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Old 05-02-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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Rivet Help, please, leak and referral

Hi All!
Have been away from the forum for a long time, long story for another post. We need help, please

We have a leak '08 25FB

When DH winterized, he drained all the water, blew out the lines with an air pressure thing till air came out taps, then put about 3 gals of antifreeze/the pink stuff in the fresh tank and pumped it through 'till each tap had some. Followed valve diagram in manual.

When he opened it, he filled the fresh water tank, made sure the valves were per diagram, turned on the pump. Quiet for a few seconds, then he heard a gush/splash kind of sound. Pump kept running but nothing flowed out of the kitchen tap. Let it run for a little over a minute, then shut off pump.

Went outside and heard water hitting the pavement. Our underside is enclosed, water flowed out the seam under storage cabinet which is next to the water heater. No water in storage cabinet, leak is elsewhere or below.

Any idea what the problem might be? How expensive is this likely to be?

We are not handy and will have to bring it somewhere for repair. Bought it at Colonial in NJ, 4+ hour drive for us each way, know they do good work. We are in NE CT - is there a reputable dealer with a good service dept. in CT/MA/RI that you can recommend?

Thank you very much for any ideas/assistance/recommendations you can offer!

Cats
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
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Water heater pressure relief valve still open ??

When winterizing, do your DH open the water heater's pressure relief valve and forget to close it again, perhaps leaving it open all winter? That might account for the water flowing on the ground near your water heater. The time it took the empty water heater to fill up before it overflowed out the (possibly) open pressure relief valve also might account for the few minutes of dry quiet before your trailer started leaking from the belly pan. If the pressure relief valve was in the open position all winter, its relief spring might have taken a permanent set in an open position and the valve might have to be replace; or maybe not. Check to make sure it is in the closed position before looking for other causes. If water flows out the pressure relief pipe when the relief valve is in the closed position, then you will have to replace it. Hope this might help.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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Arrow thank you, Fred!

DH is asleep, has long day tomorrow, home after dark tomorrow night.

I will send him your post and see if he can figure out if this might be the problem. I know that you are very knowledgeable, Fred, and I'm hopeful that this is it, thanks

Sounds likely, though I am admittedly clueless! Hopefully, even if the pressure relief valve has to be replaced, it will not cost too much.

If this is the problem, would it have drained straight down and not flooded the storage compartment?

Any chance a novice could find it and replace it? DH is a chem. engineer who used to run and fix plant systems, this should not be so mysterious! He thinks the manual that came with our AS is seriously lacking and difficult to discifer (sp?).

Any other ideas appreciated, or repair place recommendations would be great. Does this need to be done by an AS place, or could any RV service place do it?

Grateful for your reply, Fred, thank you very much!
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roamin' Cat View Post
DH is asleep, has long day tomorrow, home after dark tomorrow night.

I will send him your post and see if he can figure out if this might be the problem. I know that you are very knowledgeable, Fred, and I'm hopeful that this is it, thanks

Sounds likely, though I am admittedly clueless! Hopefully, even if the pressure relief valve has to be replaced, it will not cost too much.

If this is the problem, would it have drained straight down and not flooded the storage compartment?

Any chance a novice could find it and replace it? DH is a chem. engineer who used to run and fix plant systems, this should not be so mysterious! He thinks the manual that came with our AS is seriously lacking and difficult to discifer (sp?).

Any other ideas appreciated, or repair place recommendations would be great. Does this need to be done by an AS place, or could any RV service place do it?

Grateful for your reply, Fred, thank you very much!
Cats
Cats,

Many times a relief valve will have an extension pipe on it, to pipe it to the outside. They are most likely specific to the water heater installed, but any RV place should be able to replace one.

I know that the mid 70's units you could buy a Service Manual for them, but apparently they don't make them for the more current Airstreams.

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Old 05-02-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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ah, a spring surprise, bummer cats!

too many possibilities and even with MOST leaks the pump should still send water to an open tap (kitchen)

outside shower/faucet is a possibility, the back flow valve, any of the tanks or water heater.

a/s dealer map shows 1 in ct...

Airstream, Inc :: Home

this could be a quick find/fix but leaks can also be very problematic (access to tanks is a lotta work)

4 hours x2 to get to a QUALIFIED dealer/shop isn't much, IF something is broken.

the WH pressure release valve is INSIDE that outer wh door. it's easy to replace but probably not the issue.

more likely the nylon PLUG screw for the water tank is loose or blew out...

IF the WH was drained before winter.

that's also located outside/under the wh door and easy to fix/replace/tighten.

these things are covered IN the owners manual OR the specific applicance manuals (water heater)

here's a pic of a newer water heater with the pressure relief valve and tank plug noted in YELLOW...

Click image for larger version

Name:	atwood_waterheater.jpg
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ID:	101692

it's CLEAR from the pic that a leak/water flow from either the valve OR the plug would flow directly OUT the door...

not UNDER the trailer/belly pan.

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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Right near the HW heater is a set of valves to be set as follows:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Water heater bypass valves.jpg
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ID:	101691

There might be a 4th valve just below that that drains the pipes down through the belly wrap -- it connects to a definite pass-through hose/pipe that goes through the belly wrap. Check out if you have something like that. Or if the leak comes from elsewhere.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roamin' Cat View Post

Hopefully, even if the pressure relief valve has to be replaced, it will not cost too much.

Does this need to be done by an AS place, or could any RV service place do it?

Cats
If it's the pressure relief valve, it will cost you about $12 to $15. Any RV place could do it, but it's too easy... you can do it yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:21 PM   #8
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Rivet thanks, again!

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement, picture and diagram, as well as the info. Greatly appreciated!

Nice to see you, 2air', I missed you. We are really happy with the containers your recommended for our Honda genies, thank you very much

Anyone have any experience with service departments NE of Colonial?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:03 PM   #9
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Are you sure?

Hi, are you sure the water came out of a seam? I don't winterize my trailer, but that is another story. One time while camping, I hooked up the outside water hose and turned it on. I heard water running, so I turned it off real quick. It was flowing out under my trailer between my storage door and water heater. Just inside of my storage door is a valve for draining my water heater, and I accidentally hit it [turning it on/open] while taking some things out of my storage compartment. I closed the valve and all is good. Possibly the same thing on your's. Oh, I forgot to mention, there is a drain hose there that I didn't see until the water flowed out. [not a seam]
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:42 AM   #10
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Question must be something else

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
ah, a spring surprise, bummer cats!

it's CLEAR from the pic that a leak/water flow from either the valve OR the plug would flow directly OUT the door...

not UNDER the trailer/belly pan.

cheers
2air'
Thanks 2air',
Yup, went out and looked, would definitely have flowed out that door.
Dang!

Thanks also to Gator, wish that had been it! Appreciate the encouragement!
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:57 AM   #11
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Question none of the above?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
There might be a 4th valve just below that that drains the pipes down through the belly wrap -- it connects to a definite pass-through hose/pipe that goes through the belly wrap. Check out if you have something like that. Or if the leak comes from elsewhere.
Thanks ROBERTSONRUS, CanoeStream, and Aaron,

I went out and looked, there is a little white plastic pipe, maybe .5" diameter, jutting out right where you suggested. DH said no water came out that, at least not when he went out and found the leak.

Water flowed like a little waterfall out the seam

Any other ideas?

Anyone used the AS place in CT for repairs that involved possible removal of belly pan? Or am I headed to NJ? Budget tight right now, hoping for an inexpnsive, easy, nearby fix! I am a dreamer

Thanks very much for all the responses, I appreciate the knowlege and generosity you all share here!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:28 AM   #12
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cats...

IF the water comes from the outer/water heater DOOR but neither of those plugs...

the tank may have ruptured OR a water fitting connecting TO the tank is leaking...

((there are other water pipes NEAR/above/next to the WH that could leak))

not all water flowing OUT the belly pan originates there,

in fact MOST of the plumbing is INSIDE the stream ABOVE the floor.

but will eventually exit at the belly pan (it's that whole gravity thing...)

the primary water parts below the floor/hidden by belly pan are fresh/black/gray tanks and drains...
___________

IF the W heater/tank has ruptured OR pipes connecting TO the W heater/tank are the source...

the TANK itself is removed via that same OUTSIDE door/access.

and most of the connections TO the water heater are accessed INSIDE the stream,

via a small wall panel or by removing a section of lavatory cabinetry.
___________

to FIND the leak, the first step is to connect/turn on the water again and listen or look for the defect....

yes it takes MORE water leaking out to find the leak...

so IF u wanna look for it, turn on the water again, turn on the pump and calmly run around/explore for the gush...

a few gallons of water won't kill the trailer with 1 or 2 or 3 exposures...


cheers
2air'
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
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O.K. Got tired of working around DH's current extended work schedule, went out to look things over and try figuring it out myself.

As 2air' suggested, I ran it again. Got some water to flow through kitchen tap, lav sink and toilet flush - very low water pressure. Shut it off, went out and looked, water pouring out any opening in belly it can find, but not from the WH drain tube.

Also opened exterior door to WH, some water squeezing/trickling out around the pressure relief valve, and other places, but not coming out the actual pipe opening.

Went back in, shut off pump, found leakage flowing from behind toilet, out from around kitchen faucet/spray head. Dried it all up.

Went out and opened the 4th valve, the one for draining the WH, turned on pump and faucet, went out , beautiful stream of water flowing right out through the drain valve, no where else. Turned off the pump and put the drain valve back into non-drain position.

Found the panel that blocks the back of the WH, couldn't remove it, BUT is very thin composit material sitting on carpeted floor. NO sign of water at all on back side, looks like water would be very obvious if back there..., but the WH is encased in styrofoam.

Did reading this spark an "aha!" moment for anyone?!

Have an appt with Colonial to fix it, if necessary, but hoping we can still figure this out.

Seems like water really wants to get through (some is) but is being blocked somehow and pressure is forcing it out any little gap it can find (have had a problem with leak behind toilet before, think the pipe/connectiom is tiny bit loose, for example). So there must be a valve somewhere not in the correct position, or???

Valves are in summer position as indicated by Bob in post #6 above.

Thanks for reading and praying this makes sense to someone!
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
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very good investigative work cats...

but where is the utoob video or photo essay...

i expected to see some water fountain pictures!

this reads like the TANK is ruptured.

the tank INSIDE the styro box only has a few real OUTLETS (the drain, relief valve and INLET/OUTLETs)

so IF the tank is ok it could be the inlet/outlet connections to the pex plumbing.

"pressure/blockage" shouldn't be an issue with city water OR the pump.

these systems are expected to tolerate the pump pressure easily and direct connections up to 80-90 psi.

but with your report of water flowing as described it sure reads like the tank is ruptured.

in all likely hood they'll need to remove the interior access panel, inspect the fittings and THEN perhaps...

pull the tank via the outside door.

good job you have done exploring!

has the water heater been USED since the shell bashing/repair was done?

if not it's possible the connections were loosened during the bang up OR the repairs...

IF it's the tank, replacements tanks are less $$ than FULL replacements...

but labor is still an issue if it's not DIY...

https://www.makariosrv.com/products/...er-Heater.html

so most (all) dealers are simply gonna replace the entire water heater assembly, if the tank is cracked.

atwood has a network of dealer/service centers that go WAY beyond 'stream dealers...

you can enter your zip code here and find some...

Electronic Ignition Water Heaters - Atwood Mobile

many rv shops despise (or refuse) working on 'streams because of the tight access to these appliances,

but check around.

((is it possible that the "wintering" process did not include DRAINing the tank via THAT white/black plug?))

cheers
2air'
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