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Old 02-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Kennesaw , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 65
Question Basic h/w heater question (empty tank)

Hi, my wife will be boondocking in our '07 Safari, and she's concerned about running out of fresh water and perhaps starting the hot water heater with no water in it. FYI, Atwood 6-gallon gas hot water heater.

Does the hot water heater get filled from the fresh tank "first", and then supply other lines? If so, then she just needs to watch the fresh water monitor and not turn on the hot water heater when fresh water monitor goes "red", right?

Thanx, Lance

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Lance there should be winterizing valves on the back of the water heater. As long as they are set to summer use and not winterize or divert then the water heater wil fill first. Make sure the drain plug on the outside of the unit is installed as well. If you turn on the water pump and it pressurizes the system you can check if the water heater is full by opening the pressure relief valve on the outside of the water heater. Just open it briefly and if water comes out the the heater is full.
You will know when you are out of fresh water when the pump starts to sputter and will not pressureize the lines.

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
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To answer your question, no she will not run the hot water tank dry. Fill the system and the hot water tank. Heat up the tank and every time you open a hot water faucet, the pump will draw water out of your fresh water supply and send it to the HW tank. If you run empty, the pump will not deliver water to anything, including your HW tank and faucet. The tank will remain full.

I hope this makes sense.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #4
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
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Posts: 1,490
As mentioned, if your trailer is winterized, the HW tank should be empty. The bypass valves should be set to pass water directly from the cold water “supply” side of the water heater to the hot water lines that distribute hot water throughout the trailer. If no hot water is required, one could leave the valves in this configuration and simply have cold water out of the faucets, supplied by the pump or city connection.

If one prefers hot water, set the valves to allow water to flow through the water heater, as in normal use. Open a hot water faucet. Power the pump or connect city water. When water runs steady and has no air pockets, the water heater tank is full.

In the case of using the fresh water tank and pump, once the water heater is full it will remain full. If one consumes all fresh water, there would be no cold water for the pump to send to push the hot water out.
Jeff & Cindy
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'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Kennesaw , Georgia
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Thumbs up

Thanx to all for the useful replies...

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