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Old 02-17-2019, 12:25 PM   #1
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Water heater plug threads

I over tightened the nylon water heater plug and it split so I used a jig saw blade to hand saw a notch out of the plug and removed it. I must have scratched the threads on the water heater because it has more resistance now when tightening the new nylon plug.
My question is can I use a tap and die to to clean up the threads or could that cause the water heater plug not to seal as tightly as before?
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:02 AM   #2
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I have used a short 1/2” pipe nipple to clean the threads. Just turn slowly and and back it out, then continue working back and forth until you feel that the threads are straightened out.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:08 AM   #3
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. . .
. . . can I use a tap and die to to clean up the threads . . .
. . .
Assuming it is a standard NPT thread, yes the correct tap should do the job, but use some cutting oil IMO. The amount of aluminum material you will remove is microscopic, but it would be a good to flush out the water heater thoroughly by hooking up to city water, and letting it run out the drain hole.

Also a good idea to have spare new nylon plugs, and use the correct deep socket with 6-8" extension to remove it.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:34 AM   #4
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Great information Peter thanks. On the oil what is IMO and can I use an aluminum cutting oil like this one.
https://store.yahoo.com/yhst-4653769...maaltadrm.html
On Cleaning out the water heater sounds like a much better way than I’ve been doing it forcing the water back out the drain plug hole under pressure, getting quite wet. Is the low-water drain plug able to keep up with the water coming through the hose into the hot water tank?
Your right on spare nylon plug, already bought a spare. Only concern when tightening with socket wrench is Not over tightening that’s how I got in this trouble in the first place.
Thanks again
Bruce
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Old 02-28-2019, 01:41 PM   #5
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IMO -- https://www.smart-words.org/abbreviations/text.html

That cutting oil looks fine IMO.

If the nylon plug is new, and you have cleaned up the aluminum threads, there should be no need to use a wrench to install the plug, except maybe to put the plug in the socket [plus 6" extension if needed], get it started by hand, and then use manual power only to tighten the plug. Turn on city water, bleed air out of all H/C faucets/toilet etc., and check for leaks at the nylon plug. Any minor leaks should disappear if you then use the ratchet wrench and socket for 1/16th of a turn clockwise to tighten.

Less is more . . .



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Old 02-28-2019, 02:23 PM   #6
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Spare plugs are about a $1 apiece at ACE Hardware. I keep several in my box of spare stuff since 1) it is easy to cross thread them (how do I know this) and 2) Several times at campgrounds other folks have had bad leaks from the water heater plug and I had a new plug to give them and save them a trip into the nearest town.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:42 PM   #7
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Water heater plug threads

Once you complete your rework you may wish to consider a valve in lieu of a plug. We switched to a small ball valve years ago and have avoided the hassle of plug removal/reinsertion. YMMV.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:58 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, great ideas, and Thanks for the acronyms.THX
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:08 AM   #9
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Times two on a valve to replace the hard to each plastic.👍

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Old 03-01-2019, 05:36 AM   #10
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Times two on a valve to replace the hard to each plastic.👍

Bob
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I'm not clear on how a valve instead of a plug will save any time or effort unless you are draining the tank every couple of weeks. The Atwood manual recommends flushing out the corrosive particles left after draining the tank every year for winterization through the drain port. You will have to remove the valve in order to do this.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:52 AM   #11
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I'm not clear on how a valve instead of a plug will save any time or effort unless you are draining the tank every couple of weeks. The Atwood manual recommends flushing out the corrosive particles left after draining the tank every year for winterization through the drain port. You will have to remove the valve in order to do this.

Thank you for your 'exspurt' opinion...I have blown out the tank thru the valve every fall for 15 Seasons without a problem. TETO

Bob
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