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Old 07-04-2016, 04:35 PM   #1
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Is it possible I damaged my heating element?

Hi all. Just returned from camping for the weekend. Realized about an hour after I got home I forgot to flip off the electric switch for my hot water heater about an hour after I plugged it in at home. As soon as I realized it, I ran out and turned off the switch, opened up the relief valve and drained out about a SOLO cup full of very hot water. Did I get lucky having that bit of water in there or could I have damaged it? Maybe I won't find out until our next trip. But what I drained was very warm.

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:45 PM   #2
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Did you drain all of the 6+ gallons of water out of the water heater - through the drain plug/anode at the bottom of the heater? I doubt if you did. I'd say your tank was still full so there's no likelihood of damage. The water you got out of the pressure relief valve is a tiny percentage of water in the heater tank. What kind of heater do you have? Model number?
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:47 PM   #3
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My understanding I if you had water in it you would be safe. If you opened the pressure relief and got a cup of water then there is more water in the tank. Pull the diode (if you have one) and that would tell you how much water was in the tank. Hopefully more knowledgeable people will pipe in soon.
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Old 07-04-2016, 04:51 PM   #4
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.... Pull the diode (if you have one) and that would tell you how much water was in the tank....
Not diode... but anode............ but DON'T PULL IT IF THE WATER'S HOT. It will put you in the ER if it's still under pressure.

EDIT: Never pull an anode rod (or drain plug if an Atwood heater) until the water is cool and the pressure is off.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:00 PM   #5
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It is a Suburban. I did not drain the water through the bottom plug, but before I left the campground I opened all my faucets and drained the freshwater tank. This would not have drained the water in the system (opening all faucets)? Do I need to remove the bottom plug from the heater after each trip to drain the water heater?
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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Not diode... but anode............ but DON'T PULL IT IF THE WATER'S HOT. It will put you in the ER if it's still under pressure.

EDIT: Never pull an anode rod (or drain plug if an Atwood heater) until the water is cool and the pressure is off.
You are correct anode. Sorry if I confused anyone. I defer to Mr. Dan.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:08 PM   #7
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I almost never drain ours, and as said above, unless you drained it through the bottom drain (Anode Rod) you didn't drain the water out of the tank and therefore you didn't hurt the element.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:11 PM   #8
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You're good to go for next trip, no damage done.....
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:15 PM   #9
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It is a Suburban. I did not drain the water through the bottom plug, but before I left the campground I opened all my faucets and drained the freshwater tank. This would not have drained the water in the system (opening all faucets)? Do I need to remove the bottom plug from the heater after each trip to drain the water heater?
I drain my water heater once per year - when I winterize. We use ours often enough that I don't feel the need to drain it until winterization. Others drain after each trip... not necessary IMHO.
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Old 07-04-2016, 05:41 PM   #10
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Do I need to remove the bottom plug from the heater after each trip to drain the water heater?
I only drain mine when putting it away for the winter.
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