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Old 04-22-2015, 03:54 PM   #1
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Need help in replacing WH element in 1999 TW 7371.

Plenty obvious someone who has no plans of ever working on a water heater designed this thing. Heater is under and to the right of galley sink. Some panels removed to even see it. Tested element. It's open. I intend to eliminate switch that was on metal box at element. It is useless. I've installed a http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 below the counter extension.

How do you get the element out. No way to get an open or box wrench on it. I bought a 1 1/2" socket but cannot budge it. Socket shoulder only sticks out about 1/8" so it is very difficult to get any leverage. How have you guys done it.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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Yes it is tight. After bending a tool I got from the hardware store I went to a 3/4 drive socket. I had to remove some metal so the socket would reach the element. I did that with a rockwell vibrating tool. Big box stores have the generic version for 20.00. Just don't round off the hex part of the element or it would have been cheeper to have the rv repair guy do it.

Dan
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadej View Post
Yes it is tight. After bending a tool I got from the hardware store I went to a 3/4 drive socket. I had to remove some metal so the socket would reach the element. I did that with a rockwell vibrating tool. Big box stores have the generic version for 20.00. Just don't round off the hex part of the element or it would have been cheeper to have the rv repair guy do it.

Dan
Dan,
I already purchased the 3/4" drive 11/2" socket from Northern Tool. Socket and adapter down to 1/2" drive set me back $18. Just cannot get any leverage. Guess I'll just have to find a way to get a cheater bar on it.

Believe it or not, I did not even know we had a combination heater. Last trip water heater quit working. On investigation, I found the electric conponent. Decided that I'll just get the electric going and work on the gas issue later. Think I now know why the original owner did not say anything to me about using the electric when possible. He likely knew the element was open.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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Any way to use an electric impact wrench? Autozone loans tools free, you pay with a CC, when you return the tool undamaged you get a full refund.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
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You need a special socket to get it out most of us make our own out of a cheap 1 1/2 socket. The big thing is to grind off the roach area of the socket ( the area where the socket is recessed ) what I do is chuck the socket in a drill then run the grinder and spin the socket with the drill to remove the front edge off the socket so it will grab the element better. On some units there is a shroud so you also have to make the wall thickness thinner again also done with the drill and grinder.

What I mean is grind the top of the socket down so the tapered recess is gone.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:09 PM   #6
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You need a special socket to get it out most of us make our own out of a cheap 1 1/2 socket. The big thing is to grind off the roach area of the socket ( the area where the socket is recessed ) what I do is chuck the socket in a drill then run the grinder and spin the socket with the drill to remove the front edge off the socket so it will grab the element better. On some units there is a shroud so you also have to make the wall thickness thinner again also done with the drill and grinder.

What I mean is grind the top of the socket down so the tapered recess is gone.
I cannot get what you are describing in my head. Are you grinding the outside?

The 12 point socket I have will just barely grip the element - there is an 1/8" or so of hex available.

Northern Tool had an impact 6 point but it was over $20
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:11 PM   #7
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Any way to use an electric impact wrench? Autozone loans tools free, you pay with a CC, when you return the tool undamaged you get a full refund.
If I don't have any success in the morning, I'm going to Autozone in the afternoon.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:06 AM   #8
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Use a six point socket will grab the hex better and less chance of rounding it off.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:45 PM   #9
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If I don't have any success in the morning, I'm going to Autozone in the afternoon.
Autozone just may have a 6-pt socket the correct size, if not they go buy one then loan it to you the same way. I would put a few drops of something like Liquid Wrench on the threads now, it might be what is needed to break the corrosion preventing removal.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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AutoZone , 1 1/2" six point socket in 1/2 drive is what I bought. P/N 75-818, being shorter than a 3/4 drive with adaptor , may give enough room to get a 1/2 drive breaker bar in.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:02 PM   #11
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If it doesn't want to back out, it sometimes helps to tighten it just a tad first and then it may come loose. Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:25 AM   #12
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Use a 6 point socket. Go to a marine supply and purchase a can of Aero Kroil. That stuff is amazing. If you can't find it locally try www.aerokroil.com and order it online. You'll throw your can of WD-40 away.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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Use a 6 point socket. Go to a marine supply and purchase a can of Aero Kroil. That stuff is amazing. If you can't find it locally try www.aerokroil.com and order it online. You'll throw your can of WD-40 away.
Hey, I have found a good use for WD40. I spray my gardening tools with WD40 after wiping all the dirt from them, the gummy residue it leaves keeps them from rusting, of course used motor oil does the same thing.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:37 PM   #14
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I'm happy when all my garden tools, picks and shovels have a fine patina of rust on them. Means I haven't had to touch them in a long time!


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