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Old 01-10-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
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When to drain hot water heater

Iím getting the TT ready to store for 4-6 weeks. Should I be draining the hot water heater or is it ok to sit for that amount of time. If it matters, I use an inline water filter for shore water.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:36 PM   #2
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If mine sits that long and can't freeze, I leave the water in.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:36 PM   #3
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I would say that depends on where you have the TT. If in a cold area drain immediately. We do not drain ours during the "season" and it can be 4-6 weeks between trips. Personal decision for you I'd say. But of course, here you will get long, extremely long as well as verbose reasons for either way. Up to you unless in a freeze/cold location.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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It also depends on the quality of the water in it. If there are a lot of dissolved minerals or bacteria, I would drain it. Easy quick process and reduces the chances of crud in the tank.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:45 PM   #5
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One thing I do if I drain the WH tank, is close the bypass valves before I drain it. Keeps any possible crud out of the system. I also flush the tank and put that anode/plug back in.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RamFam View Post
Iím getting the TT ready to store for 4-6 weeks. Should I be draining the hot water heater or is it ok to sit for that amount of time. If it matters, I use an inline water filter for shore water.

Thanks!
I have had two trailers, one with a Dometic water heater that did not have an anode rod and the one that I have now with a Suburban water heater that has the anode rod. With the Dometic one if I left the water in for a long time it would develop a bad smell that I later found out was Hydrogen gas. I had this same issue with a boat as well. I started emptying it after every trip. Problem solved. The one I have now eats the anode rod big time if water is left in it for a long time so I started emptying it after every trip. It is really a simple thing to do and takes only 5 minutes. Just make sure it has cooled off and that you open a faucet to relieve pressure before emptying it.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:27 PM   #7
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I think it depends on your water quality and whether it was treated with chlorine, bleach, water freshener, etc. Our home water comes straight out of a hole in the ground, and is great tasting when fresh. However, if we leave it set in the water heater for a few weeks, it begins to smell horrible, especially in hot weather. So for camper storage of more than about 3 weeks, we must drain the water heater. In the previous camper I had installed a gate valve on the drain line which made draining a simple operation. The latest camper’s water heated has the propane gas line partly in the way of the drain plug, so the valve won’t fit.

I doubt filtering the water ahead of the water heater would make any difference, unless it was it was a fancy filter like a reverse osmosis system.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:03 PM   #8
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I live in Georgia and only drain it in the winter when I'm not using it. Just did it at the end of December and will probably fill it back up in Feb when it starts warming up and I can start using it again. To be honest, it sits full the rest of the year and probably goes longer full during the middle of something summer when it's too hot to use (unless we head north, which we do).
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:14 PM   #9
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I drain ours once a year when I winterize.

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Old 01-10-2020, 04:14 PM   #10
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I drain ours once a year when I winterize.
That's what I did as well.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the useful feedback. I should have offered that it doesn’t freeze where I live so that’s not a concern.

I’m going to leave it in and see what happens this time around.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:20 PM   #12
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I drain ours once a year when I winterize.

X2
Ours often sits several weeks, sometimes a month and we never drain.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:25 PM   #13
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Never drain but we use our trailer monthly. Even though it doesn't freeze where we live, I do clean it out yearly so it does get drained then, at least for a little while. I actually fill it right back up since I don't want to take the risk of the electric heater element being turned on accidentally with an empty water tank.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:33 PM   #14
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I drain mine if its going to set for a couple of weeks. Never have to worry about any foul smell that likes to take place when leaving water in the tank over a period of time. Anytime you leave water in a tank believe me its going to get stale. Later RD
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:55 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the useful feedback. I should have offered that it doesnít freeze where I live so thatís not a concern.

Iím going to leave it in and see what happens this time around.
Just remember to check your anode rod once every year (or every few months if it's getting thin).

Might want to swap yearly if it needs it or not.. up to you.

They're cheap enough.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:00 PM   #16
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I have had two trailers, one with a Dometic water heater that did not have an anode rod and the one that I have now with a Suburban water heater that has the anode rod. With the Dometic one if I left the water in for a long time it would develop a bad smell that I later found out was Hydrogen gas. I had this same issue with a boat as well. I started emptying it after every trip. Problem solved. The one I have now eats the anode rod big time if water is left in it for a long time so I started emptying it after every trip. It is really a simple thing to do and takes only 5 minutes. Just make sure it has cooled off and that you open a faucet to relieve pressure before emptying it.
The bad smell is not from Hydrogen. Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. The smell is from dissolved solids in the water, including sulphur compounds, and sometimes bacteria.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:43 PM   #17
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The bad smell is not from Hydrogen. Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. The smell is from dissolved solids in the water, including sulphur compounds, and sometimes bacteria.
Good to know, thanks
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:10 PM   #18
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Bad smell is from well water with minerals in it . In the country here you have to remove the anode from a new hot water tank or after about a year it will start to smell . If the campground has well water that could be the problem. The first
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:44 AM   #19
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Just remember to check your anode rod once every year (or every few months if it's getting thin).

Might want to swap yearly if it needs it or not.. up to you.

They're cheap enough.
Or, disregard this if your water heater model has an aluminum tank and no anode rod, such as the one in our Sunseeker.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:49 AM   #20
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Bad smell is from well water with minerals in it . In the country here you have to remove the anode from a new hot water tank or after about a year it will start to smell . If the campground has well water that could be the problem. The first
Must depend on the well. I have really nice well water, not terribly hard, but does have calcium in it from the limestone beds here. Never made any type of smell in water heater, and I kept if filled all camping season, used camper 5 long weekends last year. I keep that water in emergency canisters in home basement 6 months at a time (CDC recommends changing it every 6 months) and never have issues.
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