HELP changing anode in water heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #1
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HELP changing anode in water heater

Escape 19: we are trying to change out the anode in the hot water heater and my husband is having trouble seating it so the screw threads do not cross. Any tricks? The weight of the anode portion pulls the alignment out so it is difficult to get properly seated.

Suggestions requested
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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...patience and care, maybe a socket that will hold the "nut" tighter and allow a better "grip" and provide leverage with a short extension...

...perhaps wrapping the "nut" with blue tape or saran wrap to tighten the grip of the existing socket...

...more patience and care...

You'll get there!
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:51 PM   #3
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That is definitely the worst part of emptying the water heater. You just have to be patient. I know it's difficult to do, but you have to put downward pressure on the head of the anode while pushing it in, to try and get things aligned. It probably took me an hour to get it right the first time, but it gets easier every time I do it now
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:57 PM   #4
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Stuff some foam or something in the socket that will put pressure on the bolt so that the threads stay lined up.

Or you could turn the trailer on its side and use the power of gravity.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:22 PM   #5
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May I ask what brand water heater this is???

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Originally Posted by bjsmitty View Post
Escape 19: we are trying to change out the anode in the hot water heater and my husband is having trouble seating it so the screw threads do not cross. Any tricks? The weight of the anode portion pulls the alignment out so it is difficult to get properly seated.

Suggestions requested
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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Takes a little pratice, but not too bad. I use 2 hands, left index finger in front of the hole to help support. The important thing is to raise the anode so it's pointing up, so use your left index finger as a teeter-totter to help your right hand push down (lifting the anode end) as it turns the threads. Make sure there's no debris in the threads either. Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:40 AM   #7
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May I ask what brand water heater this is???
I'm thinking it's an Atwood brand, but since I'm stuck at work, can't go look
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:26 AM   #8
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If it's an Atwood, they're aluminum and do NOT need an "anode" rod. They just need "flushing" periodically. I've ran my for 7 yrs now with no anode rod. The "steel" tanks are the ones that need it. (Suburban)

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I'm thinking it's an Atwood brand, but since I'm stuck at work, can't go look
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:29 AM   #9
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Get a 6 point 1-1/16 socket. Stuff it with paper to leave just enough depth to take the hex head of the anode. If it's not a snug fit wrap a layer of tape on it.
DO NOT use "lots of teflon tape" as another writer said.
But, make sure all old teflon is removed and the threads are clean. Wrap only two layers of teflon, starting one thread in from the end, and in the same direction you turn to tighten.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #10
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It's important to use a six cornered socket to hold it tight. I do have to fiddle a bit to get it lined up but always manage after a few tries.
It would be a Suburban heater. The Atwoods are aluminum and don't use an Anode.
Oops, I see Darral already reported that, so I'm just verifying.
I wish all manufacturers would use the Atwood so we could dispense with anodes. The only FB manufacturer I know that does is Bigfoot. If I ever have to replace mine I'd get an Atwood.
Good luck.

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Old 11-15-2017, 11:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjsmitty View Post
Escape 19: we are trying to change out the anode in the hot water heater and my husband is having trouble seating it so the screw threads do not cross. Any tricks? The weight of the anode portion pulls the alignment out so it is difficult to get properly seated.

Suggestions requested
Since i keep a roll of quarters in the truck, I stack enough in the socket so that the anode bolt head just fits in the deep socket. That lets you put direct pressure on the bolt, making it easier to align & start the threads. Others have suggested washers, but the quarters fit & I have them handy...
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:44 AM   #12
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I hope he is starting by screwing it in by hand. That way you won't cross thread it and once you have turned it a couple of times you can then put a socket on it. If you start out by putting a socket on it you take a chance of cross threading it. I have been wrenching on things my whole life and have never cross threaded anything when starting it by hand. I have cross threaded a few things when starting out with a wrench or socket.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:46 AM   #13
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Years ago, my father taught me anything metal to metal that's threaded you start by using your fingers, not a tool. An anode is just weird. It's long so actually wants to tip down while you're trying to get the threads started and holding your mouth just right too

IF you can get your hand in there and slightly tip the rod up... just a tad, you may find it easier to get it started. If the threads are clean, and everything is lined up just right it actually goes in pretty easy. Next time, muscle memory will help. And remember, the rod only needs to be tight enough to NOT leak. You don't need to use a torque wrench.

On edit: Lee I just read your post. We both must have been typing at the same time! I wonder if whomever taught you and my Dad were twins separated at birth!
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
And remember, the rod only needs to be tight enough to NOT leak. You don't need to use a torque wrench.
Yes, but a torque wrench will help prevent overtightening as well, as long as you set it to around 8 ft-lbs. Here's an instruction sheet from Camco:
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