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Discuss When a stubborn immersion element wont budge! in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Gavin John Hyde

Electrician's Arms
CCTV / Alarms
I have had to admit defeat today on a dodgy immersion element, tested it and found its cause of rcd tripping, so try to get the element out...
easier said than done, I tried usual box spanner, taps with hammer, plenty of wd40, still not come loose... its been in since 2002 according to the customer as he recalls the football world cup being on at the time in japan!
heat gun is not viable due to amount of foam and insulation surrounding the tank... would be just my luck to end up burning the place down.

I have told him now that if i keep trying to get this thing out then he runs risk of me damaging the tank, possibly beyond repair, so he needs to call a plumber to either get it out or if hes skilled enough make a hole for a new replacement element, leaving the old in situ... I will then return to connect up.
This is the bit where it gets funny... he already called a plumber who said its an electricians job! but is now going to call a proper plumber!
Whats peoples methods for getting the stubborn old ones out of the tank?

Some times i think its best to admit defeat, go home and relax. I have once before seen a tank split where somebody used a tube to get extra leverage on the box spanner and yanked so hard it pulled the tank out of position and tore the metal. I did not want it to be me this time, especially as i only included £60 + materials for this part of the job. The other bits I have done and charged for apart from this.
 
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Pete999

Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Trainee Access
I have had to admit defeat today on a dodgy immersion element, tested it and found its cause of rcd tripping, so try to get the element out...
easier said than done, I tried usual box spanner, taps with hammer, plenty of wd40, still not come loose... its been in since 2002 according to the customer as he recalls the football world cup being on at the time in japan!
heat gun is not viable due to amount of foam and insulation surrounding the tank... would be just my luck to end up burning the place down.

I have told him now that if i keep trying to get this thing out then he runs risk of me damaging the tank, possibly beyond repair, so he needs to call a plumber to either get it out or if hes skilled enough make a hole for a new replacement element, leaving the old in situ... I will then return to connect up.
This is the bit where it gets funny... he already called a plumber who said its an electricians job! but is now going to call a proper plumber!
Whats peoples methods for getting the stubborn old ones out of the tank?

Some times i think its best to admit defeat, go home and relax. I have once before seen a tank split where somebody used a tube to get extra leverage on the box spanner and yanked so hard it pulled the tank out of position and tore the metal. I did not want it to be me this time, especially as i only included £60 + materials for this part of the job. The other bits I have done and charged for apart from this.
You could try cracking it the other way(tightening it) just a smidgen to break the Plumber's Mate seal, I suspect that is what is holding it tight, of course this could prove damaging to the tank, your call Gavin.
 

Gavin John Hyde

Electrician's Arms
CCTV / Alarms
I tried tightening to break seal already @Pete999 I have tried all the usual tricks. Hence why I have admitted defeat, this way I can avoid responsibility if it all goes wrong and splits. He has a plumber coming out tomorrow to have a go.... I have said to him im happy to come back to connect it up as i have tested the circuit and its all compliant.. so guess its a case of wait for the plumber to try and get it out...
Not all bad though as hes paid for the new element already, just he cant currently use it!
 

Midwest

Electrician's Arms
Plumbers job. Always a potential to rupture the tank, so he'd have to get a plumber in then.
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Trainee Access
I agree it should always be a plumbers job, they’re fully insured for flooding houses.
 
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dean.diy

Regular EF Member
one of them jobs that merits a premium for when
it does go wrong. No heat, leave it full, immersion
heater spanner and stillsons.
Once pulled a thermostat off and immersion started weeing
at me, the sleeve had a hole.
 

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Trainee Access
one of them jobs that merits a premium for when
it does go wrong. No heat, leave it full, immersion
heater spanner and stillsons.
Once pulled a thermostat off and immersion started weeing
at me, the sleeve had a hole.
Don't know about you Dean but if I was removing an immersion heater I would enpty the Cylinder.
 

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Trainee Access
Don't know about you Dean but if I was removing an immersion heater I would enpty the Cylinder.
It’s best to get it started a fraction of a turn just to break it free before draining the cylinder, the weight of the water helps hold the shape of the cylinder and stop it buckling or splitting.
 

sparksfly

Regular EF Member
as per Dave , Tank should be full and use a monument spanner with a lump hammer works every time, I have replaced elements in already buckled tanks but always prepare the customer with worse case scenario !
 

littlespark

Electrician's Arms
Drain the tank, wreck it, then high tail it to local scrap merchant.
Coppers got a good price these days
 
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A

Adam W

I had one of these recently - immersion kept tripping, suspected corroded element. The cylinder had 2 sacrificial anodes in it which were meant to be changed every 6 months or so but apparently had never been done. Neither elements nor anodes would budge.

We got a plumber in to replace the cylinder.
 

telectrix

Scouser and Proud.
Respected Member
Forum Mentor
Electrician's Arms
CCTV / Alarms
Solar Guru
Trainee Access
DIY
you need to use this type of spanner,

a flat one and a lump hammer. otherwise the force is not direct to the element hex. several quick sharp taps always works for me. ans a s pervious opsts. keep tank full till lock is cracked.
 
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