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Old 10-09-2019, 01:58 PM   #1
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stuck petcock on water heater

Finally decided we could winterize instead of paying for it, but we can't get the petcock to completely open to drain the water heater. It IS draining by only by drips. Winter is coming.... Thanks for whatever advice you can give!
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
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Post up a picture and you'll get some action, not sure if you're referring to the relief valve the drain plug or if you have a different dream setup.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:05 PM   #3
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remove it and replace it with a sacrificial anode that incorporates a drain valve. Such as https://www.wholesalemarine.com/camc...YaAonSEALw_wcB
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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You should not have a petcock for this very reason.
Some previous ownser has removed the "PLUG" and replaced it with a petcock.
Remove the petcock, and replace it with a plug and the world will be back in balance.
(Only replace it with a sacrificial anode if your heater is dual-fuel (electric and gas). If it is gas only just use a plug.)
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:13 AM   #5
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I have the original petcock drain and it works well to blow out the water before winter. DO NOT WINTERIZE YOUR WATER HEATER WITH ANTIFREEZE.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:16 AM   #6
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stuck petcock on water heater

FWIW, If you have a newer unit with the aluminum hot water heater do not use an anode, we were told that by our service tech that it will swell and you won’t be able to remove it. So I would check with your dealer/airstream before installing an anode.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:07 AM   #7
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Hi

It probably would help if the OP added their trailer details to their user info. There are a *lot* of different trailers and water heaters out there. Advice on one may or may not apply to another one ( other than don't fill it with anti-freeze )

Bob
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:13 AM   #8
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Here's a Camco video that shows the RV water heater drain plug and their vented plug for storage. Pretty cool idea!
https://youtu.be/AIZ-AgQUWbc
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:16 PM   #9
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As said, just unscrew the petcock assembly and either replace it with a drain plug or a new petcock that works. I have had both and I like the drain plug better.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:50 PM   #10
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Open the pressure relief valve when draining your hot water tank. It will eliminate the vacuum that forms and the tank should drain faster.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:11 AM   #11
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I have 2 questions within this thread.
Why not have a sacrificial anode in an aluminum water heater? I had one in ours for years. You have to change them every few years because they do corrode, but that's what it's supposed to do.
Second, why not run antifreeze thru the water heater? As long as you drain and flush, I don't see the problem.
Thanks, G
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:00 AM   #12
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Two reasons not to put antifreeze in the water heater:
(1) It is unnecessary and uneconomical to put six gals of RV antifreeze in the tank of your water heater if it can he drained and isolated with a by-pass system.
(2) I find it very unpleasant to wash dishes, shower, wash my face with hot water that contains any trace of antifreeze. It seems to take half the summer to purge the tank.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:30 AM   #13
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Hey, all - we got THAT problem taken care of, at least for now, but THEN discovered the fresh water tank was filled, although we had only been using city hookup for three months while our house was under renovation. Threads seem to indicate sediment is the problem but this doesn't make sense to us. We had a filter right at the water source and never used the pump. Any thought or should I dig deeper into those murky threads?
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:52 AM   #14
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One way the freshwater tank could have gotten filled is if you have a defective check valve in the pump. There is a check valve that prevents city water from going into the freshwater tank. Some grit could make a leak there.

Another way is that some filled it and forgot.

I drain my freshwater tank and leave the valve open in the winter.
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:17 AM   #15
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Any thoughts on the anode rod?
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gkiesel View Post
Any thoughts on the anode rod?
Hi

The purpose for an anode rod (and why it's called that in the first place) is to take care of electrolytic corrosion. It's no different than the anodes you put on a boat for the same reason. Multiple different metals plus an electrolyte ( = water) make a battery. Short out that battery and you get electroplating. Electroplating moves metal from one thing to the other. When the metal on one side all goes away, that's a problem. The anode is that to be the "most likely" thing in the chain and to get nuked before anything else does. You get "anode" on the other metal, but that's ok.

In a house with lots of metal pipes all over the place (and with what the pipes get made of) that's a pretty reasonable thing to do. In a plastic piped RV, the need is not quite as clear. The anode will rot away from simple corrosion as well as electro chemical causes. Just seeing that it's rotted is not a good way to tell if it's doing it's intended job.

Bob
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:18 AM   #17
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So would the anode not also protecgt the aluminum water heater tank?
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Old Yesterday, 08:09 AM   #18
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No, the anode rod will not protect the Al tank.
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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gkiesel View Post
So would the anode not also protecgt the aluminum water heater tank?
Hi

You need *two* metals to create a problem. If everything is aluminum, then there is no battery (and thus no problem). If you then add an anode rod, you now have a second metal and have created a battery ......

Bob
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