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 > I need help removing my broken water heater drain plug

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albow

Harpersville, AL, USA

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Posted: 10/10/21 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was removing it to winterize today and about 1/4 turn out, it broke off. I guess I tightened too tight before. I've had the same thing happen on my boat pontoon so I learned to take a drill bit and wallow out an indentation in a spot, being careful not to scarf the threads, so that my file can fit in the hole just right and have something to grab, as this never happens to leave any part of the plug where you can grab it with pliers or anything. Well, apparently, my boat plugs are not nylon because this technique wouldn't work with my nylon heater plug. I essentially could not get a groove going for an ideal catch point. I can't believe I couldn't get this to happen. Fortunately, this hole is slightly smaller than my pontoon, so my file grabbed the soft nylon when I shoved it in far enough. Boy, did it grab! I shoved inward forcefully so it wouldn't spin, but I couldn't get it to budge. Then, I but some locking pliers on the file to get leverage to rotate it. It held so strongly that I broke my file (it was a half round mf for those of y'all who remember the joke). It still didn't budge. So, I'm at a loss as to how to remove the rest of it. My best guess at this point is to stick a lighter in the hole and try to melt it away but I'm not crazy about the possibility of getting some melted plastic in the tank. Would the chances of that be minimal, since the drain is angled towards the ground a little instead of parallel? I tested burning the part of the plug that did come out with the head and it turns black and slowly melts. Any better or easier ideas? BTW, the head is 22mm which correlates to around 7/8" but I'm just seeing 1/2" plugs. Is that actually the same plug and the inner diameter is actually 1/2"? Thanks.


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trailrider

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Posted: 10/10/21 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go to the hardware store and buy a "sprinkler riser removal tool." I have removed several with one of these, works perfect.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-and-3........Plastic-Nipple-Extractor-26076/100203404


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DancinCampers

Louisiana

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Posted: 10/10/21 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had one break off on my previous coach. I used a pocket knife to lift up an edge, then needle nose pliers to twist it out.


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mike-uswest

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Posted: 10/10/21 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get an easy out, drill the right size hole to fit and just turn it out.

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poppa

Dallas, TX

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Posted: 10/10/21 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

drill it close to the id it is and pry out what is left of the plug.

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 10/10/21 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Its plastic, don't make it harder than it needs to be and an easy out will only make it tighter.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 10/10/21 08:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go down to Lowes or HD and pick up an internal pipe wrench.


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#1Flyboy

California

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Posted: 10/10/21 10:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the remaining threads are of plastic or nylon, you could heat up a screwdriver head & melt a grove/ slot in the material. Then cool down the screwdriver head & unscrew the remainder…A picture of your problem would be helpful….

Boon Docker

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Posted: 10/10/21 11:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

#1Flyboy wrote:

If the remaining threads are of plastic or nylon, you could heat up a screwdriver head & melt a grove/ slot in the material. Then cool down the screwdriver head & unscrew the remainder…A picture of your problem would be helpful….


X2

larry cad

ohio

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Posted: 10/11/21 03:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you get it out, don't make the same mistake by replacing it with another nylon plug. I started using a brass plug 15 years ago and it is still working fine, including easy out with a crescent wrench.


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