I am in the process of replacing the anode rod in my Suburban water heater. I have removed the old anode, flushed the tank, cleaned the threads where the anode goes and wrapped the anode threads with Teflon tape. The anode seems very difficult to return to its place. I do not want to cross-thread the rod and tank. Have you found it difficult to screw the anode back in?
This mirrors exactly my anode replacement story... First, it took 2 scraped knuckles, a bloody thumb, and a blue thumb nail to get the old one out. After repeated soakings with a bolt-out and a lot of back/forth and some preheating with the flaming hacksaw, it finally came out... Then drained the tank, cleaned the threads and wrapped new in teflon tape... It seemed as though it barely went in... I made a mental note to check it once I pressurized the water system... Well, it didn't leak.. So, all's good... Don't know why it barely went in but it definitely was _not_ cross threaded... Maybe the new anode has a different taper of pipe thread?
Here's the old one, still had some life in it:
One thing I was (and still am) concerned with was whether application of teflon tape was going to destroy conductivity with the tank... No point having the anode if there isn't an electrical
path to the tank... But the old anode, which as you can see was quite clearly eaten away, had evidence of teflon tape.