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Old 10-31-2003, 09:27 PM   #1
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Water Heater Leaking Outside

I noticed that when the water heater has been used or heating the water back up after a shower, there is water dripping from under the coach beneath the heater. There are two hoses under the water heater. One goes to a valve in the back storage area and the other one is the one dripping the water. It would be closer to the FRONT of the AS. Is this normal?

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Brian
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:15 PM   #2
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Not Normal

NO, this not normal.
You have one of several problems. Bad connection in the line that is leaking, or possibly a leak in the water heater itself that is sending the water out from a leaky tank by capillary effect down the outside of the line until it drops off.
In any case, there should be no water leaking from anywhere. Water leaking is wetting the flooring enough to drip through and wet the insulation under the flooring and finally make it's way out of the belly pan if I understand what you are saying. None of this is good news. You definitely need to determine where the water is coming from and stop the leak.
I had a water heater tank go bad after 20 years of service in the coach. I had only owned it one year...but I got to buy the new water heater. It ran about $580 installed.
Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2003, 06:42 AM   #3
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Also check the t&p (pressure relief) valve. It is designed to open in an over pressure situation and they sometimes leak after years of use.

John
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Old 11-02-2003, 04:12 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys. It's coming out of a hose that comes through the bottom of the skin under the heater. It's not leaking through the floor. It's coming out of a hose that's designed to have water flow through it. I bet your right John, I didn't think of the pressure relief valve, that would make sense, it only drips slightly after it fires up. I bet the total water coming out of the hose would be a quarter cup or less per incident. When the heater turns off the water quits dripping. Is the pressure relief valve a standard unit on these? I hope I will never have to replace the heater itself!

Idea-Can I operate the pressure relief manually to find out if that's what I'm seeing?

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Brian
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Old 11-02-2003, 06:49 AM   #5
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Pressurize the system and lift the handle on the valve, water should come out the same hose.

John
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:29 AM   #6
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I too think it is the pressure relief valve, but not the one you are thinking John.

There are 2 pressure relief valves in the plumbing system. One on the heater itself, it has a handle you can lift and is in the exterior door of the heater itself. The other is the cold water side pressure releif valve, thisis the one that has the drain tube sticking thru the floor.

There is not way to manually actuate the cold water pressure relief.

The fact that it is allowing some water past tells me one or more things are taking place.

The water heater thermostat is set a bit high. The higher the temp of the water the more pressure it creates. It has to go somewhere and it over pressurizes the system.

The cold water valve may be weak, so the pressure change causes it to release

the T&P vlave on the water heater is frozen so it will not release and the inline one does it instead.

As long as the cold water valve works you are safe, so I would NOT open the T&P valve on the heater. You may get it open and it will not reseal. You may want to check the temp you are running the heater at and see if the lever got bumped to a higher temp. The heaters recover so fast I have never needed to run them more than ant the mid point in the range.
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:54 AM   #7
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When I bought our A/S, the previous owner informed me that there was a "problem" with the water heater leaking. I pulled the unit and found the entire bottom was rotted away. This was an original heater with aluminum tank. I replaced it with a "pull out" heater I got from an RV dealer that specializes in factory pull outs for $269, which included an electric heating element. I was able to retrofit the original stainless steel door. Looks almost original.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:39 PM   #8
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I will turn it down a notch and see if this solves the problem. I pray to god that this water heater will last another 20 years. Thanks for the adivce, I will check back in...

Thanks-
Brian
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Old 11-02-2003, 04:11 PM   #9
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You guys are great. I think thenewkid might be right. The T&P is clearly visible in the heater compartment and is not leaking. I turned the heater down while I was in there, it's on the "W" on warm. Is there an adjustment on the cold water pressure relief valve? Do they go bad? I have wanted to install an air bladder type pressure tank to the plumbing system. It might fix this problem.
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