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Old 07-21-2020, 06:33 PM   #1
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What size socket for electric element removal?

I have a Suburban Gas/Electric water heater SW10DE, electric element part number 520789 that need to replace and need to know what size socket I need to buy so I can remove this defective element?
Thanks in advance for any help.

Russell
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:45 PM   #2
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1 1/2 inch:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-099...4aAhBjEALw_wcB
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:29 PM   #3
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Id double check. Mine isa 1 1/16
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ole Buzzard View Post
I’d double check. Mine isa 1 1/16
For the heating element or for the anode rod? The Camco 09883 element removal tool says it is 1 1/2 inch socket. The anode rod is indeed 1 1/16 inch.

I would be careful about using the standard 1 1/2 inch deep well socket, though. You might find the socket wall thickness is too thick to fit into the recess the element screws into. I'd just stick the water heater element removal tool you can get at almost any hardware store. But it is 1 1/2 inch.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
I would be careful about using the standard 1 1/2 inch deep well socket, though. You might find the socket wall thickness is too thick to fit into the recess the element screws into. I'd just stick the water heater element removal tool you can get at almost any hardware store. But it is 1 1/2 inch.
This. And get a 5 long element wrench. The 4 is not quite long enough to get the end past the wall of the TT.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:50 PM   #6
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On my Suburban WH ... 1 1/2" Craftsman 1/2" drive socket works. I'm talking about the electric element with the 2 wires hooked to it, not the anode drain which is 1 1/16"

PS ... Go to Lowes and get their 110 volt 1500 watt element for @$7. It screws right in and only uses 1/2 amp more electricity than the 1440 watt OEM element.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:12 PM   #7
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On my Suburban WH ... 1 1/2" Craftsman 1/2" drive socket works. I'm talking about the electric element with the 2 wires hooked to it, not the anode drain which is 1 1/16"

PS ... Go to Lowes and get their 110 volt 1500 watt element for @$7. It screws right in and only uses 1/2 amp more electricity than the 1440 watt OEM element.
Great to know!
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:24 PM   #8
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Thanks. NavyEM2 USS Saratoga 73-76
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Old 07-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #9
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It is 1-1/4"
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:13 PM   #10
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I apologize for my post saying 1-1/4, that is the thread diameter.

Suburban Water Heater Element 520789 Replaces 232794.

SW10 Approx 1-1/4" Diameter at threads and 1-1/2" at flange or nut.
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:21 PM   #11
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If you don't know how it went bad here is my experience.

I drained my water heater and winterized but never turned off the little switch on the water heater. I do not have an inside switch for electric.

When I went to de-winterized I plugged in to shore power to fire everything up the element was on with no water in the tank. I would have thought the reset button would pop or the fusible link would blow but instead, the element stayed hot and cracked when I added water. The "snap" is quite audible when you have your head next to the tank turning the inlet valve on.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:01 PM   #12
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Home Depot or Lowes sells an element wrench. Just about any hardware store should have one. You don't need a RV specific one.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:20 PM   #13
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Home Depot or Lowes sells an element wrench. Just about any hardware store should have one. You don't need a RV specific one.
They sell the electric element too. Just make sure it is 1440 watt 120 volts
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:28 PM   #14
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Amazon also has the elements and wrenches.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:13 PM   #15
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So does Ebay, Ace Hardware, Walmarr website, True Value Hardware, Grainger.....
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:32 AM   #16
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A standard 1-1/2” socket can work sometimes, but they generally have a slight taper at the end and can easily slip off of the shallow flats of a water heater element. You can get a cheap stamped metal element socket that will usually do the trick or you can buy a heavy-duty 1-1/2” element socket that is completely flat where it goes onto the element nut and use a ratchet to turn it. I am a plumber, so I use the latter because it always works and doesn’t round off the points on the element nut. It will also work with a breaker bar or impact wrench for those really old and tough-to-get-out elements without messing them up.

Bruce
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