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Old 10-19-2013, 06:19 AM   #1
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Hot water tank corroded plug

I am trying to winterize my travel trailer and the hotwater tank plug is corroded and I can't get it unscrewed. Any ideas?

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Old 10-19-2013, 06:23 AM   #2
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Longer wrench....a Johnson bar and socket is your best bet....The do tend to be tight due to heating and corrosion. When reinstalling, use some teflon tape

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Old 10-19-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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First, try a longer wrench. If that doesn't do it, try giving the wrench a few sharp hits with a hammer while applying force on it. If it still won't budge, rent an impact wrench.

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Old 10-19-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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It would have been helpful to know what brand of water heater you have, Surburban, Atwood, etc.
If you have a Surburban, the drain plug is normally the anode rod that is removed to drain the water.
If you have an Atwood which normally is manufactured with an aluminum tank and should have a nylon drain plug and NEVER use a steel or galvanized plug to replace the nylon plug. This is because with the dissimilar metals, (aluminum to steel) you will see an electrolysis chemical reaction that, over time, will virtually seize these two components together, and make it extremely hard to break the plug loose from the tank.
One trick might be, if there is room, to apply a little heat to the tank, around the plug, and put ice directly on the plug and then use a shock load or impact to try to break the plug loose from the tank.

When you get the plug out, I would recommend using a pipe tap to chase the threads in the tank and use a new plug, with Teflon tape to secure it, and only tighten it enough to assure it won't leak, so it is easier to get out the next time you want to drain the tank.

Hope this helps and happy RV'g

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Old 10-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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If you want to gamble, go ahead and get a bigger wrench and an impact.
Penetrating oil, and light but sharp taps on your ratchet right now.
And Jack is right. Suburban = steel threaded anode rod. Atwood = plastic plug.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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The above options are ok, but first, run the heater (with water in it). Just like hitting a stuck bolt with a torch, the heat (expansion) of the tank may be enough to unseat the bolt.
Just don't scald yourself. If it comes loose, turn off the heat and let it cool before pulling the plug.

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tank, water

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