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Old 04-01-2007, 07:02 PM   #1
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I have 2 questions ....

We own a 2004 Journey ... it has an Atwood Hotwater Heater ... this afternoon I was sitting outside and noticed water was dripping from my water heater.

The leak was coming from the vicinity of the drain plug ... when I tied to tighten the plug to stop the leak it broke in half ...

I went to Home Depot and bought a nipple extractor and a PVC plug ...

When I installed the plug there was a still a small leak (along one of the "seams" in the plug)

Question 1: Is there something special about the nylon plug that was originally in the water heater? In other words do I need to go to an RV store to get another nylon plug?

Question 2: Is there any trouble using teflon tape on the plug to stop the leak?

Thanks for your help ..
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:02 PM   #2
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I have 2 questions ....

We own a 2004 Journey ... it has an Atwood Hotwater Heater ... this afternoon I was sitting outside and noticed water was dripping from my water heater.

The leak was coming from the vicinity of the drain plug ... when I tied to tighten the plug to stop the leak it broke in half ...

I went to Home Depot and bought a nipple extractor and a PVC plug ...

When I installed the plug there was a still a small leak (along one of the "seams" in the plug)

Question 1: Is there something special about the nylon plug that was originally in the water heater? In other words do I need to go to an RV store to get another nylon plug?

Question 2: Is there any trouble using teflon tape on the plug to stop the leak?

Thanks for your help ..
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:28 PM   #3
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I would say no and no as long as the pvc plug is made for hot water or high temp pvc.
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:13 AM   #4
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Teflon tape should always be used on pipe threads, even on PVC. Your plug has a standard pipe thread, Don't use on compression type threaded fittings.
Good luck
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:14 AM   #5
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Hate that pesky plug. Mine looked brittle so I replaced it with a brass short nipple, used an elbow and installed a brass ball valve. Now when I want to drain the thing, I just open the ball valve. I did use teflon thread sealant.
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:38 AM   #6
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We also have an Atwood WH with the infamous nylon drain plug. I always try to have several spares available and some teflon plumbers tape in case one decides to leak or break. I also have a metal plug with a petcock on it that I keep handy in case I run out of the plastic ones. I leave the metal one in only until I can replenish my supply of the nylon ones.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:59 AM   #7
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While fulltiming, I have found that I need to replace the nylon plug about once a year or so as it yellows and hardens and starts leaking, or breaks like yours did. I keep one or two extra on hand. I flush my tank 3 to 4 times a year, and figure on replacing the plug one of those times.

I have not confirmed this with Atwood (could not find it on their website), but have been told "the nylon plug is a safety item related to the plastic tubing used in RVs to route hot water. The plug is designed to melt at a temp lower than the melting point of the plastic tubing. The plumbing in your MH is not CPVC that has a rating for 100 PSI @ 180*F. The HW heater has a relief value that will keep it from exploding but was designed to be used with CPVC. The Atwood HW heater has three inputs to heat the water, heat from the engine, propane and electrical. Anyone of these or a combination could heat the water hot enough to damage the plumbing in your MH."

I have used teflon plumbers tape with the plug, but normally do not need to with a new one.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:55 AM   #8
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I sent the following message to Atwood


-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 1:41 PM
To: [email protected]
Product Line: Water Heaters

Comments:
The nylon plug broke on my hot water
heater. I found a PVC plug at the
nearby Home Depot.

Is it essential that I get another
nylon plug?

Is there any danger / harm in
continuing to use the PVC plug?

Is ther any danger / harm in using a
brass plug?

Thank you


Atwood's Response

Mr. Wallace,
I do not know if there is a problem using a PVC plug.

We do ask that you do not install a metal plug of any kind because of the
possible damage to the water heater if it's over tightened, or cross
threaded. It is also possible dissimilar metal corrosion can occur with
certain types of metal plugs.

Todd Reitz, Customer Service
Atwood Mobile Products
1120 N. Main St
Elkhart, IN 46514
Ph. 866-869-3118
Fx. 574-206-9655
http://www.atwoodmobile.com/
Atwood Dealer Locator:
http://www.atwoodmobile.com/Service/Centers/default.cfm
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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I checked back with the guy who told me the nylon plug was a "safety item" designed to self-destruct to save the plumbing at high heat. He said he got that response at the Winnebago factory when he asked about putting a brass plug in. Interesting ... It does make some sense, but it seems if Atwood knew that to be the case, they would say so !!
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:23 PM   #10
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I can't believe that MH manufacuters would put in plastic pipe that could be melted by the tempature of the water comming from the hot water heater. That just doesn't make any sense.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">can't believe that MH manufacuters would put in plastic pipe that could be melted by the tempature of the water comming from the hot water heater </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
True ...but I've seen other things that are also hard to believe!
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:30 AM   #12
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Where does one get these 'nylon plugs' in order to have a spare? Me thinks we should get a couple.

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Old 04-04-2007, 06:47 AM   #13
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Hi Rose, Our sponsor RV Upgrades has them in stock. Water Heater Plugs
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:35 AM   #14
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thank you!

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Old 04-04-2007, 07:48 AM   #15
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I installed a Water Heater Drain Valve to mine.....used teflon tape...no more of using a wrench nonsense to drain....used these same valves on the last 9 RV's I've owned....perfect!
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #16
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I went though this one before and wrote to Atwood. They responded that I could use a brass plug. After all, the pressure relief valve is brass! No mention by them of any melting safeguards. Guess it depends on who you talk to.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:09 PM   #17
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrontRangeRVer:
I installed a Water Heater Drain Valve to mine.....used teflon tape...no more of using a wrench nonsense to drain....used these same valves on the last 9 RV's I've owned....perfect! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's cool, I used brass nipples and a ball valve and drilled a hole in the floor and now I just drain to the ground. No more mess around the bottom of the water heater!
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Where does one get these 'nylon plugs' </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Most RV dealers have 'em in stock, or Camping World. They normally come in a 2-pak.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:59 PM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fossilhog:
I went though this one before and wrote to Atwood. They responded that I could use a brass plug. After all, the pressure relief valve is brass! No mention by them of any melting safeguards. Guess it depends on who you talk to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would go with the motor home manufacturers recomendation on this one. If the motor home manufacturer says their plumbing can't handle temperatures above the melting point of the plastic plug then at least during the warrenty period I would use the plug they specified.

Atwoods responce would more likely be based on the needs of the water heater itself while the coach builder would make theirs based on the entire plumbing system.

I had an Atwood overheat and produce steam because the two stats were loose in their mounts. The P&T did not blow (just seeped enough steam to damage its access panel and the one for the refridgerator above it) nor did any other safety device shut down the system. I am glad that I was cleaning the tub surround and the blast of steam only loosened the adhesive holding it to the backing and no one was scalded. The plastic plug had been replaced with a metal one and the water heater was less than a year old as was the P&T valve.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:24 AM   #20
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The brass drain plug seems to work ok, but I prefer the nylon plug, because plug removal allows me to use a "wand" hooked to a water hose, to aggressively clean out the bottom of the wtr htr. I do not believe this bottom sludge would come out of the brass drain plug by itself.

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