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Old 04-02-2006, 09:04 AM   #1
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Last week I noticed water leaking from the HWH drain plug. Next morning, after HWH had cooled off I removed it to replace the teflon tape & the plug snapped off, leaving most of the threaded portion still in the drain hole.

Not wanting to damage the aluminum hole threads, I finally managed to get it out using my Leatherman knife blade. I was able to shave down a section & then using the blade point was able to pry the thinner section off the threads. Was then able to grab the raised section with needle nose pliers & twist it out.

Went to an RV parts place in Temecula & bought a replacement. Well, actually bought 2, because that is how Atwood packages them. So now have a spare.

Putting the HWH into bypass mode allowed us to use the water system without the plug installed while I was working on it.
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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Last week I noticed water leaking from the HWH drain plug. Next morning, after HWH had cooled off I removed it to replace the teflon tape & the plug snapped off, leaving most of the threaded portion still in the drain hole.

Not wanting to damage the aluminum hole threads, I finally managed to get it out using my Leatherman knife blade. I was able to shave down a section & then using the blade point was able to pry the thinner section off the threads. Was then able to grab the raised section with needle nose pliers & twist it out.

Went to an RV parts place in Temecula & bought a replacement. Well, actually bought 2, because that is how Atwood packages them. So now have a spare.

Putting the HWH into bypass mode allowed us to use the water system without the plug installed while I was working on it.
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:18 AM   #3
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Same thing happened to me about a month ago. It was leaking so I was going to try to tighten it but before I could even turn the wrench it broke off leaving the threads on the inside. Done the same thing as you but couldn't use the HWH until I got to Home depot and bought a brass plug. Reason I couldn't use it was because last year I had problems with the check valve in back and removed the guts therefore negates the bypass valve. They can sure be a P.I. the A. at times
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:40 AM   #4
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You might want to rethink about using a "brass" plug. The two different metals will cause them to glue together. Also the plastic is a safety thing, it will blow out before the tank can blow. Yes, I know there is a relief value also.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:41 PM   #5
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After this happened to me, I purchased an easyout pipe tool. When the plastic plug breaks you can remove it in just a minute with this tool. Because this has happened a couple of times in three years I have put "changing out this plug" on my list when I clean the HWH.
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:00 PM   #6
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ptribbey: Where did you find the easy out pipe tool?
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:54 AM   #7
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At the local ACE hardware store. The tool comes in various sizes. I am sure Sears would also have it.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:04 AM   #8
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The tool can be found in the underground irrigation dept. They are used to remove broken riser pipes and are under five dollars.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:38 AM   #9
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RV-Boy,

I swapped out my plastic plug several months ago because it was leaking too. I put a brass plug in. I do not think the brass will react with the Al. It's been awhile so someone correct me here please if I am wrong but I think the brass is less noble than the Al so the plug will corrode a little but since there is no salt water here it will be a real slow process.

My biggest concern now is one that you brought up - safty issue. Nobody seemed to agree or question your post so I am wondering if safty is really an issue. If it is I will change out the brass plug I put in about a month ago.

Why do you think this is a safty issue?

Thanks
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:10 AM   #10
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I've used brass plugs in my Atwood WHs for years. No real issues with corrosion; used teflon tape too. Never experienced a safety issue; there is a pressure relief valve on the top of the tank. Your right about the nobler metal.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:16 AM   #11
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troth,

Thanks - I used lots of teflon tape when I put it in. I feel better with the brass plug. I always wondered when just the vibration from riding down the road would break the plastic plug off or worse - out with a tank full of water running out on the highway. The heat from the hot water had to make the plastic plug brittle as we all see from trying to remove them.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:43 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, in my 33+ years in aircraft maintenance in the AF and AF Reserves, dissimilar metal corrosion was and still is a major problem.

I once saw a presentation in college of safety issues around the home. One showed a water heater that had exploded because the relief valve failed.

The house, about 1,000 SF was almost leveled. It looked like a big wad of dynamite had been set off.

IMHO I think I'd go back to the nylon plug in the water heater. Also, move the relief valve lever once in a while to break up the crud that forms.

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Old 04-04-2006, 02:14 PM   #13
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I would agree with Adrian that after time the plastic or maybe nylon plug will get brittle from the constant hot water.Plus in NO way this plug is meant to be a safety blow out plug.That is why the T/P safety relief valve is installed in the tank.So far as using a brass plug as Adrian stated use teflon tape on the threads.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:14 AM   #14
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AdrianLee,

I stand corrected (again). I was told by my service guy that it was a safety thing. I just called Attwood and was told that it is OK to put a brass plug in place of the plastic plug just not a galvenized one. He said it is a cost thing and has nothing to do with safety.

As cheap as the plastic plugs are, I still plan on replacing mine every other year. Ok, I am a big chicken sometimes. I once saw the after math of a water heater that blew in a class C motorhome. I blew out all the windows and the heater as well. The people inside were not hurt, just couldn't hear very well for a while after the big bang.

Sorry for the mis-information.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:48 PM   #15
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I removed mine completly and installed a brass nipple with a ball valve, then piped it through the floor and down and out to the outside. Now I can just open the ball valve and drain the tank to the ground, provided you pop the safety valve for a vent.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:33 PM   #16
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Hi All,
Food for thought, both check valves are ˜brass'.
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