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Old 07-14-2015, 02:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vich View Post
Seems that all the Teflon tape that I used over the years has become one with the water heater. I could not get a plastic plug to start
When I open the plug annually, i pull any residual tape off the threads in the heater. If you do this it pretty well eliminates the build up and it comes off pretty easily. If you let it build over time, I can understand that it can get a little nasty to deal with. I like to start with clean threads on both the plug and the tank.

Jack
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:30 PM   #16
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I too have had this wonderful experience.
What I did was to use a sprinkler system riser removal tool to get the old plug out. That was however just the beginning. Seems that all the Teflon tape that I used over the years has become one with the water heater. I could not get a plastic plug to start SOooo I used a brass plug that I cut several slots across the treads to in affect make a tap. After several times of starting the plug into the heater enough Teflon was removed that I could get my new plastic (nylon) plug to start. I did use a dental pick to remove most of the remaining Teflon tape. I then found a 1/2 inch gray PVC type pipe about 2" long, both ends with male threads. I put on some Teflon tape and screwed it into the water heater. Now I use a female PVC threaded cap on the end of the pipe. When I wish to drain and clean and flush the heater I just unscrew the cap.
The tool is the same one I was referring to. Your further ideas of the cut brass plug as a tap and plastic extension plus cap are excellent ones.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:23 PM   #17
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The mpt/fpt threads are under compression. Use a hacksaw blade to carefully cut the remaining ring into segments. Cut slowly to not damage the aluminum tank threads. With luck segmenting will release the tension allowing you to rotate out the plug ring. If not use a screwdriver to knock out a segment, use needle nose pliers to pull out the remaining segments. Replace with a brass plug or valve. I have used this process to remove mpt plugs and PVC fitting for years. Not pretty but it works.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:32 PM   #18
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Echoing ChuckFeldt's removal technique as well as replace the plug with a (brass) valve ...
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:04 PM   #19
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What about using a vacuum cleaner?
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:24 PM   #20
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Stick with a plastic plug to prevent corrosion. Hadn't thought of this earlier but it's making me think of my trip to tractor supply earlier. They make plugs that have a threaded port/hole in the middle that you can thread another smaller plug into. Not sure of plug size on the water heater, an inch or so. You could use a 1" plug with an internal 1/2" plug. May reduce chance of breaking smaller plug in the future.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:47 PM   #21
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Vich, you said you used a "PVC cap". Did you mean CPVC? I don't think PVC is rated for hot water.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:24 PM   #22
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Buy a 'Left Handed' drill bit, and drill it out backwards. Usually they come back out very easily, before you have drilled very far.
Alternately, drill a proper sized hole and use an 'Ezy-Out'.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #23
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I like to pull the plug annually so that I can scour out the insides of the tank. The original plug got a seam in it and started to drip. I went over to the local SOB dealership who is close to home and bought 3 black plugs. That way I carry a couple of extras in case one fails.

Galvanic corrosion can occur when dissimilar metals have contact with each other. Aluminum and brass are reactive to each other with aluminum acting as the anode. My Atwood tank in my Airstream is aluminum. Suburban branded tanks tend to be steel and have an anode rod in them to minimize corrosion.
https://www.fastenal.com/content/fed...0Corrosion.pdf

I imagine that other than cost factors, an aluminum tank is really better off using a nylon replacement plug to help maintain tank life. That's pretty much why I scour the tank annually to remove the deposits in the tank, and continue to use nylon plugs. I use a small adjustable crescent wrench to remove the plug. It works pretty good and doesn't scar the nut end. In addition I do wrap some teflon tape around the plug threads prior to reinsertion. That minimizes the amount of tightness you need to exert to keep the plug from leaking around the threads.

Jack
a 1" socket and a 10" extension works for me to remove/install the plug.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:06 PM   #24
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Goodness a lot of info here. I so enjoy reading all these posts.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:43 PM   #25
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Instead of teflon tape try teflon paste. I never seem to wrap the tape the right way. Also I would stay with the plastic plug for the reasons previously mentioned.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:43 AM   #26
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Thank you all for the response. The dental pick worked well enough that I was able to get enough threads clear to accept a half inch pipe plug with pipe thread compound on it. I let it set up overnight and it is still holding. I'll deal with a permanent fix after this trip. Does anyone know if the boss that the plug screws in to is removable?
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:53 AM   #27
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Does anyone know if the boss that the plug screws in to is removable?
No it is welded onto the tank.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:01 AM   #28
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I started googling drain petcocks based on this thread and saw both metal and plastic options (for those concerned about metal seizing in the threads) but also so plugs with an "anode" to attract schmootz within the tank. My WH doesn't seem to have that (off my plastic drain plug). Am I supposed to?
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