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I just replaced the anode rod on my gas fired hot water tank.
What a PITA! There was nothing on the threads they just torqued it half to death to make a good seal, they just want to sell you a new one as soon as the warranty ends.
I used a six point socket on a 18" breaker bar and a four ft helper. My buddy held the tank while I bounced the pipe back and forth till the bond broke. After a few more 45 degree twists I used the ratchet to back the rod out, it was about half gone.
I put the new one in 9without the four foot helper) with some TFE pipe dope and checked to be sure I had a good ground connection before I put the tools away. next time it will come out a lot easier.
Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in