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Old 08-01-2022, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default Hot water tank anode threads leak

I have a 2003 Leisure Travel Freedom 2. I remove the anode when I drain the hot water tank for the winter. Now the threads are rusted on the tank but not on the anode insert. It now only goes part way in and slowly leaks. I have tried teflon tape and plumbers sealing compound with no luck. The sealing compound requires the threads to be dry which is almost impossible. Has anyone got a better idea?
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Old 08-01-2022, 09:03 PM   #2
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I have a 2003 Leisure Travel Freedom 2. I remove the anode when I drain the hot water tank for the winter. Now the threads are rusted on the tank but not on the anode insert. It now only goes part way in and slowly leaks. I have tried teflon tape and plumbers sealing compound with no luck. The sealing compound requires the threads to be dry which is almost impossible. Has anyone got a better idea?

They make some thicker, reinforced teflon tape that works well on things like larger pipe threads. You should be able to find it at a home center or hardware store. I use it a lot and really is a lot better than the normal flimsy tape.


This is the brand that I have and it works very well.


https://www.amazon.com/Milrose-70886...24&sr=8-7&th=1
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brital View Post
I have a 2003 Leisure Travel Freedom 2. I remove the anode when I drain the hot water tank for the winter. Now the threads are rusted on the tank but not on the anode insert. It now only goes part way in and slowly leaks. I have tried teflon tape and plumbers sealing compound with no luck. The sealing compound requires the threads to be dry which is almost impossible. Has anyone got a better idea?
If Booster's suggestion doesn't help, then get a pipe tap at a hardware store. Can't remember the size off the top of my head (probably 3/4"), but the hardware store should be able to match it. Then run it in slowly, stopping every half turn or so and backing it out a bit. Keep repeating this, but not real hard: you're just trying to "chase" the threads, not cut new ones. You can also work on those internal threads with a small wire brush, but that is a pain. But do use the wire brush on the external threads of the anode. When all is done, rinse everything well before reinstalling the anode (with tape of course).
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brital View Post
I have a 2003 Leisure Travel Freedom 2. I remove the anode when I drain the hot water tank for the winter. Now the threads are rusted on the tank but not on the anode insert. It now only goes part way in and slowly leaks. I have tried teflon tape and plumbers sealing compound with no luck. The sealing compound requires the threads to be dry which is almost impossible. Has anyone got a better idea?
Sounds like the threads may be damaged if the anode only goes partway in. I had some thread damage. I repaired it with JB-Weld. The thread area had to be completely dry. I sucked water out of the tank with a mitivac pump. After the JB-Weld dried I rethreaded the opening with a tap. It does not leak. I use RectorSeal T Plus 2 pipe thread sealant from HOme Depot.
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:55 AM   #5
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To clean rusty metal female pipe threads, I use a brush in a drill and rinse before assembly. If they're too far gone I go to the tap.

https://www.amazon.com/WICKED-Profes...s%2C132&sr=8-6
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:12 PM   #6
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I bought a pipe tap to clean the tank female threads when winterizing this fall. Have not tried it yet to know how good it will do.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...p?cm_vc=-10005

Will probably buy the referenced wire brush, too. Thanks for the link.
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:30 PM   #7
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Default possible cross thread?

When you insert the anode rod it is easy to not have it aligned perfectly which leads to cross threading. Leaking and not going in all the way would both be signs that could be explained by cross threading. Of course, this may not be correct, but I'd encourage you to consider that possibility. If you have the correct pipe tap, it would be good to carefully clean out the hole into the hot water tank with that. if not, then a small wire brush rotated around inside the hole is what I would do and then try to inspect the treads if possible by looking into the hole. Use a wire brush on the male threads of the anode rod as well.

then with some teflon tape followed by pipe dope on the male threads and also some pipe dope on the female threads of the hole, I'd very carefully try to insert the anode rod, keeping it level/aligned, and try threading in again.

If you meet resistance before it is fully threaded in, back out, realign, and try again. Will likely have to re-apply tape and pipe dope on anode rod for second attempts

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:53 PM   #8
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this rings a bell.


when I insert a threaded fastener i go counter clockwise until I feel a "click", at this point the threads are lined up.


with the anode to ensure i had it lined up properly, I used a long extension on my socket and made sure that wasn't cocked at an angle.


the teflon tape is wrapped with 2 or 3 threads clear so the tape doesn't interfere with alignment



I used cheapo amazon anodes, the threads on them are of good quality
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:59 PM   #9
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You could try a wire brush attachment on a drill and clean both the tank threads and the anode. Mine was difficult too. Since cleaning each season no problems now with teflon tape sealing.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:55 PM   #10
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i've used the long socket extension to help alignment....with the anode rod inserted in the socket, you will likely notice the anode rod sags down due to its weight, so is not quite aligned with the extension and so i'm sure you are compensating for this.

I'm not sure if i've experienced the "click" you describe to confirm that the threads for stubborn fasteners are aligned. For the anode rod in particular, I have a drain plug of the same diameter and thread spacing (I think it is normal pipe thread) and make note of how the drain plug threads in....it is not encumbered by the extra weight and awkwardness of the anode rod so is easy to compare various angles of insertion using just your fingers. Once i'm satisfied I've found the best case where the threads engage as they should, then I try with the anode rod until I achieve that same feel as the pieces thread together.

Our RTs are on the order of 20 years old. If you are not the original owner, then it is pretty certain that people of various mechanical ability have had the opportunity to thread in anode rods and your tank threads may be a bit compromised. so some finesse may be required. The good news I think is that it was holding water before, and I'd be hopeful that with the right amount of fiddling around (technical term), it will again.

I'm interested how it is finally resolved.
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Old 08-10-2022, 06:17 PM   #11
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Default It’s a wrap

Great responses.

I would just add to make sure you wrap the (blue) tape tight and clockwise as you face the outer end (end you see when rod is installed).
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