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Old 10-04-2017, 07:55 AM   #1
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Cleaning Hot Water Tank Anode Port

My WH is working fine, but the threads where the anode rod is installed is getting a little rough with some rust. The rod still installs ok, and I take a wire brush to the threads when I empty the tank. Is there a way to easily clean these threads, ensuring a good fit and seal?
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:04 AM   #2
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Check out the great Suburban video guides that Suburban provided our forums. The very first one details the anode rod, cleaning the threads, etc.

You can find all 5 videos at this link:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ml#post1527599

Here is the one on the anode rod. Hope it helps.

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:17 AM   #3
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My WH is working fine, but the threads where the anode rod is installed is getting a little rough with some rust. The rod still installs ok, and I take a wire brush to the threads when I empty the tank. Is there a way to easily clean these threads, ensuring a good fit and seal?
Yes use a 3/4 NPT Tap! IF it is a Suburban Heater! Ace/Home Depot!

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:32 AM   #4
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Yes use a 3/4 NPT Tap! IF it is a Suburban Heater! Ace/Home Depot!

Youroo!!
X2 Harbor Freight. Don't take much off you only want the rust and scale and maybe straighten out a thread. Wire toothbrush, battery terminal brush...
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:35 AM   #5
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I second the 3/4" tap and the battery terminal brush.

As said above, you don't want to cut new threads or deepen them, you just want to clean out the existing ones.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:46 AM   #6
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I second the 3/4" tap and the battery terminal brush.

As said above, you don't want to cut new threads or deepen them, you just want to clean out the existing ones.
Thanks to all, a light realigning is what I'm looking to do. 3/4-14 NPT is what I'm finding on Amazon, is that the right thread count?
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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Thanks to all, a light realigning is what I'm looking to do. 3/4-14 NPT is what I'm finding on Amazon, is that the right thread count?
Yes 14! Youroo!!
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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Thanks to all, a light realigning is what I'm looking to do. 3/4-14 NPT is what I'm finding on Amazon, is that the right thread count?
That's the one.

In order to ensure its longevity, spray a little WD-40 on it and store in the sleeve it comes in when you're done using it. Most of them come in a two part plastic shell that slides together.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:36 PM   #9
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Great discussion. Thanks!
Stashing these ideas for future reference.
The tap idea never would have occurred to me.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:02 PM   #10
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This video is pretty interesting. Shows before and after flushing using vinegar with an inspection camera.

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Old 10-04-2017, 02:44 PM   #11
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and you can use this device to flush out the WH to get all the white stuff out of it. This will keep it from being picked p in the hot water supply possibly clogging the lines or the heads of your faucets.

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Old 10-04-2017, 03:59 PM   #12
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Fortunately, most of the crud falls to the bottom so it is unlikely to get into the lines. That being said, I will clean my tank yearly with vinegar to keep the crud down to a minimum.
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #13
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I use the wire brush on my Dremel. Spray it with a little wd40 and apply a little pressure. Then flush several times so the rust filings you cleaned up do not plug you water pump filter. Works great.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:15 PM   #14
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Use some toothpaste or baking soda on an old battery powered toothbrush. It is enough to get rid of the rust without harming the threads. I use some dielectric grease on the threads... applied with a q-tip swap... very light coating. The grease I use is called Super Lube. It is non toxic, clear, dielectric and is rated for temperatures from -45f to +450f. It is impervious to salt water, U.S.D.A. authorized and rated H-1. A little bit goes a long way... I use it on the battery terminals and other electrical connections in addition to hose connections. It keeps the hose connections from freezing together, either from minerals or temperature extremes.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:21 PM   #15
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I use some dielectric grease on the threads...
Technically, you shouldn't be using dielectric grease. You want the anode to conduct to the tank. You probably get away with it since the threads are likely making contact anyway.

Most instructions say to use teflon tape so threads obviously make contact through it too.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:07 PM   #16
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Dielectric grease conducts electricity. You can also use it on the base of incandescent light bulbs. It helps prevent them from freezing to the socket and it does not interfere with conductivity... and that is what makes it magical.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:11 PM   #17
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Dielectric grease conducts electricity.
It doesn't conduct.

Dielectric by definition mean insulator.

That being said, the threads make enough contact so it doesn't matter. I would use teflon tape myself since that is what the water heater manual suggest.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:40 PM   #18
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It doesn't conduct.

Dielectric by definition mean insulator.

That being said, the threads make enough contact so it doesn't matter. I would use teflon tape myself since that is what the water heater manual suggest.
Just for what it's worth, NPT (Pipe Threads) are tapered. That allows them to form a seal as the pipe is tightened. Chasing the threads should be done pretty cautiously, starting the tap by hand to make sure it's engaged fully. Otherwise it would be easy to cut the thread in two (obliterate the threads). Also I would be cautious about running the tap in very deeply using a wrench. Unless I knew I a bad thread already, I might just use a brass brush...
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Originally Posted by LTRVing View Post
My WH is working fine, but the threads where the anode rod is installed is getting a little rough with some rust. The rod still installs ok, and I take a wire brush to the threads when I empty the tank. Is there a way to easily clean these threads, ensuring a good fit and seal?
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:07 AM   #19
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and you can use this device to flush out the WH to get all the white stuff out of it. This will keep it from being picked p in the hot water supply possibly clogging the lines or the heads of your faucets.

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Take a old supply hose for a Washing machine and cut it in half,now you have 2 small hoses that will easily fit into the tank drain hole! Turn on the water supply and let the small hose "Go Wild" inside the tank,the "White Crud" will exit the same hole! PS give the other 1/2 of hose to a RV Buddy so they have a Cleanout Hose also! PSS these supply hoses are FREE,just ask any Appliance Delivery service! Youroo!!
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:47 AM   #20
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Dielectric grease conducts electricity. You can also use it on the base of incandescent light bulbs. It helps prevent them from freezing to the socket and it does not interfere with conductivity... and that is what makes it magical.
"Dielectric grease is electrically insulating and does not break down when high voltage is applied."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicone_grease
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