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Old 03-20-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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Smile No hot water, no answers, no shower!

We're on our maiden voyage this weekend with our "new" 1974 Overlander, which we purchased last fall. I had the water heater working well when we bought it, and since then we've had the lines pressure-checked by our RV shop in Boise (when they were replacing the black water tank). Now we are getting full pressure from all faucets for hot or cold settings, but NO HOT WATER. The pilot lit and the water heater fired up immediately, and the pilot stayed on overnight (I don't think that it ever fired up again, beyond the pilot), so the full pressure makes me think that it could be bypassing the tank altogether. I've looked for a valve that would fit the bill, but can't find one. I've searched the forums for a couple of hours, but can't find an exact match for our problem. We'd love to get a hot shower tonight (the whole POINT of having a trailer, according to my wife!). Any ideas where to look for a bypass valve? Or, is there some other problem going on? Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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Look on the inside, in the cabinet where the water heater is. You should find 3 valves. In winter bypass mode, the two valves going into and out of the water heater are closed, and the third valve in between them is open. This lets you pump RV antifreeze thoughout the system without filling up the water heater. Close the middle vlave, and open the other two, and you should have hot water again.

Chris
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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Fried????

Hopefully you haven't fried the water heater, if it didn't have water in it when you fired it up, you could have cooked the burner tube. In the future, open the pressure relief valve and make sure there is water before you light it.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #4
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You mention that you had it working in the fall before winterizing? did you winterize it or someone else? Try opening the pressure relief valve outside carefully and see if it has hot water coming out, if cold water then the bypass velves could still be set wrong or the thermostat is faulty telling the heater the waters already hot (pilot still flaming away?) If it is hot then you still have the valves in the bypass mode to cut out the water heater (hope it had water in it). If there's no water coming out then oops someone never filled the heater when dewinterizing the water system, and the valves are set to bypass the heater, it happens. Let us know.

Good Luck
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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Here's what it looks like...

Thanks for your replies. I got home this evening and snapped a couple of pictures. I recall that the RV shop said they winterized it again, after pressure-testing the system. I see that instead of valves, there is simply rubber hose that has been re-routed (I'm guessing). Does this sound right? If so, I would rather have valves that I could simply switch. I've attached a some pictures for your observation. The red handle is for the toilet, and I've shown closeups of the two connecting points to the water heater.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:22 AM   #6
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Looks like you disconnect the copper from the rubber hose and hook it up to the hot water outlet right next to it on the water heater, then just cap off the fitting on the end of the rubber hose. Other wise cold water will run out and flood the place. Valves are the way to go in my opinion, if you don't mind spending the bucks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:57 AM   #7
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Here is my setup.
To bypass the heater, close the cold and hot H2o valves and open the bypass. Do the opposite to get hot water.
For house water, open the house water valve and close the city water valve. vice versa for city water.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:20 AM   #8
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We had that same type of setup but the bypass was copper - not a rubber hose.

To get hot water. Remove the entire black hose assembly and connect the top copper fitting to the top tank fitting - the bottom to the bottom. Use a little teflon tape on the threads.

This is what we ended up with after adding a permanent bypass system. The kit came with plastic hoses that we replaced with the stainless flex.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:38 AM   #9
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Willie,
That's a pretty interesting bypass system. What Gary said is correct. Disconnect that black rubber hosing completely. The top copper line is the hot water supply to the trailer and the bottom copper line is the cold water supply to the water heater. In those tight quarters you might have a little difficulty getting teflon tape on the threads so a teflon paste may be the way to go. When you tighten those flare fittings just make sure you also have a wrench on the tank fittings to oppose the force you are putting on the flare fitting nut.

And as mentioned before, hopefully you did not "fry" the heater tube by running it without having water in the tank.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:53 PM   #10
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Bypass Kit?

How necessary is it to bypass the water heater when winterizing? I just blew out the lines with my air compressor (as I did with my old SOB). It was the RV shop that disconnected the lines.

If bypassing is really the best way to go, Ganglin, you mentioned a kit. Could you direct me to it?

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:52 AM   #11
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We bypass since we also have a siphon kit on the water pump and fill the lines with antifreeze. I find it easier than blowing out the lines and then unhooking the water pump to try and drain it also. However, a lot of people do simply use air to blow out the lines and have no problem with it. If you keep your current set up build yourself a copper line (or stainless flex hose with the proper fittings) to connect the lines where the rubber hose has been used in the past. Whatever you do the water heater should be taken out of the loop when you winterize. You can get the kit (and pump siphon) at any well stocked RV dealer or online.

How to Install an RV Water Heater Bypass Kit | eHow.com

Permanent water heater bypass - Shop sales, stores & prices at TheFind.com

Amazon.com: Camco 36543 RV Pump Converter Winterizing Kit: Automotive
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