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Old 06-20-2020, 08:00 AM   #21
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Another thing to think about. Make sure you check the threads on the tank itself, good idea to chase the threads with a 3/4 pipe tap.
Don't use a tap, use a chaser. There is a difference. The tap is meant to cut new thread. A chaser is designed to clean and straighten. Also, it should be a 3/4 NPT chaser and not a UNC chaser. NPT is a tapered thread that compresses the two surfaces as you go further down the thread.
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Old 06-20-2020, 08:06 AM   #22
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Use a 6-point socket and wack the end of the wrench handle with a hammer. This works better in my experience than steady pressure for bolts and nuts and is the prescribed method for removing some drain plugs on my cars. I have a rubber hammer with a head that weighs a couple of pounds and it will loosen everything I've tried it on. Never tried my 1/2" rattle gun but that might work too, just be sure you're loosening.

Wrap the threads with Teflon plumbing tape before reinstalling.

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Old 06-20-2020, 08:11 AM   #23
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Or just use a brush to clean the threads.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:58 PM   #24
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The anode you're taking out is in there to keep galvanic action from destroying your water heater. Galvanic action occurs when water crosses dissemilar metals. The anode is sacrificial and is the part that gets eroded. You have to make sure the plug you're taking out has definite contact with the water heater threads when reistalling. Otherwise there is no conductivity and the anode will not be sacrificial and something in your water eater will become the sacificial metal. You don't want that. If you use Teflon tape don't use too much, maybe use an anti seize compound (available at an auto parts store).
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:30 PM   #25
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Is there an easy way to get the anode to go back in easily? It is tough to level it because so much weight is at the other end. Is there some neat trick?
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:42 PM   #26
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Is there an easy way to get the anode to go back in easily? It is tough to level it because so much weight is at the other end. Is there some neat trick?
Use your extension with the socket(no rachet) turn the extension by hand slowly until you feel it starting to go in, if at any time it wants to stop on the initial try stop, unscrew then start again, after it goes in a few threads because it is pipe thread it will get harder to turn. Then use the ratchet.
You'll do it!!
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:44 PM   #27
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My trick to get the anode rod back in is use your fingers from both hands. One set of fingers on the top and another couple fingers from the other hand on the bottom to keep it level while turning and catching the threads. I always have a couple of false starts before the threads catch. Turn slowly. My anode rod has a couple turns of pipe thread on it and I think that helps at least in my situation. I think I've used silicon spray sparingly on the threads, that helps too. But always i use a couple of fingers from both hands to apply the right pressure to keep it level and turn it slowly, no quick movements.

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Old 06-29-2020, 07:46 PM   #28
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an impact will do the least amount of damage if it is that tight. When you do get it out use some anti seize when you put the new one back in. Or Teflon Tape.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:23 PM   #29
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The anode you're taking out is in there to keep galvanic action from destroying your water heater. Galvanic action occurs when water crosses dissemilar metals. The anode is sacrificial and is the part that gets eroded. You have to make sure the plug you're taking out has definite contact with the water heater threads when reistalling. Otherwise there is no conductivity and the anode will not be sacrificial and something in your water eater will become the sacificial metal. You don't want that. If you use Teflon tape don't use too much, maybe use an anti seize compound (available at an auto parts store).
Good point about the teflon tape! I use dielectric grease. It is waterproof, conductive, heat resistant and the one I use is non toxic!! I also use it on the trailer / tow vehicle plugs after I clean them and have tried it on the hitch ball with good results for short trips.

I use a long socket with an extension on the anode rod. When I am going to install it in the water heater, I will place it and then slowly turn conter clockwise until it sets straight, then I will begin to ratchet it in. Long sockets allow for a good grip.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:30 PM   #30
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For fasteners that tight and not much surface to grab, it helps if you grind the chamfer off the end of the socket as well. A lot less likely to slip that way.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:32 PM   #31
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Miket-Thank you for the quick reply. The problem I encounter is the socket is so deep that there are no exposed Pipe threads for the anode rod. I was thinking of stuffing paper into the socket to get the threads to stick out. Do you have a super shallow socket?
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:46 PM   #32
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Miket-Thank you for the quick reply. The problem I encounter is the socket is so deep that there are no exposed Pipe threads for the anode rod. I was thinking of stuffing paper into the socket to get the threads to stick out. Do you have a super shallow socket?
I had the same problem with my older trailer, so I did as you suggested.......I put some paper towel into the socket so the threads would protrude just a bit.

You really only want to turn it slowly at first to make sure it goes in straight, otherwise you will cross thread your system..........ask me I know.....or more to the point, ask my brother he did it for me.

Somebody suggested using a plumbers wire brush to clean the threads (which I've done), just try not to get the crap pushed into your tank or else you will have to rinse it out.

Good luck I hope it works out for you.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:48 PM   #33
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1/2" drive breaker bar or ratchet with an extension and the correct size socket is all I've ever used.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:05 PM   #34
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Villagerjjm- thank you for your response. How do you get the threads to reach the water heater if they are in a deep socket?
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:13 PM   #35
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Villagerjjm- thank you for your response. How do you get the threads to reach the water heater if they are in a deep socket?
A short socket is best but if you use a deep one find something to put inside of it to take up some of the space. I've used a smaller nut or a smaller short socket.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:27 PM   #36
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Putting the new one back in:
Use anti-seize like for spark plugs.
To start threading while lessening the chance of cross-threading, apply pressure and turn backwards. At the start of the thread you should hear or feel the 'click' at the beginning of the thread. Then turn clockwise and you should be good.

Works on itty bitty screws, too, and they are easier to cross-thread.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:29 PM   #37
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Any suggestions to loosen anode? It wont budge. I have correct size socket wrench. It's just not budging. Its been two years and I need to check it. Think my ex over tightened it. Help!
I use my battery powered impact and have never had a problem just be careful or you’ll get wet.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:35 PM   #38
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If you use a pipe for added leverage Make sure you are using
A ) 1/2 in drive.
B) a breaker bar not a ratchet (you Stand a good chance of breaking the ratchet and Or bending the Handle.
I have bent a handle on a 1/2 drive ratchet and have broken a 1/2” ratchet. No it was not on a camper
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:43 PM   #39
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Villagerjjm- thank you for your response. How do you get the threads to reach the water heater if they are in a deep socket?
Don't use a deep socket.;o) If needed use garden hose washers(trim if needed) to fill up any space in a socket.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:07 PM   #40
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That really sucks. After getting it taken out. You might want to start draining it after every trip. You might go through a little more plumbers tape but in the long run it will save you the headache and muscleache of trying to break it loose. Also your anode rod will last longer.
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