If you have a Suburban water heater you will need to remove the anode rod with a 1 -1/16 inch socket to drain the tank. The anode rod is designed to help prevent corrosion and protect the tanks steel lining. Corrosive elements in the water will attack the rod rather than the tank. Inspect the anode rod every time you remove it to drain the tank, and replace it when 3/4 of the rod is consumed. Atwood water tanks do not require an anode rod and use a nylon drain plug because the tank is made of aluminum.
Caution: Never drain the water heater when it is hot and/or under pressure. Turn off any water going to the RV, to include the water pump, and open a hot and cold faucet to relieve water pressure. Allow sufficient time for the water in the tank to cool before draining. Draining a tank that is hot and/or under pressure can result in serious injury.
Start by draining all of the old water out, and then close all of the drains. Take a quarter cup of house hold bleach for every fifteen gallons of water that your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach, with water, into a one-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank. Fill the fresh water tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on, open all of the hot and cold faucets and run the water until you smell the bleach at each faucet. Close the faucets and let it sit for about twelve hours. Drain the entire system and re-fill the fresh water tank with potable water. Open all of the faucets and run the water until you no longer smell any bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process again to eliminate all signs of bleach from the water system.
Once this is done it is safe to use your water system. It’s also a good idea to use a water filter at campgrounds and to keep bottled water on hand for drinking.
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