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Old 12-28-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
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Filling Water Heater

I have winterized my AI. We are leaving next week to go to Florida so I need to de-winterize it. In reading the instructions in the owner's manual, it says to fill the water heater but does not say how to do this. How do you fill the water heater?
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:27 PM   #2
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Make sure you have the nylon threaded plug screwed back into the exterior access to the hot water tank. It is awkward to get to if you have not done it before. Hand tighten as well as possible, and snug it up with a "monkey wrench" that you can get into the area.

There is an exterior water line access on your trailer. Thread the hose onto it. We have a brass shut off valve in between the hose and water inlet, so we can shut the water off and on at will. Any way, you then turn the water on from the source and the water will now fill the interior water lines.

Bleed the air from all of the faucets, shower, exterior shower (if one), toilet and the hot water tank will fill at the same time.

NEXT: Disconnect the fresh water inlet and tighten the threaded plug where you removed the hose.

The water pump has no water to access, so it cannot function until you add water to the Fresh Water Tank, enough so the pump can draw from the tank. Maybe 5 to 8 gallons minimum to keep air from being pulled into the system. Since you have already bleed the air mostly from the interior, it will not take long for the water pump to pressurize. If there is some air still in the water lines, the water pump with seem to "idle" and not stop. Manually turn the pump off... or add more fresh water and bleed the water lines more to find the air bubbles. Eventually it will take care of itself.

It seems like a tough problem, but after the second time... you can post how well you have done it after the first time.

Drain the grey water since it is all fresh on your driveway if you like.

If you are traveling in below 30 degree weather... things can freeze up. Then do all of this once you are at your destination to avoid freezing the interior water lines.
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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If you trailer has a hot water bypass valve I will assume you put it in the winter position before you winterized and you drained the hot water heater. If so hook up to city water and pressurize the trailer. Once the trailer is pressurized open a faucet n the hot water side and just crack the by pass valve. You will hear water filling the tank and air coming from the open faucet. Do this until you have water coming from the open faucet. The hot water heater is full and you can completely open the by pass valve. I say just crack the valve because there is sediment in the bottom of the hot water heater and the less you stir it up the less problems you will have with the aerators on the faucets.

Make sure you have water from the hot water side of each faucet before lighting the heater.

If there is low water flow from a faucet you can remove the aerator and clear the screen to regain flow.
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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A 15/16" socket on an extension is the easiest way I've found to remove and replace the HW heater plug. Use a wrap of Teflon tape on the threads.

Edit: I just noticed this was on an Interstate. I'm not sure if my info is still correct.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:11 PM   #5
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Be very careful starting the plug back into the water heater. It is very easy to cross thread it (how do I know this? ha). You can get a spare plug at your local ACE to keep in your tool box. After I messed up my first one I bought a couple of spares. On my next camping trip an older gentleman next to me had a bad leak from his heater in his big motor coach. In re-installing his drain plug he had over tightened it and cracked it. I had a spare and saved his camping trip.

Also, sometimes after refilling my water heater and turning it on for the first time of the season, there were will be a little leak from the safety valve. If you carefully "burp" the valve by quickly opening the lever it should stop leaking. Be very careful if you do this as hot water and steam comes blasting out. A quick flick of the valve handle is all you need to reseat the valve and stop the drip.
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
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If the pump fails to pick up its prime, it will be necessary to apply air pressure to the fresh water fill port. I do this wrapping a rag around the air line after inserting in the port. This limits the amount of pressure applied to the internal piping. Of course there must be water in the tank, one of the sink faucets turned on, and the pump turned on. Once the pump is primed, you can shut everything down.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:20 PM   #8
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The Lever on the Overpressure Saftey Valve is the highest portion of the Water Heater. You need to be sure that the Air has been bled in this way and that the Heater Element is Submerged.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #9
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Be aware you may not want to bleed all the air from your water heater. Read the info in the link, and read your documentation.

http://wbcci.org/general-information...-february-2013
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drathaar View Post
Edit: I just noticed this was on an Interstate. I'm not sure if my info is still correct.
A 6-gallon Atwood water heater is the same no matter where it's mounted. Even in an Interstate. Your info is still correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I say just crack the valve because there is sediment in the bottom of the hot water heater and the less you stir it up the less problems you will have with the aerators on the faucets.
One thing I do to prevent sediment buildup in the water heater is to start filling the heater before I put the drain plug in and with all of the faucets closed. Any sediment that gets stirred up goes straight out the drain. Once I'm satisfied that there's little to no sediment left, I shut off the water, insert the plug, open a faucet, and start again to fill it as you guys have described.
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