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Xringer 05-21-19 05:36 PM

Help! Leaky Hot Water Tank problem!
My Electric hot water heater / PVsolar+heat pump Storage tank is leaking.
It seemed to be leaking around the Anode port.
I pulled out what was left of the Anode and ordered a replacement.
Anode rod
Made from aluminum
42" long
5/8" outside diameter
3/4" -14 NPT

Standard stuff. Installed it using Rectorseal 23631

It leaked, so I tried again. Still leaked.
Cleaned it up and tried Teflon tape/PTFE and it still leaked (very slow).
Cleaned it up and tried using 8 turns of 1" wide PTFE, it's still leaking!

Since the water heater is about 5 years old, I'm thinking about using
some kind of Cold Steel epoxy to permanently seal the Anode,
since the tank is already very near end-of-life..

Please impart some expert advice!


CrankyDoug 05-21-19 09:24 PM

I had a backhoe fuel tank with several pinholes in the bottom. Didn't notice them until I tried to clean the rust out. Mixed some marine epoxy and fumed silica (cabosil) to thicken it and poured in. Two days later I had a perfectly good fuel tank.

Back in the old days we used a product called Cream to seal the bottom seam of motorcycle tanks.

Properly mixed, quality marine epoxy is nontoxic once it cures. Maybe you could make a slightly thickened batch, put it on the anode and then invert the tank so the epoxy will slump back into the joint. Don't try it without some thickener or it will leak back out the hole before it sets. Straight epoxy will pass through any pinhole water will.

Then again, if the tank is 5 years old you may as well replace it. I've never had one yet that lived more than six months beyond the warranty. The current HWT still has a year to go. The anode was completely gone. I'm hoping the new anode will get me an extra 2-3 years beyond the designed fail date. I would be willing to bet the only difference between the 6 year and 9 year tanks is the size of the anode.

Xringer 05-26-19 11:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
It's not a simple job to change out this one. There's an A7 heat pump on top.

If I can't stop the leak (cracked tank etc), I'm pretty sure the A7 HX tube will be destroyed trying to remove it.

So, maybe some J-B Weld 8272 MarineWeld Marine Epoxy will keep me in hot water for another 4 or 5 years.?.

jeff5may 05-27-19 11:59 PM

On those impossible threaded fittings, I use both Teflon tape and pipe dope. Chase the threads to make sure they are clean and the right shape slash taper. Wrap the male fitting clockwise and then butter over the whole tape with lots of dope. The cheap stuff like toothpaste works 99 percent as well as the white stuff with PTFE. In a pinch, I might use the permatex copper spray-a-gasket gloop, but it sets up really fast.

In low or non pressure stuff (like dwv lines), I have used seal-all (aka airplane glue) and it has worked where other stuff wouldn't.

Xringer 05-28-19 12:45 AM

I'm taking out the anode again this week. I've ordered a "Cap, 3/4" NPT Female" and plan to install one of the 3/4" NPT iron nipples that I removed when installing the A7. I'll install with the Rectorseal 23631 paste, with the cap on top. The hole will be plugged!

If it still leaks, then I'll know the tank has a crack under the anode port. Or the thread has split (where I can see it)..
If it doesn't leak, I'll use "both Teflon tape and pipe dope" on the anode one last time. If it still leaks, I'll buy a new anode. :mad:

Thanks for the suggestions!


Xringer 06-10-19 09:47 AM

I was not able to repair the leak. No luck with with the J-B Weld.
I've got too much Grandfather stuff going on this summer, I've decided to ditch the tank.
That means removing the A7 copper tube heat exchanger from the tank.
Chances of breaking it are pretty high, but I will try to uninstall without damage.
I might take the tank outdoors and pop off the top and see the real source
of the leakage. I suspect corrosion ate a hole in the top, near the anode.

So, we are back to using hot water heated by oil again. At least for now.

If the A7 is re-usable, maybe I can use it to keep the Oil Burner's 76 gal water-jacket warm.?.

pinballlooking 06-10-19 10:50 AM

Bummer I was hopping you could repair it.

Xringer 06-10-19 01:24 PM

Me too. I had high hopes for the epoxy.

When I get the tank out of the basement,
I've decided to strip off the plumbing hardware and the heating elements,
if they don't look too bad. But the leaky tank is out-of-here.
I'm not going to invest much time trying to find the source of the leak.
Maybe 90 seconds.. I've elected to avoid water tanks for as long as possible. :(

WyrTwister 06-12-19 12:34 PM

Forgive my ignorance , but is this a heat pump water heater ?

Sounds like there is a crack either in the threads or around that area .

Only thing I can think of ie try brazing up the area with a brass rod & torch . Sounds like you have exhausted the list of common sealants .

Sooner or latter m you will / would have had to replace the tank . So , if you replace it now , you are not going wrong .

If you have a cutting torch or maybe even a saws-all & metal cutting blade , it may be easier getting the tank out of the basement ? Just be very careful up and down the stairs . ( basements are rare around here . )

Best of luck to , my friend , :-)

God bless

Xringer 06-12-19 06:04 PM

It's a DIY heat pump + solar PV hot water heater. (See pic above).
I was thinking about getting it out in the yard and ripping off the top cover and the foam insulation.
I could pressurize the tank, find the leak and weld it shut.
Then re-install everything.. :( But, that seems like a lot of work for a tank that might not last more than a couple more years.

I'm 73 years old and not real sure that I want to be hauling 100+ lbs of junk up and down the basement stairs, when I'm 75. :o

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