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Old 06-06-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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Water Heater Drain Frequency

We used our water heater for the first time this weekend and upon packing up I wondered if it had to be drained. I know if we were boon docking and had water remaining in the storage tank one would drain it for the trip home. What about the hot water heater. Holds five gallons so you have 40 lbs sitting there going down the highway. An what about the next time you use it? Is that water still usable after being in the tank for 3-4 weeks.

What do you do?
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

That is a great question! I'd be interested in knowing what people do also. We've had our Escape a year now and I haven't yet drained the water heater. We don't have anything approaching a real freeze in the winter, although I had intended to drain the water heater last winter but couldn't find the right tool.

Our bought-used 1991 Casita had the drain valve inside, under the bed, and it was next to impossible to reach. We never drained it. We did replace the water heater before we sold it, but I believe it was original equipment and it worked for us almost as long as we had it...
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Beside the fresh water tank, there is a water line coming down with a black plastic threaded plug in it. This is the low point drain used for winterizing the trailer. Remove the plug (very easy) and then open your sink taps. This will drain about 90 percent of the water in the hot water tank. To completely drain it, you will need to remove the main drain plug (1-1/16") in the h/w tank, which should be done once a year to flush out any sediment build up.

When you are ready to use the trailer for the next trip, open the pressure relief valve on the outside of the h/w tank, hook up to water and let the h/w tank flush. (make sure the sink taps are closed). Close the pressure relief valve and you have nice clean water!

Happy Camping

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Old 06-07-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Quote:
Originally Posted by reace
Beside the fresh water tank, there is a water line coming down with a black plastic threaded plug in it. This is the low point drain used for winterizing the trailer. Remove the plug (very easy) and then open your sink taps. This will drain about 90 percent of the water in the hot water tank. To completely drain it, you will need to remove the main drain plug (1-1/16") in the h/w tank, which should be done once a year to flush out any sediment build up.

When you are ready to use the trailer for the next trip, open the pressure relief valve on the outside of the h/w tank, hook up to water and let the h/w tank flush. (make sure the sink taps are closed). Close the pressure relief valve and you have nice clean water!

Happy Camping

Reace
Reace - as so many things are on our new 17B, that lowest point drain is a great idea and a real time saver,
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Just did the hot water tank drain proceedure and it was very easy. I think I will make it a practice to drain it after ever trip.

On those same lines I am wondering if the hot water tank fills automatically when boon docking. Can I correctly assume that once the pump is turned on the water tank will fill? If that is the case is it best to fit the hot water tank at the fill station so you can replenish the fresh water resevoir at that time of the water used for the hot water tank fill?

I have made it a point to carry a hot water tank anode rod with the trailer at all times. You will need it once a year and by having it you can do a quick replacement if the need arises while on a trip.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Yes, the h/w tank will fill automatically with either the pump or city water. Make sure to open the hot tap to let the air out. You will need to top up the fresh tank after the h/w tank has filled.

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Old 06-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

We don't have experience with an Escape water system yet, but soon will. I assume it's similar to our Casita. The air temperature rarely gets below freezing where we live, so I don't have to drain the water system for winterizing. I do drain the fresh water tank once a year to freshen it; and, I also drain the hot water tank once a year to flush out sediment and check the anode for corrosion. I've never noticed a problem with water quality between the once-a-year drainings. I travel with at least 5 gallons in the fresh tank plus the 6 in the water heater. The extra weight doesn't affect my MPG and the water comes in handy when roadside "facilities" are few and far between.

Rich

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Old 06-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

I'll probably drain the water tank a few more times than once a year, but not the hot water tank. We don't drink the water from either, only use it for washing (and flushing when a "beside the road" pit stop is needed). If I didn't have to winterize, I'd certainly do as Rich says, once a year to flush out any sediment, and check the anode plug. How many times a year does everyone flush out their water heater at home?? Boy, would you get some sediment out of THAT if you did. But, I doubt many do. Same with the Escape.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Our trips tend to be longer duration - average about 3 weeks, but we don't take them very frequently. We do drink the water from our system, but use on of those RV inline carbon filter on anything we put into the freshwater tank and then a Pur filter pitcher for drinking water. I drain the freshwater tank whenever we get home and usually give it a bleach treatment so that nothing grows in between uses. With the Scamp I only drained the water heater when I winterized, but with the ease of doing it on the Escape with that low point drain, I will probably drain it before putting it into the shed after each trip. We bought the dual fuel water heater option, so I am going to always flip the circuit breaker off (along with the heater's switch) whenever I drain the water heater to make doubly sure that I never turn the heating element on with an empty tank.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:59 PM   #10
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Re: Water Heater Drain Frequency

Hi: EricT... When I had to replace the electric element in the W/H...don't ask why...it only cost $16.50 and my RV tech did it while doing the bearings and brake adjust. Total bill tx's inc. $75.00. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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