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Old 06-22-2022, 06:05 PM   #1
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Draining Water Heater

Hi All: First of all thank you to Skinnyp who posted questions about the water heater anode on June 16. We have only had our trailer for a little more than a year as due to COVID, it was 1/2 finished and in storage at ETI for awhile before being sold to us! We are storing the trailer for a couple of months before our August travels, and need to drain the water heater. So, we have 2 more water heater questions:
1) First of all, we have a thick mattress in our 2020 Escape 17B, that covers the seat cabinets, making it quite difficult to get to the bypass valves to properly bypass the water system in order to drain the heater. IF we drain the entire water system in the trailer (except maybe 1/2 gallon so as not to burn up the pump), and open the water heater drain-plug (anode rod opening) to drain the heater afterwards, would we really need to position the bypass valves to “water heater drain”?
2) We are having great difficulty in opening the drain plug by loosening the washer/gasket that is at the anode rod opening. Is there a special wrench that we need to open it? None of our wrenches are working!
Any ideas and hints will be appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:05 PM   #2
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Anode removal

Get a good inch and a sixteenth socket (6 sided socket if possible) that fits a one half inch breaker bar. and 3 or 6 inch extension. That combo will allow you to put adequate force to turn the Anode Rod out ( counter clockwise). When you first get the socket on the anode nut try slightly tightening it. Then reverse the pull on the breaker bar. It will most likely come loose. It’s kind of spooky to reccomend using an impact wrench on the socket but it has been done. Start with a low torque and work up. That steady tapping of the wrench will loosen a lot of things.. when you reassemble, put three or four wraps of teflon tape on the threads and it will be a lot easier the next time. Make sure your water heater has been off and the water isn’t hot and let the pressure off by having the pump off and opening the hot water tap till the water quits running.

It would be your choice whether or not you’d want to use a little liquid wrench ease on the threads. If younsint use much, wipe it off the threads once the anode is out and wash the anode with hot soap and water I don’t think there’s a problem. Others may not like the idea of it.
Remember , easy does it.
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:38 PM   #3
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Additionally FlowerandFrog, You do not need to touch the ByPass Valves at all. Simply follow the procedure outlined by Iowa Dave, and this will completely drain the hot water heater. You may notice some white chalky magnesium particles flush out with the water, and this is expected. Use a hose nozzle to flush out any other residue on the bottom of the tank, and let drain. If the anode looks to be in good condition, wrap with Teflon tape and reinstall as Dave said. No more than 15-20 lbs. pressure on tightening the anode! Good Luck!
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:49 PM   #4
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Bypass is only used to prevent filling the water heater with antifreeze when winterizing.

Good and bad anode:
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:55 PM   #5
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You can get years out of an anode, or months, depending on the water. In BC water is soft and anodes last a long time. This one is six years old.
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:11 PM   #6
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When you flush out the tank with a hose lots of flakes will come flowing out as was stated. When the water stops
Running out after you flush it, put your finger in the hole and feel for some “sand”
Just inside of the tank under the rim. Flick that back into the tank and rinse again so you don’t have a wet spot and so none of the grit gets in the threads. ( yes I am at times OCD.) then as Habberdabber says put a one inch wide strip of old bath towel that hangs out and will wick the tank dry.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:09 PM   #7
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Getting ready to winterize our 5.0 so all this info is really helpful. Going to be using the air method. One question that Dave from Escape kind of glosses ove in the videor: How do you get the water out of the pump. Is blowing out the lines with air sufficient to get the water out of the pump, or do you have to turn on the pump prior to using the air. I am worried that some residual water will remain in the pump and freeze in the winter.

On another topic, has anyone used bottle jacks to lift the trailer just enogh to take the pressure of the tires and prevent flatspots? I know the stabilizers should not be used to lift. I am trying to avoid having to move the trailer in winter as it is in a very tight storage garage.
Again thanks to all for the previous info!
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Old 09-28-2022, 01:15 PM   #8
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Before taking the anode out release the pressure in the hot water lines. Otherwise the anode comes out and shoots across the lawn 20 ft ! Lucky I wasn’t looking at it !
We don’t use the bypass or antifreeze, just air pressure to blow all the water out, then remove the filter on water pump.
It’s difficult to lift the mattress on the 17B with the bed option. Escape used a cover with a handful of wood screws to get at the water pump. We replaced that with a piece of plywood, removed with one finger….
Bob
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:01 PM   #9
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Bottle jack

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarc View Post
Getting ready to winterize our 5.0 so all this info is really helpful. Going to be using the air method. One question that Dave from Escape kind of glosses ove in the videor: How do you get the water out of the pump. Is blowing out the lines with air sufficient to get the water out of the pump, or do you have to turn on the pump prior to using the air. I am worried that some residual water will remain in the pump and freeze in the winter.

On another topic, has anyone used bottle jacks to lift the trailer just enogh to take the pressure of the tires and prevent flatspots? I know the stabilizers should not be used to lift. I am trying to avoid having to move the trailer in winter as it is in a very tight storage garage.
Again thanks to all for the previous info!
I have a new bottle jack that I bought and take along for emergency use on the Escape along with some blocks of treated lumber. The Jack will lift a tire off the ground or lift the hitch in the front in a pinch. However I would not trust it to elevate the axles for an extended period of time, they often “leak down” for long term suspension, I would use four jack stands, good ones, rated for the weights involved. That said our Escape stays in a building, parked on a dead flat concrete floor. I haven’t noticed flat spots the tires that amount much. I suppose if you had access to your trailer and the inclination you could periodically lift and rotate each tire and wheel but I don’t think many folks go through that process. The Jack stand “saddle”
Needs to fully cradle the frame. The bottle jack is a little tenuous.
Iowa Dave
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarc View Post
Getting ready to winterize our 5.0 so all this info is really helpful. Going to be using the air method. One question that Dave from Escape kind of glosses ove in the videor: How do you get the water out of the pump. Is blowing out the lines with air sufficient to get the water out of the pump, or do you have to turn on the pump prior to using the air. I am worried that some residual water will remain in the pump and freeze in the winter.

On another topic, has anyone used bottle jacks to lift the trailer just enogh to take the pressure of the tires and prevent flatspots? I know the stabilizers should not be used to lift. I am trying to avoid having to move the trailer in winter as it is in a very tight storage garage.
Again thanks to all for the previous info!
for blow out method, to get water out of the pump turn the three way valve on the suction side of the pump (the one used to suck antifreeze out of a gallon jug) to the antifreeze position. This will allow air into the pump and water to drain out. And also remove the screen filter on the pump and pour water out.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:34 AM   #11
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when i replaced my anode it did not thread all the way in and some threads are exposed. should i worry?
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideTN View Post
when i replaced my anode it did not thread all the way in and some threads are exposed. should i worry?
No, it's fine. It doesn't need to be torqued either. Just tight enough so it doesn't leak.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
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when i replaced my anode it did not thread all the way in and some threads are exposed. should i worry?
I had crazy problems threading the anode back in until I bought an anode removal tool. This one actually.
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Old 11-14-2022, 09:10 AM   #14
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As long as you have three or four wraps of Teflon tape on the threads and it’s snug and doesn’t leak you’re good to go. I always take time to either use the tip of my pocket knife or an ice pick to get all of slivers of old teflon tape picked out of the threads, both on the anode and the water heater.

I can usually pinch the anode and angle it to start cleanly with my fingers but if you can’t, get a deepwell socket and put enough quarters in it to expose the threads and also to have the anode firmly supported. Then I use a three or six inch extension on the socket to accurately start the anode. About half of the threads may be showing when snug enough.

That’s my experience
Iowa Dave
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Old 11-14-2022, 09:16 AM   #15
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A deep 1 1/16" socket and an extension for your ratchet wrench makes it easy. You need a 6-point socket, though; I found that a 12-point one wouldn't work.
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Old 11-14-2022, 10:56 AM   #16
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thanks guys for the quick replies hopefully when i put it back in use in the spring it will be good to go!
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