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Old 09-26-2016, 05:46 PM   #1
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Mystery water leak discovered on 23' FB FC?

Over the past few weeks I noticed water on the pavement on the driver side just aft of the tires from time to time. After investigating the usual suspected culprits and discovering nothing amiss I revisited the tech docs sent along with our 2015 23' FB Flying Cloud and was reminded that a pressure relief valve is part of the hot water system. Observing a pressure relief valve behind the sink above the leak and realizing the importance of such valve I suspected that the moisture was being exhausted whenever the water heater was over temp. To verify my theory I turned off the electric water heater switch and have not observed any additional water on the pavement. Not sure what the exhausted water will impact as it migrates out of the area behind the sink during pressure release. Any ideas?
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:20 PM   #2
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If you open a hot water faucet every so often, especially as the water heater is coming up to temp, you can usually prevent the PR valve from blowing off water.

Also, you may have lost the air bubble which is supposed to reside at the top of your heater. To correct this, turn off the water heater gas and electric, turn off the water pressure, then drain the water heater, by removing its drain plug and opening the pressure relief valve.

Replace the drain plug and close the pressure relief valve, then turn the water back on slowly until it stops flowing. Then open a faucet until the hot water line (still cold though) flows freely without air also coming out. Go around and open all the faucets until they also flow with water and no air.

At this point you will have the proper head of air trapped inside the top of the water heater.

If you use the electric AND propane heater systems at the same time for quick hot water recovery, you are more likely to cause the pressure relief valve to vent, unless you open a faucet every so often as the water is heating up.

Inside the trailer, for any leaks or water spills in hidden areas, we plug in a Dampp Chaser dehumidification unit and leave it near the spill, similar to using one over the winter storage to prevent mold. It will accelerate the evaporation of any spilled water. Plugging in a small fan nearby to circulate the air helps as well.

http://www.dampp-chaser.com/home

These are low wattage units which work great in closets, basements, etc. to keep mold and mildew from taking over.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robere View Post
Observing a pressure relief valve behind the sink?
The pressure relief valve is located in the water heater compartment, accessed on the outside of the trailer.

If you were looking behind the bathroom sink on the inside, you probably saw the back flow preventer for the black tank flush system.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
The pressure relief valve is located in the water heater compartment, accessed on the outside of the trailer.
Good catch.

Robere, just to be clear my recent post was about the pressure relief valve at the top of the water heater. If yours was near the sink was it maybe on an accumulator tank? Or on a water filter perhaps? Please clarify the location of your valve. Thanks
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Had you recently used the black tank flush? That valve, or its fittings, can leak. Have someone watch the valve while you connect up to the black tank flush fitting and turn the water on to it.

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Old 09-26-2016, 07:05 PM   #6
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Our FC20 anti-siphon vacuum-breaker valve for the black tank flush system is hidden inside the wall behind the bath sink vanity FWIW. Is this valve visible in other models/years?
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Our FC20 anti-siphon vacuum-breaker valve for the black tank flush system is hidden inside the wall behind the bath sink vanity FWIW. Is this valve visible in other models/years?
It is on my 2002 Classic. Just open the cabinet under the bathroom sink and there it is.

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Old 09-27-2016, 05:29 AM   #8
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Thank you Al for that clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robere View Post
. . .
Any ideas?
Wondering which pressure relief valve you might have been referring to, Robere, in light of the possibilities mentioned so far?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:09 PM   #9
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The valve you see behind the kitchen sink in the 23fb is the back flow valve for the black tank flush. The water heater is on the curb side in front of the wheel well below the closet next to the bed. There is also low point drains below the pantry next to the kitchen sink. This is more likely the source of any leak.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #10
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Your leak is most probably caused by expansion of the water in the water plumbing from turning on the water heater. There is a weak connection somewhere behind the sink, at the faucets perhaps, water filter, or possibly a weakly crimped pex fitting. The hot water expansion is forcing the leak, which will cause subfloor rot over time. Try to find the weak connection, the source of the leak.

The plumbing system is designed to have an air bubble to absorb the expansion of the water heater. The bubble is easily lost or absorbed by the water over time. An easy way to restore the bubble is hook up your drained external water supply hose to a city water spigot and the Airstream, then open a hot water faucet inside the airstream and then open the city water spigot. The column of air in the hose will go into the top of the water heater, and water will flow out the bottom of the water heater and out the open hot water faucet. The bubble is restored. If you drain the hose each time you break camp you will have the opportunity to restore the bubble at each new campground.

Turn off the water heater when not being used, such as overnight or when you don't need it, as a matter of routine. It's not desirable to have this excess pressure in the system.

An easy way to permanently take up some of this hot water expansion is to install a water pressure accumulator (on a cold water line). We put one under the bath sink, very easy to do. Screw it to the wall, take off the supply line below the cold water side of the faucet and put it on the accumulator. Then go to the hardware store and get a new line to fit from the accumulator to the bottom of the faucet. Clamp the lines as needed, if flopping around in there.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
An easy way to permanently take up some of this hot water expansion is to install a water pressure accumulator (on a cold water line). We put one under the bath sink, very easy to do.
We had the same problem, and among other things installed an accumulator (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1). This will also reduce the length of time your water pump comes on each time, especially if you're just using a little bit of water. We put our accumulator in the same place as the water pump, which left more room under the sink. Note that the addition of the accumulator shouldn't be the only thing you do: make sure your city water fitting/pressure regulator isn't leaking, and check the integrity of the crimp bands and fittings under and behind the sink. Unfortunately, the white back panel under the sink restricts your ability to see the plumping; we had ours modified so that we could remove a section and check things out.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:46 PM   #12
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I have the same model AS. If your leak occurs when hooked up to city water source only, it may be at the hose connection. I have been dealing with such a leak for over a year, but only when hooked up to city water and very rarely. Your water heater is curbside, so likely not involved in a drivers side leak.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Good catch.

Robere, just to be clear my recent post was about the pressure relief valve at the top of the water heater. If yours was near the sink was it maybe on an accumulator tank? Or on a water filter perhaps? Please clarify the location of your valve. Thanks
OTRA15: Thanks for your response. The valve spotted behind the sink is in fact a check valve for the black water clean-out plumbing. Robere
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:43 PM   #14
I miss NOT knowing things
 
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Had you recently used the black tank flush? That valve, or its fittings, can leak. Have someone watch the valve while you connect up to the black tank flush fitting and turn the water on to it.

Al
Thanks Al. Yes in fact I did use the black tank flush fitting recently however the leak presents itself only when the hot water is on. Robere
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