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Old 03-21-2004, 08:58 PM   #1
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1972 29' Ambassador
Parker Dam , California
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Water Issue

Hi Everyone,

I have a question for you experts out there. I have 1972 International Ambassador 29 ft trailer. I'm finally getting around to do some more work on it. I thought I would hook up to city water and check it out. Once I turned on the water, I noticed that a good stream of water started to shoot out of a small drain valve next to the water heater area on the outside, street side. Any suggestions, comments? I know that some sort of valve goes there, but is it enough to hold back that stream of water?
Thanks
Alex
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:16 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
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Well, I don't have a vintage unit, but that sure does look like where the pressure relief valve is on my unit.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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Actually that is the drain plug. They may not have been able to get it out to drain the heater so the PO drilled it out

It should be replaced with a nylon plug. The metal ones will corrode in place and then can be tough to remove. If your heater is an Atwood model you may want to look into a sacrificial anode/plug. It will save the heater from premature failure.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:23 PM   #4
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Thanks

Bret,

Thanks for the reply. That drain plug looks stock. It was not drilled out by the PO. I did have a metal drain valve before, but it was leaking so I removed it. Where can I get a replacement valve?? Does this little valve keep the strong stream of water I saw coming out when I had the city water hooked up to my unit?? Should water be under that much pressure in the valve line??
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:43 AM   #5
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Alex,

There should be an overpressure valve higher up on the heater with a flip handle. This will release the pressure if it gets to hot, or to high.

The plug may have been a sacrificial anode on and the anode is gone, so it now allows water to come out. That is a guess on my part. The plug and valves will hold the pressure in. The water system works at 35-45 PSI. If the system pressure exceeds that there are two safeties that can release the overpressure. One is the on the water heater, the other is in the plumbing near the city water inlet.

I would say get the plug out and replace it. CW has the anodes if you want to go that route.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:13 PM   #6
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New plug

You should be able to find a new valve at any RV dealer. You've already done the hard part - getting it out. And for the pressure, any RV should have a pressure reducer. My AS had one in-line, but you may not. There are many units that go on the hose or more elaborate ones you place in line internally. You never know what the pressure is at a park and the pressure limiter will save you the mess of a midnight line burst. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2004, 01:21 AM   #7
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WH Valve

Hi Alex,
I believe what you're dealing with is known as a "petcock" valve (don't blame me...that's what they are called). This type of valve is often found on automotive radiators, too.
Last spring this valve went bad in my '69 vintage water heater and I had a steady stream of water coming out of it.
I removed the valve and it appeared to be just fine, but I took it to a local plumbing supply house where they sold me a new one for about $3.00.
I took it home and installed it, with a little Teflon "plumbers' tape" on the threads, and that took care of the leak.
I was very thankful as I know that my 30-something year-old water heater can't have too many more cycles left in it; but for now, a $3.00 fix made me smile.
So, to locate a replacement "petcock": take your old one (they came in several different sizes and thread dimensions) to a plumbing supply store or full-line automotive supply house and they should be able to supply one.
It's a simple fix, really.
Good Luck
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:55 AM   #8
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Winterizing

I just bought my 72 Tradewind and the picture you have looks exactly like my setup. The PO had that out on mine. Said he takes it out when he winterizes the system. One of the previous replies was correct in that the relief valve is up and to the right of that part in question. The relief valve looks almost identical to those on a standard house water heater.

When I got mine home to Florida (no winterizing needed), mine had some corrosion on it so I wire brushed it and used some thread tape on it. Works like a charm.


Steve
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:01 AM   #9
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Re: New plug

Quote:
Originally posted by CO_Don
You should be able to find a new valve at any RV dealer. You've already done the hard part - getting it out. And for the pressure, any RV should have a pressure reducer. My AS had one in-line, but you may not. There are many units that go on the hose or more elaborate ones you place in line internally. You never know what the pressure is at a park and the pressure limiter will save you the mess of a midnight line burst. Good luck.
I had a '70 Safari that had a residential-style pressure regulator in the service access area. I used a standard white hose and hooked it directly to the supply faucet. One nice VERY hot day, I came back to find my hose about 3 to 4" in diameter rather than 3/4" in one spot and nearly ready to burst!

Even if your coach has an on-board pressure regulator (and most should unless it's been removed) you should still buy an in-line hose pressure regulator, and put it on the supply faucet, then attach your hose to it. You're hose will love you for it!

Roger
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Old 04-20-2004, 04:09 PM   #10
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Hi Everybody.

I wanted to resurrect this thread, because I am having the same problem, only my "leak" out the tube is more like a trickle than a drip, and my water heater is configured somewhat differently. I went to the hardware store this AM to get an inline flow restricter to hook up between the hose bib and the white hose, but they are restocking and won't have any on the floor until tomorrow, so that will have to wait. The leak is bad enough that I think we may need to fix or replace the pressure valve, and that is were I would like your advice.

I assume the small fitting in the right hand picture where the tube comes from is the part that is causing our grief. Is plugging it a (safe) possibility?
Also, the heater was not fired up this morning, so it is not a warming water expansion issue per se. When the lever is turned back to the cool position, the leaking does not stop, although the leak doesn't start until the lever is moved to the left. Would turning down the water pressure valve help? It seems to be plumbed in ahead of the WHeater pressure valve. Which way to turn it to lessen the pressure?
Everyone has been so helpful on these forums, both with posting and PMing, I can't thank you all enough. When I've got some experience under my belt, I too, will be glad to share!
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Old 04-20-2004, 04:16 PM   #11
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Ok,

here is what is happening. You have 30-35 PSI of pressure when the water is cold. This is from the tap. I would bet the faucet you are connected to has a back flow prevention device. The water in the heater gets hot without any place to go, so pressure builds. The interior valve you referenced (connected to the tube that goes through the floor) is doing what it was designed for. Allowing the pressure over 40 PSI out. Sometimes when they get old they get crudded up. Insert old fart joke here. And they have to be replaced. They are available at most major plumbing supply houses. NOT Lowe's, or HD. The commercial ones will have it it is less than 20 dollars, but will save you a burst pipe if the inlet pressure from a faucet is too high for the plumbing.
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Old 04-20-2004, 05:23 PM   #12
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This may be irrelevant, but it begins leaking when the lever is moved to the left, even though the WHeater is not lit.
However, if the pressure is too much going in, and the valve is in it's 2nd childhood, it is bound to be cranky and misbehave, and not do it's job - time to put it out to pasture. (btw, that was the 'old fart joke', in case you couldn't tell )

Are any major plumbing supply houses online? Or can anyone recommend a brick and mortar in the Palm Springs, CA or Victorville, CA area? Those are our closest major shopping areas, 40 and 60 miles away respectively. Market forces forced Parks Plumbing out years ago. Is there a specific name for this part?

Thanks for the info, especially where we can locate a replacement.
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