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Old 03-13-2018, 09:28 PM   #1
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Water heaters re-visited

I read somewhere but canít remember... my anode/drain plug leaks after I reinstalled it in my 20 year old Atwood propane water heater. I put some plumbers dope on it and tightened it more.
In retrospect, I should have found a tap/die big enough to chase the threads, also, it seems I might want to use anti-seize rather than a sealant upon reinstallation. I would hate to have destructively remove that plug next winter.
Any opinions?
Thanks, Ed
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:38 PM   #2
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Atwood tanks are made of aluminum and use nylon or plastic drain plugs. Only Suburban uses an anode because they have steel tanks. The Suburban drain plug, with the anode attached, is brass.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:21 AM   #3
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You can make a cheap but effective thread chaser from a short length of 1/2 inch galvanized pipe which comes threaded on both ends (get it at Home Depot). Use a hacksaw to make 4 cuts at 90 degrees to the threads in the same way a pipe tap appears. I even filed the "trailing" ends of the threads to make it a bit more aggressive. Screw it in and out a few times and blow the resulting collection of calcium etc. away from the threads. I use mine each year after de-winterizing.Finish up with teflon tape on the threads.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:52 AM   #4
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Take out the anode ( should never be used in an Atwood water heater) and put in the correct plastic plug
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:24 AM   #5
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Above posts are right on. The plastic plugs are best replaced and not re-used. They are $6 for 2.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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I use Teflon tape on my plastic plug to keep from leaking.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:52 PM   #7
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Thanks exrench, I was hoping for such a suggestion! To the other members, the water heater must be a Suburban then as it requires the anode plug I replaced last year per the manual. I usually use Teflon tape but had plumbers dope in my hand when I restored the system. You guys donít recommend Ďanti-seizeí in anticipation of removal next November?
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:36 PM   #8
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Won't anti-seize come off threads as it goes in? Still dissimilar metals are going to corrode no matter what is on them IMO.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddndee View Post
Thanks exrench, I was hoping for such a suggestion! To the other members, the water heater must be a Suburban then as it requires the anode plug I replaced last year per the manual. I usually use Teflon tape but had plumbers dope in my hand when I restored the system. You guys donít recommend Ďanti-seizeí in anticipation of removal next November?
Test the tank with a magnet to see if it's steel. If so, use a brass/anode plug. If it's aluminum, get a plastic plug and you can use the Teflon tape and put the anti-seize compound back in your toolbox.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:35 AM   #10
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I use Teflon tape on my plastic plug to keep from leaking.
Same here. I generally get a couple years out of each plug before discarding it. We use RV antifreeze in the system including some in the water heater. After a couple years the plug turns pink and the threads wear to the point I wouldn't trust them. We also carry a package of spare plugs, just in case.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Atwood tanks are made of aluminum and use nylon or plastic drain plugs. Only Suburban uses an anode because they have steel tanks. The Suburban drain plug, with the anode attached, is brass.
Two comments one of which is a Caution against giving advice without the facts.

1: He said "20 year old Atwood"

2 The caution: I am not sure when, but I do know Atwood made a Water Heater, some years back (20?) that was NOT aluminum and DID need an Anode. Far as I knwo, just one model.

ANd though most modern Surburans DO use an anode.. I understand they made one that does not.

NOW: What I do not know is "Is the O/P's water heater that special case".. Since I do not know the model number and have not downloaded the manual for that specific heater.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mbridinger View Post
Above posts are right on. The plastic plugs are best replaced and not re-used. They are $6 for 2.
I have the Atwood 6gal model G6A-8E? with a plastic plug. Where can I get spare plugs? H/D, Lowes?

Thanks
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by R_2ndWind View Post
I have the Atwood 6gal model G6A-8E? with a plastic plug. Where can I get spare plugs? H/D, Lowes?

Thanks
I bought mine from amazon.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:14 AM   #14
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In post #7 the OP said
"the water heater must be a Suburban then as it requires the anode plug I replaced last year per the manual. "

Sounds like he is reading the owners book.
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