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Old 09-09-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
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Winterizing - An Unfortunate Incident

I was winterizing the trailer last weekend (sad but true... summer is over for us ) and using air pressure to blow out the water lines. I gapped out and put the water heater valves in bypass while I still had pressure on the lines.

I was puttering around, ran a bit of antifreeze in the lines etc...I went to drain the water heater about an hour later and as I was removing the anode rod in the heater to drain..I could hear a hiss as I was getting down to the last of the threads...before I knew what was going on...BLAM... It shot the rod out, and six gallons of water in a real hurry, with most of it ending up on me. Thank god I was standing to the side as that rod is about crotch level!

It did a good job of blowing out alot of crud, also I was amazed at how much was chewed off of the anode rod over the summer, as we only used it for about 10 nights this year I am draining the tank after trips.

Also keep in mind there is still alot of water left in the bottom of the water heater, I use a wet & dry vac and a skinny hose to suck up the remaining water. I use the vac also to suck out the traps in the sinks...and replace the water with antifreeze.


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Old 09-09-2010, 12:58 AM   #2
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Would not have thought to drain the water heater tank after trips. we've used ours many more nights this year so I'm very interested to see what kind of crud comes out of our tank.

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Old 09-09-2010, 07:13 AM   #3
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Wow. First, sorry to hear you have to winterize so early! It hasn't even started to coold down here yet! Second, glad that projectile missed you. Crotch level or not, it could have done some serious damage. Important safety tip there for sure. And, great learning experience for all of us.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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I unscrewed my anode rod with normal 12v pump pressure on it
and it really does get you wet in a hurry!! It's a memorable
experience so I hope to not repeat it.

A lot of the "crud" in the bottom is actually fallout from the anode.
I know it looks bad but unless it's half gone or more, it's still OK.

I considered removing my anode between trips to drain the tank
but the threads in the tank want to rust so bad that I coat
them and the anode threads with "Oatey great white" teflon pipe
dope and just leave it in there for the summer. Not sure
what the answer is to limiting the rust in the tank threads during
the winter.....
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:49 AM   #5
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See my winterizing tale in the "Water Filter...again" thread.

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #6
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Open the pressure relief valve first and the water will not blast out. It will still come out and splash on you if you're too close but the anode rod will come out without problems or becoming a projectile. Even though you set it to by-pass the pressure from the last time it was used is still there. As for cleasning it out I take a wand I made to spray out the crud that ends up in the water heater.

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Just hook it up to your hose and rinse thoroughly.

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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I bought a wand at Camping World and use it to spray the crud in the water heater. I will winterize our rig on Saturday. The seasons over for us also.

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