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Old 04-23-2018, 02:20 PM   #1
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new water heater drain plug won't close

I have a 2012 Jayco JayFeather Ultralite travel trailer with an Atwood water heater that came with a plastic drain valve. I bought a new Camco half inch brass valve but it won't screw in more than 1-2 revolutions then it stops. I don't think the threads are stripped; it's the correct size because the only other valve available was much too small. I bought the new valve at Camping World, but store employees have not returned my call asking for advice. Anyone have any suggestions on getting the new valve in? Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:34 PM   #2
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Does it stop dead after two turns or just get tighter?
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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At first, it stopped dead and wouldn't budge. I just tried it again, and I can get it to turn slightly if I give it all I've got (I'm hand tightening). Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:07 PM   #4
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I think I would stick with the plastic drain plug over the brass one. You are much less likely to strip out the threads on the tank. If that happens there could be some serious damage that may not be repairable.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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I can only say that you should compare the thread pitch with the plastic plug. Take a good look at the brass threads and see if there are indications of cross threading.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:25 PM   #6
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I would stick with the nylon plug for a few reasons. Dielectric reaction, expansion and damage to aluminum tank (if alum). They put nylon in for a reason..
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:27 PM   #7
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I looked at the new drain plug and found its first thread has a tiny divot and short length of a rough edge. Is this cross-thread evidence?
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John K. View Post
I looked at the new drain plug and found its first thread has a tiny divot and short length of a rough edge. Is this cross-thread evidence?
Can you offer a picture? I agree on the plastic/nylon plug use. At least if you crossthread, the nylon takes the hit (gets stripped) and the metal threads on the tank stay intact. It should be a pipe thread, which means it should get progressively tighter as you turn. If you go finger tight and then another 3/4 turn or so with a wrench, you should be good. Maybe a bit more if you see a leak.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:56 PM   #9
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It certainly sounds like the thread damage you found is the cause of the issue. Seems like there are 4 options:

1) put a wrench on the valve and hope (not recommended)
2) return the defective valve and get a good one
3) decide not to use a valve and use a nylon plug
4) clean up the defective threads. Probably if you bought a 1/2" steel coupling and carefully screwed the valve into the coupling, the steel would cut the proper threads into the brass of the valve.

Personally, I prefer to use a nylon plug. By the way, use teflon tape if you decide to use the brass valve.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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I don't think my camera will be able to photograph the cut in the valve thread because it is so small. I've never liked using the nylon plug because it is so pliable and it's always difficult to turn to get out. On the other hand, I don't want the brass valve to create a bigger problem. Maybe I should try an offset wrench, which could make undoing the plug easier. Thanks so much to everyone who responded. This tells me once again that it's wiser to contact people who know what they're doing before choosing an option that might not be the best after all.
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