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Old 11-10-2015, 12:30 PM   #21
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thanks for all of the suggestions. i am going to just step back from this issue and lets see what happens when i pressurize the hot water system. the nylon plug has a wrap of teflon tape on it and is in, tight, about half way. i will not force it to go in any further for fear of breaking it apart and then having to deal with getting it out. so right now, i am leaving it as is.

i am assuming the hot water tank is aluminum. if so, mixing metals, copper or anything else is really a bad idea as electrolysis will become a real issue in a short period of time. having an all aluminum boat, i am somewhat of an expert on all of this and i am very careful about what is attached and how. some of you folks with copper plugs might what to school yourself on this very real issue before it is too late for you.

again, thanks for all of the thoughts, they are appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:06 PM   #22
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thanks for all of the suggestions. i am going to just step back from this issue and lets see what happens when i pressurize the hot water system. the nylon plug has a wrap of teflon tape on it and is in, tight, about half way. i will not force it to go in any further for fear of breaking it apart and then having to deal with getting it out. so right now, i am leaving it as is.

i am assuming the hot water tank is aluminum. if so, mixing metals, copper or anything else is really a bad idea as electrolysis will become a real issue in a short period of time. having an all aluminum boat, i am somewhat of an expert on all of this and i am very careful about what is attached and how. some of you folks with copper plugs might what to school yourself on this very real issue before it is too late for you.

again, thanks for all of the thoughts, they are appreciated.
Yes most RV water heater storage tanks are fabricated from aluminum and there are more dissimilar metal POC's than you'd think. Use a high quality thread sealing medium and forge ahead. This really is not an unusual set of circumstances.

Best of luck,

Kevin
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:24 PM   #23
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The main thing to realize is that the plug has tapered threads so the further you screw it in the tighter it gets. That's why it doesn't go in all the way. With the plastic plug you can't damage the tank, and it's easy to get another plug.
Al
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Old 11-10-2015, 02:28 PM   #24
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Several different responses have already solved the riddle of the nylon plug.

After eight years of filling and draining the hot water tank, the threads get thinned and the plug screws in further and further. I eventually had to add plumber's putty to the thread at the back third and successfully sealed every time under pressure. If it is not, you will get a small drip and just a little snugging usually does it. The plug was almost flush after eight years, and sealed.

A new nylon plug does not go in as far. Eventually it will and then you end up having to apply putty or tape. I also clean my tank's threads with a dental tool. It does turn hard. I also clean out the nylon plug threads when they look like the putty has hardened.

I am now expecting this with our new 2014. I also kept a couple of new plugs from the Jackson Center, OH parts shop from 2008. Your cleaning might even remove hard water crust, so you are getting a "dental thread cleaning" with no cost to yourself.

If it is not dripping. You are fine no matter how far you thread the plug.

Lots of good options. I want to find an easy way to remove the plug that is behind the propane line... Just takes a little effort.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:54 PM   #25
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hot water heater drain plug

The correct size socket and extension makes the plug removal and install on an Atwood water heater (aluminum) a simple task. As I recall the socket is 15/16". Start the plug by hand to avoid cross threading.
Suburban water heaters have a steel tank. They use a sacrificial anode which must be removed to drain the tank. Removal of the anode requires a 1 1/16" socket as I recall.
The anodes require periodic replacement to maintain the protection against galvanic action.



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Old 11-11-2015, 05:08 AM   #26
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The main thing to realize is that the plug has tapered threads so the further you screw it in the tighter it gets. That's why it doesn't go in all the way. With the plastic plug you can't damage the tank, and it's easy to get another plug.
Al
Threads used in most North American plumbing applications are NPT which are tapered. The taper is intended to assist in making a fluid tight seal, the more you turn the more effective the seal. As such you definitely want to heed BigAl's advice and not over tighten the plug since you could damage the softer aluminum tanks fitting if you use a brass plug/valve.

We switched because I drain the tank between uses and grew tired of fiddling with the plug each trip.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:33 AM   #27
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Kevin,
I just took a look at this. I am not understanding how that valve actually fits into the water heater where the white plug goes now.

Does Kevin or anyone else have some pics?

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:45 AM   #28
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Kevin,
I just took a look at this. I am not understanding how that valve actually fits into the water heater where the white plug goes now.

Does Kevin or anyone else have some pics?

Thanks in advance
See if this helps. Mine are located on the left side of the water heater compartment directly behind the gas body.

Atwood water heater drain plug - Airstream Forums
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:58 AM   #29
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I put one of the plugs with the valve in last fall when I winterized. This fall when I tried to open it the valve would turn but would not open. Going back to a solid plug. Hope I can fine one in stainless but will use brass and nylon tape if not.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:28 AM   #30
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I bought a boiler drain valve part #6851687 from Menards. Screwed it in. Now all I do is open the valve to drain the water heater.


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Old 11-11-2015, 03:29 PM   #31
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When I remove the plug, I get a full 3/4" diameter opening to help flush deposits from the bottom of the tank. With a ball valve, maybe 1/2" diameter opening (depending on manufacturer), with a gate valve even less. I think more effective flushing of the tank is worth the 30 seconds (or less) that it takes me to remove the plug with a 15/16" socket and extension on my wrench. If you're only in areas with soft water, then maybe not an issue.
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