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Should i drain my rv water heater after each use

Should i drain my rv water heater after each use


Maintaining your RV’s water heater is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. One question that often arises among RV owners is whether they should drain the water heater after each use. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the reasons, benefits, and considerations of draining your RV water heater after each use. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of when and why this practice is recommended and how it can contribute to a trouble-free RVing experience.

Should I Drain My RV Water Heater After Each Use?

Draining your RV water heater after each use is a recommended practice, especially if you’re planning to store your RV for an extended period or face freezing temperatures. Doing so helps prevent the accumulation of sediment and minerals in the water heater tank, which can lead to reduced efficiency and potential damage. Here’s why you should consider adopting this practice:

  • Mineral Buildup: Over time, minerals and sediments from the water supply can settle at the bottom of the water heater tank. Draining the tank after each use helps prevent the buildup of these deposits.
  • Corrosion Prevention: Accumulated minerals can contribute to corrosion within the tank. Draining the water removes these contaminants, reducing the risk of corrosion and extending the lifespan of the heater.
  • Efficiency: A clean water heater operates more efficiently, allowing for faster heating and better overall performance during your trips.
  • Freeze Protection: If you’re storing your RV in colder climates, draining the water heater is essential to prevent freezing and potential damage to the tank and plumbing system.

Factors to Consider

1. Frequency of Use

If you frequently use your RV and the water heater, draining it after every use may not be necessary. Instead, consider draining it periodically, especially before storage or winterizing.

2. Water Source

Water quality varies from one location to another. If you’re using hard water, which contains high mineral content, regular draining becomes even more important to prevent mineral buildup.

3. Travel Conditions

If you’re frequently on the road and using your RV water heater, you might choose to drain it less often. However, if you’re using your RV sporadically, draining after each use is advisable.

4. Storage Plans

If you plan to store your RV for an extended period, draining the water heater is crucial to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

Useful Resources Links

  1. How to Properly Drain Your RV Water Heater
  2. Importance of Regular RV Water Heater Maintenance
  3. Steps to Winterize Your RV Water Heater
  4. Common Water Heater Problems and Solutions
  5. Benefits of Regular RV Water Heater Flushing


Can I leave water in the RV water heater between trips?

Leaving water in the water heater between trips can lead to mineral buildup and corrosion. Draining the tank after each use is a good practice to maintain its efficiency.

How do I drain my RV water heater?

To drain the RV water heater, turn off the heater and let it cool. Open the pressure relief valve and remove the drain plug. Allow the water to drain completely before replacing the plug.

Can I use antifreeze to winterize my RV water heater?

Using antifreeze is a common method to winterize the RV water heater. Be sure to follow proper guidelines and ensure the antifreeze is safe for your plumbing system.

How often should I flush my RV water heater?

Flushing the RV water heater every few months or at least once a year is recommended to remove sediment and maintain its efficiency.

Can I bypass the water heater when winterizing?

Yes, many RVs have a bypass valve that allows you to skip the water heater during the winterization process. This prevents antifreeze from entering the water heater tank.

Can I drain my RV water heater if I’m not using it for a while?

Yes, draining the water heater before extended periods of non-use, such as winter storage, helps prevent sediment buildup and potential damage.


Draining your RV water heater after each use is a proactive measure to maintain its efficiency, prevent mineral buildup, and extend its lifespan. By considering factors such as frequency of use, water quality, and storage plans, you can determine the best draining schedule for your RV water heater. Following proper maintenance practices will ensure that your RV water heater continues to provide reliable hot water during your travels.

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