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Old 05-06-2007, 06:46 AM   #1
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'71 Tradewind, no hot water pressure

Just hooked up city water to this 71 Tradewind which has not been pressurized for many years. The good news is no major plumbing leaks. I have pressure in the cold water lines but not in the hot water lines. This Tradewind has original hot water heater and configuration. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
The good news is no major plumbing leaks. I have pressure in the cold water lines but not in the hot water lines.
All water leaks are major. As to the pressure issue, I suspect your water heater has a by pass for winterizing that takes the water heater out of the water loop. If you have the heater on turn it off, you probally have no water in the tank. If you look under your sink you should see the bypass right next to the tank. Usally there will be a valve at the top and bottom of the bypass that you will need to open.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:58 AM   #3
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Have not attempted to light the hot water heater. Did not see a bypass but will check further. There are 3 valves under the front sink and 2 in the bathroom closet but they seem to not affect the hot water pressure, will check further. Could the problem be in a stuck check valve?
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
Could the problem be in a stuck check valve?
I don't know the anwser to that. I bet it is a bypass though. You are looking for a vertical hose between the the input and output on the tank. If you are lucky both connections will have a 3 way valve that you can turn and that will be all you have to do.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:27 AM   #5
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If you do have a by-pass and it's set correctly, you probably have a bad CHECK VALVE on the heater at the hot water output fitting.

Look at where the hot water output line enters the water heater. See if there is an 'extension' or something similar protruding from this spot. Good chance it's stuck or compromised. You might try tapping on it with a hammer (with the hot water faucet opened) to free it up, but in most cases it will have to be replaced.

If you do need a new one, look for a CAMCO brand, as they make all metal check valves. All of the other ones are Chinese and have plastic plungers and junk springs.
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
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If the conception is the same as on my 71 overlander, you have to open a faucet inside the trailer on the water heater tank in the bathroom. Check if no water fill out under the trailer in the places of kitchen and/or at the rear; If yes, shut the valves or faucet ( at the same places but inside the AS )to stop that and the cold and hot water circuit are on.

If that can help you....

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Old 05-06-2007, 10:52 AM   #7
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mystery water valves

Here's a couple of photos of some kind of valves near the hot water heater. I am not sure what they do as I am no plumber (although I bet I looked like one from the rear, on my knees, with my head in the closet) I am guessing the smaller one with corrosion is a check valve and the larger a pressure regulator. As I said the smaller one has a lot of corrosion caking it and there is a damp spot on the floor which was not there before I turned the water on. Do you think I'm on the right track?
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
Have not attempted to light the hot water heater. Did not see a bypass but will check further. There are 3 valves under the front sink and 2 in the bathroom closet but they seem to not affect the hot water pressure, will check further. Could the problem be in a stuck check valve?
Obviously do not light the water heater until you are sure it is filled with water.
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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water heater not filling

With a little more checking I'm purdy sure both of those "valves" above are on the cold water line, and must be working or I wouldn/t be getting cold water to the faucets. I opened up the hot water heater drain and..........nothing. Also nothing when I open the pressure relief valve. No bypass as the cold water fill line also feeds the kithchen sink cold water and there is no valve in between this T and the hot water heater??? Bad hot water heater? Could something in the hot water heater be so plugged it won't fill?
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:39 AM   #10
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It does not look good for the water heater. Many years of mineral build up may be blocking water from entering the tank. You could try to clean it out, but be prepared to buy a new water heater.

The fitting with the leak looks like the water pump should be connected to the open end. It too may have a build up of minerals.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
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It does not look good for the water heater. Many years of mineral build up may be blocking water from entering the tank. You could try to clean it out, but be prepared to buy a new water heater.

The fitting with the leak looks like the water pump should be connected to the open end. It too may have a build up of minerals.
Well, the water heater tank has started to fill, at a dribble. If this is an indication of what's inside maybe I should just chuck it. Is there a technique for "cleaning it out". The pressure relief valve is also frozen, I'll try pulling it to see if the hole will allow the tank to fill quicker.

The water pump is the old PARG. It goes under the kitchen sink, it was removed by the PO I still have it. What you refer to as an open end on the fitting is not. Another question I have in my mind is if the old water pemp works should I put it back in or just replace it with a newer unit I have.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:29 PM   #12
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Marshall, I hate to say it, but it looks like your water heater is TOAST!

I would be thinking of replacement. You can get a 10 gallon pilot model, one with an electric element, or a DSI sirect spark ignition WITH an electric element also. Good units with lots of choices.......and........oh yeah! You can go the top shelf route and get an RV-500 tankless propane water heater. I have one in my CCd and it's great! Its's only on when you are calling for hot water. Really saves on the LP by not constantly heating those 10 gallons. And it saves weight too!!!!! (about 80 lbs)
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