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Old 01-24-2017, 11:31 PM   #1
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Hot water heater plug blew off

I was inside the coach when it sounded like a gun went off followed by water leaking noise. It turns out, the water heater plug popped off and drained all my hot water. What do I do? I tried to put the plug back in but the threads are gone.

I don't know if it has relevance, but earlier in the day I tried to take a shower and at best the water was luke warm. Turns out my husband had used the outdoor shower and didn't turn off the faucet (just turned it off at the hose).

I can't use the water on the coach unless I replace the plug. I tried to run water and it started spilling out of the the hot water heater tank. I'm afraid something may be wrong with the water heater? Any ideas or suggestions are very appreciated.

(It's an 02 Eagle btw)
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:44 PM   #2
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hot water

this happens alot with propane fired water tanks,turn off the cold water to the tank and propane first,you just lost the pressure release valve,you can buy these parts at any box store like home depot-$20 part and a little teflon tape and you are back showering again,just screw it back into the water tank and hopefully the threads in the tank itself are not stripped, hope this helps TOM AND JOANNE - LOVE LIFE ON THE ROAD
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:57 PM   #3
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You should have a hot water bypass valves that you can turn to keep the water from going into the hot water tank. What make is it. You may be able to get a rubber plug that expand that will hold, don't know. The main question is, why didn't the pop off valve work when it got to hot.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:05 AM   #4
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When you say the threads are gone, i hope you mean the threads on the plug, which, i'm guessing is plastic? Go to any big box store, and in the plumbing dept., get a new plug and some teflon tape, and put it back in! When you are filling it back up, flip up the lever on the pressure relief valve till the water comes out it, then snap it back closed!
The outside shower valves being left on, is why you had "not so hot" water for your shower! Close them tight, and let your water heater heat back up, and try it! It should be good to go! Rail!
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Old 01-25-2017, 03:54 AM   #5
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Had the drain plug blow out last summer,it is a pipe thread found one at local hardware.Worked until could get a plastic one.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:10 AM   #6
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Put a new plastic one back in. It gives you a second safety blowoff. Probably will need to go to an RV dealer for plastic. You may have cooked any electric heating element in the tank if it was turned on when the tank was empty.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:25 AM   #7
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It happenned to me several years ago, in the middle of the night.

I replaced it with a brass plug

Had it for the last 5 or 6 years, without problems and also its great when you have to winterize your RV or to drain the tank for watever reason. Its also cheap, around $US7.00
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:37 AM   #8
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Assuming your electricity to the H2O heater was on, the electric element inside the heater will be burnt up and no longer work. It needs water surrounding the element to keep it from frying. Since your water drained, the element will have burned up.

Depending on the brand of heater you have, you may also need a special large socket you will need to replace the element, you can buy online for like 5-10 bucks.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:45 PM   #9
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Thank you for the replies! I didn't know that the hot water bypass was for. Maybe if I had googled that I would've got a shower yesterday lol. Well, today I was able to get a new plug. They had to use a special reverse thread tool to get the old threads out. Thankfully, it all works again. Thanks you!!!Click image for larger version

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Old 01-25-2017, 11:29 PM   #10
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Glad you got WH back in service.....

Hope 'they' used an Atwood NYLON drain plug vs a plug from big box/hardware store.

Atwood uses the NYLON plg for 2 reasons
1) WH Tank is aluminum ---nylon plug will not strip tank threads if over tightened
2) Nylon is heat rated for over 400*F

The plastic plug from a hardware store is NOT heated rated high enough to be safely used.
PVC...heat rated less then 200*F
CVPC...heat rated to just over 200*F

Atwood normal t-stat heats to 140*F
Atwood HIGH temp t-stat (ECO) heats to 180*F when t-stat fails
And the T&P Relief Valves (Atwood/Suburban/Home residential) OPEN at 210*F

NYLON like Atwood plastic plus
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:03 AM   #11
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FWIW sounds like the plug top blew not the threaded body. That is interesting...
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by guardrail53 View Post
When you are filling it back up, flip up the lever on the pressure relief valve till the water comes out it, then snap it back closed!
When filling the water heater you leave the pressure relief valve CLOSED! This establishes the correct expansion space in the tank.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:30 AM   #13
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Hot water heater plug blew off

I have never heard of the nylon plug blowing out before. Did it blow out the center of the plug and leave the threads in the heater? A picture would have been very interesting. I wonder if that's why they often sell those plugs in a two pack? Defective plug? What would have caused it? Lots of questions.

Also in filling the water heater it was my impression that you take out the pressure relief valve and fill till water reaches the port, then replace the valve and fill the rest of the way to get the air gap.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:40 AM   #14
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If you do put in a brass plug sometime be sure you use anti-seize compound on it. Brass and aluminum connections, especially under heat, can seize up in amazingly short periods. I would not put in brass ordinarily but I have put in a fumoto valve to allow me a no-tools, instant drain and the anti-seize is an absolute necessity. I have seen some try and use normal valves to achieve this and they did not use anti-seize....big mistake.
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heat, heater, water, water heater

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