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Old 04-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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I finally got to "drain the hot water tank" on the To-Do list. This is my first time. I searched the forum and did not find any "process" so I figured the Atwood instructions that came with the RV would be sufficient. And mostly they were.

Our 2004, 36G Journey has an Atwood 10 gallon tank, model GCH10A-4E. Since I do not have any other RV hot water heater tank draining experience I do not know how universal my experience will apply.

We park in a paved storage yard so I wanted to drain into a bucket. I used two five gallon buckets so I could alternate them as they filled. Other forum members have discussed whether to replace the existing Atwood " nylon drain plug with a new Atwood nylon drain plug or use PVC or a metal one. The Atwood people suggested against the metal plug to prevent cross threading damage to the inlet port and potential corrosion. They had no comment regarding the PVC. I just stuck with their nylon plug. You can purchase them at RV Upgrade. A spare or two would be handy.

After making sure the water pump was off, I backed the nylon drain plug out and immediately inserted a " x 9" sprinkler stand off pipe. It uses the same thread pattern. This standoff pipe extended the water drain out to the bucket. I then opened up the relief valve to allow air into the tank and the water flowed very nicely.

When the water stopped draining I removed the relief valve to gain access to the relief valve inlet so I could flush out the tank. To do this it makes it easier to remove the flue box assembly. It only takes the removal of two small metal screws.

As Atwood says, when the tank quits draining there are still about two gallons of water remaining in the tank and this is where most of the corrosive particles are located. I fitted the end of a " x 6" sprinkler standoff pipe with a female hose end so I could attach my garden hose. I installed the standoff pipe and then attached the garden hose and turned the water on and discolored water flowed out the drain pipe into the drain bucket. Attwood recommends flushing for five minutes and it took me about six minutes before the water flushed clear. Capturing this water in a bucket helps with seeing the water clarity.

I was fortunate in that I had no blockages. I did not have to use any coat hangers to clear the drain passage.

I then installed the Atwood nylon drain plug. I went to the kitchen sink and opened the hot water (water pump is off) faucet so air could escape the hot water tank as I refilled it. I then turned on the water and refilled the tank through the standoff pipe fixture attached to the relief valve port. When the tank filled water flushed out the kitchen faucet. I removed the hose and pipe extension and reinstalled the relief valve. I wrapped the relief valve threads with some new Teflon plumbers tape to help prevent thread leakage. I closed the kitchen hot water faucet.

Just like Atwood recommends, I then opened the relief valve to allow water to escape to create an air gap. When the water stopped I closed the relief valve.

I then installed the water hose to the RV's water inlet so I could remove the last of the air from the hot water lines. I just turned on each of the hot water faucets: kitchen, bathroom sink and shower until they ran with no air.

Job done! If anyone has any additional ideas please let me know. Thanks,
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #2
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I finally got to "drain the hot water tank" on the To-Do list. This is my first time. I searched the forum and did not find any "process" so I figured the Atwood instructions that came with the RV would be sufficient. And mostly they were.

Our 2004, 36G Journey has an Atwood 10 gallon tank, model GCH10A-4E. Since I do not have any other RV hot water heater tank draining experience I do not know how universal my experience will apply.

We park in a paved storage yard so I wanted to drain into a bucket. I used two five gallon buckets so I could alternate them as they filled. Other forum members have discussed whether to replace the existing Atwood " nylon drain plug with a new Atwood nylon drain plug or use PVC or a metal one. The Atwood people suggested against the metal plug to prevent cross threading damage to the inlet port and potential corrosion. They had no comment regarding the PVC. I just stuck with their nylon plug. You can purchase them at RV Upgrade. A spare or two would be handy.

After making sure the water pump was off, I backed the nylon drain plug out and immediately inserted a " x 9" sprinkler stand off pipe. It uses the same thread pattern. This standoff pipe extended the water drain out to the bucket. I then opened up the relief valve to allow air into the tank and the water flowed very nicely.

When the water stopped draining I removed the relief valve to gain access to the relief valve inlet so I could flush out the tank. To do this it makes it easier to remove the flue box assembly. It only takes the removal of two small metal screws.

As Atwood says, when the tank quits draining there are still about two gallons of water remaining in the tank and this is where most of the corrosive particles are located. I fitted the end of a " x 6" sprinkler standoff pipe with a female hose end so I could attach my garden hose. I installed the standoff pipe and then attached the garden hose and turned the water on and discolored water flowed out the drain pipe into the drain bucket. Attwood recommends flushing for five minutes and it took me about six minutes before the water flushed clear. Capturing this water in a bucket helps with seeing the water clarity.

I was fortunate in that I had no blockages. I did not have to use any coat hangers to clear the drain passage.

I then installed the Atwood nylon drain plug. I went to the kitchen sink and opened the hot water (water pump is off) faucet so air could escape the hot water tank as I refilled it. I then turned on the water and refilled the tank through the standoff pipe fixture attached to the relief valve port. When the tank filled water flushed out the kitchen faucet. I removed the hose and pipe extension and reinstalled the relief valve. I wrapped the relief valve threads with some new Teflon plumbers tape to help prevent thread leakage. I closed the kitchen hot water faucet.

Just like Atwood recommends, I then opened the relief valve to allow water to escape to create an air gap. When the water stopped I closed the relief valve.

I then installed the water hose to the RV's water inlet so I could remove the last of the air from the hot water lines. I just turned on each of the hot water faucets: kitchen, bathroom sink and shower until they ran with no air.

Job done! If anyone has any additional ideas please let me know. Thanks,
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:49 PM   #3
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Hey Steve,
Sounds like you did a very complete job. Congratulations and thanks for sharing. You mentioned that after you drained the tank there is still 2 gallons inside which generally contain most of the contaminates. If that is correct and I am not doubting that it isn't, that would mean when I winterize there is still two gallons of fresh water that will freeze? This sounds like it could cause problems? Any comments and have you had any problems?
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:51 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You mentioned that after you drained the tank there is still 2 gallons inside which generally contain most of the contaminates. If that is correct and I am not doubting that it isn't, that would mean when I winterize there is still two gallons of fresh water that will freeze? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nice writeup Steve. I just did mine yesterday.

Atwood says that 2 gallons remains after draining, but I doubt it will cause any problems with freezing, as ice would have room to expand. There is no pressure present.
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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Good job Steve. I got tired of doing all that work so I added a permanent drain valve and a down tube from the relief valve to prevent moisture being directed onto the electrical contacts. I do a flush on a regular basis now as it's so simple, this eliminates a build-up of crud.
Since I'm cumputer chalenged I don't know how to ad a picture to this message but if you send me your e-mail address I can forward a picture to you.
It's an easy conversion (upgrade) and low cost.
Best regards...
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:26 PM   #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 SteveG:
I finally got to "drain the hot water tank" on the To-Do list. This is my first time. I searched the forum and did not find any "process" so I figured the Atwood instructions that came with the RV would be sufficient. And mostly they were.

Our 2004, 36G Journey has an Atwood 10 gallon tank, model GCH10A-4E. Since I do not have any other RV hot water heater tank draining experience I do not know how universal my experience will apply.

We park in a paved storage yard so I wanted to drain into a bucket. I used two five gallon buckets so I could alternate them as they filled. Other forum members have discussed whether to replace the existing Atwood " nylon drain plug with a new Atwood nylon drain plug or use PVC or a metal one. The Atwood people suggested against the metal plug to prevent cross threading damage to the inlet port and potential corrosion. They had no comment regarding the PVC. I just stuck with their nylon plug. You can purchase them at RV Upgrade. A spare or two would be handy.

After making sure the water pump was off, I backed the nylon drain plug out and immediately inserted a " x 9" sprinkler stand off pipe. It uses the same thread pattern. This standoff pipe extended the water drain out to the bucket. I then opened up the relief valve to allow air into the tank and the water flowed very nicely.

When the water stopped draining I removed the relief valve to gain access to the relief valve inlet so I could flush out the tank. To do this it makes it easier to remove the flue box assembly. It only takes the removal of two small metal screws.

As Atwood says, when the tank quits draining there are still about two gallons of water remaining in the tank and this is where most of the corrosive particles are located. I fitted the end of a " x 6" sprinkler standoff pipe with a female hose end so I could attach my garden hose. I installed the standoff pipe and then attached the garden hose and turned the water on and discolored water flowed out the drain pipe into the drain bucket. Attwood recommends flushing for five minutes and it took me about six minutes before the water flushed clear. Capturing this water in a bucket helps with seeing the water clarity.

I was fortunate in that I had no blockages. I did not have to use any coat hangers to clear the drain passage.

I then installed the Atwood nylon drain plug. I went to the kitchen sink and opened the hot water (water pump is off) faucet so air could escape the hot water tank as I refilled it. I then turned on the water and refilled the tank through the standoff pipe fixture attached to the relief valve port. When the tank filled water flushed out the kitchen faucet. I removed the hose and pipe extension and reinstalled the relief valve. I wrapped the relief valve threads with some new Teflon plumbers tape to help prevent thread leakage. I closed the kitchen hot water faucet.

Just like Atwood recommends, I then opened the relief valve to allow water to escape to create an air gap. When the water stopped I closed the relief valve.

I then installed the water hose to the RV's water inlet so I could remove the last of the air from the hot water lines. I just turned on each of the hot water faucets: kitchen, bathroom sink and shower until they ran with no air.

Job done! If anyone has any additional ideas please let me know. Thanks, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here's an informative thread for future reference. The yellow plastic hose can be purchased at any RV supply place or Camping world and is attached to a hose and inserted into the drain plug opening. A little messy but effective.
http://www.1tree.net/adventure/full-...r_cleaning.htm

Here is the CW link for the yellow hose tank flusher.
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm/Outdo...kunum=14677:src=CROS
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feed back. The yellow hose tank flusher will be helpful so I'll add it to the tool kit.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:40 PM   #8
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This is a photo sent to me by C Zimm. I am posting it with his permission as I thought the modifications might be helpful. The mods make it pretty easy to drain the water from the 10 gallon Atwood hot water tank and the hose protects the electrical connections from the relief valve.

To stir up the mucky stuff at the bottom of the tank required me to remove the relief valve. It would be better not to have to remove this valve to eliminate a cross thread possibility. Has anyone figured out how to access the back tank port for clean out rather then having to remove the relief valve?

(I attempted to include the photo but I was not totally successful. I was able to right click on the small button below and select access to the photo link.)


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