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Old 06-24-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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1986 34' Excella
Cleveland , Ohio
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Question '86 Excella 34' water tank help (lots of pictures)

So were trying to figure out what the previous owners did to this beast. Seems like they disconnected a few lines and butted them together in the pictures (copper pipe picture). Also is there always 2 hot water tank switches? on right above the water tank then one in the bathroom?
It might be better in the long run to just buy a new tank, but i need to see what they did first and see if i can correct their problem. Also it looks like the hose on the floor by the valve just broke and will require a new connector.

Any help is greatlllly appreciated. thank you



Random connector on the floor next to the heater, that can be seen in the first picture as well


back hose is for the inlet for city water, broken connector for winterizing and such correct??


connectors going through the wall then connecting to the clear tubing and copper pipe... where should these go too??



above water tank switch


switch in the bathroom
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Atomichoe094 View Post
It might be better in the long run to just buy a new tank
I think you should. I'm betting this one sprung a leak, and they simply bypassed the water heater.

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back hose is for the inlet for city water, broken connector for winterizing and such correct??
I think the broken fitting used to be the low point drain since it goes through the floor. If the hose above the floor goes to the outside wall, and the city water connection is on the outside of that wall, then yes, this is the city water connection. The brass thingy is either a check valve, a pressure reducer, or a combination of both.


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connectors going through the wall then connecting to the clear tubing and copper pipe... where should these go too??
I think the bottom one should be the cold water inlet into the bottom fitting on the water heater. The upper pipe should be the hot water outlet from the top of the water heater. The extra fittings and piece of hose you found on the floor maybe used to be the bypass for the water heater for winterizing.



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above water tank switch
The water heater must have been both electric and gas. The switch labeled Electric most likely turned on the 110 VAC electric element used to heat water. The switch in the bathroom labelled Gas most likely turned on the gas burner for heating water. This is a 12VDC circuit that goes to the circuit board on the water hear. When 12 volts is supplied, the circuit board should try and light the gas burner.

One other note: The gray pipe is CPVC pipe I believe, and is not longer available. I'd replace the broken sections with Pex.

Hope these thoughts help!

Chris
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
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Do not know what the PO did or did not do. I do not see a water heater bypass installed. Perhaps they forgot to drain the tank and it froze? I use pex from Lowes and I use the $40 crimp tool and the crimp clamps from Lowes. I use the brass fittings. Good investment. I am currently replacing my water heater (the new one is sitting in the garage waiting until I get the tree limbs that fell again last night cleared. It missed the camper!!) My new one is gas and electric. So I will have to add wiring for the electric. I suggest that you might want to pull your water heater and test it for pressure outside the trailer and then either re install it or replace it. I have a 88 Excella that was frozen by the PO. Lots of the plastic fittings are very brittle and break when you start to work with the pumbing. I have changed several lines. The white pex works fine. You might have to go to a couple of Lowes or Home Depots to get exactly the fitting you need. Their inventory can be a little confusing and fustrating, but it is well worth it for the job this system does.
I do not think that is the original WH that came in a 86. Maybe the problem is just a poor or incomplete installation?
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomichoe094 View Post
So were trying to figure out what the previous owners did to this beast. Seems like they disconnected a few lines and butted them together in the pictures (copper pipe picture). Also is there always 2 hot water tank switches? on right above the water tank then one in the bathroom?
They just bypassed the water heater. You can test it to see if it leaks with either water or air using a standard air gage and a LP pressure test stem (also used to charge some air conditioners on cars). I'd just hook it up to water with a removable connector. If it leaks, I'd just replace it. If it's good, I'd test it with both heaters while it's full of water.

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It might be better in the long run to just buy a new tank, but i need to see what they did first and see if i can correct their problem. Also it looks like the hose on the floor by the valve just broke and will require a new connector.
That's what I see. It may just have had a piece of cargo dropped on it.



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back hose is for the inlet for city water, broken connector for winterizing and such correct??
The inlet comes ahead of the regulator shown near the broken "T".
Yes to the broken "T"



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connectors going through the wall then connecting to the clear tubing and copper pipe... where should these go too??
Those look like they just connect to the water heater. I'd guess they even still have the proper connectors attached.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #5
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well then, i guess this is going to be fun. lol
We already have the tools, just need to buy the line and connectors and such. Anyone know where the best place is to buy a hot water tank? Also if its under one of the rear twin beds, should it be covered more then they styrofoam? Also should we increase the size on the tank or should this size be okay? thanks!
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:49 PM   #6
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RV places sell the water heaters. If you get the same model, your old door might work (if you like the old door). Models I looked at had stainless steel doors available for an up-charge. I went from a 10 gallon to a 6 gallon to save space. My plumbing finish up job is still seasoning.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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I think you should check that one out. Looks like a pretty new water heater. If it leaks, there are a couple of places that sell them cheaper than Camping World and Airstream. I just bought one from a place in Texas that came up on a search for them. Got to TN the day after I bought it for $8 shipping. Gas with DSI and electric is about 450. So it is worth checking that one.
One odd thing about the pictures you show are that the switches are for a gas-electric model and the heater you show looks like it is gas only. My new one sitting on the bench waiting to be installed has the electric heater and control box and a brace out the back that that one does not have. Maybe someone who did not know what they were doing botched the installation and bailed out by bypassing it. Maybe the PO bypassed it to winterize the trailer? I would check that one out.
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