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Old 05-31-2016, 02:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Byron Center
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Water Heater Issue

first time post to any internet thread, any help would be appreciated with my Jayco 2014 32 BHDS, with Attwood water heater. I live in Michigan so draining the lines and replacing with antifreeze is a must.

I called service last fall because I was having an issue getting the plastic drain cap off the water heater exterior control panel. It was covered by some equipment. My old camper needed this cap removed to drain the main tank and check the anodizing rod. I called service because I could not get a wrench or tool on the cap due to things obstructing it.

The service tech at my local dealer where I purchased the unit said it was not necessary to remove it, I only needed to winterize the lines inside the camper, relieve the pressure on the outside control valve and make sure all lines were running pink antifreeze through them. He said “Removal of the plastic cap was not necessary.”“The unit was self-draining” my dad and I had never heard of this??????

He did not give me any additional info about the water in the main tank or any other steps that were needed. My dad and I shrugged and did as instructed.

When I opened my camper this year I found what looked like a small plastic plug or cap in the water heater compartment inside, small black mildew spots on the wood its sitting on and water damage on the surrounding wood finish as if water had been released at some point in the fall or spring during a freeze or thaw.

All other lines around the unit were running water through them without issue and the antifreeze in the plastic lines did their job over the winter.

I identified where the leak was coming from but could not get a definite visual I could not reach my finger back far enough to feel the size or shape of the leak point. It appeared to be coming from the bottom front of the main tank but was blocked by the electrical control panel that sits on the front side of the water heater from inside the camper when we turned water on, it appeared this is where water was pouring out from.

I bypassed the hot water line by shutting off the internal valve for the weekend and we were able to get running water as needed, just not hot. it seems a safety plug may have popped out this winter but I am not sure

I am wondering what went wrong? was it the direction I was given by the tech or did something happen to the unit itself (warranty issue)?

I need more instruction about this water heater. I did not receive good instruction or direction from the tech last year if I missed a step in the fall. I was standing in front of the unit with my father when we made the call and the direction to do anything besides relieve the pressure were not given

I also need to know how this unit needs to be fixed.

Thanks for your assistance with this matter.

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Old 06-01-2016, 12:54 PM   #2
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1) If it came with the plastic plug, just user that. No anode needed.

2) Any cross-threading will damage it. Be careful when you put it back!

3) No special tools needed a good fitting open-end wrench will do nicely.

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Old 06-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #3
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Hopefully the plug just popped out when it froze. Replace the plug and see. If the tank is damaged, it's new water heater time.

I have heard of self draining water heaters but have never seen one. I think you were given some bad info by the tech. Go to the Atwood site and read the manual for the proper way to drain it.

Get a couple of spare plugs as they do cross thread and they are cheap.

Atwood does not recommend installing a anode rod.
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