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Old 09-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
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Air pressure check

So I've installed new pex through out the '74 overlander. I'm trying to check all the connections by airing the entire system up to 40 psi prior to putting the water to it.

I've only got air in the cold water lines. How do I air up the hot water lines (assuming this is through the hot water heater as well). I'm sure there is probably a valve closed somewhere that I am missing, but I sure can't find it.

Also, how much if any air pressure drop should I expect over time?

Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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I suppose you could route air through the WH, but I question why you're using air in lieu of water to check the system. Pressurized air is potentially hazardous whereas pressurized water generally speaking is not. Air pressure can be measured using a gauge, but to do an effective pneumatic leak test you would need to soap all the connections. This would be a bit messy and you'd need to crawl around looking for bubbles at each joint.

With a hydro test you should be able to pressure the system and watch for drips.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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If you replaced all of the old water piping with PEX. It would seem to me that you would know where and what all of the valves are for. Did you plumb in a bypass system for the water heater? Do you have the bypass valve closed and the cold water and hot water valves open?
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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I used air pressure, 40lbs, and I found a leak by the hissing sound it makes. Better than water all over the place. Then, if the pressure holds for an hour or so, as I did, hook up to a water supply with pressure regulater and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. All new pex, no leaks, good to go. And yes, I also presurized the hot water lines and tank.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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I'm attempting to post 3 pictures related to this problem. In the first picture, you can see a white hose (bypass?) that I did not replace as part of re-plumbing. At either end of this hose is a valve that apparently was shut thus not allowing air into the hot water heater. I opened up the one on the cold side, and could hear air move into the heater.

The pressure in the lines dropped to zero, and I could hear air coming out the drain on the outside of the hot water heater, and also maybe from the high pressure relief valve (2nd picture). However, I'm puzzled by the drain. Doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before, (3rd picture) or anything pictured in my manual. Tried turning it with a 7/16" socket, but to no avail. I'm not sure how to close it. BTW, I can now build up no pressure in the system, so I've obviously got a healthy leak somewhere right around this area.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #6
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Yes, the third picture is the hot water heater tank drain valve. It usually has a plastic plug, you remove to drain the tank. It must have some PO installed valve, and it must be closed before turning the propane on on the water heater. The second picture is some kind of bypass for the tank, but usually you see 2 valves, one to open the bypass, and the second to turn off cold water into the tank. the bypass must be closed, and the cold water to the tank must be open.
I think all you need to do now, is figure out how to close the valve in pic #3, and you will not have the hissing sound anymore, provided you have no leaks.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Last night I hooked up the water. All the cold circuits worked with no leaks. yeah! Then, after putting a plug in the drain valve, I opened the valve to fill the hot water heater. Water began leaking into the floor of the AS from under the water heater. My guess is a bad tank. Looks like I'll be replacing the water heater. It's a Bowen 10 gal. gas only. Can this be replaced with any 10 gal. Atwood? Thinking about going gas/elec. Any thoughts? Does anyone have a source/vendor they recommend.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
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Before you give up on the hot water heater, check the connections in picture #1. A leak there would also appear as a leak under the tank. Ask me how I know. LOL
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericc View Post
Last night I hooked up the water. All the cold circuits worked with no leaks. yeah! Then, after putting a plug in the drain valve, I opened the valve to fill the hot water heater. Water began leaking into the floor of the AS from under the water heater. My guess is a bad tank. Looks like I'll be replacing the water heater. It's a Bowen 10 gal. gas only. Can this be replaced with any 10 gal. Atwood? Thinking about going gas/elec. Any thoughts? Does anyone have a source/vendor they recommend.
The 10 gallon Atwood is a (near) direct replacement. I just installed one in our 76 Sovereign. Purchased it from www.bigdiscountrv.com
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