Tools for Replacing Hot Water Heater Anode - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:26 PM   #1
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Name: Huck
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Tools for Replacing Hot Water Heater Anode

If you have never changed the anode in your hot water tank, it might seem a little overwhelming. There are plenty of tutorials and videos on how to do it, but they usually don't go over the tools you may need.

Here's the tools I use. The links to Amazon are examples of the tools and not recommendations.
  • To remove the anode, you need a 1-1/16 socket. There are 2 different styles. One is a regular socket that works with a socket wrench and the other has a hole where you insert a screwdriver to use as a lever to turn the socket. I have only used a socket so I can't speak to how well the other type works.
  • Once the old anode is removed, you should clean out the water tank. As the anode breaks down, pieces of it sink to the bottom of the tank. There is a special hose attachment you can buy that fits into the water tank and flushed the junk out of the tank.
  • Now you are ready to install the new anode. You should wrap the threads of the anode with PTFE teflon thread tape. Some anodes come with the threads already wrapped with thread tape and some anodes are packaged with thread tape. If neither is the case, buy a roll of tape. pe&qid=1625004436&sr=8-3
  • The anode can be difficult to install. If the threads appear to be rusted, you can clean the threads using a 3/4"-14 NPT Pipe Tap. Make sure you keep it lubed up when using. You will need to just go in a little way, then back it out and clean it before going further. You should feel a real hard stop when you have gone as far as you should. Don't force the tap beyond that. I used a 3/4" open end wrench to turn the tap.
Flush the tank out again before installing the anode.

Picture left to Right

A slightly used anode, socket for removing anode, hose extension for flushing hot water tank, pipe tap for cleaning threads, teflon tape, a new anode
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Anode and Tools.jpg  
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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And, if you fill the socket with quarters or washers, you can position the anode and apply pressure to get it started easier.
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Old 06-30-2021, 09:27 AM   #3
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Correction: To clean the threads on the anode, you should use a thread chaser, or a wire brush. not a pipe "TAP". Actually it would be a "DIE" which cuts the male threads. A Tap cuts female threads.
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
And, if you fill the socket with quarters or washers, you can position the anode and apply pressure to get it started easier.
Absolutely Correct.
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Old 06-30-2021, 05:20 PM   #5
Name: Daniel
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replacing anode

To put in the anode I use a needle nose vise grip as this seems easier for me to start the threads.
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Old 07-03-2021, 06:59 PM   #6
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The quarter trick is probably better, but I found the main problem putting the new rod in is that the inside end wants to pull downwards, which makes it hard to align with the threads. I just hand-threaded it using my thumb to push pretty hard on the lower end to help keep it lined up. Definitely took a few tries.
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