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Old 07-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Water Heater

We have had our rv since last fall. We took it out one time before having it winterized.We took it out for the first time this season and my question is: How do most of you empty your water heater after a trip. Or do you leave the water in the tank. And if so how long can you leave it in the tank. I would like to drain it or flush it out but not sure how to do it. We are still very new at rv'ing and learning. So far we really love it and are learning from other very helpful rv'ers. Thanks for your replies.

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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For the most part, I leave our water heater full between trips. To drain it, make sure there's no pressure in the system, remove (or open) the exterior cover and then unscrew the drain plug at the bottom of the water heater. Ours is white plastic but some others are metal with an anode attached. It will drain faster if you open the relief valve at the top of the tank.

Camping World and other RV suppliers sell a water heater flushing wand, basically a long skinny rigid tube that connects to the end of a garden hose. The water stream is inserted into the drain and flushed until all the little white chunks are removed. Even with a water softener I get some buildup inside the tank so I usually flush it a couple of time a year.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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I drain our twice a year and flush. Before leaving for TX and just before we leave TX to come back home. Other than that it always has water in it. Martind4 gave excellent instructions about draining.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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Just a suggestion and from my experience........use a six point socket when removing / installing the plug rather than a open end wrench.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martind4 View Post
For the most part, I leave our water heater full between trips. To drain it, make sure there's no pressure in the system, remove (or open) the exterior cover and then unscrew the drain plug at the bottom of the water heater. Ours is white plastic but some others are metal with an anode attached. It will drain faster if you open the relief valve at the top of the tank.

Camping World and other RV suppliers sell a water heater flushing wand, basically a long skinny rigid tube that connects to the end of a garden hose. The water stream is inserted into the drain and flushed until all the little white chunks are removed. Even with a water softener I get some buildup inside the tank so I usually flush it a couple of time a year.
make sure the electric power to the electric water heater element is off before draining the heater. it only takes a few seconds to burn out the element without water in the tank.
we only drain our water heater to flush it annually. the other posts cover this well.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:57 AM   #6
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When you put the plastic plug back in the water heater, give it a couple wraps of Teflon tape. Then screw it in finger tight and then a half turn with the wrench. If you screw it in to tight your next question will be how do I remove a broken plug.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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We drain ours when we are putting it in storage for an extended period. Otherwise, we leave it full.
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