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Old 11-18-2006, 03:04 PM   #15
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osceola , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 51
The hot water problem

The ability to have hot water is a bit different.

The old hot water tank is propane - we capped off all propane at this time due to the PO's apparent aptitude for fire - behind the fridge was a blackened mess, as well as the stove. The propane lines would all have to be replaced before using because Pa refuses to even consider a test of such a shaky operation.

The plumbing has also been jury-rigged at least once that Pa can see. Some joints are soldered that shouldn't be, and pipes are not in logical places. Too near walls with potential for freezing, etc.

To fix this would require major tearing up of floors and re-doing lots of plumbing. We're already in the 20s here at night. Its COLD out. Also, I'm only living here for another 6 weeks or so before I zip out to go visiting relatives.

Even wiring in an electric hot water heater will require a 2-3 day job. Pa has too many other things to do, getting ready for Christmas (he makes wooden toys for the grandkids and nice furniture for Mom every Christmas).

After looking around with the ideas Melody gave me...I found a soultion.

I HAVE water...what I don't have is hot water.

There is a thing called a Bucket Heater made for animals - cattle, horses, goats and sheep - it is basically a sealed heating element that can be electric or 12 volt battery powered. It goes in a large bucket...or a stock tank to either de-ice when water is frozen...or warm up too cold water. Most have a thermostat and only heat to 45 degrees. I found one that can boil water. It costs about $30. There's some kind of safety feature that makes it turn itself off if there's not enough water, so it doesn't burn up or cause a fire if left unattended (Not that I'd ever do that!).

My thought is to fill the sink or my shower pan with water, plug the bucket heater in and let it warm the water.

I can then do dishes, bathe the dogs or take a bath myself.

Any thoughts? Dumb idea? If so, other suggestions?

~ Merry

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Old 11-18-2006, 05:05 PM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
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It's a great stopgap solution, but it's not that hard to redo the propane lines. In all my AS's, there is a fitting in the pipe close to where each of the service lines enter the shell. Redoing just from that fitting to inside to each appliance would be quick and very safe--any leaks from old defective pipes would be outside.

You are right to worry about freezing the pipes if they are along the wall, but I don't think you have to worry about those that are inside the living area, meaning behind the cabinets. The real worry is the pipe that runs across the belly pan (if you have a mid-bath Sovereign like mine with the bath on the curb side). If you have a rear bath, it's the pipes that are in the compartment under the sink and where they run under the shower pan.


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Old 11-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #17
2 Rivet Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Osceola , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 51
Hot water...


I think those propane fittings aren't there - I think that's what Pa was talking about when he said its been soldered. He is shaking his head - apparently someone else did a quick fix that wasn't really safe.

I have a mid-bath Sovereign - that pipe going across the middle underbelly had holes...Pa ran the new waterline under the ground and then straight up into the sink pipes, then heat taped it.

He looked at the shower today, shaking his head and mumbling under his breath. I expect good things in the next week or so...LOL.

Thanks for the help so far - I'm relaying all to Pa and he's checking things out.

~ Merry

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