Looking for recommendations for 40 gal, electric HWW with easy to replace anode.

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Tim427, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    I've got an electric plug in anode ready to go into a new hot water heater.

    We have hard well water with a lot of iron. Taking a hot shower smells like rotten eggs. The electric titanium anodes I read get great reviews.

    Looking for a 40 gallon electric to go into a basement with 8 foot ceiling. It must have an anode that can be taken out with an impact wrench and a 1 1/16 deep well socket.

    Please don't suggest Rheem.....the bolt they use on the head of their anode doesn't give the socket enough to grip.....and I'm not sure what they are using to glue the anode in but it is beyond my capabilities to break it loose.
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Are you trying to remove the anode from a new WH, or an old one? From the factory, the rod is probably over torqued. Why, don't know, but since most people never replace it, having it overtightened isn't a big deal.

    If you remove it when new and then install a new one with some PTFE tape, you should be able to get it out later if you want.

    For most installations, to replace the anode after installation would require a bendable rod. Keep in mind that the more surface area, the longer it will last (implies longer) and with a typical ceiling, you won't get a new one in unless it is flexible.
     
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  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    There could be a bacteria responsible for the smell and not the anode. Many folks just turn up the temp on the WH to kill the bacteria. If scalding is a concern, a tempering valve can be placed where it matters.
     
  5. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Not sure what the best WH to get for this but they all come in two different sizes, short and tall. Tall ones are around 60" and shorts around 50" for 50 gallon. If you do get an anode rod out, do it before installation so it can be inserted with the tank at an angle. Get some anti seize paste at the auto parts store and use that on the threads. You only need a small dab, don't load it up. If you install it with supply flex lines at the hot and cold connections, you can easily drain the water heater, disconnect the flex lines and you then can tilt the water heater to replace the anode rod.

    https://www.hotwater.com/lit/spec/res_elec/uef/aosre50608.pdf

    upload_2019-1-8_21-40-30.png
     
    Tim427 likes this.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    As to flex supply lines, it can get messy. They work, but some places require rigid connections, some require flexible, and some can use either. Areas prone to earthquakes tend to require flex.
     
  7. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    Two years ago I had an old hot water heater. It must have been 20+ years old. I turned the heat up on the old hot water heater to about 150. About two weeks to two months after I did that, the old heater gave up and started leaking. I then put the new Rheem HW in along with a sediment filter just before the heater.

    I kept the new heater at the factory setting because life happens and I got busy with projects. I did order an electric anode with the intention of putting it in. Then I moved away for a while (about 6 months) and moved back into the house last week. I tried to install the new anode into the year and a half old heater. Maybe 2 days ago I took the side panels off and turned up the heat to 150. I figured with some time on my hands that I would zip the factory anode out and put the new electronic one in. I thought to myself 'how can it be to change out bolts?' I change my oil all the time and I've built a kit car. Was I ever wrong. With the temperature increase and the anode replaced all smell would have been gone.

    Tomorrow I'll hunt for a new heater and see how it goes. I'd like to ship the Rheem to the company president with a note.

    It'd be nice to have the store where I would buy the heater from install the electronic anode for me. That would save some aggravation.

    Thanks for the tips and the help guys.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I would like to see a closeup picture of the problem hex head area. I looked around to see if I could find you a 1-1/16 inch impact socket with no chamfer, but could not find one.
     
  9. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    I have 4 sockets that are 1 and 1/16 inch. I machined two of them by adding an extension and grinding the ends on a grinding wheel so the ends are now flat. That was in an effort to get more of the socket on the head of the bolt. By looking at the bolt down in the hole there appears to be maybe an 1/8 of an inch for the socket to grab a hold of. I'll try to post pictures later on either today or tomorrow. Thanks.
     
  10. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    This is the top looking down into the hole. The ez out is still in there.
     

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  11. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    This is of a deep well socket I ground the lip down on so it would grip the head of the anode bolt better.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    That is a lot more recessed than I was imagining.

    Is the hole you drilled greatly off-center on the anode?

    Maybe a hole saw could improve access. Use wood to keep the saw on target. Or a multitool, and hack access?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  13. Tim427

    Tim427 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    About 2 inches of insulation deep. It's hard to describe but the drilled hole is slightly off center. The bolt has a slight mound of metal in the center of it so my small drill bit, the one I started out with, drifted towards me a little.

    I bought a new one tonight. It wasn't a Rheem either. I replaced it with a 50 AO

    I was in the box store (some plumbing supply stores wouldn't sell to a homeowner) and I had a choice
    1. Wait 3 weeks for a factory installed anode that will supposedly stop the smell
    Or
    2. Pick one up tonight and have water and hot water.

    I chose #2. The heat was bumped up to just shy of 150 degrees so that may help with the smell. God I hate myself for thinking the ez out would work. A nice $400+ mistake.

    The ez out was hard to get out. It was almost welded to the bolt I hammered on it with the impact and breaker bar.

    With the one I put in tonight, I might try an impact wrench on its anode but nothing more. I can't afford many more mistakes.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  14. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    New water heaters to meet the govt efficiency requirements, the spray foam used has really been increased. Water heaters are about 2" wider and taller than in the pass. The tank is the same, just the skins had to be increased.
     
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