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Old 03-25-2020, 05:03 PM   #1
gmere32
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Suburban water heater thread size

Iím looking for the thread size for the anode rod hole on the suburban water heater sw6p. Thanks in advance
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:24 PM   #2
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They are "tapered" threads, bigger on the outside and progressively smaller on the inside. You can't use a "standard tap" to clean the threads.

If I had to make a "SWAG", I'd guess the threads are 3/4" NPT (tapered).

What are you trying to do that would need the thread size?
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:46 PM   #3
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If my mind is still in gear, there are 2 different sizes. 3/4Ē and 5/8Ē. 3/4Ē is the most common.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:00 PM   #4
gmere32
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The threads that the anode rod screws into are stripped.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gmere32 View Post
The threads that the anode rod screws into are stripped.

Any idea how that happened?
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:15 PM   #6
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Depending on the condition of the threads in the tank you could get a "pipe tap" and "chase" the threads by running the tap in and out. This will work if the threads are "rolled over" by "pulling" the threads back to the proper position. If the threads are actually "pulled out" then it's game over. If you can't find the tap you can try taking a black iron nipple of the correct size and "create" one. I've done this on occasion with decent results. Take iron pie and clamp it in a vise or flat on a table. Take a Dremel tool with a thin cut off wheel and cut 5 or 6 grooves perpendicular to the threads. Then use that nipple as a tap to clean up the threads.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:24 PM   #7
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It was like that when I bought the camper a couple weeks ago.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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I don't know how much experience you have with RV's, so don't take this the wrong way.....

The anode rod is "front heavy" meaning it "aims down" when inserted into the threads. If you don't "push up on the bottom of the anode nut" the threads won't catch and you can "spin it till you wear your fingers out" and it will NEVER catch the threads....

So, if you're trying to install it and don't have it lined up properly, it will "act like the threads are stripped" but in reality, they're just "not aligned"....

Any time you try to install the anode rod, put about 5 or 6 wraps of Teflon tape on the threads. That will help prevent corrosion from binding the anode and will lubricate the threads as well as "fill the gaps" to prevent leaks....

My guess is that if you "get on your knees, hold your tongue just right, cross your eyes and your toes, you'll probably get it threaded..... Hope so anyway !!!!!
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:06 PM   #9
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If the threads are damaged or just need to be cleaned up, pipe taps are not that expensive. https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-1906ZR-...5191906&sr=8-5
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:09 PM   #10
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I don't know how much experience you have with RV's, so don't take this the wrong way.....

The anode rod is "front heavy" meaning it "aims down" when inserted into the threads. If you don't "push up on the bottom of the anode nut" the threads won't catch and you can "spin it till you wear your fingers out" and it will NEVER catch the threads....

So, if you're trying to install it and don't have it lined up properly, it will "act like the threads are stripped" but in reality, they're just "not aligned"....

Any time you try to install the anode rod, put about 5 or 6 wraps of Teflon tape on the threads. That will help prevent corrosion from binding the anode and will lubricate the threads as well as "fill the gaps" to prevent leaks....

My guess is that if you "get on your knees, hold your tongue just right, cross your eyes and your toes, you'll probably get it threaded..... Hope so anyway !!!!!


John, you were "almost" completely correct....you forgot the "secret" words that you have to utter as you work the threads....
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:15 PM   #11
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I put the socket (1 1/16 I think) on the anode and turn it by hand. It gives you the leverage you need to push down on the end of the anode while you are screwing it in so you can catch the threads easier.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:52 PM   #12
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Any time you try to install the anode rod, put about 5 or 6 wraps of Teflon tape on the threads.
Doesn't the anode assembly have to be conductively bonded to the casing to work properly?
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Old 03-26-2020, 02:28 AM   #13
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Doesn't the anode assembly have to be conductively bonded to the casing to work properly?
The water inside the tank will do that, no need for metal to metal contact via the threads.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:31 AM   #14
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If the threads are damaged or just need to be cleaned up, pipe taps are not that expensive. https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-1906ZR-...5191906&sr=8-5
And notice all of the positive reviews by RV owners to clean out their RV water heater anode threads! Great lead bobbecky!
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:02 AM   #15
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Doesn't the anode assembly have to be conductively bonded to the casing to work properly?
Yes (and no)Ö

If you wrap Teflon tape around the threads, insert the anode and tighten it "slightly" then immediately remove it and inspect the threads, you'll find that the threads "cut the Teflon tape" to make "some slight electrical (metal to metal) contact, so even with Teflon tape, there is "conductivity" between the two pieces. Add the water that sits "at the edge of the threads inside the tank" and you've got significantly more "electrical conductivity" than the very slight "pico-volts" required for anode/cathode conductivity".....

When you consider that the end of the threaded anode nut and the threads on the water heater tank will make contact (via the water in the tank) there is no "effective means to insulate them, no matter how much Teflon tape is wrapped around the threads. Add the "physical cutting of Teflon" that also occurs when the threads mesh and tighten, it's "impossible not to have conductivity".....
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:18 AM   #16
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If after using thread tape you are in doubt that the tape has isolated the anode rod, you can confirm that the anode rod has conductivity to the tank by using an OHM meter. Touch one probe to the anode's hex head, and the other probe to the tank.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Yes (and no)Ö

If you wrap Teflon tape around the threads, insert the anode and tighten it "slightly" then immediately remove it and inspect the threads, you'll find that the threads "cut the Teflon tape" to make "some slight electrical (metal to metal) contact, so even with Teflon tape, there is "conductivity" between the two pieces. Add the water that sits "at the edge of the threads inside the tank" and you've got significantly more "electrical conductivity" than the very slight "pico-volts" required for anode/cathode conductivity".....

When you consider that the end of the threaded anode nut and the threads on the water heater tank will make contact (via the water in the tank) there is no "effective means to insulate them, no matter how much Teflon tape is wrapped around the threads. Add the "physical cutting of Teflon" that also occurs when the threads mesh and tighten, it's "impossible not to have conductivity".....

Not to mention without the Teflon tape you'll likely not get the rod removed the next time without damaging the tank, if at all
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:45 AM   #18
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I use white thread seal. 1/2 drive with an extended handle ratchet hasnít failed me yet.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:03 AM   #19
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I use white thread seal. 1/2 drive with an extended handle ratchet hasnít failed me yet.
I needed to remove the anode from the water heater in DD house, I could start to move the full HW tank with a 24" breaker bar. I got out my impact wrench and a couple burst had it loose!
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:31 AM   #20
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I needed to remove the anode from the water heater in DD house, I could start to move the full HW tank with a 24" breaker bar. I got out my impact wrench and a couple burst had it loose!
I did the same thing a couple years ago. I got the anode rod out of our S&B water heater, tank fitting and all. $500 later we had a new water heater and all is good again. I'm not sure if the breaker bar "broke the weld" or if the impact wrench "tore the weld out of the corrosion weakened tank"... Either way, sometimes buying a new water heater is the only "reasonable repair"......
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