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Old 09-14-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
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Well... my neighbor's water heater "sprung" a leak...

I swear... I'm not layin' this fiasco off on an imaginary "friend", my neighbor really did this.

He was replacing the control unit on his Atwood water heater with an aftermarket unit, which mounted, using 4 screws instead of the original's 2. And, of course, he inadvertently drilled a nice hole into the tank.

I'm thinkin' he's probably going to have to replace the entire heater, he believes he might be able to have a good shop weld up the small hole.

My question is.... has anyone had a leaky water heater tank welded up and did it hold?

Thanks for any input...
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
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It shouldn't be a problem to weld the hole......the problem will be getting to the hole to weld it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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It shouldn't be a problem to weld the hole......the problem will be getting to the hole to weld it.
Thanks for the quick reply... I think it'll be fairly easy to get to the hole, he'll just have to remove the sheet metal "shield" from the front of the tank (we've already removed the tank assembly from the motorhome).

I'll pass the word onto him...
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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Someone who is handy with a TIG welder, should be a breeze for them. The problem will be able to reach the area to be fixed.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:56 PM   #5
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Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Atwood water heaters glass lined?
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:09 PM   #6
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Many a small leak has been sealed with some real good epoxy and a sheet metal screw.
I just check the Atwood sight and there is no mention of any glass lining. It's an all aluminum tank with corrosion resistance materials.

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Old 09-14-2014, 09:21 PM   #7
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If you have a screw in the hole all you need is a gasket and maybe some thread sealant. I'd punch a couple of gaskets out of old innertube with the inner hole the size of the screw and the outer the size of a washer to go under the head. Use some food safe thread sealant on the screw, put a flat washer and a gasket layer or two on the screw and screw it in snug. Check the next day for a leak. Save the heroic efforts in case that does not work. It probably will.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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An aluminum sheet metal screw of correct size and a dollop of JB Weld on the threads and screw head. Don't use any other material for the screw as you will set up electrolysis.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't Atwood water heaters glass lined?
Nope, they are aluminum with a aluminum alloy cladding.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:18 PM   #10
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Well, my neighbor decided to give the aluminum screw and JB Weld a try.

He used the slow setting type, tapped the hole and installed the screw, coating the threads with the JB... So far, so good. I'll get back with a follow-up to let everyone know how it holds up.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:01 PM   #11
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You can buy a replacement tank for approx $200.00. They sell them on Amazon.
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