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Old 11-25-2021, 05:23 PM   #1
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Didn't double check bypass

Hi all,
I have a 2016 Melbourne 24k. My first time winterizing it.
I didn't properly bypass my water heater. It is now partially full of AF. I cannot get the plug out as it is corroded as heck.
Should I start over and use clean water to try to clean out water heater?
Not sure what to do at this point. I guess getting the plug out would be the first place to start. I afraid if I keep trying I will round the edges of the plug.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

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Old 11-25-2021, 05:54 PM   #2
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Your plug has a valve in it to drain the water. Keep slowly working it back and forth to loosen it. Or get the right size wrench to fit the big nut and remove the whole thing.
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Old 11-25-2021, 05:56 PM   #3
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thank you, I will try that.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:08 PM   #4
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Good grief! Who's the knucklehead that put that thing on there?? Lol!
So, it appears there is a wingnut looking plug that is installed onto the fitting on the hwh. That plug needs to come off. Open that relief valve on top, first. This way there is no pressure on the tank. If that plug wont come off easily, then remove the burner unit. It's like 3 screws, unplug the wiring to it and disconnect the propane line. Very easy to do. Use a 1/2" drive ratchet, extension and a 6pt socket and you're gonna have to remove that fitting from the hwh and replace it. It shouldnt be on there that tight, but if it is use a breaker bar instead of the ratchet and you may need a cheater bar, long piece of pipe on the breaker bar for leverage, to get it off. Once you get it off there do yourself a favor and install an extension with a ball valve on the end for much easier draining. Use all brass fittings and you can find everything you need from your local HD or Lowes.
If I remember right I used a 1" brass nipple and a brass gas ball valve. I hand thread a plastic nipple on it for draining. I believe that plastic one is like 6" or 8" long.
I'll post ya a pic of mine when I find it.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:10 PM   #5
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That Atwood water heater has an aluminum tank. When you do get that petcock valve out, replace it with the standard plastic plug. Won't have any further problem getting it out in the future.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:15 PM   #6
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Thank you Lake Huron,
I will try to get the wing nut thing off first.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:19 PM   #7
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Sorry, it's not the greatest pic, but you'll get the idea of the mod I did.
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Once you get it done, make sure the relief valve is open and hook a garden hose to the drain. Fill and drain the tank a few times to flush it out and I'd think you'll be just fine. In the spring you can fill your hwh tank with your sanitized water solution and flush it out with fresh water and draining it is much easier.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:23 PM   #8
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Got it thanks.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:24 PM   #9
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thanks Robbbyr.
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David7 View Post
Hi all,
I have a 2016 Melbourne 24k. My first time winterizing it.
I didn't properly bypass my water heater. It is now partially full of AF. I cannot get the plug out as it is corroded as heck.
Should I start over and use clean water to try to clean out water heater?
Not sure what to do at this point. I guess getting the plug out would be the first place to start. I afraid if I keep trying I will round the edges of the plug.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Attachment 77285


Someone installed a petcock valve previous to your purchase for easy WH drain; thats OK, and actually useful as long as its not a Suburban WH.

1st open the water heater pressure relief valve to allow flow.

You dont need to remove the petcock/drain; just rotate the petcock handle/valve to open and drain water heater.

If no water drains out of drain petcock; poke something up there to clear any debris.

If still no drain, remove the petcock drain/plug.

Dont think you need to "start over" on your winterizing, as the water heater is relatively remote from the rest of the system; the water heater just needs to be drained.
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Huron View Post
Good grief! Who's the knucklehead that put that thing on there?? Lol!
So, it appears there is a wingnut looking plug that is installed onto the fitting on the hwh. That plug needs to come off. Open that relief valve on top, first. This way there is no pressure on the tank. If that plug wont come off easily, then remove the burner unit. It's like 3 screws, unplug the wiring to it and disconnect the propane line. Very easy to do. Use a 1/2" drive ratchet, extension and a 6pt socket and you're gonna have to remove that fitting from the hwh and replace it. It shouldnt be on there that tight, but if it is use a breaker bar instead of the ratchet and you may need a cheater bar, long piece of pipe on the breaker bar for leverage, to get it off. Once you get it off there do yourself a favor and install an extension with a ball valve on the end for much easier draining. Use all brass fittings and you can find everything you need from your local HD or Lowes.
If I remember right I used a 1" brass nipple and a brass gas ball valve. I hand thread a plastic nipple on it for draining. I believe that plastic one is like 6" or 8" long.
I'll post ya a pic of mine when I find it.
Itís a common way to drain the water heater. I have used them several times.
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:42 PM   #12
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Thanks dxrobertson!
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:55 PM   #13
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It's possible the previous owner installed an anode rod with the petcock drain on it. I had one of those until I learned here that Atwood heaters didn't require one. If you have a new nylon plug to replace it with, bend the petcock ears back and forth until they break off, then use a 6-point socket on the brass plug. A dose of penetrant on the threads first may help.

Dissimilar metals like a brass plug, and the aluminum tank can cause galvanic corrosion at the threads. If you want to still use brass, wrap the threads with Teflon tape first.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:06 PM   #14
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No big deal you put antifreeze into your tank, I've made that error. Just leave it there for the winter. Properly bypass the water heater and continue winterizing.

In the spring, fully drain and flush, flush, flush. I probably partially rinsed the tank about a 12 times, by just adding a gallon or so of water into the tank, then let it drain out. Once happy, rinsed the tank a few more times with the tank being completely filled. Once happy, I then I sanitized and flushed a many more times.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:30 PM   #15
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I've pumped a gallon or so of antifreeze in ours too, the first time we winterized our TT. Our water heater is behind a plywood box under the bed, and the access panel the factory cut is too small, and the upper valve wasn't visible. I chalked it up to experience on a new unit, and kept on winterizing. Like Jagiven says, flush the heck out of it in the spring. No harm done, just don't forget to get it out. It makes for really funky hot water in the shower!
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Old 11-26-2021, 04:19 AM   #16
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Well I can’t thank you all enough for your insights. Also really glad to hear I’m not the only one that has put AF in the WH.
Hope you all have a great holiday season.
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:39 PM   #17
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FIRST OPEN RELIEF VALVE to relieve pressure from PUMP; and what you most likely have is WATER diluted w/ antifreeze; or antifreeze diluted w/ water? DRAIN IT
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David7 View Post
Hi all,
I have a 2016 Melbourne 24k. My first time winterizing it.
I didn't properly bypass my water heater. It is now partially full of AF. I cannot get the plug out as it is corroded as heck.
Should I start over and use clean water to try to clean out water heater?
Not sure what to do at this point. I guess getting the plug out would be the first place to start. I afraid if I keep trying I will round the edges of the plug.

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Attachment 77285
I believe those peacocks seal from the inside, so it needs screwed in (turn to the right) to drain it.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:44 PM   #19
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The drain PLUG (or ANODE?) is PIPE Thread (NPT), and it is TAPERED; SOMEONE overtightened.

ALSO, IF MEMORY SERVES ME RIGHT, the WINGS on the valve have to screw CLOCKWISE to OPEN (same as a automotive radiator drain cock)... as you screw it in, the rubber washer and brass bolthead move away from their seat and Open the valve. Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:00 PM   #20
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Looking at your picture, the largest nut at the back of the brass plug goes into an aluminum fitting on the tank itself. That connection looks very clean, and is the one you want to remove.
Then throw that whole valve out and get a standard plug. (Nylon or Brass) Use pipe thread sealer, not teflon tape.
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