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Old 06-04-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
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Well, I've just had a second go at trying to get the element out of my hot water tank without success. I cannot budge the manufacturer installed element. I'm using the correct tools, depressurized and drained the tank, everything. All I succeeded in doing was identifying how I bruised and scrapped my arm the first time I was trying this last weekend.
Try squirting some good penetrating oil on the base of the element and letting it soak in for a day or two.

Could get messy so place some rags under the base before hitting it with the oil.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #12
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A breaker bar, or breaker bar extended with a pipe is sometimes required. The more leverage, the easier it is.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #13
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A breaker bar, or breaker bar extended with a pipe is sometimes required. The more leverage, the easier it is.
Do we know if he has a socket that fits a breaker bar.......or if he has the kind of water heater socket that just has the hole in it to insert a screwdriver, like below?



These type above do a decent job, but can also bend/bow if you had to put a bunch of pressure on it (which is hard to do with just a screwdriver as a handle).

A good 1/2 inch drive or bigger, six-point socket (I would use a heavy wall impact type socket) may have to be used on this stuck one.

B47 had good advice about letting penetrating oil soak for awhile.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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WM, that's exactly what I've got. Looking at the heater element, there is only a marginal depth of metal showing so applying force to keep the element socket squarely on the actual element, combined with enough leverage and force to actually turn the element through the socket with the assistance of a strong screwdriver for further leverage is quite a balancing act. I've applied penetrating oil, dismantled the gas supply pipe, even removed the exhaust diffuser above the gas inlet to provide extra space where I can try and turn this beast. All no good, so off to the dealer and let him try. He might have a pneumatic power socket that will fit and do the job. If not he can bruise his arms up trying to force this around and get it out. I've given up for now. I also don't want to run the risk of causing damage to the water tank, so by letting the dealer do it, if they break they can fix it.

If they had told me about the separate switch for the electric element in the first place when I bought the trailer, none of this needed to have happened. All we were ever told about was the DSI switch inside the trailer located on the control panel.

I really appreciate the advice you folks are able to provide and know know where to look first for most, if not all issues with my trailer. Thank you
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #15
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Success!! It took two of us, some brute strength and pure ignorance but I finally got that wretched element out. Now to find a replacement element of the same size. The one I had bought is only half the length but it was a 1500W 120v heating element for a suburban water heater.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #16
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Good point, by breaker bar I meant a swivel end 1/2" bar like this:
1/2 In. dr. 18 In. Flex Handle: Bust Loose Rusty Bolts with Sears

This is what I use, and I can add steel pipe to extend it even further if needed... Great leverage and the swivel end helps in that tight spot too. Get the socket to match and you're golden.
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