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Old 01-10-2021, 01:26 PM   #1
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HELP! Water heater problem!

Yesterday I decided to drain and flush out my water heater, which I have not done in years! Well, I can't break the nut loose on the anode rod! It has a lot of corrosion on the threads. I have sprayed it with liquid wrench several times, and tried rapping the socket handle with a hammer, but no luck yet.

Anybody have a magic trick to break it loose?
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:35 PM   #2
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The best remover is Deep Creep. I would put it on twice a day and try every day for a week or two. Have patience. Putting it back on I would use a anti seize compound if it can be done without getting it in the water. You will probably get a ton of replies here. Considering the price of the heater I would probably go to a Pro next.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:36 PM   #3
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If you have a drill with a hammer function try that connected to the socket.

A small torch to heat it and then let it cool with liquid wrench applied for a few days in a row should do the trick.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
The best remover is Deep Creep. I would put it on twice a day and try every day for a week or two. Have patience. Putting it back on I would use a anti seize compound if it can be done without getting it in the water. You will probably get a ton of replies here. Considering the price of the heater I would probably go to a Pro next.
WOW! That stuff has great reviews! I'm gonna try one more time and if it doesn't break loose I will be heading to the auto parts store to get a can! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:47 PM   #5
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Are you using the 1 1/16" SIX point socket with extension ??

Try to 'tighten' slightly...that will usually 'break' the connection between threads and rust/crud

Then unscrew in back/forth motions until it becomes less resistant

Steel Tank glass-lined so EASY with the hammering, impact wrenching, excessive heat applications ....glass lining is thin/will crack expose unprotected steel

Anode Rod should be removed/inspected at end of season at minimum
Wrap threads with telfon tape...several wraps...points of threads will cut the tape/make contact and tape will help with rusting threads
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Are you using the 1 1/16" SIX point socket with extension ??

Try to 'tighten' slightly...that will usually 'break' the connection between threads and rust/crud

Then unscrew in back/forth motions until it becomes less resistant

Steel Tank glass-lined so EASY with the hammering, impact wrenching, excessive heat applications ....glass lining is thin/will crack expose unprotected steel

Anode Rod should be removed/inspected at end of season at minimum
Wrap threads with telfon tape...several wraps...points of threads will cut the tape/make contact and tape will help with rusting threads
Yup, that's the socket I'm using. Thanks for your comments!
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
If you have a drill with a hammer function try that connected to the socket.

A small torch to heat it and then let it cool with liquid wrench applied for a few days in a row should do the trick.
I don't have a heavy-duty hammer drill. If all else fails I will try to borrow one! Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:58 PM   #8
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Torch and hammer drill are your best bets. You can usually rent a hammer drill from some of the equipment rental places or maybe an auto parts house.

When you get it out, you need to chase the threads with a correct size pipe tap and then install a new anode rod with Teflon tape on the threads.

Ken
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:02 PM   #9
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You don't need a heavy duty hammer drill. A simple 3/8 or 1/2 inch battery operated one will work wonders on things.
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:59 PM   #10
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I bought a can of the Seafoam Deep Creep penetrating oil this afternoon and sprayed it good. I'll check it again in the morning and continue to spray it a few times.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:18 PM   #11
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Hammer drill isn't what you want, as the name implies it hammers on the socket in line with the fastener, think like driving a nail into wood.

An impact driver is what you are looking for, the impact occurs as a torque/twisting force on the socket. But be careful, some are strong enough to twist the head of the anode rod off.

Small difference in terms to describe different tools for very different applications.

https://www.diffen.com/difference/Ha..._Impact_Driver

"Hammer drills and impact drivers have different applications a hammer drill is used to to drill into hard surfaces like cement and concrete while an impact driver is used to install and remove bolts and screws."
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:58 PM   #12
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I agree with everything Old Biscuit stated and implied. A hammer drill is not the tool for this job. I wouldn't go to heating things up either, at least not until everything else tried had failed.

Do use the penetrating oil and make sure to use a good six point socket that fits the anode nut properly. I'd go with a breaker bar to apply steady pressure firstly and if that didn't get it, maybe try the socket with an impact wrench. As OB mentioned, try turning clockwise a tad to see if it might break loose.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrollf View Post
Hammer drill isn't what you want, as the name implies it hammers on the socket in line with the fastener, think like driving a nail into wood.

An impact driver is what you are looking for, the impact occurs as a torque/twisting force on the socket. But be careful, some are strong enough to twist the head of the anode rod off.

Small difference in terms to describe different tools for very different applications.

https://www.diffen.com/difference/Ha..._Impact_Driver

"Hammer drills and impact drivers have different applications — a hammer drill is used to to drill into hard surfaces like cement and concrete while an impact driver is used to install and remove bolts and screws."
Of course, I mispoke and apologize if I mislead. A hammer drill is indeed a bit better for drilling concrete. I loosely use the terms when I send a gopher to get a tool.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:55 AM   #14
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I have used my "impact drill" to remove more than one and have used a very small torch to heat around the edges. Heat a bit and shoot the penetrating stuff. Let it sit and do the job. I mean a day is great.
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