Anode Rod Replacement

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Cityslacker06

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I just found out that my water heater has an anode rod. Since it has not been replaced in the almost 6 years that we have lived here, I thought I would change it out to preserve the life of it. Not sure of how old it is, but we are not the original owners of our home. I bought a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar with a 1/2 inch drive
1 1/16 socket. Could not break it loose. Then I bought a 1/2 drive battery powered impact. Still could not break it loose. So, I returned that, and bought an IR 231 1/2 inch drive pneumatic impact. That would not break it loose, either. I returned that, too.

I can not heat it up because I do not want to burn the insulation around the tank. I am just considering leaving alone, but before I give in on this, is there any thing I can try to break it loose so I can at least replace it?
 

Reach4

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A 1/2 inch air impact wrench from HF broke the day I bought it, with sockets, for the purpose. Returned that, and bought their 3/4 inch.. That barely got the anode loose.

I was putting in a powered anode, but even if it was a regular anode, I would have only torqued to maybe 10 or 15 ft-lb. Use PTFE tape. You might worry that the tape would insulate the electrical path, but it does not. The threads cut through very early in the tightening process and make good electrical contact.

Somebody posted about getting a roadside service that changes truck tires to use their impact wrench, and that did it. I don't know how accessible your anode would be to such a truck. (edit: https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/help-with-stubborn-anode-rod.84943/#post-625339 #14) I was presuming pneumatic with a hose, but I guess it did not have to be.
 
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SShaw

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This one worked fine for me on a 7 year old WH. At 1350 ft-lbs, it looks like it has more than twice the reverse torque of the 231.

"Ingersoll Rand 2235QTiMAX 1/2-Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench"
 

Cityslacker06

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This one worked fine for me on a 7 year old WH. At 1350 ft-lbs, it looks like it has more than twice the reverse torque of the 231.

"Ingersoll Rand 2235QTiMAX 1/2-Inch Drive Air Impact Wrench"
Yes, you are correct. This impact is above the IR 231. Thank you for the reminder of this impact, and I will look more into it, and try again. Cheers!
 

Cityslacker06

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I would have to agree with you and I am not willing to look for trouble. I tried 2 different ways of trying to get it loose and neither one worked, so even though I was prepared tool wise for a 3rd attempt, I do not feel at peace with trying a 3rd attempt. I will heed to the wisdom of someone of your nature and let it go.
Thank you for your reply.
 

Reach4

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. I tried 2 different ways of trying to get it loose and neither one worked, so even though I was prepared tool wise for a 3rd attempt, I do not feel at peace with trying a 3rd attempt.
Would you plan to loosen the anode for your eventual replacement, and apply PTFE tape?
 

Cityslacker06

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Absolutely! As a matter of fact, I have already wrapped the threads with PTFE tape and I have not even broke the old one loose.
 

Fitter30

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Try kroil penetrating oil. When trying to impact the rod out did u rock the trigger from backwards to foward a few times. Have a compressor that can keep up with the air usage of the gun? Also with 90psi at the compressor with loss of pressure through the hose raise it 20lbs.
 

Cityslacker06

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I'd think twice about the oil, you don't want that in your water pipes. How large a breaker bar did you use?
I am going with the pneumatic impact wrench because the breaker bar I used was around 20 inches or something like that and with me being by myself I couldn’t keep myself steady and it kept physically moving the tank even though it was still full of water.
 

Cityslacker06

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Try kroil penetrating oil. When trying to impact the rod out did u rock the trigger from backwards to foward a few times. Have a compressor that can keep up with the air usage of the gun? Also with 90psi at the compressor with loss of pressure through the hose raise it 20lbs.
Yes I did try rocking the trigger back-and-forth because I did that a lot when I was a car mechanic for many years. And I’m just wondering if the compressor wasn’t keeping up with the impact because it is only a pancake compressor so I may have to raise my regulated pressure up past 90 cause I’m just wondering now if the compressor is too small to keep up with the impact.
 

Reach4

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Yes I did try rocking the trigger back-and-forth because I did that a lot when I was a car mechanic for many years. And I’m just wondering if the compressor wasn’t keeping up with the impact because it is only a pancake compressor so I may have to raise my regulated pressure up past 90 cause I’m just wondering now if the compressor is too small to keep up with the impact.
I agree with turning up the pressure, and also letting the pressure rise after trying short bursts.
 

SShaw

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I gotta believe a properly driven impact wrench would bust it loose. The IR 231 needs an average of 4.2 CFM and uses 22 CFM at full load. A typical pancake compressor providing around 2.5 CMF and holding 6 gallons, (0.8 cubic feet) doesn't have the capacity.
 

Cityslacker06

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I gotta believe a properly driven impact wrench would bust it loose. The IR 231 needs an average of 4.2 CFM and uses 22 CFM at full load. A typical pancake compressor providing around 2.5 CMF and holding 6 gallons, (0.8 cubic feet) doesn't have the capacity.
It does appear that you are correct with this. I never thought about this information when I first started out wanting to get this thing replaced, but you are spot on. I returned all my tools that were bought for this Rod, and decided to just let it be.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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It does appear that you are correct with this. I never thought about this information when I first started out wanting to get this thing replaced, but you are spot on. I returned all my tools that were bought for this Rod, and decided to just let it be.


If you moved the water heater, then you need a bigger cheater bar and you need a helper to hold the water heater in place
so it dont move when you try to get the rod out...
Do not smack your helper in the jaw with that cheater bar... they can slip off the nut and your helper will be seeing
stars or spitting teeth out....... this happens a lot...
 

Cityslacker06

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If you moved the water heater, then you need a bigger cheater bar and you need a helper to hold the water heater in place
so it dont move when you try to get the rod out...
Do not smack your helper in the jaw with that cheater bar... they can slip off the nut and your helper will be seeing
stars or spitting teeth out....... this happens a lot...
If you moved the water heater, then you need a bigger cheater bar and you need a helper to hold the water heater in place
so it dont move when you try to get the rod out...
Do not smack your helper in the jaw with that cheater bar... they can slip off the nut and your helper will be seeing
stars or spitting teeth out....... this happens a lot...
I made the decision that after 2 attempts to just forego doing this. Not worth the aggravation to me and I have a lot of other things that need greater attention, plus I do not want to risk damaging my tank, which I do not need to do right now.
 

jadnashua

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WHen the tank gets replaced, on the new one, before you install it, take the rod out, put some PTFE pipe dope or PTFE tape on it, and reinstall...it doesn't need to be anywhere near as tight as they make it in the factory to prevent leaks...then, you'll have a chance to R&R a new one when the time comes.
 
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