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Old 11-16-2015, 08:39 PM   #1
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Draining the Water Heater

Can someone give me an easy explanation on how to drain the water heater. I was told it was good to do after every trip.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
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Draining the Water Heater

Take a look at this link. It should help. It is really easy.

I don't know if I would do it after every trip, but I would if it was going to sit for any length of time. Definitely emptied as part of winterization.


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Old 11-16-2015, 11:07 PM   #3
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I don't drain mine except when I winterize. I do use it a few times a month though in season, I'm always going some where. If I used it sporadically then yeah I'd drain it because it would get nasty...
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:29 AM   #4
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I do not have to winterize but the plan is to use it once a month for 2 or 3 days. Would draining still be recommended.
We are on Florida and will go north in May.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:57 AM   #5
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I would drain it if your only going to use it 1x a month. Not that hard..
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:28 AM   #6
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Just MAKE SURE you always remember to plug it back and refill it before you use it next time with electricity or you'll burn up the electric element very quickly.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:44 AM   #7
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Thanks. I remember when I had a boat. I saw a guy put his boat in the water with a trailer. He took off and shortly did a 180. He forgot his drain plug. Funny but not funny.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OswegoLion View Post
Can someone give me an easy explanation on how to drain the water heater. I was told it was good to do after every trip.
If you're using treated city water, I don't believe it's necessary to drain after each trip. If you're on well water I would probably would drain it after each trip, unless using the rig monthly.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:24 PM   #9
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pick up a petcock drain plug at your RV dealer. It replaces the plug on atwood water heaters. (Plastic) It is all brass. Then just open the petcock to drain it when you need to. No wrench needed. If you have a Suburban WH then you will not be able to do it because of the rod.
needed to save the tank.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:38 PM   #10
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If you have a suburban WH it would be a good idea to drain it occasionally and check for anode erosion. I usually put the anode back in after draining so insects will not get into the system. By the way, it would be prudent to open the relief valve before you take the plug out or you will suffer the consequences. It also helps to open the valve to let it drain faster, make sure the water is not hot also.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:51 PM   #12
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doesn't the Water heater drain if you open the low point drains? That's how I drain mine if its gonna be longer than two weeks..
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:56 PM   #13
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doesn't the Water heater drain if you open the low point drains? That's how I drain mine if its gonna be longer than two weeks..
I've been wrong before but I believe they do not. The only way to drain the WH is removing the plug/anode rod.
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #14
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I am not positive either, but i know that the hot water drains for a considerable longer time
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:27 PM   #15
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We have a 2014 Georgetown XL have had it a yr. Its been in the shop more than out. Everytime we take her out seemed the toilet wasn't able to receive water to flush. One time we flooded out. Take her to the shop and it was the screen that was full of gunk. Was told it was the lines to be flushed out. Factory had pushed lines with strofoam, etc. so they repair it. Nov 2015 she goes out of warranty. Just take her in. This time they tell us its our fault. Sand in the lines. Must be where were camping. Funny story change in there theory. Tell us to use outside filter system. Were camping with 10 others and there NOT having the same problem. Long story short. We use this forum and see it could be the water tank and anoid rod. So we call and tell them. OH NO they tell us. So I call FOREST RIVER. Still fighting it. Bought camper at Berryland in Hammond LA, Refuse to pay for there labor. Update. There fixing it or a one time courtesy. After a whole year of toilet flushing issues and sediment in screens don't you think they would had checked the hot water tank. Not leave it up to the owner researching the forum??
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:43 PM   #16
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Turn water on in the spring turn off in fall and winterize the empty water tank. To much thought and doing things that don't need to be done. That's my official answer to your good question the rest is just me venting take no offense. People in general cause their own problems, IE: Empting water heater all the time, results burnt out elements. Scrubbing the bottom of their tires, Duh tires are supposed to be dirty, Scurbing the bottom of their boat every time they take it out of the water, Duh it's supposed to have some water borne dirt on it, covering their A/Cs in the winter causing condensate to build up and rot it away, it's supposed to be outside. Many more but other things to do. Got to go uncover my car again got to go to the store, dam I just covered it this morning when I came home from picking up the paper. OH Well. Go ahead I'm ready to accept the baloney coming from all the OCD people.
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by hillsdaletc View Post
pick up a petcock drain plug at your RV dealer. It replaces the plug on atwood water heaters. (Plastic) It is all brass. Then just open the petcock to drain it when you need to. No wrench needed. If you have a Suburban WH then you will not be able to do it because of the rod.
needed to save the tank.
If you are going to do this on a Suburban WH, you will need a reducing bushing 1/2 x 3/4 NPT for the install. Camco makes a sacrificial anode rod with the petcock on it. You'll need the bushing here as well. Makes it very easy to drain
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:23 PM   #18
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doesn't the Water heater drain if you open the low point drains? That's how I drain mine if its gonna be longer than two weeks..
My current 5th wheel will drain about 85% of the water from the WH if I open the low point drains. It really depends on how they routed the plumbing from the factory. I have to remove the anode rod to get the last 15% out. Even then, about 5% stays in the tank with the anode rod removed. To totally drain, I have to insert a small hose and siphon the last little bit out.

If you are just wanting to drain the majority out just for the down time between uses, I would open the low point drains, open a hot & cold tap, let the system empty, remove the anode rod/plug and see how much remains in the tank. If you are satisfied it empties 75-85% of the WH capacity, I wouldn't be taking the anode rod/plug out each trip after that. Just my 2.

Winterizing... different story.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:03 PM   #19
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Draining water heater

No need to drain water heater unless you are winterizing or just storing for more than a couple of months just a waste of your time no benefit at all
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:27 PM   #20
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If you have an Atwood, you can replace the plug with an adapter with a drain valve on it ( easy to make yourself or buy one). Makes draining WH as easy as opening valve ( also keeps water and WH gunk off side of RV).
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