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Old 07-07-2016, 05:15 PM   #1
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Atwood hot water drain plug leaking

I have been having a constant drip from this plug. I took the plug out and replaced with a new one. Well my drip is slower but still there. Any ideas? Threads are clean.

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Old 07-07-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
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Wrap the threads in a few wraps of Teflon tape and the tighten until it stops leaking. I hope this helps.

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Old 07-07-2016, 05:49 PM   #3
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Buy a brass nipple..........1/2" NPT threads

Run it in/out drain hole to chase/clean/straighten threads

Install new Atwood nylon drain plug finger tight then snug up (warp with tape OK)
If drips....slightly tighten

Plug and drain threads are 'tapered' (NPT) so they get tighter and tighter the farther plug is inserted
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:08 PM   #4
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I too became frustrated with the nylon plugs leaking and cracking. I now use a metal plug with a light application of anti seize compound, on threads only, to prevent disimilar metals from gaulding together. Remove it once or twice a year to flush tank.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:17 PM   #5
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If it's the standard Atwood nylon plug and isn't sealing to the threads fully, my guess is that there is damage to the female threads on the tank. Or that you are over-tightening it, causing the metal to cut a gash in the nylon. It does not need to be real tight.

If nice soft nylon won't seal, I doubt if brass will do any better, with or without tape. However, if the internal threads are already damaged, a paste type pipe dope may fill the gaps adequately. It works better than tape for problem areas. Here is one such:

As you have probably guessed, I do not share the opinion that the nylon plugs are no good. I'll grant that sloppy wrenching can turn the corners off, though. Use a correct size socket, not pliers or an adjustable wrench.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:36 PM   #6
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The plugs are Nylon because the tank is aluminum. That idea is so you can't strip the tank threads, if you do, you likely will scrap the tank.
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:08 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for the great ideas. I have on order new Atwood plugs. I will chase the threads with a brass plug. I am able to hand tighten the plugs using a socket with extention. I don't think the aluminum threads are damaged. New plugs should arrive tomorrow and will do this exercise again.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brockx View Post
The plugs are Nylon because the tank is aluminum. That idea is so you can't strip the tank threads, if you do, you likely will scrap the tank.
Yes, much better to replace a nylon plug you cross-threaded than to replace the aluminum tank that would be ruined by cross-threading any metal plug into the soft aluminum.

That, plus galvanic action caused by dissimilar metals can eat up the aluminum the tank itself is made from.

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Old 07-09-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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I use a brass plug but only when the coach is in use. When not in use (most of the time) the tank is drained and left open without a plug. I always use a little grease on the threads just cause it seems like a good idea. No problems for many years running.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:15 AM   #10
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Mine is a 6 gallon tank and a 1/2 npt would not fit into the threads. 1/2 was too big. I was trying to mount a Hott Rod heater using an adapter but ended up braising two different adapters together than rewiring the two thermostats so they can operate either or both propane and electric.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:37 PM   #11
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I will second what Gary said about pipe joint compound versus teflon tape. For me the pipe joint compound works when the tape doesn't. I have seen one of those TV plumbers use both.

I always try to use a new nylon plug.

I also limit the size of the wrench handle the jerk uses to tighten the plug. My go to wrench is the correct 1/2" socket with a universal extension turned at 90 degrees for a handle. This is a pretty short handle and makes it hard to over tighten the plug.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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One more thing on using teflon tape. When you wrap the threads wrap it so the action of screwing the plug into the tank tightens the tape onto to the plug.

Or to say it another way... hold the plug in your left hand with the threads pointing to the right. Now start wrapping the tape away from your body.

This is probably one of those "duh" moments for every wanna be plumber, but I managed to do that backwards once or twice.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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If you need to clean the threads do it with a pipe tap not a pipe nipple be it brass or steel it won't clean the threads.
As far as the actual plug brass or any other metallic material with the exception of Stainless Steel (316 is the best) is not compatible with Aluminum.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:57 PM   #14
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I believe. At Wood plugs. Also Help. To protect The tank. From overpressure. In addition. To the pressure relief valve. Recommend using only at Wood plugs

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atwood, leak, water

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