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Old 05-24-2007, 04:34 AM   #1
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I was installing the nylon drain plug in my hot water heater last night and the top of it shear off. Now the threaded part is still in the water heater drain hole and I can't get a grip on it. Any idea's on how to ge it out? I was thinking a really big "easy-out" but don't want to damage the threads on the water heater.
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:34 AM   #2
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I was installing the nylon drain plug in my hot water heater last night and the top of it shear off. Now the threaded part is still in the water heater drain hole and I can't get a grip on it. Any idea's on how to ge it out? I was thinking a really big "easy-out" but don't want to damage the threads on the water heater.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:00 AM   #3
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Same thing happened to me. We used an easy out. Once you get it going, it will come right out.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:26 AM   #4
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This can be a real pain if you don't have the right tool. It takes a large easy out. Size EX-7 fitting a 17/32 hole. I looked at every hardware store and could not find it. I finally found one at a heavy hardware specialty store, cost close to $20.00.

Later, I saw the same tool at a very large ACE hardware store. Call around first.

Also, I now carry several extra plastic plugs.

Comment: The plastic plugs are a very poor design.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:52 AM   #5
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I would find a large flat blade screw driver or file that will just fit inside the threaded outer aluminum shell of the drain. Heat the end with a torch or heat gun just enough to be able to press it into the plastic. Slowly press it into the remainder of the plug to form a slot. Once you've melted a slot in the plug remove the tool and let the plastic and the tool cool. After a few minutes you should be able to reinsert the tool and twist it out. It really shouldn't take much effort since the threads are tapered 1/2" pipe. Once it starts to move it should come out easily.

When you replace the plug I would put several wraps on teflon tape on the threads of the new plug. The teflon acts as a lubricant allowing you to screw the plug in farther without damaging it.

PS: The reason Atwood uses a "plastic" plug is to prevent corrosion between the plug and the aluminum tank & fitting. A steel, brass or other metallic plug could cause a chemical reaction leaading to pin holes in the tank or a plug that's permanently corroded into the tank.
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Old 05-24-2007, 07:27 AM   #6
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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 rvcarpenter:
I was installing the nylon drain plug in my hot water heater last night and the top of it shear off. Now the threaded part is still in the water heater drain hole and I can't get a grip on it. Any idea's on how to ge it out? I was thinking a really big "easy-out" but don't want to damage the threads on the water heater. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rather then use a saw or metal tool that would damage the threads of the water heater liner, use a heat gun, etc. to soften the remaining plug shell so much that it would pry out very easy with say a wooden stick. I wouldn't go to crazy with the heat but using a moderate amount of heat and a wooden stick will eliminate any chance of thread/liner damage. I've removed more then one like this for other campers. The nylon softens quickly and comes right out.
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Old 05-24-2007, 11:14 AM   #7
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For future reference ...

Home Depot has inexpensive EZ-Outs in the underground lawn sprinkler section ... they are just the right size for our hot water heater plugs ... my broken plug came out in 10 seconds ... Home Depot has PVC plugs but does not have nylon plugs

And as the old saying goes "you can hardly swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting a Home Depot'
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:15 PM   #8
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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 Hikerdogs:
I would find a large flat blade screw driver or file that will just fit inside the threaded outer aluminum shell of the drain. Heat the end with a torch or heat gun just enough to be able to press it into the plastic. Slowly press it into the remainder of the plug to form a slot. Once you've melted a slot in the plug remove the tool and let the plastic and the tool cool. After a few minutes you should be able to reinsert the tool and twist it out. It really shouldn't take much effort since the threads are tapered 1/2" pipe. Once it starts to move it should come out easily.

When you replace the plug I would put several wraps on teflon tape on the threads of the new plug. The teflon acts as a lubricant allowing you to screw the plug in farther without damaging it.

PS: The reason Atwood uses a "plastic" plug is to prevent corrosion between the plug and the aluminum tank & fitting. A steel, brass or other metallic plug could cause a chemical reaction leaading to pin holes in the tank or a plug that's permanently corroded into the tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> What you say is true. The strange part is, Atwood uses steel pipe nipples on the water inlet/outlet flanges to connect to the plastic line fittings.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:41 AM   #9
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SkiGramp has the solution. That is what we used and 10 seconds later we were off and running. We even borrowed the 'riser extractor' from the campground maintenance people.
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:44 AM   #10
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OK got it out and fixed. used a heat gun to soften the nylon then pushed a file in there untilit was tight, waited for everything to cool and twisted it out. 10 mins. I looked at an easy out but they were $12.00 and I already had the heat gun and file.

Thanks for the replys.
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