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How to remove old water heater element

water heater element
Rusted water heater element

How to clean sediment out of tank
Element wrench 1. Fill tank 1/2 full of water while twisting counterclockwise with element wrench

2. Soak element with WD-40 and try element wrench again
Propane torch 3. Let WD-40 evaporate, heat element with torch and try element wrench again.

WD-40 is very flamable > be careful
remove water heater element
Weight of water holds tank steady >  slightly loosen element, then drain water from tank
What if water heater won't drain?
Element wrench is not best choice of tools because it will slip off the element

1-1/2" socket from automotive store works better
Water heater element socket 1-1/2" at Amazon
Heating element wrenches at Amazon
Camco heavy duty element socket
Marathon elements are 1-7/8"

Element still stuck? Follow steps below

Remove rusted water heater element Break off plastic end of element 
rusted water heater element Drill two 7/32" holes into element
Keep holes within blue circle

  Do NOT drill holes if water heater full of water

How to drain clogged water heater
tap water heater element Tap 1/4" thread in each hole
1/4" bolts into holes

Galvanized pipe protects thread on bolts so they are good for next project
remove old water heater element Pipe wrench to twist out element

Replace element with same wattage: check label on side of tank for correct wattage of new element

How to clean sediment out of water heater

old water heater element

9 ways to save with a water heater
New water heating ideas
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