Hello, This is one of those times where a video would be worth more than 1000 words. You are past the time for using the first method I tried to describe… at least for this anode. Basically the trick is to use a long (6″- 8″) strong metal rod with a curve or hook on it’s end and place it against the rod in the tank. When the rod is turned, you can feel the splayed out aluminum against it… and then pull that back to the center. I do that for both sides of the anode and then can pretty easily pull it up and out.
The second approach is to grab the core wire of the anode (or you could simply put a pry bar on it, remembering that most pry bars have a “V” notch cut in the end) and pull the rod up using leverage, by resting the bar on wood or something else to act as a fulcrum. The fulcrum rests on top of the tank. Hope that’s a bit less muddy 😉
I’ve worked on over 4000 heaters and these are the best methods I’ve come up with.