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Old 04-05-2015, 12:06 PM   #1
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Feel like an idiot

Just drained the hot water tank and now I can not get the anode rod back in.
What am I doing wrong?!
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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You need to describe the problem more.
I'm guessing the rod goes in and that you are only having trouble getting the rod to start threading.
First, you have to wrap the thread with How To Use Teflon Tape - Plumbing Repair Guide - ACME HOW TO.com
I've found that my socket is too deep to put pressure on the anode to begin threading so I partially fill the socket with coins. Then it's just a case of making sure you don't cross-thread.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
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Glen, you forgot the part about holding your mouth just the right way as you try to get the threads started.

Vicki, if you have a socket extension, use that too so you can use the extension and socket like a giant screwdriver and get the plug pointed horizontal so it will start threading (by hand). Before you attach the ratchet to the socket make sure the plug is threading on properly to avoid the dreaded cross thread that Glen is alluding to. Good Luck.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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Leave the front threads of the anode clear of teflon tape so it can be easily started. Sometimes it helps to turn the anode (bolts too) backwards a few times until you feel it seated in the hole. It gives you a better feel for alignment. Should really only start the threading by hand until you are sure its grabbing properly or else you could cross-thread it and potentially cause permanent damage. Wrench should not be applied until you are certain it is threaded correctly (sorry Baglo). Some lube might help too but it needs to be digestible or inert since you'll be drinking it later. I'm not sure what effect vegetable oil would have on the plumbing system but I use it on my coffee pot lid at home and I haven't died yet. Don't need a lot of teflon tape. A couple times around should be fine.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:38 PM   #5
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Leave the front threads of the anode clear of teflon tape so it can be easily started. Sometimes it helps to turn the anode (bolts too) backwards a few times until you feel it seated in the hole. It gives you a better feel for alignment. Should really only start the threading by hand until you are sure its grabbing properly or else you could cross-thread it and potentially cause permanent damage. Wrench should not be applied until you are certain it is threaded correctly (sorry Baglo). Some lube might help too but it needs to be digestible or inert since you'll be drinking it later. I'm not sure what effect vegetable oil would have on the plumbing system but I use it on my coffee pot lid at home and I haven't died yet. Don't need a lot of teflon tape. A couple times around should be fine.
Sometimes if u turn the nut counter clokwise slowly u will feel a click, keeping small pressure on start turning clockwise slowly, this is a good way to be at the correct starting point.

ken
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:39 PM   #6
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No need to be sorry. Very important not to cross-thread and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out if I'm good to go. I use the socket and extension to position the anode because it's easier than just using my fingers ( I don't think I have fat fingers, but ).
A couple wraps of tape is all you need. More will just keep it from starting.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:43 PM   #7
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BTW, don't feel like an idiot I'm wearing that hat currently Pulled into the backside of a Taco Bell in Northern California a few weeks ago for a quick lunch and ended up getting jack-knifed in the parking lot when I couldn't complete my u-turn Got to the point where I couldn't go forwards or backwards. Had to unhitch, lower the trailer until the tongue was just about on the pavement, reposition the truck, drag the trailer tongue sideways with the safety chains, and then reconnect. The whole process took about half an hour. I was so sure that our embarrassment would end up on video that when we got home I checked u-tube for stupid Canadian with trailer. There's something to be said for carrying a hitch wheel. Would have made the process somewhat easier.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:56 PM   #8
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What the heck were you doing at Taco Bell !!!??
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:03 PM   #9
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Got it! what stubborn cus!
GerriJ - I think you got it right...hold your mouth just so...!
Thanks all!
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvermeulen View Post
Sometimes if u turn the nut counter clokwise slowly u will feel a click, keeping small pressure on start turning clockwise slowly, this is a good way to be at the correct starting point.

ken
This is an excellent strategy. The anode rod feels unbalanced as the weight is away from you.
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:20 PM   #11
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What the heck were you doing at Taco Bell !!!??
After eating there, I'm not really sure. Maybe we were looking for authentic Mex/Cal food. Maybe not.

Just realized I jack-knifed this thread. Feels good. Much better than cross-threading it. See I fixed it. Back on topic.
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Old 04-05-2015, 03:22 PM   #12
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After eating there, I'm not really sure. Maybe we were looking for authentic Mex/Cal food. Maybe not.

Just realized I jack-knifed this thread. Feels good. Much better than cross-threading it. See I fixed it. Back on topic.
I don't think you jackknifed the thread. After all the thread it titled. "Feel like an idiot"

Dave. Thanks for posting. Knowing that people screw up from time to time will help me to stay calm and recover when I pull an idiot move.

Larry
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:20 PM   #13
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I never call them an idiot move. I call them Lessons Learned and so far I have a PhD.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:24 PM   #14
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on my 19' it feels like i have to have the rod pointed slightly upward to get it threaded. otherwise it just spins and never catches.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:32 PM   #15
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on my 19' it feels like i have to have the rod pointed slightly upward to get it threaded. otherwise it just spins and never catches.
I second this. The heater is elevated in the back (looking at it on the inside of the trailer) which makes angling the anode up slightly important to get it seated ( at least it does for me).
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:35 PM   #16
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You got all the good tips and advice there are when it comes to starting the anode rod and apparently there was a combination that worked. I have experirnced the same frustration. The amazing thing is that the next time it will spin right in there and you'll think you're doing something wrong because it's too easy. One of my foremen never referred to them as problems, they were always opportunities. I always liked that attitude. He retired and inherited about 3 million bucks, wish I would have treated him better at Christmas.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:04 PM   #17
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Good for Vicki. She persevered and got it. When working on something and it isn't going, I never try to force it. This can result in doing damage and your problem just got bigger. Also just like getting stuck in the mud or snow with a vehicle. The first impulse is to rev it and you just dig yourself a deeper hole. I plan on carrying a wheel for the hitch with me because sooner or later a person just might find himself in a situation where the only choice is to unhook and swing the tongue over. And I hope it is not on soft ground. It might not be a bad idea to carry a small piece of 3/4 in. plywood just in case. You know, better to have and not need than need and not have. With the room in the pickup box and the storage box on the trailer, I plan to travel pretty well equipped. And if I don't need it, I might be able to help out my fellow camper. Loren
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