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Old 07-08-2017, 04:07 AM   #1
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Water heater - Stripped threads on drain

I have a class A water heater that has (boogered) up drain threads, which is metal and plug is plastic. Is there any way to remove and somehow replace just the drain portion of the water heater ? If not, i will have to purchase a new water heater. Any info would help. Thanks !
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:13 AM   #2
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I forget the size of the plug hole, but if it were me, I would find a pipe tap the proper size and try and chase the threads.........worth a try.
Then use a good wrapping of teflon tape on the plug.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:32 AM   #3
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Do exactly what palehorse suggested but replace the plug with a metal reducer.

Then you can use a smaller brass or plastic plug in the reducer.

Problem solved.

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Old 07-08-2017, 05:46 AM   #4
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WOW - how did the threads get stripped using a plastic plug??

Anyway, if the threads on the water heater are stripped and won't clean up to hold a plug, do this:

Go to the local hardware store and buy a brass adapter or reducer that will screw into the stripped threads.

Clean the threads with a small wire brush,

Mix up a batch of JB weld. Coat the water heater and adapter threads with JB Weld, Then screw the adapter into the water heater, let it cure for 24 hours.

Find a plastic plug that threads into your adapter. BAM your good

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Old 07-08-2017, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawa911 View Post
I have a class A water heater that has (boogered) up drain threads, which is metal and plug is plastic. Is there any way to remove and somehow replace just the drain portion of the water heater ? If not, i will have to purchase a new water heater. Any info would help. Thanks !
If the first suggestiongs don't fit your style look at these;

This should also work - https://www.xpando.com/xpando.php

If too buggered up try - https://www.suppliesdepot.com/buy/pr...temsperpage=60

Over the years we used both in Heavy equipment - much more severe than the Hot Water Heater - some still running after 30 years.

Best of Luck,
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:28 AM   #6
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What material is the tank made of. Dissimilar metals like brass and ??? may not be a good thing.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:25 AM   #7
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You might be able to run a tap into the plug opening but you may have a clearance issue getting the tap perfectly straight into the opening. If you can't get the tap straight into the threads you are just going to make things worse.
Replacement tanks are readily available for most water heaters at a cost much less than a complete heater. This would be a viable alternative to replacing the whole unit. Either way will require water heater removal.
I would suspect someone at some time used a drain plug which was other than the standard recommended plastic plug.
Try the other recommendations first if you want but not all is lost yet.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:34 AM   #8
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Are you sure it's the tank and not the nylon plug?
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:57 AM   #9
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Something like this might work for you. Available in most automotive parts stores and many hardware stores.

02608 | DORMAN 02608 Engine Expansion Plug

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Old 07-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #10
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Threads on Atwood water heaters usually get messed up because somebody used a hard metal plug instead of the recommended nylon. The tank is aluminum and soft, so even brass can mangle it if not careful.

Chasing the threads is do-able, but takes real caution to avoid damaging the thread insert even more.
I'm surprised that the threads are bad enough that they need chasing, though. Usually the nylon plug conforms to whatever is there and seals nicely. If the threads are really bad you might need a new one each time, but they are cheap. Well, cheap if you don't buy them at an RV dealer.
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