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Old 03-30-2018, 01:10 PM   #1
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No anode in hot water heater?

The drain plug on the hot water heater on my 2017 2400WS is plastic without an anode, and a real pain to get in and out due to interferences. I'm going to make an easier plug to get to out of brass, but was wondering why they don't use anodes anymore. Is it they don't need them or is it a cost saving deal? It will be easy enough to make the new plug anode capable, but was wondering about the electrolysis issue or not...
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:21 PM   #2
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As I understand (from posts on this forum) Suburban tanks are steel and require use of an anode; Atwood tanks are aluminum and don't require an anode. Suspect your MH has an Atwood tank.
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:34 PM   #3
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You have an Atwood WH Aluminum tank. See Post #3 in thread below for my solution to drain access.

Hot Water Heater Drain
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:02 PM   #4
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You are both correct....it is an Atwood. Thank you for clearing that up.

This is my solution to the hard-to-get-at drain plug issue. I also broached a 3/16" hex to the end to help even more getting it started... OEM plastic vs my brass plug....
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:18 PM   #5
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Only thought I have - any issue of electrolytic reaction between the brass and the aluminum?
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
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I think that is a very valid question...I think I may have to remake it out of aluminum....
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:55 PM   #7
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Only thought I have - any issue of electrolytic reaction between the brass and the aluminum?
Exactly. There's a reason why the plug is nylon. Brass and Aluminum are not compatible metals.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
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Learn something new every day. I thought brass ws practically inert....something I was very wrong on....

Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:45 PM   #9
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You have an Atwood WH Aluminum tank. See Post #3 in thread below for my solution to drain access.

Hot Water Heater Drain
I did the same thing for a drain on the Atwood water heater in my old TT. It worked great with no tools required. I used to drain my WH after every camping trip.
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:00 PM   #10
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I like your idea and will copy it....thank you.
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chengdave2003 View Post
You are both correct....it is an Atwood. Thank you for clearing that up.

This is my solution to the hard-to-get-at drain plug issue. I also broached a 3/16" hex to the end to help even more getting it started... OEM plastic vs my brass plug....
That looks like an elegant solution. You are a talented guy, Dave!
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Old 03-31-2018, 03:05 PM   #12
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Elegant, but not viable. I was actually going to create a problem I thought I was going to solve.

But thank you for the compliment!


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That looks like an elegant solution. You are a talented guy, Dave!
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Old 03-31-2018, 04:27 PM   #13
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Brass adapter

Use Tefflon tape on the tread, no more problem with brass and aluminium!
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Old 03-31-2018, 04:55 PM   #14
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RV Water heaters use the "plastic/nylon" plug for a good reason.The company says if something goes wrong with the pressure relief valve the "plastic" plug will blow out thereby preventing water heater or other damage. Most camping stores have new plastic plugs for sale.You will see they are hollow thru most of the plug.My Freightliner class mechanic convinced me to use the plastic ones.
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:25 PM   #15
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I think that is a very valid question...I think I may have to remake it out of aluminum....
please be careful if you do, .... aluminum on aluminum galls very easily, .... if they do, you may never get them apart, ... and if you do, more than likely they both will be destroyed
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:41 PM   #16
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Mark1 has a very good point. I replaced the plug with a nylon nipple and a 1/4 turn shutoff valve so I can drain the tank anytime I want without removing the plug. But it sounds like I may have eliminated one of the two safety features on the tank.
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:47 PM   #17
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RV Water heaters use the "plastic/nylon" plug for a good reason.The company says if something goes wrong with the pressure relief valve the "plastic" plug will blow out thereby preventing water heater or other damage. Most camping stores have new plastic plugs for sale.You will see they are hollow thru most of the plug.My Freightliner class mechanic convinced me to use the plastic ones.
Not all RV water heaters use plastic/nylon plugs.

Atwood WH use plastic plugs because the tank is aluminum.

Steel and aluminum do not like each other. It's called galvanic reaction.

Suburban WH tanks are steel so a steel plug will do fine.

Have you ever examined what happens to Teflon tape when you remove the plug? It will not prevent the galvanic reaction between two dissimilar metals. It is used to fill in gaps between the threads to prevent leaking, just like plumbers dope/putty.
Thus, you don't need to tighten the plug so much.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:30 AM   #18
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In water mains they use a plastic bushing, then you can put what ever fitting you want from there. As long as you can find the sizes you need.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:58 AM   #19
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On my old Jayco, I took a old wrench heated it and bent it to fit the plug better. Did a little grinding on it too for some clearance issues. Worked great for almost 10 years.
Just remember...whatever mod you do, take into account that the water heater will develop high pressure when the water is heated and whatever mod is done needs to be able to withstand that pressure.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:30 AM   #20
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Use Tefflon tape on the tread, no more problem with brass and aluminium!
This is not true. PTFE tape does not insulate dissimilar metals when used on NPT threads ó the metal treads cut right through the tape. PTFE tape does not turn a metal thread into a teflon thread.

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