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Old 11-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
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Help, no hot water heater bypass in my 1975 31' Sovereign

I have a valve next to my water heater that I thought was my hot water bypass, but it's just the shutoff for the toilet

I installed a water pump diverter so that I can suck RV antifreeze straight into the water pump rather than have to try and fill the fresh water tank with antifreeze, but I realized after sucking about 4 gallons of the antifreeze that it was just filling up the water heater which I had already drained.

I have blown out the pipes in the past (my old trailer, a Prowler), and I could try that, but I usually ran antifreeze first, then blew out.

I have to leave on a trip Monday morning, so installing a water heater bypass may be out of the question.

Does anyone know where the inlets and outlets for the water heater are on a 1975 31' Sovereign center bath? I think they may be on the back of the tank (the side facing the toilet) but I'm not sure. I'd have to take off the panel with the bathroom fan next to the toilet to get access.

What would you all do? I suppose I could buy 8 more gallons of the pink stuff and just fill the hot water tank completely up... That would be about $40 bucks more to complete the job. Then again if I start dinking with things and drain the water heater again, there's 4 gallons gone, so perhaps I should bite the bullet and just fill 'er up this time, and install the bypass next time. Then again, it's hypothetically possible that the bypass is there, I just can't see it....

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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I made a PEX bypass that consists of just a few inched of PEX tubing and fittings on the end. Access to the back of the water heater is usually quite simple - ours is under the counter/cabinet in our rear bath. Not sure where they are in the Soverigns.
Anyway, I remove the fittings from the heater (once it is drained) and just hook up my bypass. It is done in a few minutes.
With that I can winterize my trailer with just one gallon of juice.
You may be able to drain the juice you have in your heater into a bucket and then reuse it if its clean...

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Old 11-30-2008, 10:04 AM   #3
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Mine are on the back of the tank...between the toilet partition. They are a pain to get to.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 11-30-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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The other option which I used to do on my old Hi-Lo was to pump antifreeze back into the system, outlet by outlet. I used to have a hand pump which had a long tube which extended into the bottle of anti-freeze. It had another tube which had a flexible end that fit over the nozzle of the water outlet. I normally pumped from the kitchen sink since it was deep. I would open another water outlet and would pump till anti-freeze started coming out of the open outlet. I'd then close that one off, and open another and pump again. I did this with each outlet, hot and cold, and the toilet. It took anywhere from 2-3 gallons of anti-freeze. Never had a frozen pipe over the course of 14 years. I remember getting the hand pump from Camping World.

Typically the steps were to blow out the lines first, then back pump the anti-freeze through the outlets.

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Old 11-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #5
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I have a bypass I think, I was not able to move the valves. One valve on the in and one on the out of the Water heater. I was pressed for time, so I drained everything and disconnected the water in from the fresh tank and pumped each outlet/kitchen sink/bath sink/toilet/Shower/ full of AF and then a recheck of the waterheater proved it was pink too. Cup full in each trap for good measure .I drained the fresh tank as much as the pump would pump and then added a gallon of AF in the fresh tank. I do think I got it covered. What do U think? Total AF 6 gallons on Sale at TSC for 4 bucks per. Cheap insurance'
Roger & MaryLou
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:52 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
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I ended up draining the antifreeze out, straining it, and pouring it back into the jugs. Then, I took the panel off next to the toilet, and validated that there was no bypass. So I decided to cut the copper pipes and tie them together so I could finish the winterizing process before my trip. That worked out great. reused all of the antifreeze.

So, when I get back from my trip, I'll install a bypass setup, and then next year I'll have the whole thing winterized in a half hour! With the pump diverter and a water heater bypass, you don't have to worry about air, and man is it fast!

Thanks all,

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