Rheem WH anode rod removal frustration


  #1  
Old 06-27-24, 02:22 PM
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Rheem WH anode rod removal frustration

I deciced to replace the anode rod in a Rheem WH that's around 5/6 years old. The WH is all cleaned out, installed a full port ball valve and I would love to get the maximum life out of it. I am discovering that everything bolted into thing is crazy tight, it's sickening. I didn't know this, and I used a 12 point socket with a milwaukee impact driver that laughs at my trucks lug nuts. And the socket slipped. After I got a 6 point socket but the anode rod bolt head completely slipped, and it's now a round shape. Next I decided to remove the cold inlet nipple in order to install the nipple attached anode type (like this one here.) It wouldn't budge. With the WH laid down flat and me holding it down and wedged against movement my buddy and I could not unscrew it. Yes slipped an extended pipe for leveraged on the pipe wrench. I am going righty tighty, lefty loosy. This is after I had WD40 sprayed in there over night and even a taking a Bernzomatic Utility Torch to it. Any tips/tricks to remove this?

 
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Old 06-28-24, 04:58 AM
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I'd put it back in use and go on with life. Replace it when needed but it could have many years left.
 
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Old 06-29-24, 05:47 AM
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It is the hot nipple you want to remove to use a nipple style anode. The cold nipple has the dip tube that cannot coexist with an anode there.

The torch made things worse by expanding the fitting unless you follow(ed) the instructions below.

After using (or without using) the torch cool down the anode fitting with ice (or with dry ice if available) Then use the wrench.

Note: Do not use the torch on the nipples but cool them down with the ice anyway.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-29-24 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 06-29-24, 07:10 PM
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The replacement unit shows installation on the water supply line side but you say to install on the hot side. Please clarify and at the end of the day does it matter which side it's installed?



 
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Old 07-02-24, 05:59 AM
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Put the nipple style anode in the hot outlet.

Theoretically it will fit in either port (side). But in order to get it into the supply side you have to remove the dip tube and then incoming cold water will immediately commingle with the heated water inside the tank just under the ports and yield mixed cold results at the faucets upstairs.

The diagram on the back of the anode package just happens to show approximately what the dip tube looks like.
 
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Old 07-04-24, 05:28 AM
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I used a long tube managed to remove the hot side nipple. Unfortunately the replacement anode won't fit and slide in due to what appears to be an inner ring in the hot nipple side. As far as I can tell the whole nipple came out just fine and it resembles the same length of a store replacement nipple. I think am ready to re-install the tank as is unless anyone has any ideas or tips?


 
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Old 07-04-24, 06:55 AM
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Something does not look right. Looks to me like part of the nipple broke off and is still in the port (hole). (Where are the threads that the nipple as removed are supposed to screw back into?)

If there are enough exposed threads that the hot nipple will screw back in tight then you can skip the paragraphs below and put it all back the way it was if you wish.

Can you chip away at the ring in the middle of the port blocking the anode rod? Don't use a "good" chisel because you will mar the end of its blade in the process.

You might make saw cuts in 4 places to split that ring into (4) pieces that are finally removed with a screwdriver twisted into each of the saw cuts in turn. It's tricky because you don't want to damage the threads for the new nipple along the sides of the port but you need to make the saw cuts as far as possible outwards before using the screwdriver.

Do not use the torch on nipples because some have plastic parts inside.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 07-04-24 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 07-14-24, 11:12 AM
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As a last resort to attempt to remove the anode rod, I will have a sizeable nut welded on the anode rod bolt head at a welding shop nearby. What I am wondering is if this bolt head is iron? And what type of nut do I need from Lowes, an iron or steel type? I have a size 19 but it's galvanized type, thinking that is pro'ly not the right material to be welded on it.

As far a the nipple here is a pic of it, the left side is what was threaded into tank. Below is a pic of the left side nipple opening.





 
 

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