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Old 06-01-2013, 10:10 PM   #1
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Leaking around hw drain/anode

Hello,

Has anyone ever experienced water leaking around the HWH drain/anode on a Suburban HW. I found some water under the HW after flushing the plumbing. I flushed and cleaned the HWH as well and seem to be getting some water leaking back through into the stowage compartment from around the collar. I don't see a gasket or caulking.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #2
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The anode rod/plug is a pipe thread and only requires teflon tape and proper tightening to seal. Perhaps it needs to be removed, re-taped and re-installed.

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Old 06-01-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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If the HW heater is installed correctly, a leak from the anode rod will not flow into the RV, but will remain in the outside pan and if anything flow down the outside of the RV. The same with seepage from the Pressure and Thermal Safety Valve.

As Dave suggested, re-seal the rod installation with either teflon tape or pipe seal, and then put a paper towel under the rod port to absorb any water should it continue to leak. If the towel remains dry, and you still have water inside, it would point to a leak from a connection on the back of the water heater, or in worse case a leaking tank itself.

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Old 06-02-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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X2 on the seeping Thermal Safty Valve at the top of the tank. Drain all the water out of the HW tank with the valve in the open position, then close the Thermal Safty Valve and refill. It needs and air pocket at the top of the tank.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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I have had this happen to several campers especially when they get older. The female fitting on the bottom of the water heater will eventually rust and mineral deposits get into the threads when you drain the tank. If it sits through the winter with the plug out it will be even worse by spring. I use a small round wire brush (the type you clean the inside of a battery terminal with) and give the threads a good cleaning then reassemble it like they said above. I once had one so bad I had to borrow a pipe tap to clean it up. It becomes a problem when you dry camp and the little drip causes your water pump to cycle, running down your battery.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
X2 on the seeping Thermal Safty Valve at the top of the tank. Drain all the water out of the HW tank with the valve in the open position, then close the Thermal Safty Valve and refill. It needs and air pocket at the top of the tank.
What happens without the air pocket? I used the safety valve to confirm the tank was full after the winter prior to turning it on (opened to release air at the top).
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:06 AM   #7
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mine seems to leak too

but only sometimes and it's around the outside of the insert which is threaded for the anode to go into, not through the threads. And it only does it sometimes. I've had it leak down so far I could hear the water gushing into fill the tank. Can't figure out what makes it happen / not happen.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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Thanks All. I used some food coloring this morning and found the leak. It was coming from the gap between the unit and the face plate. It's three years old and I should have checked that to start with. Good news. HWH seems fine. I dug out all the old caulking and applied a nice liberal amount on silicone, flexible caulking. I should be gtg and be able to get out next week. Cheers. George
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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What happens without the air pocket? I used the safety valve to confirm the tank was full after the winter prior to turning it on (opened to release air at the top).
Nothing will "happen" other than the Thermal Safety Valve may seep. Glad you found it.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by h20ski View Post

Nothing will "happen" other than the Thermal Safety Valve may seep. Glad you found it.
Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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Mine seeps past the anode rod thread when it's hot. After my first year draining the w/h and seeing how much water stayed in the compartment because of the lip around where it meets the frame round the aperture in the body of the rig, I made up an aluminum chute. It's attached to the floor of the w/h compartment, sits directly underneath the anode rod fitting and directs all the water overboard when the w/h is drained.

Overflow from the thermal relief valve is also captured by the chute.

Now we're home again after our Oregon Coast trip, I plan to drain the heater again and put new Teflon tape on the threads.
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