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Old 10-17-2017, 03:26 PM   #1
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draining hot water tank

I have a 2017 sunseeker 24'. I want to drain the hot water tank to winterize. Any tips on removing the plastic drain plug? It seems near impossible to get at it
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:41 PM   #2
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I have a 2017 sunseeker 24'. I want to drain the hot water tank to winterize. Any tips on removing the plastic drain plug? It seems near impossible to get at it
Since you said you had a plastic plug, I will assume you have an Atwood water heater rather than a Suburban water heater. I use a 1/2" drive ratchet with a 15/16" socket and a 6" extension. Open the WH door and let it hang down. Come in from below the burner tube and control nearer the bottom of the heater just above the hinge. It is a tight fit, but should be doable without further disassembly. Make sure it is cooled off before you start .... no point in getting scalded.
.....Swampy
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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Good info Swampy
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:13 PM   #4
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I have a 26RR, I just went out for the first time last weekend. I opened the low point hoses and then all the sink, shower and toilet valves until the water stopped. I then opened the spring loaded valved on the water heater and water started flowing again.

Is that drained enough? Most of the water came from the cold water hose which is at the bottom of the tank.

Also, should the trailer be level when draining?

The book just says "drain hot water heater" with zero instructions on how to do that.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:16 PM   #5
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You need to pull the drain plug
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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First, I'm really glad that I do not live in an area where I would need to drain the water heater due to cold weather. Second, I have had a pet peeve for years when someone calls a water heater a hot water heater. And IF there is a book that describes the appliance which heats water a hot water heater then I feel that the people responsible for writing this book are wrong in their description.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:34 PM   #7
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First, I'm really glad that I do not live in an area where I would need to drain the water heater due to cold weather. Second, I have had a pet peeve for years when someone calls a water heater a hot water heater. And IF there is a book that describes the appliance which heats water a hot water heater then I feel that the people responsible for writing this book are wrong in their description.
you will be glad to know the book does not use the word hot in that phrase!
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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You need to pull the drain plug
So I found the book for the water heater, says to pull the anode and replace every year.
No instruction, maybe it's labeled and obvious. It's in storage now so I can't go check.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:53 PM   #9
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pholcat01, you have a Suburban water heater. You will have to remove the anode rod which is on the drain plug so you can inspect the anode and flush the sediment from the rod that settles in the bottom of the tank. Depending on the mineral content of the water going through the wh, you may have to replace the anode every year or two.

I've had 3 rv's with a suburban wh over the years and never had to replace the anode rod.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #10
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pholcat01, you have a Suburban water heater. You will have to remove the anode rod which is on the drain plug so you can inspect the anode and flush the sediment from the rod that settles in the bottom of the tank. Depending on the mineral content of the water going through the wh, you may have to replace the anode every year or two.

I've had 3 rv's with a suburban wh over the years and never had to replace the anode rod.
I just found a really good post on suburban water heaters. Included a pic and I see it is very close to the power switch and it provided wrench size as well.
I should be good to go, thanks!
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:03 PM   #11
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So I found the book for the water heater, says to pull the anode and replace every year.
No instruction, maybe it's labeled and obvious. It's in storage now so I can't go check.
Polhcat, if you have an anode, then you have a Suburban water heater... they have a steel tank instead of alumininum as the Atwood tanks are. If you do, you will need a larger deep socket to remove the anode/drain plug I think it is 1 1/4". Also, prepare for skinned knuckles since the anode usually seizes into the threads in the tank. The anode is the drain plug on these models. If you use a Camco replacement, be sure to install the brass collar against the tank and the anode into the brass fitting. If you will look on Forest River Forums in the Manuals area, you can find how to videos and instruction manuals on trouble shooting water heaters. I hope that gives you a little help ......... Swampy
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:58 PM   #12
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The socket is 1-1/16 inch - 6 point. You'll need a 1/2 inch ratchet (or breaker bar for the first time) and a 6 inch extension. You cannot use a deep-well socket as there is too much of a chance for it to cock to the side causing it to slip off. You will also need teflon plumbers tape to put on the plug before you screw in back in.

The first time I took mine out of my 832IKBS, it was so tight it took 2 of us to break it loose. One pulling the breaker bar and one holding the extension so it would stay on the plug. There wasn't teflon tape on it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:14 AM   #13
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I am assuming a battery powered impact wrench is a bad idea??
just to break the first seal, not to put it back.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:25 AM   #14
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JUST A WORD OF CAUTION FOR YOU WATER HEATER DRAINERS!

Be sure you open the pressure release plug at the top before attempting to remove the anode rod (or drain plug). If you don't, under pressure it is possible for that rod/plug to shoot out under such force that it can either hurt you or like a bullet blow a hole in the RV parked next to you.

At a recent FR rally, the FR tech asked for a show of hands as to how many had experienced changing the anode rod while forgetting to let off pressure. There were 3 hands out of the 25 or so in the room and they all admitted to being surprised at how hard it shot out. I thought this thread was a good time to mention it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:26 AM   #15
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Put the socket on the drain plug first, so that gets a good fit. Then figure out how to attach the socket wrench or extension onto the socket, even it it's a 1/2 fit. Better a 1/2 fit on the socket than 1/2 fit on the drain plug so you don't wreck the plug.

By the way, you can't drain the water heater all the way and you don't need to. The portion left in the bottom will freeze but it won't hurt anything because it will expand upwards.

Also by the way, you can drain the hot water tank by opening the low point red drain line, opening all the hot water faucets, and letting air into the tank by opening the overpressure valve on the hot water tank. You can confirm that this drains everything the first time you do it by draining everything out this way then removing the drain plug and see if anything else comes out. On our unit, nothing else will come out. Removing the drain plug does, however, allow you to flush out the sediments from the bottom of the tank using a hot water tank rinse wand.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:38 AM   #16
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First, I'm really glad that I do not live in an area where I would need to drain the water heater due to cold weather.
You need to read this thread, Thurman, and anyone else who thinks they do not need to do this.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:57 AM   #17
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Put the socket on the drain plug first, so that gets a good fit. Then figure out how to attach the socket wrench or extension onto the socket, even it it's a 1/2 fit. Better a 1/2 fit on the socket than 1/2 fit on the drain plug so you don't wreck the plug.

By the way, you can't drain the water heater all the way and you don't need to. The portion left in the bottom will freeze but it won't hurt anything because it will expand upwards.

Also by the way, you can drain the hot water tank by opening the low point red drain line, opening all the hot water faucets, and letting air into the tank by opening the overpressure valve on the hot water tank. You can confirm that this drains everything the first time you do it by draining everything out this way then removing the drain plug and see if anything else comes out. On our unit, nothing else will come out. Removing the drain plug does, however, allow you to flush out the sediments from the bottom of the tank using a hot water tank rinse wand.
So I drained all the faucets and then opened the check valve and i would say a lot of water came out. Not sure if it was 6 gallons but def ran for a while.
It is recommended to pull the anode on my model so I will prob do both.
Seems like a good method to make sure the pressure is relieved before pulling the anode.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:38 PM   #18
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You need to pull the drain plug
X2
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:17 PM   #19
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I did not release the pressure prior to removing the anode rod this year on my new Trailer and I can certainly vouch that it shot out of the tank like a bullet just missing my face. Won't make that mistake next year.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by pohlcat01 View Post
I have a 26RR, I just went out for the first time last weekend. I opened the low point hoses and then all the sink, shower and toilet valves until the water stopped. I then opened the spring loaded valved on the water heater and water started flowing again.

Is that drained enough? Most of the water came from the cold water hose which is at the bottom of the tank.

Also, should the trailer be level when draining?

The book just says "drain hot water heater" with zero instructions on how to do that.
By opening the LPDs 1st you just loaded your water lines with "White Crud",then when you opened the "Spring loaded Valve" and the water started to flow again you Loaded up the water lines with More "White Crud"! Proper step is Close W/H bypass valves,then drain W/H and Flush! Then open LPDs! Youroo!!
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