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RVing message boards => Motorhomes => Topic started by: Alpena Jeff on November 04, 2017, 11:47:00 AM

Title: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Alpena Jeff on November 04, 2017, 11:47:00 AM
Is it odd that when I pulled the drain plug which is also the heat element no water drained out?
We ran hot water when we did the pdi but has been shut off for the last two weeks. I did drain everything but have not winterized yet. Hopefully later today
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Arch Hoagland on November 04, 2017, 04:11:49 PM
What brand water heater?
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 04, 2017, 04:27:54 PM
Quote
I pulled the drain plug which is also the heat element

I think you may be mistaken about that. The drain plug would NOT contain the heater element on either an Atwood or a Suburban heater (not sure which one Newmar uses). Either that wasn't the drain plug, or it was the heater element.

Suburban heaters have a sacrificial anode attached to the drain plug. Could that be it? Looks like this:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/suburban-anode-rod-replacement/42180&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplp42180&sc_intid=42180 (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/suburban-anode-rod-replacement/42180&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&scid=scplp42180&sc_intid=42180)

The most likely explanation s that the heater is bypassed using the winterizing bypass valve. That lets cold water flow direct to the faucets but no water enters the tank.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Rene T on November 04, 2017, 05:01:57 PM
Unless he has one of these but I would doubt for a RV only 1 years old.  Were there wires attached to the drain plug?

https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Group-HR6-Universal-Hott/dp/B002SSIBSA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1509832759&sr=8-2&keywords=hot+rod+rv+water+heater&dpID=51fqcMRkASL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Alpena Jeff on November 04, 2017, 08:44:20 PM
Rene. No wires attached.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Rene T on November 04, 2017, 08:51:32 PM
Rene. No wires attached.

So it was the drain plug but not the heating element.
Check your bypass valves. How many valves do you have to cycle in order to bypass?
Whatever you do. DO NOT turn on the electric to the heater until you know for sure there's water in there or else you'll burn out the element real fast.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Alpena Jeff on November 05, 2017, 06:24:59 AM
It's a Suburban. I need to turn 3 valves located in bedroom closet to winterize. I believe 2 are water supply and one is drain?
We took a video of the entire PDI process and were told to reverse the 3 valves discussed earlier here. Then release pressure valve and remove drain plug which is also the heating element. When no water came out is when I got confused and came to you.
So, turning 2 of the valves disconnects the water flow and the 3rd drains? This is consistent with the manual but differs from PDI instructions.
Also, in my main control panel is where I control electric or propane juice for the water heater. Both have been off since we took delivery and it seems I have a master on/off inside the vent cover.
Thanks guys. Your help is priceless!
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Great Horned Owl on November 05, 2017, 07:42:58 AM
A common arrangement is that one valve opens or closes the heater inlet. The second valve opens or closes the heater outlet. The third valve valve opens or closes a line that bypasses the heater, thus allowing water to flow directly from the inlet to the outlet, outside of the first two valves.

When the heater is in use, valves 1 an 2 are open, while valve 3 is closed. Those positions are reversed for winterization.

Joel
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 05, 2017, 07:52:22 AM
The thingie attached to the drain plug is a sacrificial anode, not a heating element.

The 3 valves are as Horned Owl describes, so none of them are a "drain" line. One of them is the water heater output (hot water) line, so maybe the PDI guy described that as a "drain", but that is inaccurate.   A diagram of a 3-valve bypass system is attached.

Apparently your heater was left in bypass mode and there is no water in the tank. Thus, nothing to drain out.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Alpena Jeff on November 05, 2017, 08:40:28 AM
I just finished the winterization process.....hopefully correctly!
I did reverse the 3 water heater valves as you advised. Poured 4 gallons of non toxic RV antifreeze into a 5 gal bucket. Closed valve A and opened valve B to allow system to accept antifreeze. Turned on water pump. It sucked solution until pump stopped. Opened all water valves ( hot and cold, one at a time) until pink came out and ran into respective drains. Water pump came on as expected. Ran outside shower, hot and cold till pink came out. Flushed toilet until pink.
Briefly opened low point valves, then closed.
Placed valves A&B back to original position.
Placed water heater valves back in original position.
I had removed the water filter prior to starting the process.

That was it! Took about 10 minutes. I hope it's right.
Comments?
Thanks so much for helping. This first time on these critical systems scare the bejebus out of me!
It will get better, right?
Jeff
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Rene T on November 05, 2017, 08:47:51 AM
As Gary said, the thingy was probably the anode rod. Usually it will corrode so bad you'll see a about a 3/16" metal rod running through the center anode material. If yours is corroded down to that rod or even near it, you need to replace it.  I would buy one now and just store it behind the water heater door that way in the spring you'll see it and then install it. I use to always leave the drain plug out until spring.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 05, 2017, 09:35:10 AM
Don't know what valves A & B rfer to, but it appears that everything worked as desired.

If you have a fridge icemaker or washer/dryer, don't forget their water lines. Toilet as well.
Title: Re: Drain hot water tank
Post by: Harvard on November 05, 2017, 09:52:28 AM
Should have left the water heater valves in BYPASS until after de-winterization in the spring. Otherwise you will have pink stuff in the water heater which will take forever to clear out of the hot water system. JMO.

Also, should allow pink stuff to reverse flow out the shore water connection by removing the cone shaped screen and open check valve that is behind the cone shaped screen. JMO.