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Old 04-29-2008, 05:03 AM   #1
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Thought today would be a nice day to prep the rig for an upcoming trip. I was looking at the water heater and noticed a small amount of water dripping from the heater compartment on the side of the rig. So I started to tighten the nylon plug just a tad and much to my dismay, it broke off. So, now the head of the plug is in my hand and all the threads are still inside the heater. I know it will be easy to replace the plug, but getting the remains of the old one is going to be difficult to get out. Anyone have experience with this?

I could have kicked myself because replacing the nylon plug was on my list of things to do. but I didn't do it!

Bob
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:03 AM   #2
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Thought today would be a nice day to prep the rig for an upcoming trip. I was looking at the water heater and noticed a small amount of water dripping from the heater compartment on the side of the rig. So I started to tighten the nylon plug just a tad and much to my dismay, it broke off. So, now the head of the plug is in my hand and all the threads are still inside the heater. I know it will be easy to replace the plug, but getting the remains of the old one is going to be difficult to get out. Anyone have experience with this?

I could have kicked myself because replacing the nylon plug was on my list of things to do. but I didn't do it!

Bob
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:09 AM   #3
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Not so big of a problem really. Did it myself last year on my TT. Use a hacksaw blade and gentley cut the remaining threads. I put a cut at the 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. Mind you, do not cut clean through the remaining plastic, but rather score it as deep as you dare. Then with needle nose pliers, grip each cut section and collapse it out of the tank thread.
Hope than makes some sense. It's doable.
Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
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Take a large blade flat screwdriver. Heat the blade with torch. Push the heated blade into the center of the plastic plug, it will melt its way through. Let it cool so that you do not enlarge the hole more than needed. Twist it out.
Buy two when you get the replacement. You can expect this to happen again.
While you have the hole open, get the tool for cleaning the inside of the tank and clean all the crud out. The tank will last longer and work better. JMHO!!
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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If Bob's broke like mine has -- twice now -- there is no "center of the plastic plug" to stick a heated blade into. All I had left were threads inside the hole.

I think the first time, I forced a wide chisel into the plastic and turned it out. The second time, I pushed an old hunting knife into the hole until it cut into the nylon, then used large pliers to turn it out along with the threads.

I remove the plug and flush my tank every 4 months, and replace the plug every other time. Last time the plug broke, I had re-used it again rather than replacing it. They come in a package of 2 ea, and I always keep at least one on hand.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:24 PM   #6
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Go to Home Depot or Ace and look at the T-Handle extracter (usually bright yellow) for removing the broken pipe in a lawn sprinkler system. I am pretty sure they will accomodate the threads in the water heater.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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Like AFChap said, there is no center part of the old plug to use, so we're going to try turning it out tomorrow. So far, its a slow go and I don't want to damage the tank, which is easy to do. My RV guy in Crossville said he has fashioned a device that he heats up (real hot)that he uses to warm the plastic. Said it makes the old plug easier to remove and it has worked every time. I have an appointment with him next week if I can't do it myself.

Thanks for all the ideas and comments. I appreciate them!
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:55 AM   #8
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Hi All,

Another thing to think about once the old plug is out, is replace it with a brass one! I did that a couple of years ago, and the brass one has a valve on it so you turn that to drain the tank , and dont have to remove the whole plug. However if you want to remove the plug at least it is made of brass not nylon ! You should be able to get the brass plug at any RV dealer with a parts department, or maybe even a Home Depot or Lowes ! I hope you get it out on your own and don't have to go to the dealer!!!
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:01 AM   #9
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Thanks Al for the tip. Next time I run into Lowes, I'll check it out. By the way, we're going to stop by North Arlington sometimes during our next trip north, during late July or early August. Going to leave the rig in the Poconos and drive the toad to NA. I-80, Rte 46 and Rte 3 are bad enough with a car, no less a motorhome!

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Old 04-30-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">replace it with a brass one </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know people who have done this, but it is not recommended by the mfg if you have an Atwood water heater due to the dis-similar metals and their tendency to cause corrosion and possibly "welding" the plug into place if not removed frequently. If it does "weld" in place, the fact that it is brass won't help you get it out ...in fact may prevent it without damaging the WH. If you do insert a brass plug, you need to remove it anyway to flush the tank. Those are the primary reasons I choose to use the OEM nylon plug.

You make your own choices, just be sure you are prepared to deal with the possible consequences. A nylon plug that cracks because it has hardened due to being in service too long is relatively easy to deal with if you carry replacements.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:29 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AL:
Hi All,

Another thing to think about once the old plug is out, is replace it with a brass one! I did that a couple of years ago, and the brass one has a valve on it so you turn that to drain the tank , and dont have to remove the whole plug. However if you want to remove the plug at least it is made of brass not nylon ! You should be able to get the brass plug at any RV dealer with a parts department, or maybe even a Home Depot or Lowes ! I hope you get it out on your own and don't have to go to the dealer!!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Atwood does not want you to use a brass plug in their heaters. The Atwood tank is aluminum. The plug should be made of a softer material than AL. The AL tank is the reason no anode rod is used in the Atwood. If you want a hard plug than nylon use a 25 cent PVC plug.

-Tom
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:22 AM   #12
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Question....if Atwood doesn't want a brass plug in their tank, why is the pressure relief valve brass? I once inquired with them and received an e mail back stating the brass plug was ok.
Check this previous diaogue:http://irv2.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/...422#5281036422
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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All I can say is that drain plug will be going in and out many more times than the pressure relief valve. And, I've never seen a nylon pressure relief valve.

Go ahead, use brass.

-Tom
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:09 PM   #14
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What exactly did they tell you about a brass plug? ...it is ok no matter what? ...or it is ok IF some condition is met? According to one poster in the other thread,
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">... brass petcock to be remove/loosened every 2 months (when I routinely flush sediment out of the tank) to reduce any chance that the plug may get fixed/welded/stuck in the plug hole </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
which is pretty much what I said above.

The nylon plugs work well in my experience. I just don't see the point of a brass petcock plug if I have to remove it every time I flush the tank, both to avoid it locking in place due to galvanic action of the metals AND not being able to flush the tank well without removing it.

No option is totally perfect. Like I said in my earlier post ...know the possible consequences of your options, and pick one you are comfortable with.
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