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Old 05-18-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
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Motorhome water heater

The threads on the hot water heater plug are bad, plug leaks and pops out under pressure. Any of you pros know of any inexpensive repair for this problem? thanks for your input
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:16 PM   #2
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Are you saying your water heater's drain hole is stripped out and the plug/anode rod (depending on make) won't stay in?
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:26 PM   #3
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water heater

I just purchased this motor home last august, the water heater just has a drain plug in it
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:28 PM   #4
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Get a new drain plug
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #5
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water heater

I replaced the drain plug, put teflon tape on the threads and still have the same problem.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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Most Atwood water heaters have a nylon drain plug and do not recommend using Teflon tape. If a metal plug was used it might have buggered up the threads.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:03 PM   #7
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It sounds like the former owner had a problem and stripped the hole. I would look for an expandable rubber plug that fit... Google is your friend. Measure the old plug to get a size. Consider using one that has a hex bolt or where any cam lever can be replaced with a hex bolt if there is a clearance issue.

I also use teflon tape as the supplied plugs often do not seal after a few years. Not enough taper molded in.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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If the tank is damaged beyond repair you can purchase a replacement tank and put all the original parts on it. I was looking for a mixing valve last week and noticed the tank for sale on Amazon.

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Old 05-19-2014, 12:45 AM   #9
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Someone may have previously used a Hott Rod and buggered up the internal threads.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:29 PM   #10
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If the threads are messed up as it sounds they are, then the cheap solution is an expanding rubber plug as suggested by nothermark.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:22 PM   #11
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You could go to your local hardware, or even big box store and pick up a pipe tap to clean up the threads. Most I have seen are 1/8" or 1/4" NPT. Cost should be around $10 U.S.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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You could go to your local hardware, or even big box store and pick up a pipe tap to clean up the threads. Most I have seen are 1/8" or 1/4" NPT. Cost should be around $10 U.S.
The plastic drain plug is roughly an inch in diameter thus probably 3/4 IPT. Given that one can find a tap cheap there is still the problem that the nylon plugs still often bottom without sealing so opening the hole a bit more still leaves one with a leak. That assumes the hole is not already oversized. If it is one can also go to something like a heli-coil thread repair but the end result will always be a lot of time and a lot of money compared to an expandable rubber plug made for hot water use. Even if you toss a plug a year break even will take a while.

The one other thing I might try is to check the size and buy a metal plug that size and see what happens with some teflon tape. Less than $10 for a reasonable last ditch try. The reason I think that might work is the stronger threads on the metal plug compared to the plastic.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:51 AM   #13
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How does an expandable rubber plug seal against threads?

I would think a brass plug and some potable water safe thread sealing compound would be your best shot.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:06 AM   #14
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The plastic plug is 1/2 inch IPT.. IF you have not tried a new plug, it is most likely it is the plug that is stripped, not the hole, unless the prior owner put in a metal plug

If the plug is stripped, Get a plastic 1/2 inch to barbed (hose) adapter and put a hose on it, clamp the hose on well (It has to take 50 or more PSI after all) on the other end of the short (like 1 foot or a bit less) hose put a 2nd connector of the same type,, On to that screw a quarter turn valve, and screw the metal or plastic plug into that when using water heater

To drain heater

Remove plug, hold hose OUTSIDE the compartment, I like to add a length of half inch pipe (optional) Point valve away from you (to side for example) and open. Then open TPR valve to let air in.

This needs to be done from time to time.


IF it is the hole that is stripped, it can be re threaded to a slightly larger size.. I would suggest having this done as the tools needed cost more than the labor to do it.

This will require a slightly larger barbed hose adapter (Once you have good threads again, Go with the extended valve plug)

This all assumes it is an Atwood heater as well


If it is a Surburan heater with an anode rod.. I can not assist you, but a professinal may be able to go next size up and thread in a reducer (metal) to accept the standard anode rod.
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