How To Drain Atwood RV Water Heater? 4 Easy Ways!

Do you know how to drain Atwood RV water heater? There are a few steps to drain an Atwood RV water heater, each very easy to do. Atwood water heaters are popular for recreational vehicles.

Like any other water heater, the Atwood water heater must be maintained to ensure its long life span. You don’t want to have frequent repairs or replacements. Maintaining your Atwood water heater includes draining or flushing it.

how to drain Atwood RV water heater

First, you must know when is the right time and what is the proper way to drain the water heater. These are one of the things that new recreational vehicle owners are missing. You have to keep in mind the importance of draining it. People riding in the RV often get surprised that the water heater has degraded its performance, and the usual reason is simply not doing a regular draining procedure. There are so many things that you must learn, so without further ado, let’s begin. 


Steps To Drain Atwood RV Water Heater

If your recreational vehicle was purchased second-hand, then one of the things that you must do upon acquiring it is to drain the water heater. The previous owner does it regularly, or worse if they have ever done it.

Draining it must be done at least twice a year, depending on how often you go out to camp or travel. Nevertheless, the winter season must be kept in mind because you have to drain it always before this season comes. If instances happen when there is an unwanted sprouting smell from the water heater faucet, then drain it. In this section, let us now dig deeper into how to drain Atwood RV water heater.


Step #1. The preliminaries

You have to be aware of specific facts about the Atwood RV water heater because you will not be able to drain it properly without these. One is that the Atwood RV water heater doesn’t have an anode rod. The water heater tank itself functions as one colossal anode rod.

Also, if the water source is hard, you must drain the water heater every three months. Most recreational vehicles don’t have aluminum tanks. Thus, they are prone to corrosion. This is why you have to drain your RV’s water heater because mineral sediments collect at the foot of the tank, causing to wear the liner down and corrode the metal below.


Step #2. Turn off electricity, propane, and water source

First, switch off the water heater’s breaker, then unplug the camper from the power source. However, if you have a propane heater, switch off the regulator or valve on the tank. Either of these two will ensure your safety.

Next, let the water run from the faucet to prevent scalding hot water from draining throughout the flushing. Only shut the tap if the hot water becomes dissipated. To allow any water to stream out and let the air backflow into the pipes, switch off the stopper that feeds the RV’s water hose connecting to the water inlet port. Open the faucet again after the water stopped from flowing. 


Step #3. Take out the plug 

The water heater in your RV has an access door, which you must open in this step to have a sight of the unit’s backside. On the bottom left of the water heater is a colossal metal plug that is somewhat hidden underneath the piping for the LP and has a downward angle. To connect the drain plug to the socket, use an extender and a swiveling socket for you to reach the bottom of the LP components. A socket wrench with a longer handle will give you more strength to loosen it. 

Spraying the threads surrounding the plug with a PB Blaster will help loosen rust or corrosion. You must note that a recreational vehicle that has not been correctly maintained will give you difficulty unscrewing the drain plug. So, such methods will somehow ease the problem. The water will slowly flow out if you successfully unscrew and remove the plug. Thus it would help if you had a bucket ready to catch the flowing water. 


Step #4. Finish up

First, open the tank’s pressure relief valve to let the air go into the tank, making the remaining water flow out quickly. Next, replace the drain plug after all the water has gone out. Afterward, use the tubing to fill the water tank with 3 gallons of vinegar using a funnel.

While waiting for the vinegar to break down the mineral deposits in the tank, you can remove mineral build-up on the inner threads in the opening of your RV. Use a new Teflon tape once you prep the lines. Now you can reattach the RV’s valve but make sure not to overtighten it. To ensure tightness, the face of the drain port should be pointing downwards. 

Then, fill the tank with water until the pressure relief valve spills out. After which, turn the lever to the other side to close the valve. Leave the vinegar and water solution for at least 12 hours, then turn the water heater back on. Leave it for 30 minutes before draining it all by opening the faucet. When all the water has drained, give the tank time to cool down.

Fill the tank again with tap water, then drain again to ensure that the vinegar will all go out. Lastly, it is recommended that you use a new drain plug, but if you don’t want to, use clean Teflon tape to seal it. You may also be interested to know about RV hot water heaters.


It’s A Wrap! 

At the end of this article, I hope you have learned how to drain Atwood RV water heater. May the information above lessen your worries about how to do this job properly. Thank you so much for reading up to this point. Your time and effort are very much appreciated! You may also want to read about how much propane does an RV water heater use and how to start hot water heater in RV.

Leave a Comment