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Old 09-05-2016, 05:50 PM   #1
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Suburban Anode - tapered thread?

This morning I replaced my water heater tank anode for the first time. Somehow, I'd missed this "must do" in the past and the original anode (well, what was left of it after 3 years) started to leak on my last trip.

The old anode came loose pretty easily. The replacement however, was much harder to tighten down - i'm thinking I got maybe 3 or 4 threads seated before it was tight enough that I worried about breaking it with additional muscle. I did put a wrap of teflon tape on...

I'm wondering now if the anode has tapered threads and/or if the normal 'fit' leaves a few threads exposed outside?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by vocoder View Post
This morning I replaced my water heater tank anode for the first time. Somehow, I'd missed this "must do" in the past and the original anode (well, what was left of it after 3 years) started to leak on my last trip.

The old anode came loose pretty easily. The replacement however, was much harder to tighten down - i'm thinking I got maybe 3 or 4 threads seated before it was tight enough that I worried about breaking it with additional muscle. I did put a wrap of teflon tape on...

I'm wondering now if the anode has tapered threads and/or if the normal 'fit' leaves a few threads exposed outside?

Thanks in advance!
I believe the anode rod threads are pipe thread so there is a slight taper. There are always a few threads exposed after being tightened.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:04 PM   #3
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Yes there should be a few threads exposed if it is tight and does not leak you should be good to go.


Every three years is about the correct replacement time depending on your water.


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Old 09-05-2016, 06:16 PM   #4
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Yes you should have run a 3/4 Tapered Pipe Tap in the hole! Youroo!!
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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You probably don't have a 3/4" pipe tap (i don't) but a good stiff bristle brush will clean it up. Then flush out tank
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mike.t View Post
You probably don't have a 3/4" pipe tap (i don't) but a good stiff bristle brush will clean it up. Then flush out tank
I was shocked at how much gunk came out of the flush.....
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:00 PM   #7
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Yes you should have run a 3/4 Tapered Pipe Tap in the hole! Youroo!!
You use a die for pipe. You use a tap for fittings. Just saying.

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Old 09-06-2016, 02:17 PM   #8
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My previous rig I could only get about 2 full threads in the hole! I used Oatey "great white" pipe dope with teflon on the plug/anode. It never looked like it was in there far enough but it never leaked either.

If it ain't broke- don't fix it applies here or rather if it ain't leaking, don't mess with it!!

Do not over tighten!! If it rusts in there and you can't get it out- you're
screwed! Drilling an old one out is a PIA so do use plenty of teflon tape or dope and don't over do it with the socket.

Happy Trails!
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lynlanning View Post
I was shocked at how much gunk came out of the flush.....
Had the same issue as the OP and during an earlier anode change I couldn't get the new anode in as far as I thought the old anode was in. I picked up a wire brush a month later and was at the storage place and decided to clean the threads; I "power flushed" my tank..., and yes, I forgot to bleed off the tank pressure before unscrewing the anode! Cleaned the tank right out though! On me, the trailer stored next to mine, the driveway, and all over the tool box. Boy, there was a LOT of junk in there. Was. Brushed the threads and wrapped Teflon around the new anode; no leaks, no problems. Still didn't screw in as far, but it was better. Made note to self not to do that again.
BTW - I do NOT recommend the "Power Flush" method...just saying.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
You use a die for pipe. You use a tap for fittings. Just saying.

Bruce
One uses a "die" to cut threads on a piece of pipe....one uses a "tap" to cut threads in a hole drilled for same. Just sayin'..... Youroo stated it correctly!
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