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Old 10-09-2016, 06:25 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Petcock drain pouring water

Hey guys, so I just put water in my 73 sovereign for the first time. The pump and everything seems to be working with no visible leaks, however, the water heater has a Petcock style drain valve that is just free flowing water. How do I troubledhoot this? None of the sinks will pressurize enough to work. I'm assuming because of the water issue.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:01 PM   #2
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A picture would help, but if it is truly the water heater drain valve, it should be closed. If you have never used the water system it may have been left open from winterizing. If it is closed and water is coming out, it is bad and should be replaced.

The water heater in my trailer does not have a drain valve, but there is a hot water line low point drain close to the heater. Typically the heater itself is drained by removing a plastic plug, but the older trailers may be different.

If you are trying to pressurize the water system, any valves that are open to the air should be closed.

Al
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:30 PM   #3
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I can't locate a valve that may be causing it. I've attached some pictures. The Petcock valve is where it is draining. There is also a red light illuminated.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:34 PM   #4
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I guess you replaced the picture. If you are talking about the valve at the top of the picture with the red handle on it, that is your pressure relief valve. It looks like the handle is in the closed position. If so, the valve is bad. Unscrew it, take it to an RV parts place, Lowes or Home Depot and get another one just like it.

Al
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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The valve is actually called a Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:46 PM   #6
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Also, you don't want your water heater running when it is dry. That will destroy it. Since you have water coming out of the valve, it is probably OK. The red light should come on when you first turn the heater on and then go out. If it comes back on, the heater didn't light. That will be your next problem to solve.

Al
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:41 AM   #7
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I don't know how to turn it off?? I didn't light it or flip any switches etc. I was just adding the water to the system and didn't mess with it at all. Is it always on when the power is plugged into the trailer?? Now I'm worried...
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:51 PM   #8
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Your photo is showing us a pressure relief valve. If it's leaking, you need to replace it. Just unscrew it. For wrench greater clearance, remove exhaust outlet.

The red light lets you know the electric water heater element is heating. But because of the water leak, it's heating all the time - cold water is entering water heater to replace hot water that's leaking out. You don't want the element heating all the time. And you don't want the element heating when there's no water in your water heater.

Before worrying about anything else, unplug shore power and replace pressure relief valve. Refill water heater; pressurize water system; plug in shore power; then go from there.

Tom
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:00 PM   #9
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Do you even have a dual water heater (gas AND electricity) in a rig of that age? I wouldn't expect that ... unless it has been replaced/upgraded at some point. (We have a 2006 and it did not come with a electric heating option...that's something relatively recent.)

If it's a gas water heater, there is no electric heating element involved, but rather a gas heating element. And there may not even be an electric ignition in a 70s rig ... not sure about that, but someone else will know., and hopefully they will chime in.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:58 PM   #10
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Enlarging the photo is Post #3 reveals that the water heater is an older propane-only model; the instruction label, and gas valve with red push button, confirm this IMO. The word "OFF" is facing the camera on the red circular valve knob.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...3&d=1476059530

Replacement of the entire heater is recommended, by a licensed RV shop or plumber.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:43 PM   #11
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Being a 73 it is probably manual lighting. No switches, no red lights. If it have on, off, pilot settings on the valve body it is manual But on the tpr valve if flipping the metal lever does not close the valve, it's busted. If the heater has a bypass valve it will turn off water to the heater. If it doesn't it's a good idea.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:01 PM   #12
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I would temporarily plug the relief valve to check the tank for leaks before you replace the valve. No sense spending time and money changing the valve only to find that the tank is rusted or split from a freeze.
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