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Old 07-26-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
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1998 25' Safari
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Low Hot Water Flow

Pump or city water the same - Cold pressure/flow is fine but hot water flow is low in both sinks and shower. I have re-checked the bypass (it's the 3 valve variety) and bypass is closed and flow valves open.

We haven't used the trailer for several months and everything worked fine when last used.

Any ideas as to why we are getting such a low flow from the hot water heater?

1998 25B Safari.

Regards,
Orin
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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Scale builds up inside the water heater when water is not flowing. With the first use after storage the scale flushes into the hot water lines. This is more prevalent where water has mineral content and/or is slightly acid.

Try removing and cleaning the aerators from the kitchen sink and toilet sink faucets. Also the screen inside shower head hose needs to be cleaned. Before reinstalling them run water through the pipes to flush the scale out of the system.

There is a kit that attaches to the end of a garden hose that you can use to flush the water heater through the drain plug, if you want to avoid this problem.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:18 PM   #3
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Low Hot Water Flow

Close and open your winterization valves again, one may not be completely open. Your water will love you if you pull the drain plug and flush it until it runs clear (at least once a year). Depending how much stuff blows out, your hot water lines might enjoy a good flush as well.

At least this is where I would start.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:23 PM   #4
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Remove the sink screens, not that they would effect one flow against the other, and blow out the system with air injected, 40 lbs or so, at the city water connection one hot water faucet at a time. Note what comes out. Reconnect the city water and while the screens are still out run one hot water faucet at a time again note what comes out.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips guys but nothing has worked so far. I removed the screens and there was a small amount of trash there but nothing that would have caused the greatly reduced hot water flow. I have run one faucet at a time but even with the 40 PSI or so city pressure here I have only about 1/3 the flow from the hot side compared to the cold side. I've cycled the bypass valves a couple of times with no change.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:16 PM   #6
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If you think hard water deposits could be the issue, here is an option.

Drain water lines at low point drains while all faucets are open. Raise your outside city water hose up high as you can get it, (tie to a tree or ladder). Warm up 1-2 gallons of vinegar in your microwave, a few cups at a time, and pour it into the hose while all hot water spigots are open inside (first, bypass water heater). Put a cup under each spigot, or have someone watch, so you know that the vinegar has filled your hot water lines. Let it sit as long as you can. Overnight if possible. Flush with city water.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:22 PM   #7
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But did you flush the hot water heater?
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:27 PM   #8
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Have you ever flushed out the water heater? The hot water outlet could be partially blocked. I've seen a lot of sand and scale buildup inside WH tanks, to the point the flow was blocked.

If you do not have the kit that goes on the end of a garden hose you might try closing the cold water inlet valve at the water heater, then open the other two winterizing valves. This will reverse the water flow through the WH. Remove the WH drain plug and turn on the water let it flow till it runs clear.

If scale buildup is bad, you might have to use the vinegar method mentioned above to clean the tank.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:21 PM   #9
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@ nrgtrakr:
@ A W Warn:

I just came in from taking your suggestion and flushed the hot water tank. Flow has improved quite a bit and now is at about 50% of the cold water flow.

I have to go out to Camping World tomorrow AM to get a few things we need for a trip at the end of the week and will pick up one of the faucet to garden hose adapter kits and try to reverse flush the lines.

When I flushed the tank, a bunch of "junk" came out so I suspect the faucets may have some of that stuff in their valves. If reverse flushing doesn't solve the problem then I guess the next step will be to disassemble the faucets for cleaning.

@ Siegmann:

We don't have hard water here so I doubt the problem is scale and from what came out of the tank when I first flushed it, I think it's probably algae that formed in the small amount of water that was left in the tank when I drained it after we used it last February - March.

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Orin
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:12 PM   #10
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Since you have completed flushing, I would remove the screen at each fixture, let water flow for several minuets, then clean and replace the screens. I have never had a pipe or faucet get blocked to the point of disassembling. I've had this same thing happen several times. I'll bet you are good to go after this.

Even though we do not have hard water in our water systems in central NC, we will have scale (white/yellow/tan flakey) buildup in our aluminum water heater tanks. I assume it is from a combination of oxidation of the aluminum tank, accumulation of soluble minerals naturally occurring in our water reservoirs, and precipitation of the additives (ferric sulfate coagulant and hydrated lime to reduce PH) that are included in our local water systems.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Since you have completed flushing, I would remove the screen at each fixture, let water flow for several minuets, then clean and replace the screens.<SNIP>
Hi Alan,

I've done all of that and it's still running slow so I'm going to try back flushing tomorrow AM after I get back from Camping World - Keeping fingers crossed that it will solve the problem.

Orin
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:13 PM   #12
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Low Hot Water Flow

Very good.

ALL water heaters will love you if you flush them at least once a year. I've seen 50 year old water heaters that were just fine due to this simple maintenance. An RV water heater perhaps flush more often.

Standing water, especially in an Atwood where there is supposed to be an air pocket on top, tends to grow things depending on how much chlorine is in it.

Think of a tea kettle or your drip coffee maker. Scale forms from the undetectable to us minerals in the water settling out from the heating process. Water heaters use an anode rod to offset this. Unless it is an Atwood, the aliminum tank of the Atwood provides the anode effect so never use an anode on an Atwood.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:09 PM   #13
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Also, be sure you still have an air gap in the water heater. With pump off, no city water connected and hot water heater cool, pull the pressure relief until there is no water flow.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:56 PM   #14
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Bypass the WH and see what the flow is like. I'm thinking if it's still restricted, then the problem's in the water line. If it isn't, then maybe problem's with the WH. Just trying to narrow down this bad boy.
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