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Old 05-17-2017, 07:43 PM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Nanoose Bay , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 53
HW tank will not fill this spring!

I have a 2016 FC 25 FB. This past winter was our first year storing it and hence my first now getting it ready for the current year. All the water was drained and the lines blown out for the winter but being we are on Vancouver Island where it is mild we did not use water line anti-freeze and heated the unit all winter using the heat pump. I let the HW tank plug out over the winter.

I am sanitizing the FW tank in the normal way with dilute chlorine bleach in the FW tank, running it through the lines to soak overnight etc. But my HW tank will not fill. I unscrewed the plug on the HW tank to be sure but nope, no water in it.

With the water plug in and with the house water connected if I open the HW tank pressure release valve I get nothing - no air forced out and no water, so I think that also confirms the tank is not filling.

If I leave the HW tank plug out no water comes out when I turn on the water pump or connect to house water.

I'm guessing it is somehow bypassed?

My bypass valve on the FC 25 FB is in the forward curb side outside compartment. The aft bulkhead in that compartment separates the HW heater from the compartment. There is a cutout at the bottom of the bulkhead and one valve and line can be seen. The valve turns 90 degrees so that the handle is either in line with the water line it controls or is directly across the water line. If I put the valve handle in line with the water line then water is pumped vigorously by the water pump (or the hose pressure if on house water) onto the ground through a dangling water line protruding a couple inches from the underside of the unit immediately below the valve.

Turning the valve "across the water lien" so water does not come out of the drain hose (which I assume is the normal operating position??) does not cause water to fill the HW heater.

All was normal last season and the HW tank filled normally every time we stopped and connected to water. There are no leaks from lines anywhere and I don't think I have any blocked lines.

Any ideas? Email gnijman@telus.net if desired. Help?

Thanks,

Gary Nijman
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:28 PM   #2
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
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Gary, is the dangling line you mention a low point drain that is open? That may be preventing the HW tank from filling. I suspect there is an additional valve in the bypass area that is closed and preventing the tank from filling.

Dan
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:58 PM   #3
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Eugene (Tracktown USA) , Oregon
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Gary I seem to remember a similar thread within the last months (or 2). Maybe someone will remember it and post the link as it had some great pictures and explanations.

The advice varied from check your manual to it sounds like the LP drain is open. I would suggest you look in the manual (also available online at AS if you don't have yours handy) but expect there are three valves, one being the bypass which you have opened in line with the eater line (IMO correctly) but think there is a LP drain that is open. In our 20 both are near the WH and protrude thru to the floor a couple of inches. The red is the hot from the WH. The white would be the cold from diverted before the WH. They may not be in the same are n your unit. However I would repeat what you did and look for both and ID if the red is spouting the water If so feel around near the diverter for the two other valves.

However heads up as there are a number of styles. I used to have inline LP drains but I could not get to them due to the installation. The dealer replaced it with a different style where a tab lifts a 1/4 turn. I'm also see the std 1/4 turn angle stop like in a residential application.

You might have to experiment with the water on, and you turning the other 2 valves. You'll hear the water filling the tank.

Hope this makes sense and helps.

Good Luck.

Bob
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
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On both of my trailers, 2001 and 2002 vintage, there are three valves associated with the water heater. One is in line with the hot water pipe from the heater, one with the cold water to the heater, and one bypass. These are in addition to any low point drains. My 2002 Classic also has a valve that controls the exterior faucet. For normal operation, the hot and cold valves should be open, i.e. handle in line with the pipes and the bypass should be closed, i.e. handle perpendicular to the pipes. All low point drains should be closed. When winterized the three water heater valve positions are reversed and the low point drains are open. It sounds like your cold water feed valve is closed.

Al.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:57 AM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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Since you have no leaks, and seem to have tried every valve open and closed, there is a chance that your bypass valve has failed internally somehow. I seem to recall reading of such a possibility. Perhaps one of these threads has a solution:

https://www.google.com/search?q=bypa...=airforums.com

If your bypass valve has failed internally, the position of the handle may not be accurate as to the actual function of the valve.

Can you post a photo of your actual bypass valve and the nearby valves? That might help.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- As Bob suggested in Post #3 you might also have a low point ["LP"] drain valve open, so you first have to make sure that this is not the case. It will be hard to diagnose the bypass valve issue if you have an open low point drain valve. With water pouring out, you definitely have one open IMO, but it should also drain on city water IMO.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnijman View Post
. . .
Any ideas?
. . .
PS sounds like someone else winterized your AS? A call to him/her might be in order if so.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Since you have no leaks, and seem to have tried every valve open and closed, there is a chance that your bypass valve has failed internally somehow. I seem to recall reading of such a possibility. Perhaps one of these threads has a solution:

https://www.google.com/search?q=bypa...=airforums.com

If your bypass valve has failed internally, the position of the handle may not be accurate as to the actual function of the valve.

Can you post a photo of your actual bypass valve and the nearby valves? That might help.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- As Bob suggested in Post #3 you might also have a low point ["LP"] drain valve open, so you first have to make sure that this is not the case. It will be hard to diagnose the bypass valve issue if you have an open low point drain valve. With water pouring out, you definitely have one open IMO, but it should also drain on city water IMO.

Peter Thanks for the search thread. I was looking for low point and water heater and not finding what I was looking for. Your link led me to

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...ue-165099.html

which was the recent tread I was thinking of as it has some great pictures to visualize the setup for the three valves. Mine wasn't so obvious and one valve essentially not accessible, which is whey the re-plumbed it. I only located it once I put a camera in the compartment and realized how far under the WH they had located the LP drain valve.


Bob
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:04 PM   #8
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Nanoose Bay , British Columbia
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HW tank will not fill this spring!

I have three valves under the RV:
- one white plastic FW tank drain between the wheels on the road side
- 2 low point brass 90 degree valves just forward of the FW tank drain
All closed.

There are no valves around the FW pump location.

In have two water line valves (hot and cold) under the galley sink. Both open. No valves in bathroom or near shower.

I have one HW tank bypass valve accessed from the front curb side storage compartment. No other HW tank valves, if they exist, as accessible including from the front curb side storage compartment. The bypass is seen through a cut out in the bulkhead between the front curb side storage compartment and the HW tank compartment. I took that bulkhead off and all that is seen is a wall of styrofoam HW tank insulation.

There is a white rubber drain tube protruding from the underside of the unit directly below the HW bypass valve. When the FW is pressurized with house water and the HW bypass valve is in the bypass position the HW tank does not fill and water does not drain from the white tube. If I turn the HW bypass valve to the normal operating position water flows strongly from the white tube and the HW tank again does not fill.

Inside, with house water pressurized, the HW tap flow is very weak but the CW tap flow is much stronger. This applies to galley, bathroom and shower taps. The strength of flow is just barely affected by the position of the HW bypass valve - with the valve in bypass (and not draining from the white tube) the tap flow is weak, with the valve in the operating position (and draining from the white tube) the tap flow is very weak.

I used a jet stream from a garden hose directed into the open drain valve of the HW tank, several times, and when I removed the water jet the tank drained rapidly but the drain water was clear - no particles/debris.

What buffaloes me is why water flows from the white rubber drain with the bypass valve in the operating position, but not when the valve is in the bypass position. The valve should just cut out or include the tank in the water flow.

This is weird.

I can't figure out how to get pics from Photobucket to this post. I've tried to add photos as attachments.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:01 PM   #9
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After my post some minutes ago, and out of a feeling of great frustration, I felt there must be something not recorded in the manual (and not told to me by the dealer who winterized it) that affects my problem. So, I did what anyone might do ... I started tearing the place apart inside above the HW heater. Luckily I started with the twin mattress and not the aluminum skin.

Under the mattress, over the HW heater, there appeared a hand sized hole in the plywood mattress platform. Peering in I saw a yellow valve near the HW tank clearly in the closed position. Above it there as a label on the HW tank insulation depicting the valve in the closed position, with the word "Winterized". Hmmm I said to myself ... this is a clue.

I opened the valve, turned on the house water and lo, the HW tank filled. Yay.

See the attachments for the pics showing this undocumented valve.

Now though I still have the issue of which way to turn the valve accessed from the front curtsied outside compartment (pics attached to my last post). I had thought that when the valve handle paralleled the hose in which is was installed that was the operating position. However, in that position the water still flows out the white rubber pipe! Could it be that when I took out my Sharpie last year and wrote on the bulkhead what the operating position was I got it a** backwards? Perhaps I say, because I also labelled it as the bypass valve (because that's where the manual said it would be found).

So I have a filled HW tank but the function of the valve in my curbside outer compartment is now a mystery to me. I hate taking off on a trip with such a mystery. AAARRRGGGHH. Any ideas?

Gary
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:36 PM   #10
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Gary, Waahoo! I initially was going to say, that image doesn't look like a bypass, it looks like a LP drain. Great sleuthing. That is a very small hole. Mine is lager and I ended up unscrewing the ply for access. It may be a good exercise to get a god visual and also to make sure all drains are self Draining (slope...I used a line level). I didn't see an image of the red LP drain but it must be closed for the tank to fill and open to winterize. I would locate that thru floor red down-tube and then the LP drain for the red (hot) side.


If you're interested in doing your own winterizing (with air pressure and not AF) loop back. there are some threads and checklists that have been posted. I'd be glad to send you mine to give you an insight, but just needs to be to be tweaked for your 25 vs my 20. In my area I have to winterize a couple 3 or 4 times a year as I often travel in the winter...pending Siskiyou Pass being open. I also had to winterize on the road this year in Yreka while on my way home. Personally I like to winterize my unit (as opposed the dealer) so I am forced to understand my system, become familiar with the areas that don't quite self drain as easily as others...all in preparation of having to repair on the road.

Congratulations on your full tank!

bob

p.s. you can only see 2 of the three valves as one of the LP drain valves (used to be before the dealer re-plumb) underneath the WH tank
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gnijman View Post
. . .
Now though I still have the issue of which way to turn the valve accessed from the front curtsied outside compartment (pics attached to my last post). I had thought that when the valve handle paralleled the hose in which is was installed that was the operating position. However, in that position the water still flows out the white rubber pipe!

Gary
Good job so far!

If you open a valve inside the trailer, and water flows out of a pipe under the trailer, that valve is a low point drain.

Simple!

Glad you are getting close to a final solution.

Cheers,

Peter

PS -- In the lower left corner of Post #8, that valve drains your fresh water tank, if this has not been clarified above.

PS2 -- Ditto to Bob: "Personally I like to winterize my unit (as opposed the dealer) so I am forced to understand my system, become familiar with the areas that don't quite self drain as easily as others...all in preparation of having to repair on the road."
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:27 AM   #12
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Nanoose Bay , British Columbia
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I reached my dealer who winterized and they confirmed the not-in-the-manual valve accessed via a hole under the mattress is the HW bypass. The mystery valve in the front curb side compartment (specifically said by the manual to be the HW bypass) is "they think" just an undocumented-in-the-manual low point drain for the HW tank and lines.

Airstream makes a nice RV but writes a poor manual.

Thanks everyone for your help. The links to prior threads provided by some were very helpful in providing clues.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:56 AM   #13
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Thanks for the update. One benefit of a lousy owner's manual is that owners have to explore the AS and figure things out for themselves. You have learned a lot in a few days, and this knowledge will serve well in the years ahead. Small compensation, but . . .

. . . now you are On The Road Again!

Cheers,

Peter
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