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Old 11-10-2005, 01:18 PM   #1
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draining water heater

I have a 1966 Overlander Land Yacht. I used compressed air to blow out the fresh water lines. My rv'er friend said I have to drain the water heater. I cannot find a drain or plug on it. It is a bit downhill to the fresh water inlet. I guess it drains there to the level of the cold water inlet on the tank. Is there another way to drain it?
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:34 PM   #2
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Not sure whether you have an atwood or a suburban that year. Atwoods have a drain plug on the outside bottom of the tank by the burner. Open the outer door and you should see a plug. Use a socket wrench with a universal to get it out. It should be nylon plastic. Let it drain and put it back in loosely and tighten it up after you purge it to clean it next spring.
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:53 PM   #3
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I think it is a Bowen. I haven't seen a plug like you describe.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:51 PM   #4
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Bowen and Atwood merged. If you have the original Atwood heater, there is a drain valve visibile once the exterior cover is removed.

If you have a replacement water heater, there is an extremely high probability that there is some means of draining the tank (plug). It may not be obvious, but it is there.

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Old 11-11-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
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My 1969 had a valve like that. This one (1966) does not have one. I haven't found a plug yet.
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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John.
The VAC has a copy of the owners manual for your trailer. It talks about winterizing, but does not mention a hot water heater drain. They also have a manual for that hot water heater. It only talks about flame adjustments and gas supply.

http://airstream.net/members/documen...s%20Manual.pdf
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:32 AM   #7
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So to remove the water in the tank you pressurize the city water side with air and open a hot water faucet until it blows air?

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Old 11-13-2005, 09:09 AM   #8
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Jack,That's what I have done so far. I am concerned and have been told to be concerned about water in the bottom of the tank not affected by this process.BTW, I have the original owner's manual for this trailer. (Ain't that cool?) It does not mention a drain valve or plug. It does say to raise and lower the front of the trailer with the valves open. I haven't done that yet.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:47 AM   #9
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this is almost on topic......

I was doing my pre winterizing procedure when I stumbled onto a little trick.
I usually open all the drains and faucets and drive up and down a few hills.
After opening the drains, I flipped the water heater relief valve and a lot of water started pouring out of the drain.( Some say that the water heater need not be fully drained, because of the shape of the tank. I open the bypass for a few seconds while pumping antifreeze into the system.) I am
adding the relief valve trick to my procedure.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Greenlee
I have a 1966 Overlander Land Yacht. I used compressed air to blow out the fresh water lines. My rv'er friend said I have to drain the water heater. I cannot find a drain or plug on it. It is a bit downhill to the fresh water inlet. I guess it drains there to the level of the cold water inlet on the tank. Is there another way to drain it?
John: I own a 1964 19' Globe Trotter, which has the same 2/3rds width rear bath and likely the same water system as your 1966 Overlander. I think others with slightly newer trailers have hot water heaters that feature a separate drain plug which our original water heaters do not have, hence the confusion.

Here's what I do to winterize per the manual:

- raise front end of trailer to highest position with front trailer jack.
- open all faucets and open the two drain valves in rear service center, to let water flow out by gravity. Open the water heater pressure relief valve.
- disconnet near toilet the bathrom hand sprayer hose and drain in manually
- lower front end of trailer to lowest position and raise again to highest to get more water out.
- when water stops flowing and front end is still high, attach air hose to city water inlet at trailer rear end and blow out system with compressed air. I leave open farthest faucet (kitchen sink in my trailer) and close all others. Then open and close faucets so only one faucet at a time has compressed air blowing out of it as I work my way towards rear end of trailer. Let each faucet spit out water until it stops spitting.
- close all faucets and let compressed air come out the drain for the lower cold water inlet pipe to the water heater tank. There is a valve at the rear center of my trailer which drains the cold water inlet line to the water heater. I leave this valve open all the time while draining water.
- pour pink antifreeze in all drain traps.
- leave open the two water system drain valves for any leftover water, hoping that water might evaporate in out dry Colorado climate.
-CLOSE the water heater pressure relief valve for the winter. I left it open over last winter and had to replace it this Spring because even when in the closed position it easily let city water pour out. It lost its springiness due to being in the open position for 6 months. Replacing the water heater pressure relief valve was a major PITA. Learning through stupidity is no fun.

I think, but don't know for sure, that the rear facing cold water inlet to the hot water heater is at the bottom of the water heater interior tank. I know for the past 3 years I haven't had any problems the next season by draining my plumbing system this way. My water heater is original to the 1964 trailer, so it has been successfully drained for 40 years. My black water tank has already been emptied, so I don't have to drain it when winterizing the potable water system.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 11-13-2005, 10:30 AM   #11
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John:

This is a follow-on posting because I lost all my most recent carefully and thoughtfully edited text when I took longer than 15 minutes to revise my earlier posting.

Aside to Administers: the 15 minute cut off should be increased to an hour to give slow thinkers and even slower typists like myself a fighting chance to revise a post.

Anyway, where was I before becoming enraged at an unmentioned, learn about it only too late after-the-fact arbirtary 15 minute editing cut off rule?

Oh yes, add this to the sixth hash mark (-) down from the top: when you close all the faucets to blow compressed air through the water system, also remember to close the water heater pressure relief valve too, so the remaining air and water are forced out through the water heater cold water inlet pipe.

Also be sure to mentally add a space between the ninth hash mark(-) down from the top and the capital letter "C" in "CLOSE".

Before signing off, I'll now have to reset my own under-the-collar pressure relief valve that violently popped open because of the unmentioned, jack-in-the-box ("SURPRISE!!") stupid 15 minute editing rule. Still hot .....
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:28 PM   #12
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i know this may be a bit late. If you get the water heater basically empty, what will happen with the frozen water. It will expand. It should expand where the resistance is least. Up in the tank. Can't expand to the top. Won't break anything. This is based on the tank being empty except for a small amout of water?
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingdogg
i know this may be a bit late. If you get the water heater basically empty, what will happen with the frozen water. It will expand. It should expand where the resistance is least. Up in the tank. Can't expand to the top. Won't break anything. This is based on the tank being empty except for a small amout of water?
You should be OK, yes, the residual water will expand into the open space.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:26 PM   #14
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Just an addendem..

For the newer style water tanks - using the pressure relief valve will not be enough (per the manual) drainage for freeze protection. You must use the drain plug on the bottom of the tank (on the exterior) to drain the majority of the tank. The pressure relief valve only drains the top of the tank off. I do find that opening both the drain and the relief valve hastens the draining process.

For what it's worth...
Marc
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