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Thread: Problem removing a water heater anode.

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member JohnB61's Avatar
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    Question Problem removing a water heater anode.

    I have a Whirlpool gas water heater that is 3 1/2 years old. This area tends to get a buildup in the bottom of the water heater, because of iron in the water, I guess. I try and flush it every few months and I decided to check and probably replace the anode. It is in so tight that I was turning the water heater. I don't want to break the gas or water line connections, so I tried an impact wrench, both the hammer and air styles. No luck. So I borrowed a Proto torque multiplier and braced the legs with a 2x4 so the water heater wouldn't turn. The torque multiplier is also braced against a cabinet with a wooden rod. The anode is still not loosening and I am afraid of breaking the feet off the water heater. They are only sheet metal installed with sheet metal screws. The torque multiplier is wound up tight and won't reverse so I can't get it off. Does anyone have any ideas other than call a plumber? My wife has already suggested that and it is my next option if I can't get this figured out. Thanks in advance.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I don't know where you found a water heater with legs.
    The new water heaters with the flame guard haven't been made with legs (feet) or sumpthin like that for about eight years.
    The new water heaters are flat on the bottom.

    By the time you call out a plumber and pay him to change out the anode, you're part way to a new heater.
    And if you can't pull it with all the power tools you've been throwing at it, then I doubt that he can do it either.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-21-2013 at 07:02 PM.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I use an air driven impact wrench- the same one I use for changing the wheels on our cars.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    It's usually a 1-1/16 impact socket that you need to go with a 3/4 or bigger impact wrench. The old anode was eaten away. I put a powered anode in my water heater. Not cheap. I used teflon tape, and I did not torque it nearly as much as the original... maybe 15 ft-lb.

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    "I don't know where you found a water heater with legs.
    The new water heaters with the flame guard haven't been made with legs (feet) or sumpthin like that for about eight years.
    The new water heaters are flat on the bottom".

    Terry,

    The gas tank water heaters sold around here, they all have legs, except Rheem/Ruud/GE.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    If it was my tank I would just use it until it leaks.

    About the best you can do is to get the rod replaced, and then have a leaking tank and a new rod.

    The weld on that fitting may break before the rod comes out.

    Many older heaters would go 20 years before you even had to work on them.


    If it is not broke, Then you can fix it until it is. Been there done that.


    Happy Holidays to All.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The gas tank water heaters sold around here, they all have legs, except Rheem/Ruud/GE.
    I'm installing Rheems and Bradford Whites.
    I'm removing GE water heaters.

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    DIY Junior Member WyrTwister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I'm installing Rheems and Bradford Whites.
    I'm removing GE water heaters.

    I bought a GE electric WH from Home Depot . Best I can tell it is made by Rheem ? Or Rudd ?

    Am I missing something ?

    Thanks ,
    Wyr
    God bless

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    DIY Junior Member glazer1972's Avatar
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    I'd leave it alone till it goes out. Then replace WH.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyrTwister View Post
    I bought a GE electric WH from Home Depot . Best I can tell it is made by Rheem ? Or Rudd ?

    Am I missing something ?

    Thanks ,
    Wyr
    God bless

    Many water heaters can be made by the same manufacturer, but they are different. Not just the Tag.

    Many are built in different Manufacturing Plants.

    In Theory if they are built to the same ISO standards you would think they would be the same.


    But Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.
    Last edited by DonL; 02-19-2014 at 08:22 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    leave that anode rod alone, unless you got a huge socket wrench and
    a cheater bar to force that rod to move...... and you need a couple of guys to
    hold the water heater in place when you attempt to remove it......

    you are asking for trouble....

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    In answer to the original question, per the video below, you should apply as much torque to the wrench on the torque multiplier as you can as you change the setting from CW to CCW. I think this is like applying counter torque on a steering wheel on some cars to unstick the steering wheel lock.

    This video is for a different brand. See 2:30 into the video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5RdRivYA8M

    I hope the torque multiplier tool has not been stuck on your water heater for two months. I expect this expensive tool was unstuck long ago.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyrTwister View Post
    I bought a GE electric WH from Home Depot . Best I can tell it is made by Rheem ? Or Rudd ?

    Am I missing something ?

    Thanks ,
    Wyr
    God bless
    Are you missing something? Years of use it seems.
    I'm removing dead GE water heaters that don't make even 10 years, sometimes not even 7 years.
    As a contractor, I wouldn't sell them.
    Here's the deal. Big Box stores want to make money, and their customers want to save money.
    Big Box makes a deal with suppliers and tells them they need to cheap up the pricing. The suppliers do cheap up the pricing, and do it by cheaping up the product. We installers notice. You don't see me buying anything plumbing there unless I just have to. Installers worry about labor to install and replace.

    ?Why? would I buy something that ensures a warranty call?

    We don't. As a homeowner, you get to save a "few" dollars, buy a product with a shorter life span, and just think that's how things are. You're so smart because you save a few dollars up front. But the trick with that, is that your time isn't worth anything. As a contractor, I'm losing money if I'm doing work twice and getting paid once.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-22-2014 at 11:20 AM.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I do not blame you Terry. That is good business.

    What is really going to suck, is when you start getting the same stuff that consumers can buy at the BB store.

    If you look at the parts that are used, Many are already the same.


    I look at it as, it will be cheaper to replace next time. Not counting labor of course.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  15. #15
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    What is really going to suck, is when you start getting the same stuff that consumers can buy at the BB store.
    That hasn't happened yet. Where I buy, the stuff is still good.

    Even things like lav supplies feel lighter at the box stores.
    And of course they put labels right where there shouldn't be a label. They don't peal off either You have to cut the label off with a knife and hope things seal.

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