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Old 06-01-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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1989 34' Limited
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No hot water!

Just got back from our first trip of the year and we spent the whole weekend with no hot water. The hot water tank worked fine, but we could not get any hot water or any water period out of any of the hot water taps, kitchen, bathroom sink and shower. I can't for the life of me remember closing any valves on the hot water system when i winterized it last fall. I thought that maybe i had an air lock somewhere, so i opened the top drain valve and all of the hot water taps. I kept the water going until it overflowed and all of the air was out of the tank, then i closed the valve and still no hot water. I then tried something, i turned the shower tap to cold and i opened the hot water tap in the bathroom and i finally got water out the hot tap, but it was cold water. I then tried the hot water bypass valve. I turned it to bypass and i get cold water out of all of the hot taps. Has anybody experienced anything like this before, cause we are going camping again in three weeks and we need hot water. Sorry almost forgot, we have a 1989 34' Limited.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #2
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Well if you '89 is like most, there are three valves to turn. One is to open the inlet valve that feeds cold water into the tank. Then you have an outlet valve to open that sends hot water out the top of the tank into the system. The final valve is a bypass valve that allows passage of water around the hot water tank. You close off this valve. Normally if the handles are tapered and on correctly, the tapered ends will be in alignment with the pipe that water is passing through. When it's not aligned that signifies the valve is closed and is not allowing water to pass through the pipe.

That's pretty much how I keep the whole thing in perspective. Just off the top of my head, you have proven the inlet to the hot water tank is open. It almost sounds as if the outlet isn't. Obviously if you open the bypass, cold water will flow around the tank out the hot water outlets. Normally the complaint in this condition is luke warm water rather than hot. Follow the hot water line coming out of the tank. You should eventually run into a valve which by my guess is probably closed.

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Old 06-01-2008, 10:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Lizzy
Just got back from our first trip of the year and we spent the whole weekend with no hot water. The hot water tank worked fine, but we could not get any hot water or any water period out of any of the hot water taps, kitchen, bathroom sink and shower. I can't for the life of me remember closing any valves on the hot water system when i winterized it last fall. I thought that maybe i had an air lock somewhere, so i opened the top drain valve and all of the hot water taps. I kept the water going until it overflowed and all of the air was out of the tank, then i closed the valve and still no hot water. I then tried something, i turned the shower tap to cold and i opened the hot water tap in the bathroom and i finally got water out the hot tap, but it was cold water. I then tried the hot water bypass valve. I turned it to bypass and i get cold water out of all of the hot taps. Has anybody experienced anything like this before, cause we are going camping again in three weeks and we need hot water. Sorry almost forgot, we have a 1989 34' Limited.
TL,

If you look at the back of the water heater, specifically at the exit fitting for the hot water line, you should see a check valve threaded into the tank. In all likelihood, that check valve is bad and stuck closed. You might try tapping on it with a hammer (if it's metal) while a hot water faucet is open.

When that doesn't provide any hot water, a replacement is necessary. I would only replace it with an all metal unit. Be sure to look inside the brass body of any check valve, as many have plastic parts inside. I use only the all metal valves, specifically from Camco. Any well stocked RV parts dealer should have access to them.
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