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Old 11-07-2019, 10:31 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Terre Haute , Indiana
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 37
How to bypass hot water heater in 1976 31' Sovereign

The last 2 or 3 years when I've winterized my Airstream (76 Sovereign 31' with rear bath), I have never been able to figure out how to bypass the water heater, so I end up filling the darn thing with 10 gallons of antifreeze to get water everywhere.

There is only 1 valve for the water heater (in the little closet next to the toilet) and I'm not sure what it does but it doesn't seem to bypass anything. The manual just calls it a water heater valve, not a bypass, and most bypasses I'm familiar with have 3 valves.

So am I missing something? Is there a way to bypass it?

thanks!
Clay
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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It probably did not come with a bypass like the newer trailers. If it does it would be right next to the heater. This is assuming you can get to the back side of the heater. I am not as far north as you but blowing out the lines and putting some antifreeze in the P traps seems to get it done. There is a drain plug on the heater usually made of some plastic like Nylon. Remove that and drain the heater then replace it and blow out the lines with air. All faucets, shower, toilet valve should be purged. Do them one at a time and give the air compressor time to catch up. Set the pressure on the air compressor no higher than 60 psi. Get you one of these.



https://www.amazon.com/Winterize-Mot...s%2C180&sr=8-1


Perry
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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1976 31' Sovereign
Terre Haute , Indiana
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Ok that's what I was thinking. Looks like I'll try to add a bypass in the spring. I went ahead and filled the system up again last night!

thanks!!
Clay
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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Beverly Hills , California
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Check this out:
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...manual-137.pdf

See if page 37 matches what you are seeing. For step 9, I'd go with the pink stuff instead of Glycol.

Or, take a look at page 43 in this one:
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...-manual-56.pdf

The previous one was for the Excella, although the winterization steps look the same.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
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Villa Park , Alabama
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If it's ten gallons, isn't that a replacement hot water heater? I also have a 76 Sovereign with a dual-fuel water heater, but it's a very newly installed item. I also did not have a bypass. 10 gallons of the pink stuff just ain't cheap.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:19 PM   #6
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Lin , Ne
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You install a bypass kit similar to this.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/RV-Camper-T...ty!68521!US!-1
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Mid 70’s Airstreams came with 10 gallon gas hot water heaters. They did not have by pass valves.
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