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Old 05-18-2022, 06:37 AM   #1
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
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Neoprene plug on water heater

We have a 2014 Flying Cloud. In the last week our water heater has developed pin hole leaks in the plug on two occasions. Each time the plug was replaced with a new plug. Any ideas what is causing this?

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Old 05-18-2022, 08:33 PM   #2
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Tighten the plug all the way to the shoulder. Takes a wrench. Buy a spare plug. Use the Atwood plugs. The Camco plugs are not quite as good a fit.
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Old 05-18-2022, 08:58 PM   #3
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I have always wrapped the threads with teflon tape. Never had a leak.

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Old 05-18-2022, 09:08 PM   #4
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Use a brass plug that uses a hex allen socket. I don't know how to attach a thread but ck out the one started by OARfan on 3/15/2016.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:46 AM   #5
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Brass instead of poly

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Use a brass plug that uses a hex allen socket. I don't know how to attach a thread but ck out the one started by OARfan on 3/15/2016.

I'd considered using a brass plug instead of the original poly plug, as it would last through many re-uses, but I believe they used a plastic plug as a safety precaution. If your water heater has a temp. runaway the poly will melt allowing the water to escape rather than rupturing your heater tank. That would be a real mess. Your best bet is to wrap the plug with teflon tape before inserting and change it out with a new one every couple years. They do wear out with frequent uses are readily available and are reasonably cheap.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:49 AM   #6
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Do not use the brass plug.....brass reacts to the metal in the tank and will result in issues. Brass sound nice and is a strong metal, but you cannot connect two different metals.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:55 AM   #7
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Do not use the brass plug.....brass reacts to the metal in the tank and will result in issues. Brass sound nice and is a strong metal, but you cannot connect two different metals.
An even better point. Dis-similar metals will cause corrosion that will prevent you from removing the plug in the future. Known as galvanic reaction.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:22 AM   #8
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Do not use the brass plug.....brass reacts to the metal in the tank and will result in issues. Brass sound nice and is a strong metal, but you cannot connect two different metals.
I don't think that is true, after all the TPR valve is brass. I find conflicting info online but I did remove my TPR after 11 years and saw no evidence of any corrosion, nor was it hard to unscrew.
After some research this seems to be a longtime hot subject on a number of discussions but I fail to see a problem in light of the brass TPR valves not causing issues on the same water heaters.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Portage to Caravan View Post
I'd considered using a brass plug instead of the original poly plug, as it would last through many re-uses, but I believe they used a plastic plug as a safety precaution. If your water heater has a temp. runaway the poly will melt allowing the water to escape rather than rupturing your heater tank. That would be a real mess. Your best bet is to wrap the plug with teflon tape before inserting and change it out with a new one every couple years. They do wear out with frequent uses are readily available and are reasonably cheap.
The TPR valve would open long before hot water would melt a nylon plug, the reason they used the nylon plug is 1. It was cheaper and 2. Less chance of an unskilled DIY owner stripping the threads on the aluminum during annual winterizing. (IMHO of course)
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:49 AM   #10
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Brass and plastic aside I do know that the genuine Attwood plugs are NYLON and are superior to plastic or PCV which is a good reason to spend the extra money if you want to go with a non-metallic solution.
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:39 AM   #11
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Plastic plugs should be nylon
PVC melts at 185 F so would creep and deform at 140F temp in the WH
HDPE at 135 F a definite no go!
Agree that “plastic” is less likely to damage the tank fitting
I always had trouble getting the replacement plug from an RV warehouse to start since the pipe thread on the plastic plug was a poor match to the tank.
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Old 05-19-2022, 11:55 AM   #12
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I installed a petcock so when I want to drain the tank just open it up. Never a problem in several years
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:05 AM   #13
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Brass plug here we come

Well that "seals" it. I'm going to find a nice brass plug to install the next time I change out the drain on my water heater. All this input makes it clear now with thread damage being the most likely reason for a plastic (nylon) plug.
Thanks everyone for chiming in.
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Old 05-21-2022, 01:30 PM   #14
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Overtightening the nylon plug could have caused it to distort just enough to leak. Just past firm should do the trick. Has done well for me.

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Old 05-21-2022, 02:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Tighten the plug all the way to the shoulder. Takes a wrench. Buy a spare plug. Use the Atwood plugs.
Okay.

Quote:
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Overtightening the nylon plug could have caused it to distort just enough to leak. Just past firm should do the trick. Has done well for me.
Okay.
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:03 AM   #16
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Dad, I get your point. Here's my theory: Since pipe threads are tapered, plug gets bigger the tighter you go. As the plug is nylon - softer than the fitting - it may be possible to distort the plug if it is tightened too far.

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Old 05-24-2022, 11:10 AM   #17
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I've found that when screwing plastic pipe fittings into metal fittings to use lots of Teflon tape.
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
Tighten the plug all the way to the shoulder. Takes a wrench. Buy a spare plug. Use the Atwood plugs. The Camco plugs are not quite as good a fit.
+1 regarding the Atwood plug. I use a socket with an extension to just snug up the connection.
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Old 05-24-2022, 02:23 PM   #19
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Does anyone happen to know the size and model number of the plug for the GE9EXT Atwood/Dometic water heater in my 2017 International 25?
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