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Old 05-20-2015, 08:53 PM   #11
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Use a (3/4-18 NPT) Tap to clean the threads.Run a tooth brush around after while holding a VAC to capture the ? To install the A-Rod Place sheets of paper over a (6pt 1-1/16 Socket) and Push the Head of the A-Rod into the Socket (Tight FIT) add a EX to the Socket and now you have a LONG handle to reach and screw the A-Rod into the HARD to REACH area! Youroo!!

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Old 05-20-2015, 08:58 PM   #12
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The anode rod also serves as the tank drain. That is why it is located under the gas burner tube at the low point of the tank.

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Old 05-20-2015, 09:17 PM   #13
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a round wire brush like these and run it around inside the threads to clean them up. Engine Brush Kit 20 Pc
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
try a small wire brush on the threads , but be careful not to get pieces of the brush in the WH.
X2 and I would go with a small copper brush. Less chance of marring the thread.

I know.. they come out really easy, hu. Anodes are softer than the inlet so even if you have to pry and bend a bit on the anode to get it out you're pretty safe. Yank away...

Its also an ideal time to pull the electric element and such and do a good flush.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #15
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I have a socket that I stuffed with a paper towel to hold the head of the anode steady while I'm putting it in. Makes it much easier than trying to squeeze my hands in there.

Hand turn it a few times to get it set, then tighten with socket wrench. Using an extension on the socket helps too.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:06 AM   #16
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I use a stainless steel brush on a dremel at slow speed to clean the rust and any remaining Teflon tape from the threads. Then I completely rinse and flush the tank with a wand before replacing the anode.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:32 AM   #17
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Ironic that I was just installing a new anode in my Surban WH this past Wednesday. I had your same problem so I decided to purchase a $29 tap to clean the threads from hardware store, however it was a 3/4-14 NPT tap. Didn't think there were different thread options so take your old anode with you to purchase the correct thread tap. Whatever you do don't force the tap in the water heaters 3/4 pipe thread hole. Finger start it so it won't get cross threaded. The tap I have can accept a 3/4 socket so I put an extension on it and did most of the cleaning without using the socket handle. The lime and calcium deposits that you need to remove from threads is somewhat soft so go slow and backup often to clear threads of the tap. After done connecting to city water will allow you to flush the tank to get any unwanted minerals out of the tank.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:29 PM   #18
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Stick the rod in, apply pressure then rotate counter clockwise until you "feel" it click, then turn clockwise.

I've taken mine out quite a few times and never had an issue putting it back in. You're right not to force it, but you can get a few turns by hand even with teflon tape on it.

put feel in quotes because you have to be careful, it is heavy trying to hold it up just by the nut, but using the hole to your advantage makes it a little easier to get started.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:53 PM   #19
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The problem with using a socket is that the rod droops in the socket, so you actually have to have the socket at an angle to the WH so the rod is perpendicular. Start it slowly, trying to keep the socket at an angle while the rod stays perpendicular. This means the rod will be moving inside the socket.

The suggestion above about stuffing some paper in the socket MIGHT help keep it in line with the socket, in which case you should be able to screw it right in. I'll probably try that next time I have to drain my WH.

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