View Full Version : Draining Water Heater

11-30-2005, 12:25 PM
How does one drain the water heater. In the Heartland Manual it tells you one thing, either open the water heater drain valve or remove the plug. There doesn't appear to be a drain valve and the plug is installed with some kind of white compound and will not come out with extra-ordinary force. The manual for the heater says to remove the anode to drain. The anode appears to be under a plastic cover. It seems to be going to rather involved measures just to drain the heater. It is a Surburban SW10DE on a 3500RL 2006 BigHorn.
Steve & Sharon

Gary F
11-30-2005, 05:28 PM
Your looking in the right area. The plug you mentioned "white stuff around the threads" is the one you will need to remove. The white stuff is pipe sealer, some call it pipe dope. This if memory serves me, is a 1 and 1/16th diameter bolt size. With the right size socket and 1/2 inch ratchet or breaker bar, you can easily remove the plug which is also the anode.

Hope this helps.

11-30-2005, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the reply, Gary, but the anode is also a 1 1/16 plug but with wires attached and is beneath the plastic cover. Apparently that is supposed to be removed to drain, however will take a special tool as it is in a recess preventing an ordinary wrench or socket. Have winterized the rest of trailer and will leave AC on water heater hoping there is sufficient water to not burn out element. The trailer I just got rid of had ordinary drain plug to remove. Guess that was too simple.

11-30-2005, 07:03 PM
Hi sharmulst:

The drain is in fact a 1 1/16 socket. I had to go buy one to take out the plug. The plug has the anode rod attached to the plug. There is no electric going to it, the "idea" of the rod is , the material that it is made of allows the minerals in the various water types to ATTACK the rod instead of trying to eat at your lining of the water heater. :eek:

I couldn't believe that the little that I used my trailer this summer, how much the anode rod got eatin' away. I'll probably get next season's use out of it, then I'll have to buy another. All of my other trailers didn't have a rod in the plug. Your water heater in your home has a rod about 3ft. long for the same reasons.;)

When putting your plug back in,(in the spring) use pipe dope or teflon pipe tape and really tighten it. They tend to seep if you don't then rust appears.

11-30-2005, 07:36 PM
The "plug" with the wires is your heating element. Don't take that out unless you turn on the power without water in the tank. You will THEN take that out to replace it. The anode plugs can be a bear. Goodluck

11-30-2005, 07:56 PM
Ya Know , I know better ,but, I still unscrewed plug with some pressure in tank..Yup, thats right ,I got a bath..Anode rod and plug shot out and landed in grass.....

12-02-2005, 12:28 PM
Thanks to everyone for tips. My problem was that I thought the element and the anode were one in the same. I'm squared away on that now.

12-03-2005, 10:29 AM
Hey - this is Scott at the factory and I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you helpful owners who have been answering the posts with informative repsonses to the questions. I have been out of town, as well as lost my commputer screen to a spilled pop (I'm on my wife's laptop right now...).

Honestly, - your informative posts is exactly why this site is so popular with both owners and prospective owners. There is a lot of comradery here, as well as informed, experienced RVers and I really do appreciate your participation on this site - especially when people have questions.