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Old 08-12-2011, 07:46 AM   #1
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Hot water tank - drain or leave full?

What is the best way to store the hot water tank between trips of a few weeks to a few months. Full or drained?

Didn't know if it made a difference to its longevity.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #2
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I leave mine full all summer, of course I drain in the winter.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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What is the best way to store the hot water tank between trips of a few weeks to a few months. Full or drained?

Didn't know if it made a difference to its longevity.
Always drain, that way the minerals in the water wont screw up the inside of the tank. I drain mine as soon as we get home.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
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I leave mine full all summer, of course I drain in the winter.
Ditto. Winters here are not that bad, but we do occationally have overnight freezing.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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Drain ours after every trip and let the drain cap off for air to circulate.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Drain ours after every trip and let the drain cap off for air to circulate.
Do you keep a screen on the drain cap to keep critters out?
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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No I haven't but thought about it after our last trip. It is probably a good idea. Mud wasps or something could set up camp in there Wouldn't be very good for water quality...lol
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #8
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What is the best way to store the hot water tank between trips of a few weeks to a few months. Full or drained?

Didn't know if it made a difference to its longevity.
Always drain ours and siphon out water left in bottom ( just a small amount), leave plug out, cover inside of water heater cover completely so nothing gets into tank or gas valves, etc. Have a bypass, so in winter we do not have to put RV antifreeze in water heater tank because it is dry. Ours has an anode rod on the end of the drain plug which keep minerals from damaging inside of tank. If yours does not have an anode rod, you can buy the combination plug/anode rod from an RV dealer or he can order one. Check screw size of plug to get the right one.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Always drain ours and siphon out water left in bottom ( just a small amount), leave plug out, cover inside of water heater cover completely so nothing gets into tank or gas valves, etc. Have a bypass, so in winter we do not have to put RV antifreeze in water heater tank because it is dry. Ours has an anode rod on the end of the drain plug which keep minerals from damaging inside of tank. If yours does not have an anode rod, you can buy the combination plug/anode rod from an RV dealer or he can order one. Check screw size of plug to get the right one.
If you water heater doesn't have a anode rod you probably don't need one. The steel tanks use an anode rod to help prevent corrosion of the tank material. The corrosive elements in the water attack and "eat up"the anode rod rather than the material of the tank. These anode rods should be inspected and replaced annually, if required. Aluminum tanks do not require an anode rod.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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I have an aluminum water tank and only drain during the winter --- tank has been going strong since 91.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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We have an Atwood water heater which doesn't require an anode rod. Living in Vegas, I leave the tank full year around.

After 11 years I thought it may be a good idea to remove the Teflon drain plug and check the water as it drained form the tank for any particulate accumulation and found none.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:16 AM   #12
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that was my next question is it a atwood or suburban hot water heater, one is made out of steel an the other is made out of aluminum.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:21 AM   #13
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Some say drain , some say don't drain. It's a matter of opinion and either has some merit. But if you drain, make sure you never turn on the electric or gas to the hot water tank without being full of water. You'll be replacing the tank if it's not full of water. Maybe you could put a tag or a piece of tape over the switch that says: TANK EMPTY.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:46 AM   #14
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I agree I only drain ours in the winter. we dont have a rod either and most times I run a tank of water through filling the holding tanks and making sure theres no air in it before starting.
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