Stuck water heater sacrificial anode

We have an approximately 4 year old gas-fired 50 gallon hot water heater.
Based on recommendations I saw on one of the TV howto shows, I tried to unscrew and examine the sacrificial anode for corrosion.
However, I could not get the large nut on top of the water heater to budge. I tried liberally applying liquid wrench and using as much force as I dared so as not to damage the gas connection.
Any suggestions on how to loosen the nut? Also, are such inspections really worthwhile in terms of trying to extend the life of the water heater or am I best off leaving it all alone?
Thanks
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You do not say what the warranty period is for this heater. If 10y - it may be to early to change the anode.

"As much force" is relative. I'm not sure what the neede torque is, but it's a lot. I needed an extension on the wrench. With an extension, you can apply continuous force and it will let go.

Just gentle force via an extension.

Of course, if you don't do it right, you can mess up the heater :-) IMO it's worth it, if you do it at the right time. Too early and you've wasted your effort, too late and it's too late.
RichK
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I do mine with a long breaker bar and socket. Make sure the tank is almost full, as the weight will help it keep from moving. I do think it's a good idea to check it periodically, but if it's really frozen and refuses to yield, then you could just leave it alone, which is what probably 95% of peopel do.
You could also use an impact wrench, which would be better at breaking it loose.
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On Dec 7, 1:52�pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

theres a excellent chance, you will ruin your tank if you get to aggresive, plus will the anode clear the cieling above the heater.
some things are best left alone......
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Yes, if you are going to do it, make sure you get the new anode first and that it fits.. With a tall tank, you'll have to get a curved anode, or one made up of short sections, which are connected. I've only replaced a straight one, but have seen pictures of other shapes.
Once you have it open, may want to disinfect the tank as well. Search the net for instructions. All it takes is a gal of bleach.
RichK
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Instead of a wrench, use a socket and breaker bar.
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blueman wrote:

As trader4 suggested: USE AN IMPACT WRENCH.
I've changed the anode rod twice on my current water heater. The first time, with the factory-installed (A O Smith) anode rod, required about one second with a cheap electric (corded) impact wrench (1 1/16" socket) after using a generous dose of Liquid Wrench. I didn't need the impact wrench for the second time since I had installed the anode rod previously, tightly but not as tight as the factory.
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blueman wrote:

I use a portable air tank and an impact driver. ZZZZZZZZZZZIP!
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