We have an electric hot water heater (GE branded Rheem) that may date from the mid-90s (based on the energy usage tag). It was boxed in and I was finally prompted to open up the wall concealing it when we noticed an "electrical" odor. I found an overheating terminal on the upper thermostat.
After burning an effigy of the previous owner I set about cleaning up the installation and giving the heater a bit of TLC. Which brings me to the anode rod…
I can see through the top water and T&P valve openings that the anode rod is still there but it is clearly corroded - but I don't think I'm seeing the central core of the rod. Since the water heater is installed in a location where there isn't adequate clearance to remove the rod I'd like to replace it while I've got the heater removed. So far I've tried:
- A 24" breaker bar - it rod rolled its eyes.
- Soaking overnight with Kroil penetrating oil then the breaker bar - the rod laughed.
- Heating the head of the rod - smoke, charing, but it would not relent.
- An impact wrench - now the rod is openly mocking me.