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Removing anode rod

MikeG Member Posts: 169
I need to replace an anode in an electric WH. I’m sure it has never been replaced since the sheet metal top is foamed and slightly off center from the rod. I’ll have to trim some sheet metal to get a socket on it. Any good tips for this. From the data plate it looks like 11 years old. I’ve done a few with a cheater bar and someone holding the tank with a strap to keep it from turning. It’s Also in a low ceiling old basement so I may have to get a segmented rod or drain and tip the tank. They probably put it in with an impact wrench from the factory. Thanks in advance. Mike


  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
    I've never had luck removing them except when new and reinstalled with neverseize.
    Buy a new tank. 11 years is past average for todays tanks anyway!
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
    Hi @MikeG , I like to get the old rod out, if just to see it and know the condition of the tank. To start, I'd cut back the foam and then use a very big screwdriver to wedge between the base of the fitting and edge of the sheet metal to bend that metal away and down. This prevents having that nice sharp finger-cutting edge. Now put a 1-1/16" six point socket on it. Use a breaker bar. With a small sledge firmly tap on the bar to "impact" the anode loose. You might want to turn off the water first, or things get really interesting!

    Yours, Larry
  • MikeG
    MikeG Member Posts: 169
    Thanks Larry. I’ll give that a go. I also understand the WH could be close to it’s lifespan. It’s in my son’s house so we try to do what we can. If we had installed the tank when new I would have loosened the rod and reinstalled along with a straight pipe and ball valve on the drain. But it’s what I have to work with right now. Thanks. Mike
  • JimP
    JimP Member Posts: 87
    Ive found that a good electric impact wrench is the only way to remove an anode rod. Using a cheater bar is dangerous, usually doesn’t work, and you end up breaking other parts of the heater. Remove the rod while the tank is almost full of water.