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Old 10-18-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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winterizing hw heater plug stripped

So I'm getting ready to winterize my fifth wheel and I remembered that last time I drain the hot water heater the plug hole had gotten stripped, I was barely able to get the plug back in and I'm not sure if it's set straight or not. I'm afraid if I pull the plug to get it out and winterize I'm afraid the plug won't go back in. Is there any type of acrylic or plastic plug that can be made to fit?
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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You might be in trouble if your anode is part of the plug. There are replacement nylon plugs for Atwood heaters with aluminum tanks and no anode. You could also try using a tap and try cleaning up the threads. Oil pan drains come in a bunch of sizes and threads, maybe one of them would replace the original. Another idea is a rubber cork with a hole drilled through it. Put a stainless steel machine screw through it and a wing nut on the outside. Insert and tighten to lock in place. The tank can't get hotter than 212บ, same idea as boiling water in a paper cup. Go to a marine supplier and get a transom drain plug that fits the hole.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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You might be in trouble if your anode is part of the plug. There are replacement nylon plugs for Atwood heaters with aluminum tanks and no anode. You could also try using a tap and try cleaning up the threads. Oil pan drains come in a bunch of sizes and threads, maybe one of them would replace the original. Another idea is a rubber cork with a hole drilled through it. Put a stainless steel machine screw through it and a wing nut on the outside. Insert and tighten to lock in place. The tank can't get hotter than 212บ, same idea as boiling water in a paper cup. Go to a marine supplier and get a transom drain plug that fits the hole.
The rig is an 85 jayco. Ive pulled the plug and there isn't an anode rod. I believe the tank is aluminum. The plug lokw ok but The threads in the tank have rusted and years of removal has made them almost unrecognizable. The previous owner musta known it was problematic because there was Teflon tape on the threads. I removed the tape and used a wire wheel to clean the plug. Im just afraid that I wont be able to get er to hold water. Thatll crush us as a replacement water hearter is outa the question... thanks again!
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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If you can rethread the hole, put a brass collar in that has a petcock in it. Just like draining a radiator.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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If you can rethread the hole, put a brass collar in that has a petcock in it. Just like draining a radiator.
Ahhhh. Do I need to find a tap the same size as my plug?
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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Ahhhh. Do I need to find a tap the same size as my plug?
If the hole is not too damaged, tap same size as plug. I would try that first. Home Depot or Lowes etc may have what you need. I did this in a few minutes back in 95.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure it's 1/2"-20 threads. Here is a Helicoil with Tap. If the thread count is not 20 then go to Amazon and find the correct one. It's really the right way to fix such things.

http://www.amazon.com/Heli-Coil-5528...sim_sbs_auto_2


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Old 10-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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It's quite likely that there used to be an anode rod and it has since been completely sacrificed. After all, that's why it's there. Now that it's gone, the galvanic corrosion will attack the iron fittings in the tank, like the drain plug bung. Thus, your conundrum. If I were you, I would get the model # off you hwh and check google it to see if it is supposed to have an anode rod. Order one up and while you're waiting for it, get a pipe tap, usually either 3/4 or 1" NPT from your local hardware or big box home store. Pull the plug out and run the tap in until you get clean threads. Flush the tank a couple times to get all the metal chips out from tapping. The beauty of tapered threads like NPT is that you can renew them down to bare metal.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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If it is a Suburban water heater, it probably had an anode. They have steel tanks. Atwood has aluminum tanks and no anode.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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If it's 1/2" 13 here is a Helicoil for that.
Helicoil 5521-8 1/2-13 Inch Coarse Thread Repair Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive

If it's 1/2" NPT then you need to go to a plumbing shop to find one.

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Old 10-18-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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Thats what the plug looked like when I pulled it. Ive seen what old anode rods look like but ill chech the hw heater when I get home
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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Thats what the plug looked like when I pulled it. Ive seen what old anode rods look like but ill chech the hw heater when I get home
That looks like a standard Attwood plug, no rod needed. Mc Master Carr has 1/2" NPT Helicoils. McMaster-Carr
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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That looks like a standard Attwood plug, no rod needed. Mc Master Carr has 1/2" NPT Helicoils. McMaster-Carr
I have a granger local. Would they carry one?
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
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water heater plug needed

Call the store you have in mind and ask for what you need. That way you don't waste your gas or time. If they don't have what you need then ask for a referral to another place. Many good posts to help you out and get your problem fixed.
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