Repairing a Broken Water Heater Drain Plug

Duration: 2:02

A broken water heater drain plug on your RV can be a hassle to repair, depending whether your plug is metal or plastic. In this free video, Dave Solberg teaches you a couple quick solutions for removing a corroded or broken plug from the exterior of your RV’s water heater. You’ll learn how to diagnosis your particular issue, and discover the simplest way to fix and replace the drain plug and get back to enjoying clean hot water!

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13 Responses to “Repairing a Broken Water Heater Drain Plug”
  1. Benigno Garza
    Benigno Garza

    My unit is a 2017. At first I had plenty of hot water but now, not so much. With out spending money that I don’t have, how can I get more hot water coming out. Thank you Ben Out.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Benigno,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      The water heaters have a set temperature on the thermostat. There is no adjustment that can be done to make more hot water come out or to change the temperature. The problem is more likely the heating element is bad or the flame is not set correctly when trying to run on gas. You could also have a bypass valve in the wrong position on the rear of the tank or one of the valves is bad. If you are still getting hot water but it doesn’t feel like it is much, most likely it is a problem with the valves but I would troubleshoot everything else as well. We do offer some great troubleshooting videos, I will post a link below to them.
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/?s=water+heater

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
        • Customer Service
          Customer Service

          Hi Donald. I do not recommend doing this unless you really have to. If the threads get damaged you will not be able to seat a new drain plug into so you have to be very careful not to damage the threads when drilling. I have had to do this before and it ended up damaging the threads and the tank needed replaced. If you have no other choice then you are welcome to try but just make sure to keep it centered and try to not hit the edges.
          Thanks
          Dan- RV Repair Club Video Membership

          Reply
  2. Larry Walburn
    Larry Walburn

    We bought a camper with a broken plastic plug , I used an easy out for pipes it came out very easy. The people had tried to pound in a big screwdriver but that didn’t work.

    Reply
  3. Richard Larew
    Richard Larew

    When this happened on my plastic plug, I heated a 1/2″ socket extension, melted it into the plastic hole, cooled and turned out the plug.

    Reply
  4. Michael Hudspeth
    Michael Hudspeth

    Rather than risk damaging the threads on the tank when removing a stubborn plastic drain plug, I have found that drilling out the center of the plastic plug and heating an old screwdriver with a propane torch works well. Laying the hot screwdriver against the drilled out hole quickly melts the remaining plastic plug down to the metal tank threads without damaging the metal threads. At that point it is relatively easy to pry the plastic plug loose for removal.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Tamitha,

      Thank you for contacting us. Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in RV repair. With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member to RV Repair Club, please click on the special offer below:

      https://go.rvrepairclub.com/c20078

      If you have any further questions on becoming a member, please chat, email, or contact Customer Service at 1-855-706-3536.

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      Sincerely,

      Joan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  5. Larry H st. Louis
    Larry H st. Louis

    first thing I did was get rid of plastic drain plug. Installed short galvanized nipple and connecter a short steel braided toilet supply line with a shut off. Makes for easy draining and gets the water out of the cabinet space. And no more drain plug.

    Reply
  6. Gregory Von Urff
    Gregory Von Urff

    How about a leaking water heater from the drain with a metal plug with the anode. I have Teflon taped mine a couple of times but it still leaks. It’s almost acting as if I have a bad weld at the fitting. If so, is that repairable? Thnx, G

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Gregory,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:

      If the threads inside of the drain are rusty or damaged it can cause a constant leak but these can be tapped to revive them to help stop leaks. If the leak is coming from around the base of the drain, then there is a broken weld around it and most likely the tank will need replaced. You could try taking out the tank and face plate and see if the weld can be fixed but in my experience once the welds crack it is always best to get a new tank. I would first make sure it isn’t just the drain leaking though. It is very common on these models.

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply