Atwood drain plug leak - Help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-27-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Atwood drain plug leak - Help!

Hi,

While flushing out our Bigfoot recently, the brass petcock / drain plug started leaking (from the valve). I purchased a new brass petcock, but on removing the old one I can see that the female threads on the Atwood are a bit corroded. I could not get the new petcock to seal, and subsequently broke the handle off it too. I have now purchased white plastic plugs to replace the brass petcock. I screwed a plug in all the way with a socket wrench, but it still has a small drip.

Can I use teflon tape or dope on a plastic plug? I tried searching and did find a reference to mylar tape being used, will this help and where can I find it?

Thanks!!!
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
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Easiest fix is to buy a steel plug, then use a hacksaw to cut a couple of grooves in the thread so it acts like a tap to clean out the corrosion. Of course the best would be to buy a real tap.

Then you could put a real drain plug back in.

Charlie Y
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. The threads have corroded away in spots, so it's not really a matter of cleaning the threads out. I have had success in using a white plastic plug and some Pro-Dope instead of teflon tape.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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For "Future" reference, there are special, oversize, plugs available with self tapping ability that will clear the old threads of cr@p while inserting them.

Often it's the rust particles in the threads that cause leaks and a good cleaning of the threads and chasing with a pipe tap usually results in a tight seal.

You might want to rethink that plastic plug. Unless it's rated for "Boiler use" it may not like the heat.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
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For "Future" reference, there are special, oversize, plugs available with self tapping ability that will clear the old threads of cr@p while inserting them.
Thanks. I will pursue this further as I would much prefer to have a petcock style plug than the standard plug.


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You might want to rethink that plastic plug. Unless it's rated for "Boiler use" it may not like the heat.

The current plastic plug is an Atwood replacement part, so I'm confident that it is heat suitable.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #6
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Atwood water heaters come with a nylon drain plug .The brass drain you installed may have reacted with the metal used in the tank and caused the tanks threads to corrode away .
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:34 PM   #7
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There are nylon "Boiler Drains" available at most plumbing and big-box stores. I have one on the 15+ year old Bradford-White water heater I just replaced. The tank was leaking, but not the nylon drain valve.
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Old 06-29-2014, 06:18 PM   #8
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Spatacus did you use plumbing tape with the petcock style plug?
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
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There are nylon "Boiler Drains" available at most plumbing and big-box stores. I have one on the 15+ year old Bradford-White water heater I just replaced. The tank was leaking, but not the nylon drain valve.
Thanks, I will be looking for one of those.


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Spatacus did you use plumbing tape with the petcock style plug?
Yes – I had wrapped both threads (the petcock came in two pieces which threaded together then into the water heater). Admittedly, I was worried about over tightening the brass-into-aluminum threads. Then I broke off the petcock handle with the pliers (couldn’t fit a socket over the petcock handle, and no room for a wrench due to the gas line) while tightening it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:41 PM   #10
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I just installed a petcock drain on mine. I used tape on both but put in a vise and tightened the smaller outer one first. I used a short wrench to tighten into water heater. Had to use very short tiny strokes but finally snugged it down.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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I just installed a petcock drain on mine. I used tape on both but put in a vise and tightened the smaller outer one first. I used a short wrench to tighten into water heater. Had to use very short tiny strokes but finally snugged it down.
Good idea, I probably should buy some stubby wrenches.
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