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Old 03-21-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Water heater plug?

We brought home our 226 this weekend to get ready for our maiden voyage. It has plenty warm here to not have to worry about anti-freeze and my schedule leading up to the trip does not leave me much room to get this work done. Thanks to the well laid out Jayco, I breezed through all the steps to get the TT ready. Until I got to the water heater. After getting the other lines all cleared out of anti-freeze, I went to put the plug back in the water heater. On the 226 the plug from the factory is a cheapy white plastic thing. I looked at it closely and the threads were all good, but the head was mucked up pretty bad. The corners were all rounded and looked like I would not be able to get a wrench on it properly.

I put the plug in and turned it as hard as I could by hand, but as I suspected I could not get a wrench on it properly and I was afraid of making it worse. I let the water heater leak a tiny bit while I sanitized the water system. I figured I would rather get it out and replace it that have jam in there and not be able to get it out.

My question to the more experienced RV'ers on the forum is, can I replace the plug with a brass plug, using teflon tape to be sure I don't muck up the threads in the tank, or should I get a another plastic plug? What are your thoughts?

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Old 03-21-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
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We haven't had to deal with this... Sorry you are having this problem, but I'm sure that there are some folks that will help you out with this problem.... One of the experienced folk is Sweet74, I'm sure that he will have some suggestions for you
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:03 AM   #3
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You do not want to use a brass plug. There would be dissimilar metals(the heater is aluminum.) Put pipe dope or Teflon tape on plastic plug and don't over tighten. I assume you have an Atwood water heater?
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
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Go to your local dealer and buy a new plastic plug. Install & remove with a socket on the end of an extension.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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I am not sure what brand of water heater... the paper work is in the trailer and it is at the storage area not in my driveway. I would make the assumption that it is, since that seems to be the brand in the lightweights. I went to a plumbing supply place and picked up an aluminum plug, same metal as the tank, I also picked up a plastic one as well. I do not think the aluminum plug will hurt anything so I will try that first, and fall back to the plastic if I see the need.

Thank you for the input everyone, it is appreciated.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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I replaced the plastic plug with a anode rod type. I replace it every season
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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If it plastic plug good chances it's an Atwood water heater. If that's the case Atwood has an aluminum tank. Atwood doesn't recommend using am anode rod. You can pick up a plastic plug at Lowes or Home Depot in the plumbing section. I put a new one in every other year.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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If yours is an Atwood, the plug is sort of hard to access and requires using the correct socket and an extension.

I would strongly recommend you use a plastic plug. The downside to using a metal plug of any sort is that if it gets stuck, it is very heard to remove due to the restricted access to the plug. If it gets cross threaded, your tank may get ruined. With a metal plug, there is at least the possibility of corrosion. If cross threaded, a plastic plug can be removed without damage to the tank, and of course the plastic threads on the plug will not damage the tank if it is cross threaded.

Replacement plastic plugs are cheap.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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go with the plastic plug
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #10
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My understanding is using an anode plug on an Atwood will actually cause damage to the tank by reacting with the aluminum.



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Old 02-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Water heater ;oug

All aluminum water heaters require plastic plugs and no anode rods. Atwood uses aluminum. Get 2 plugs when you buy one because it is always a good idea to have a spare because it is easy to ruin the threads. Probably a good idea to add new plug every year.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:11 AM   #13
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Don't mix brass with aluminum as others have said. You'd be better off with a steel or stainless steel plug in a pinch. As others have stated, go to your local hardware store or home center and pick up a new nylon plug. You could probably use CPVC as it's rated for hot water use.

I used to work in a plant that made air con tubing and heater pipe for cars. They were so concerned about dissimilar metal issues that they wouldn't allow brass and aluminum fabrication operations to exist in the same building.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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You should use the plastic plug, as said above, because if you get it cross-threaded it shouldn't harm the tank when taking it out and replacing. Just go to your dealer and get a couple so you will have a spare. You do need the proper socket head or, as you have found, the head will be rounded off. If that happens, just get out your trusty vice-grips and use them to get the plug out, don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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The socket size on mine (Atwood 6 gallon) is 15/16". I use a 1/2" ratchet with extension to reach it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #16
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The head of my plug was chewed up a bit from the jayco maintenance guy who did the initial check out of our rig. I couldn't get a socket on it. I took it off and trued up the sides of the head with a sander. Worked like a charm. I bought a new one to have on hand so when I de-winterize in the spring I can replace the old one.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:13 PM   #17
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Did anybody mention to get a plastic plug? The one in my tank was a bit mangled, so I hit the local Co-op hardware dept. and got a pack of two.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:29 AM   #18
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I keep 1 extra plastic plug in the TT they are cheep
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:03 PM   #19
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I picked up an aluminum plug with the inner drain, so I didn't have to remove every time to drain at the plumbing supply. but end of year remove to winterize.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2009 View Post
I picked up an aluminum plug with the inner drain, so I didn't have to remove every time to drain at the plumbing supply. but end of year remove to winterize.
Where did you get a plug like that?
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