help odin get hot water!

our electric water heater was rapidly losing its ability to perform its water heating duties and some people recommended that i replace the lower heating element which had likely been damaged by mineral and salt sediment ( who knew that you’re supposed to drain your water heater every 6 months to a year to prevent this from happening? not me! ).

i successfully drained the tank ( indeed, the drain was clogged with sediment ) without electrocuting myself and procured a special octagon-shaped element wrench for removing the heating element but the thing won’t budge. it’s hard to really crank on it because there’s only about an 1/8th of an inch ( 3 millimeters ) of the octagon-shaped silver nut available for wrenching.

am i missing something obvious? everything online makes it seem like removing the element is easy-peasy.

update: the good news is that attaching a vice grip to the heating element and banging like mad with a mini sledge hammer worked like a charm to loosen the element. the bad news is that the reason why it was difficult to remove is that is was caked solid in lime sediment, which has filled the bottom 6 inches of the heater.

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