't get it with the ratchet I grabbed the Dewalt 1/2" 18V impact and it spun it out. I wouldn't dare try this with a 12point socket though. Long time ago I got a choke tube stuck in a shotgun and oiled it everyday for a couple of weeks with no success. As a last resort before buying a new barrel I used a pneumatic impact gun and after a good amount of hammering it came out.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:21 PM   #13
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If it is that hard to remove, an acetylene torch is the only thing that would get it hot enough to break the rust loose.
Hold the torch in the very center of the nut, for about 30 seconds, then use a 1/2 inch impact gun. If that isn't enough, give it another 15 seconds. You don't want to get it too hot, but if you don't get the anode rod out, you tank is as good as ruined anyway.
good luck.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #14
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I would start with a 1/4" drill bit and gradually increase it to 1/2" and use a center punch to bend the remaining pc in towards the center and grip it with needle nose vise grips OR with a 6 pt socket and a breaker bar, try to turn it and it will probably collapse and then use the vise grips. Putting heat on it would risk damage to the tank and surrounding pcs. Check with a magnet and make sure the tank is not alum. If it is alum., keep the torch AWAY from it.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dunnnc View Post
I would start with a 1/4" drill bit and gradually increase it to 1/2" and use a center punch to bend the remaining pc in towards the center and grip it with needle nose vise grips OR with a 6 pt socket and a breaker bar, try to turn it and it will probably collapse and then use the vise grips. Putting heat on it would risk damage to the tank and surrounding pcs. Check with a magnet and make sure the tank is not alum. If it is alum., keep the torch AWAY from it.
I doubt they would use an aluminum or magnesium alloy anode rod in an aluminum tank, would they?
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:49 PM   #16
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An amateur trying to drill out such a large plug will guarantee ruining the tank. Few would have the skill or patience to do it properly. But a good mechanic with a double-cut carbide burr on an a high-speed air tool could finesse the last of the plug out after drilling the center out.

And when I said to use an acetylene torch, I said to heat the plug, not the tank.
But you are right, most people would probably melt the tank by getting the plug too hot. I have used one all my life, and can work miracles with it. But I am not 'most' people.

It is too bad people don't maintain their stuff properly.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #17
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I doubt they would use an aluminum or magnesium alloy anode rod in an aluminum tank, would they?
Doubtful, but who knows? I have seen stranger things. I would just be very hesitant with a torch around all the other alum/plastic/rubber/wiring that is around the heater. Would do my darndest to drill it to no more than 1/2" or 9/16" max.(0.5625")as the tap drill for 1/2" npt is 45/64"(0.703").
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:58 PM   #18
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I like to use PB Blaster or Kroil as penetrating oil. The Kroil smells a lot better.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:00 AM   #19
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An amateur trying to drill out such a large plug will guarantee ruining the tank. Few would have the skill or patience to do it properly. But a good mechanic with a double-cut carbide burr on an a high-speed air tool could finesse the last of the plug out after drilling the center out...
I agree, but the anode should have a center mark to center punch and once the anode itself is gone, the drill should more or less center itself.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #20
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After a bit of thought, if the tank has an anode rod, it wouldn't be an aluminum tank. Easy enough to check with a magnet.
Get out the torch!
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