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Old 02-07-2006, 06:11 PM   #1
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My new to me 1994 Atwood water heater has a steel pipe plug where the plastic one usually is. It does not want to budge. Any helpful advice for removing it? I can see remnants of teflon tape and maybe pipe dope. Tried some penetrant, but no luck yet. Thanks for any help, HarveyP
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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My new to me 1994 Atwood water heater has a steel pipe plug where the plastic one usually is. It does not want to budge. Any helpful advice for removing it? I can see remnants of teflon tape and maybe pipe dope. Tried some penetrant, but no luck yet. Thanks for any help, HarveyP
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:42 AM   #3
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HArvey, keep soaking it with penetrating oil; aluminum tends to dry out and it will seize. It may take a couple days before you get it freed up. I am sure you already know to replace it with the plastic plug. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:31 AM   #4
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Harvey,keep the penetrating oil going on it. Also try tightening it a little more to get it broken loose. When it does break loose a little keep rocking it back and forth instead of trying to taking it out all at once.

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Old 02-08-2006, 07:10 AM   #5
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Harvey,

If for some reason you end up striping the threads out, you can buy just the tank. You do not have to buy a complete water heater.

That is assuming the other parts of the tank are OK.

I worked in a Montana RV Dealership one summer and we sold a lot of tanks. Seems the Montana winters were hard on those alumn tanks when they did not get drained properly.

Think they were about $100.

Jim
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Old 02-09-2006, 03:57 PM   #6
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Just an update--no luck yet. I have kept it pretty well soaked with penetrant. I wrapped string around the threads to keep it in better contact. Tapped plug with a hammer, tapped wrench in both directions, still no luck. I even tried putting a heat gun to it until I got something smouldering. Not a good thing to do to wife's dream motorhome.
I called Atwood's customer service. When I told Todd that I had a stuck steel plug in the aluminum tank and needed advice, his first reaction was "Good luck". Described it as being welded in place. He suggested trying Break-Free, sounds like another penetrating oil. His other suggestion was to unscrew the Temp-pressure relief valve and siphoning the water through there. I did that, so at least no freezing worries. He said perhaps taking it to a machine shop and having plug drilled until sides were thin enough to collapse away from tank threads. Said it would be a risky thing to try. This was a much fancier water heater than our last motorhome had. Price for a bare tank was $360 and a whole new unit was way over $600. I may learn to like siphoning for those prices. Thanks for all the suggestions, and I'd be open to reading more. This is a great forum. HarveyP
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:07 PM   #7
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When you say steel plug makes me wonder if its an anode rod.....what say everyone?
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #8
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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 Fossilhog:
When you say steel plug makes me wonder if its an anode rod.....what say everyone? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While thats not recomended with the aluminum tank you never know when you are dealing with something used.

I'd almost be tempted to put a square drive socket in my 625ft lb EarthQuake wrench to get it off if it were mine. Probably take out part of the tank with the plug if I did.

I would be able to understand a stainless steel ball valve but a steel plug in an aluminum tank. We all have to promise to start reading the manual before we change anything. That way we can all be part of the solution.

Regards,

Neil
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:02 PM   #9
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If you can get it try some dry ice on the steel plug holding it with some rags up against the plug for a few minutes.
Then with a wrench pulling to lossen it while tapping the end of the plug with a light hammer.
The extreem cold should shrink the plug a little maybe enough to get it out?
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