Water heater questions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by thethird152, May 10, 2015.

  1. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    We will be attending the NC rally next weekend and it will be our first time with water hookups, thus the first time we try out the water system in our camper. I plan on sanitizing the system this week in preparation, and I've been looking at my water heater a little bit today. I have a few questions if anyone wants to chime in. For the Suburban water heater installed on my pup:

    1. What is the best way to clean the threads on the drain/anode rod receptacle? I bought a new anode rod (the old one was over 50% gone) and was trying to thread it in, but noticed significant calcium buildup in the threads that accept the rod. I went at them with the hose and a wire brush and got some of it, but there is still a significant amount built up. I can keep brushing away, but thought someone might have a better approach?

    2. I understand that the anode rod port functions as the hot water tank drain as well. As an alternative, will just opening the drain valve for the hot water line accomplish the same thing (the one that's right next to the cold water drain line, under the camper near the sink)?

    3. Since our water system has yet to be tested, I fully expect to run into an issue or two once we get it hooked up. Other than the basic tools I keep in my toolkit (pliers, screwdriver, duct tape, etc) can anyone think of anything specific I might need to bring in order to perform simple repairs onsite (for either the water heater or the water system in general)? Lol, maybe a couple extra towels :)

    I've ordered one of the Camco tank rinsers as well as a drain connector for the gray water port (plan to drain into a 5 gallon bucket this time around - if it turns out we use the water quite a bit I'll upgrade to a gray water wheeled tank).

    Thanks in advance gang!
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,740
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Brass and steel brushes is the best thing I ever used on the pups Suburban WH, took a lot of brushing and probably some new words at times but was the most effective... Never did get all the threads clean.. So much nicer now the the Atwood WH ...

    Most likely not.. Why would you want to drain the WH anyways? Have always filled ours during de-winterization and left it full until either winterizing or the last trip prior to winterization if they don't co-inside ..

    Tefon tape, a couple hose washers, small hose clamps, sharp utility knife, rags..

    Look around while at the Rally, bet most folks in attendance are using some form of bucket/aquatainer for the grey water.. Wait until after the rally to decide if you want a tote .. While handy they are also a pain in the butt..
     
  3. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Thanks for the tips Snow!

    My owners manual says to drain the WH when not in use - anyone else have an opinion on this?

    Great call on the utility knife! Can't believe I don't have one of those in my kit. I always have a pocket knife with me, but a good utility knife is a good plan.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,740
    Likes Received:
    1,470
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
  5. JT2

    JT2 Member

    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Speaking only from my own experience, I believe this means seasonally -- as in drain it for the winter. I can't see any reason to drain the heater if the Pup is going to sit only a few weeks between outings.
    If it's a real concern to you, simply drain it via the hot water tap on your next outing then let it refill from the current water connection. Or drain it dry before you knock-down from the current outing.

    Taking the drain plug / anode out frequently would seem to risk other damage or leaks. But maybe that's just me.

    /JT
     
  6. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Thanks for the advice you two - hehe, still figuring out this whole "hot water heater, sink, beds, and power outlets" thing :p
     
  7. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,915
    Likes Received:
    127
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Perry, MI
    And whenever you pull the anode rod to drain the HW tank be sure and open a faucet (with the pump OFF) to depressurize the tank. Because even if the tank is cool there is still pressure that will shoot the anode rod out AND give you a good soaking [:(]
     
  8. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Lol, thanks for that friar! I read through this thread before posting my question: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=93824.msg946669#msg946669

    .... and definitely made note to open the hot water faucet before trying to remove the anode rod. Also, it is apparently a good idea to let it cool down for a while before removing, so you don't get blasted with scalding water (or at the very least run the hot water until the tank is full of cold water before removing the rod).
     
  9. LjohnSaw

    LjohnSaw So many fish, so little time...

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Northern California
    I drain my tank before I leave the campground to a) get rid of the weight and b) leave the anode dry so it can't corrode.
    Real simple, open the trailer drain plugs in the plumbing (I have 1 hot and 1 cold just under the front) and the fresh water tank drain. Initially, the water from the fresh water tank (if I had water in the tank) drains, I open the faucet (hot and cold) to drain that and then open the pressure relief valve on the water heater. Since that is at the top of the tank, it drains the WH.

    When I fill my tank for "dry" camping (not doing hookups), I make sure to refill the WH by venting it again, since it holds 6 gallons. This is best done by hooking a hose up to the "city" connection first and then fill the tank. Don't need to run the pump to fill the WH. If I'm on hookups at the campground, I fill the WH by venting before firing it up.

    A small tip, turn off your WH first thing in the morning of the day you are leaving. You will use most of the hot water up in the tank and will be less likely to burn yourself when you drain it later in the morning before you go.
     
  10. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Great info John, thanks.

    So, if I'm reading your instructions correctly, it sounds like the WH CAN be drained without removing the anode rod, by opening all other drains AND opening the faucets AND opening the pressure release valve on the water heater?

    Thanks!

    Paul
     
  11. LjohnSaw

    LjohnSaw So many fish, so little time...

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Northern California
    The faucet was opened just so I didn't have water dripping on the floor when I flip the sink. YES, just the line drains and the WH release valve. Takes a long time, though (10-15 minutes?).
     
  12. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    Fantastic -thanks for the info!
     

Share This Page