Howard Taitel is the founder and designer of REDZn™ Engine Anodes, a product of Two Whistles LLC. Howard has an undergraduate and a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University Of Massachusetts in Amherst. His post graduate work concentrated on the development and application of machine learning algorithms for track and balance on the Black Hawk helicopter (adjusting the rotor blades to tune vibration and alignment). He went on to develop technical computing and engineering software at The MathWorks for fifteen years before venturing out on his own. During the summer, Howard and his family can most often be found in the Cape Cod & Islands area of Massachusetts aboard their Mainship Trawler.
I started changing my own zincs as a way to ease into doing some of my own maintenance and to get familiar with my engines. I located the zincs, turned my wrench and out came the plug. Sweet victory – BUT WAIT. Where was the zinc rod? Looking into the cooler hole quickly answered that question. Retrieving this first one wasn't so bad. The threads were intact and the cooler was accessible. I was able to just catch the top threads of the rod with the bottom, inner threads of the plug and gingerly wiggle the rod out. The next one was the port side fresh water cooler, reached by laying fully extended across the shaft. Not only was the zinc left in the cooler, but the threads were broken off inside the plug. I was finally able to work it out with a pair of needle nose pliers. Working blindly with arms extended there was a worry about damaging the cooler threads or accidentally knocking the zinc into the cooler. The next one, well that came out just fine – go figure. Thankfully, it wasn't until the next year that I had to remove an end cap off my cooler to retrieve one. The gasket was no good when I went to put it back together. At least these zincs were helping with my education. I also quickly discovered that it was impractical to reuse the plugs in real time due to broken threads stuck in the plug cavity or cruddy damaged threads. Walking off the dock, I asked a neighbor about changing zincs and he immediately said “yeah...they get stuck”. Everyone, including professionals, was familiar with the hassle but it is accepted practice. I'd like to tell you that I retired to my lab vowing to find to find a better way, but that's not how it happened. I was preparing to help a friend and as I was picturing pulling his zincs, the idea for a new design just hit me. From the first prototype, to the production design REDZn™ have been a pleasure to use on my boat. Just turn the wrench and remove the zinc. Simple every time. I'm confident that you will find REDZn™ Rapid Extraction Design an easier, faster and more reliable alternative to the status quo. Whether you are interested in doing some simple engine maintenance, are a serious mechanic with bigger things to worry about or a service manager at a boatyard struggling to keep up – REDZn™ Anodes are pulling for you.