Water heater blasted in my face!

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Vance, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Vance

    Vance New Member

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    I have been in the process of repairing things in my used 2007 pup before the maiden voyage. I get to the water heater and have no idea what to do or how to use it. I read as much as I can without asking noob questions here. Research told me to ensure tank is full before lighting. I figured out how to get the tank full by turning on hw faucet and running till air stops. Next I try to light pilot, no luck after long time trying, back to the boards for info. During my research I found some info on anodes, didn't know about that. looking at my heater anode nut, it is rusty and I figured it may need to be changed out.
    I try the PRV a few times but seems to not purge anything and kinda sticking. It wont pull out too far but seems to go back in place. On to the anode. I found an impact and 1-1/4 socket then went to work. It was rusty and on tight not moving much. All of a sudden it spun off like a nascar lug nut and pressurized sludge blew out . My rig is 36" off the ground and my face was directly in front of the blast. I did not have safety glasses on at the time. Grit and slime got in my eyes and I was covered in crap. I had to make my way out of the shop and through the building half blind to get to a water station to wash out my eyes, thank god it wasn't hot water. Lesson here is, be Shure you have cold beer on hand for unexpected mishaps.
    No telling how long it had been since the tank was used or maintenance last. It appears the anode has never been changed, all the corroded magnesium is in the bottom of the tank, my hair and on the shop floor. The anode was gone, all that was left was the nut and a rod that the magnesium is applied to. pic.
    I will be replacing the stuck PRV also, BTW removing the PRV with a basin wrench is works good.
    So any new used pup owners be sure to check, service and maintain your water heater. Lastly safety first.
     

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  2. upstate family

    upstate family Member

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    That could have ended so much worse. Glad you are okay!
     
  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Thank goodness it was cold water and also you learned a good lesson (most of us forget them after awhile) Most man. recommend draining the HW tank after you get back from a trip.
     
  4. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Lesson learned, relieve pressure from water heater before unscrewing the drain plug or anode.
     
  5. hahahamilton

    hahahamilton Member

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    Don't feel bad. I did the same thing. On the plus side it was amazing how much crap blew out of the hole...majority of it all over me!
     
  6. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    Be sure to flush it out thoroughly and sanitize it and your cold water system that stuff could be in the line everyware. There are mixed feeling on when to and how often to drain the water heater it depends on how often you camp. But do it atleast once a year.
     
  7. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, mine got super smelly after 1 trip, so I have to clean and bleach it now
     
  8. nomorecoop

    nomorecoop Member

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  9. Fleetwood Max

    Fleetwood Max Member

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    I don't drain mine after each trip,, I will relieve pressure, if it will be a while between trips.. and I change out the anode rod each year when I de-winterize..you really need to clean that thing out really well.
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I managed not to be blasted in the face, but got a shower and had the anode fly out. Lesson learned, relieve the pressure! Opening the tap inside seems work for us.

    We are in the drain after each trip group, unless we're leaving again in a week or so. It's amazing the amount of "grit" our hard water produces on one trip. We have one of the rinse things, which helps get the remainder out after the first bunch come out in the water.
     
  11. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Member

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    x2

    I did the exact same thing and my anode ended up getting launched across the yard. I had turned the pump off but forgot to release the pressure (either with PRV or just turning on a faucet). Oddly enough my anode looked exactly like yours. Not sure how long it takes to get to that point but I would guess 5+ years. Pretty good proof that it hasn't been winterized in a while.

    Get that wand up in there and wash it out really good. I washed mine, replaced the anode and went on a trip only to find a lot more gunk in there. Might want to wash it, replace the anode, fill it up and let it sit for a few days and then drain and wash it again. The good news is after I did that the buildup has been negligible at best.
     
  12. Eskimorob

    Eskimorob PUP life

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    Man I really wish I had seen this post before I took my funky water shower. That was some pretty smelly stuff, don't think it had ever been flushed out. The hardest thing was explaining to the wife why I was washing her car at 7am [:D]. The prev owner said they never used the onboard water or water heater, but evidently they had run the pump some point. Glad we didn't learn this lesson with hot water.
     
  13. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    X3 on this tool.

    Took my anode out (which looked fine surprisingly, some little corroded parts all over the surface, but fairly complete looking) and rinsined for a VERY long time till it ran clear.

    Sanitized (and left it in there for 36 hours), and drained it, flushed it (Nothing came out the second time). then filled and drained it again. (I was flushing the bleach out of the system, so I just went the extra step to empty the hot water heater)
     
  14. TeamECKO

    TeamECKO Member

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    You mentioned you didn't know how to use your water heater. From the photos, yours looks like mine. As a newbie with a new to me pop up, I had to figure this out on my inaugural run. Turn your propane on, then in the water heater compartment turn the gas knob from off to pilot and push down. With the pilot knob pushed down and usng an aim-n-flame or similar long lighter, put a flame in front of the smaller two tubes to the right, which are your pilot light.once the pilot is lit, keep holding the pilot down for a few seconds and let go. Of the pilot remains lit, turn your gas selector to On.
     

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