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Mevd58 06-18-2020 07:45 PM

Replacing Suburban Water Heater Anode
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!

wmtire 06-18-2020 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by Mevd58 (Post 2347870)
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!

They can be hard. You can spray some penetrating oil on it, and let it soak a little. Make sure you are using a 1 and 1/16th size six point socket.

Have seen some people use a truck four way lug nut wrench with success.

Chris Pastuzyn 06-18-2020 07:52 PM

If you have the correct size socket ,Get some leverage on that wrench! Now its personnel! Its gotta come out !

eric1514 06-18-2020 07:54 PM

PB Blaster penetrating oil or equivalent. Squirt in on and let it work. Do it again. Might take hours, but it will work.

CHICKDOE 06-18-2020 07:59 PM

i would use penetrating oil. it might help some. but it is going to take some leverage. and wrap the treads with teflon tape when you put an anode back in. that will help it from rusting together. it will also help it seal without having to over torque it to seal.

Boscorelli 06-18-2020 08:55 PM

If you don't have a friend with forearms like Popeye, you need leverage! Put a 2 or 3 foot length of pipe over the handle of the wrench, and use that lever to double your strength.

NavyLCDR 06-18-2020 08:59 PM

Impact wrench. Air or battery powered.

kenandterry 06-18-2020 09:02 PM

Final instructions.....

1. 6 point 1 and 1/16” socket for exact fit.
2. Leverage extension to fit over socket handle.
3. Remember ......”righty tighty, lefty loosey”

Good luck.

Mevd58 06-18-2020 09:51 PM

Loosen Anode
Thank you everyone. Great ideas. I'll keep trying.

The Evil Twin 06-18-2020 10:08 PM

You can also try heating up the water first. Make aure the tank is full and let it run for a bit to heat it up. Relieve the pressure and give it a twist while hot. Don't take it out, I'm just talking about breaking it loose. Wait till it cools to do that.

medalguy 06-19-2020 12:52 PM

If you use any penetrating oil, be sure to thoroughly clean the plug and threads completely or your water will taste terrible.

Herk7769 06-19-2020 12:56 PM

3 Attachment(s)
A good penetrating oil and wait several hours.
Apply again and wait several hours.

You might need a short extension to clear the outside wall; then use a breaker bar with the correct size socket.

TRD 06-19-2020 01:13 PM

Ex? Another reminder of "Until death do us part"

Scrapper 06-19-2020 01:35 PM

It may take two to break the thing loose. At the end of the first season while winterizing I had to get my neighbor to hold the 6inch extension so the socket would stay put while I pulled on the 24 inch breaker bar with both hands. PB Blaster on the hot tank and threads didn't help and there wasn't any teflon on the threads (first time draining the wh).

Villagerjjm 06-19-2020 02:17 PM

If you have any pressure (or a vacuum) in the water lines, it could be increasing the resistance of the threads. Open the pressure relief valve before trying the wrench. If the resistance is still not allowing the release of the anode rod threads, use a rubber mallet on your wrench to break it free. A rubber mallet may reduce the chances of causing damage to your tools and components.

Trawlerphil 06-19-2020 02:40 PM

Go down to your friendly hardware store and get a 3' length of 3/4" pipe to fit over your ratchet handle. While you are there pick up a small can of anti-seize so this never happens again. Order your anodes in pairs so you will always have one at the ready. While the anode is out, hose out the water heater. All the crystalline stuff will come rushing out. When it is clean, apply the anti-seize to the threads and tighten it "girl tight" without the breaker bar. You're good to go!

chapelt 06-19-2020 06:15 PM

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.

The Newsoms 06-19-2020 06:41 PM


Originally Posted by chapelt (Post 2348498)
chase the threads with a 3/4 pipe tap.

What does this mean?

mike.t 06-19-2020 06:48 PM

Whatever you do release the pressure in the tank, open that little valve on the heater or open a faucet valve. Did i mention release the pressure? Oh and be sure to release the pressure

DouglasReid 06-20-2020 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by The Newsoms (Post 2348508)
What does this mean?

It means to run the tap into the threads to clean them up of any burrs,debris, corrosion, etc. that might be there making removal of the anode/plug difficult.

You are not creating the threads just "chasing" them. :trink39:

As for me, Id not use penetrating oil, for fear it would get into and contaminate my fresh water supply through the WH.

As others have suggested, just use a LONG Cheater bar and insure the pressure has been released in the tank.

When replacing the anode use Teflon Tape on the threads to seal them and help in removal next time.

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