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Old 10-16-2011, 07:42 AM   #1
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The owners manual says to remove the anode to drain the hot water heater. Is this really necessary? I had the low point drains open and then opened the pressure relief valve which seemed to drain the hot water tank. I then pumped a small amount of pink antifreeze into the water heater. Should this be adequate?



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Old 10-16-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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I pull the drain plug on mine. Use bypass valves when I use antifreeze in the supply lines
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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If you take the drain plug out of the water heater, there is no reason to pump any anti freeze into the heater.



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Old 10-16-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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The only thing I see that looks like it might be a drain plug is a plastic hex head about 3/4". It is on the outside of the camper under the pressure relief valve. Is that the drain plug???

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Old 10-16-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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That's what mine looks like. Open your relief valve and then take that plastic plug out and you should get some water.



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Old 10-19-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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Depending on model, the drain plug is plastic (Atwood heaters) or metal with an anode rod (Suburban heaters). I also believe the Atwood plastic is 7/8" socket, and the Suburban is 1 1/16". We have an Atwood...which has an aluminum tank.

Ditto on the bypass. I hear filling tank makes hot water smell funny and wastes 6 gal of antifreeze.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:48 AM   #7
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First of all I agree with all the above. No need to put the antifreeze in the WH. I have heard it's not good for it. Use the bypass valves inside at the water heater tank to bypass when using the pink stuff. Second, with every camper I've owned. The first thing I do is replace my plastic plug with a brass plug that you can open and close without removing the plug everytime.(See picture below). Just open the valve on the plug and flip up the pressure relief valve. Saves alot of time and scratched knuckles. You can take your plastic plug to about any auto parts store. There are several differant size threads; so take the plastic plug for reference. Make sure you use plumbing tape on the plug threads when replacing so you have a tight seal. Good luck.



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Old 10-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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ditto on deputy dog's brass valve . that is the first thing i changed on our camper . so much easier to drain . we call it a petcock . like on your cars radiator . any RV store sells them . just take the plug in and match it up size wise . put some plumbers tape on the threads,screw it into the threaded openingand you will never have to fool with a drain plug anymore.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
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Petcock. Couldn't remember what it was called. You're right. Here is a better picture.



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Old 10-20-2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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While the petcock makes it easy to drain the water heater, some experts recommend removing the plug and using a "clean-out wand" attached to a water hose to flush out debris, crud, etc that may accumulate in the bottom of the tank. Not sure where all that junk comes from, but I would rather not have it in there.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:01 PM   #11
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May not be a bad idea Sirsea. Never heard that before. Or could use the petcock valve and remove it at the end of season before you winterize to feel safe; flush and replace. Alot of options. At age 46 I still get great ideas from this forum all the time. Thanks
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:18 AM   #12
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on last unit's just drained water and removed plastic plug(or anode) then reinserted after about a week (when tank and lines dried out) and left low pt drains open till next use
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #13
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Adding antifreeze to the HWT is not necessary,that is the reason to have a bypass.
Empty the HWT close the bypass and then winterize.

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:52 PM   #14
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Depending on heater model, it may or may not have an anode rod. I believe some Atwoods don't have rods (at least mine does not appear to, and I could find absolutely no mention of it in the Atwood manual).
The drain plug (plastic bolt looking thing on lower area, accessible from exterior compartment door) will allow you to drain almost all, but not all of the tank (again, depending on make/model - usually about 1 - 2 quarts still left in tank below drain - don't understand why they don't put the drain plug at the absolute lowest part of the tank??).
As in a residential heater, sediment eventually collects in the bottom of the tank. So it is suggested, as already mentioned, to flush the sediment out. You can either run fresh water from the system into the tank or use a special coupling to run compressed air into the tank, to drain it (not sure about the wand thing, I know a wand is used in the black and grey tanks but unfamiliar with a hot water tank wand) - even then, a bit of water, albeit fresh, will still remain in the bottom of the tank - this should not be an issue if this procedure is carried out once per year (can probably be done a bit less than this but once a year is recommended).
I don't think a petcock (or whatever that brass thing is called) will allow the sediment to leave the tank, but I am not familiar enough with it to be absolutely sure on that.
As already mentioned, the bypass should be used (if the trailer has one) when you put anti-freeze into the system so none gets into the tank - it does not need it as even if the bit of water at the bottom freezes, it won't hurt anything. At the very least, follow danshula's advice above.

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Old 10-21-2011, 10:11 PM   #15
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No brass plug with petcock for me! When I open the relief valve and remove the drain plug, I put in a small plastic hose in the drain hole. It creates it's own siphon and starts flowing water not only around the hose but thru it too. When the water level gets down to where the drain hole is, the plastic hose continues to flow water from the bottom of the heater. You would be surprised at all the calcium that comes out and the water below the drain hole gets pumped out too. My brother had his water heater freeze and break from the water that was left in the bottom of the heater one year. Now, he siphons the bottom as I do.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #16
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The "wand" is a relatively simple device and easy to make. Use a plastic shut-off valve attached to the end of the water hose with a GHT (garden hose thread) coupler and NPT x 1/4 copper tubing adapter with a 8" section of plastic or copper tubing bent to a 45 degree angle. Insert the wand into the drain hole and flush out the sediment.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:31 PM   #17
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The reason for an anode rod on some units and not others is the material the tank is made of. A steel tank (most Suburban units) requires one as the hard water components (calcium, zinc, etc.) will attach to steel and then reduce the tanks abillity to heat quickly. An aluminum tank does not do this (most Atwood tanks). On the aluminum tanks the sediment will settle in the bottom of the tank. A tank will not split if only 1 to 2 quarts of water in it freeze, assuming that the rest of the tank is filled with air. The expansion of the water as it freezes will not create enough force to split the tank. When filling the tank in the spring it is possible to split the tank , if it is weak, with the shock of pressure when filling. This can be reduced by making sure that a hot water faucet is open during the initial fill of the hot water tank.

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:59 PM   #18
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I agree with Chrisnan23 on water at the bottom of the heater tank not splitting the heater when it freezes. However, after about ten years of doing that, a friend of mine had hers split for just that reason. So, why take the chance when simply sticking a small clear flexible plastic tube in the drain hole while water is draining can guarantee it won't happen and provide the benefit of draining the residue at the bottom; which means you don't have to take the time to flush. I guess I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:50 AM   #19
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Just curious with use of the petcock... Wouldn't one have issues with to dissimilar metals being in tight contact with each other Brass and Aluminum?















































































































































































































































































































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Old 10-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salda01
Just curious with use of the petcock... Wouldn't one have issues with to dissimilar metals being in tight contact with each other Brass and Aluminum?
Brass is a non-ferous metal & will not cause problems, that's why it is used.
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