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Old 07-29-2015, 11:32 PM   #1
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Water Heater Threads bad?

I have already called my dealer and they are looking into a warranty issue, but this week I finally flushed all the water tanks on our new trailer. The water heater plug was in there a bit crooked with sealant around it from the factory, I removed it to drain the heater, and the metal threads on the water heater tank look very bad. The nylon plug actually looked alright. I was able to get it back in, but it cross threaded and of course drips. I have procured 2 new plugs and will try replacing it tomorrow (camping now) but I am guessing the new ones will crossthread as well. My questions are.

1.) has anyone had a new trailer that had this issue with the metal threads looking bad and the plug not going in easily at all

2.) are the nylon plugs a 1 use thing or when you drain it can you generally reuse the plug?

3.) has ANYONE figured out a good way to get this thing in and out (the dealer advised every time I camp I need to drain it) but its a real pain to get most tools behind the gas line blocking the plug.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:46 PM   #2
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My original nylon plug was in use for 3 years and never leaked.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:06 AM   #3
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If you could find the right size tap the threads in the WH could be cleaned up. I'd be satisfied with that fix, I believe.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:02 AM   #4
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I don't know how you could mess up metal threads with a nylon plug? I would suspect the threads weren't cut right at the factory. I agree they might be able to be cleaned up with the right tap.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:33 AM   #5
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I drain my water heater each time I am done camping, but I don't remove the nylon plug. When your low point drains are pulled, open up the pressure relief valve on the water heater by lifting the spring loaded tab until it is inline with the valve. This will allow air into the heater and let the water escape, draining out your low points. It won't get 100% of the water out, but most of it will be gone. It's enough to not be an issue and not get that stinky water smell that people complain about when they don't drain it and it sits.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:14 AM   #6
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If it sits idle for more than a month I'd drain. Plugs are reusable but it's good to have spares. I saw a specialized wrench at CW for the plug but I use a socket with an extension. If the threads are messed up it probably came that way from the factory. The drain does not point straight out but has a bit of a down angle. I hate drips. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:19 AM   #7
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When you drain it what if any do you need to put on the plug when you reinstall it?
Will Plumbers putty work?
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in calif View Post
When you drain it what if any do you need to put on the plug when you reinstall it?
Will Plumbers putty work?
I coat mine with a little pipe dope. Probably not necessary but I'm still on my original plug after 3 years with no leaks and we drain after every trip.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:38 AM   #9
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If the threads are fouled, you will never get a good seal.


Carefully using the correct tap (pipe taps are tapered) to straighten and dig deeper into the drain collar, probably will fix the problem for the remaining life of your water heater.


However, if it is still under warrantee, get the dealer to replace the tank. There is no good reason to live with this.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in calif View Post
When you drain it what if any do you need to put on the plug when you reinstall it?
Will Plumbers putty work?
I think there was plumbers putty on it from the factory. I put it back in without anything. I carry spares and wind up replacing it every couple of years or so. I recall posters saying they use Teflon tape.
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