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Old 03-28-2019, 07:18 AM   #1
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Anode rods....really?

Spring has sprung here in New Mexico. Been getting the Flagstaff ready to go for the summer. One job I always end up cussing at is re-installing the anode rod. First, with all the hard water there is the white 'chalk' coating the treads and then just getting the rod back in always ends in a wrestling match.

Can't they make these water heaters so it is easier to service them? Is there some sort of secret handshake to doing this that I'm not aware of?
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:22 AM   #2
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Suburban sent us some video guides on their water heaters awhile back that we keep at this link:


Suburban Water Heater Video Guides


This first one (copied below) may give you some ideas on what to do with the threads ti make it easier to install the anode rod:


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Old 03-28-2019, 07:36 AM   #3
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It can sometimes be a bit challenging replacing the anode rod if the threads are a bit corroded. Often times I read of folks removing the rod when winterizing and leaving it out till spring and then installing it when getting ready for the season.

I never do that. When I remove mine in the fall to winterize, I flush the water heater and reinstall the rod. No need to drag the 2nd step out until spring and no chance for the threads to get corroded.

As in the video, I use a small wire brush to clean the threads. After prepping the anode rod with Teflon tape I sometimes use my thumb, pushing on the face of the rod plug to overcome the counterbalanced weight of the rod sticking into the tank.

If you have a good fitting socket, you can also place a thin piece of paper across the open socket end, push the anode rod into the socket and then use the socket to install the rod. The paper will hold the anode rod tightly for insertion. You lose a bit of the "feel" of the threads this way but it does make aligning the anode rod simpler.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:23 AM   #4
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Wonder how many trys it took the dude in the video to 'hit' the anode install on the first attempt like it implies. I have never been that lucky.

5picker... I'll try that socket trick the next time I'm in there, though it seems they could make the whole process much easier if they'd just put in a more convenient location. I've always left the rod out over the winter so things can dry out completely.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:44 AM   #5
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Iím not sure where youíd prefer they locate the anode to be a more convenient location. Itís pretty much centre, and itís at the bottom of the tank to allow it to drain as much as possible.

The biggest problem is holding the head of the anode KNOWING itís unbalanced for its entire weight, which means you have to angle it slightly upwards as you hold it to keep it perpendicular to the tank wall and the threads to secure it.

Just practice.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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I must be doing something wrong. I don’t have any trouble starting my anode rod (in 4 different trailers) using nothing but my fingers.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseldodge View Post
Wonder how many trys it took the dude in the video to 'hit' the anode install on the first attempt like it implies. I have never been that lucky.

5picker... I'll try that socket trick the next time I'm in there, though it seems they could make the whole process much easier if they'd just put in a more convenient location. I've always left the rod out over the winter so things can dry out completely.
That is Mark Polk in the video. If you are not familiar with him, he has a RV repair company, as well as a lot of repair/RV how-to materials. Super nice guy.You can Google him.

As much experience as Mark has, he probably got it the first try.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:01 PM   #8
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I use a 12 pt 1/2" drive socket. Get a 2-3-4" squareish piece of paper.. lay over socket opening and push head of anode rod(hex part) into socket. Paper will tighten the fit to the socket. Presto..use extension and stab her in.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:01 PM   #9
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Add all the site team members expertise together.....and theyíre almost as good as Mark. Almost.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
It can sometimes be a bit challenging replacing the anode rod if the threads are a bit corroded. Often times I read of folks removing the rod when winterizing and leaving it out till spring and then installing it when getting ready for the season.

I never do that. When I remove mine in the fall to winterize, I flush the water heater and reinstall the rod. No need to drag the 2nd step out until spring and no chance for the threads to get corroded.

As in the video, I use a small wire brush to clean the threads. After prepping the anode rod with Teflon tape I sometimes use my thumb, pushing on the face of the rod plug to overcome the counterbalanced weight of the rod sticking into the tank.

If you have a good fitting socket, you can also place a thin piece of paper across the open socket end, push the anode rod into the socket and then use the socket to install the rod. The paper will hold the anode rod tightly for insertion. You lose a bit of the "feel" of the threads this way but it does make aligning the anode rod simpler.
Duhhh I see your socket advice X2
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