Our service area is orange-county for mobile RV repair services water heater. If you’re within our service area, our standard travel fee applies. If you’re further away we can still repair your water heater but additional travel fees will apply. Call us for details
Are you concerned about preventive service on your water heater? Here’s what you need to know;
All water heaters will benefit from an annual draining and flushing to remove calcium deposits. To drain and flush your water heater please follow these instructions:
CAUTION: If your water heater is equipped with an electric heating element, NEVER allow this element to become energized (ie. Turned On) when there is no water in the water heater tank. The element will melt in 15 seconds.
1) Turn off the water supply and turn off all switches that control the water heater and unplug the shore cord. Turn on a hot and cold water faucet until the water stops flowing.
2) Open the water heater from outside, and take out the drain plug located near the bottom of the water heater. Atwood water heaters use a white plastic plug, while Suburban water heaters use a metal anode rod. (more on that later)
3) Let the water drain out of the hot water tank until empty. Don’t lift the lever on the brass Pressure/temperature Relief valve as it may leak afterwards.
4) After draining the water, attach a water heater flush tool (available at RV stores) to your garden hose and spray water into the hot water tank via the drain plug hole. You’ll notice lots of calcium/lime lumps coming out of the drain hole in the water stream. Repeatedly use the flush tool and repeatedly drain until no more calcium is seen.
5) If the drain plug was a white plastic ½” plug, obtain a new Atwood drain plug and reinsert it. It is Atwood part number 91857. Plugs obtained from sources other than Atwood will fail prematurely due to the heat of the water.
6) If the drain plug was a metal anode rod you must check to see if it is mostly eaten away. Swap it out if it is seventy five percent gone or more. A new anode is 8-1/2” long and ¾” in thick, and can be purchased at all RV shops. The Suburban part number is 232768. Use Teflon tape or paste when reinstalling the rod to ensure a water tight fit.
7) Turn off the hot + cold faucets inside the RV and turn on the water supply.
8) The water heater tank will begin filling up (you’ll hear it) and the air inside the tank will start to become compressed by the incoming water. Remove the aerator from any faucet where the aerator can be easily removed. Turn on the hot side of THAT faucet and notice water and bursts of air coming out of that open faucet. The water being expelled may also contain residual floating calcium & lime which would have plugged up the aerator.
9) When the air pockets have stopped coming out of this open faucet, turn off the faucet and reinstall the aerator. Re-test the faucet with the aerator installed.
10) Check for leaks around the new drain plug (or anode) and tighten if needed. Turn on the propane side of the water heater and confirm that it ignites. Turn off the propane side and turn on the electric side if equipped. You can’t hear or see the electric side operating, but the water will be hot in about 30-40 minutes with the propane side off. Congratulations, you’re done!