anodes, nipples and mapp gas

The Tank anodes, nipples and mapp gas

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  • #5549

    Ok. So I think I messed up, but here goes. I have a working 40 gallon tank. It was made during the mid 90’s and I am pretty sure it suffers from dip tube deterioration. I was given a tank by a friend and was going to doctor it up before replacing the old tank with the new doctored tank.

    On the new tank:

    Tried to get the anode out. No dice… wouldn’t budge with a 36-inch breaker bar and 1 1/16 socket.

    did I mention I was new at this. I had read this site a while back, but didn’t review before attempting…. so when I couldn’t get anything to budge I thought “Heat will help the problem”. So…. I got my mapp torch out and started heating the anode…. and then cranking on it no luck. That’s okay, I have the hot and cold water nipples to get at too…right? so i cranked on those and couldn’t get them and here is where there might be the problem. I heated the inlets (certainly trying to keep the flame away from the plastic that was at the bottom. Now “try” should be the operative word here as a bit of heat did make it to those plastic pieces (gaskets maybe?).

    So my question is, With minimal damage to the shell of the hotwater heater and minimal to the nipples and plastic pieces at the bottom of the nipple, have I done damage that can’t be repaired ? (I certainly understand without seeing it, it is tough to answer), or if those plastic pieces are just slightly irregular now (I finally got one nipple loose and it screws in and out fine) , can they still function as intended?

    At that point I came upstairs, searched this site, and realized I may have messed things up.

    Sorry for the long post, but thank you for any answers…


    If the gaskets were red and the other blue then those are just markers to let you know where your hot and cold connections should go. Melting them will not cause a problem. If your nipples are dielectric with plastic inserts then heating those up will destroy them but it doesn’t sound like you have these. Unless you crack or stressed a weldment on the heater then you should have no problems.

    Once you have removed both nipples replace them with the dielectric ones. But do be aware from experience” that dielectric nipples corrode themselves, they form deposits, leak, etc. and should be checked every few years.


    Thanks so much for the reply. You were exactly right in assuming one was red and one was blue… that makes thing a lot easier, and takes a load of my mind that I had ruined it….

    Thanks to everyone for this site, I have learned a great deal about water heaters from it.

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