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Old 05-02-2021, 09:12 PM   #1
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First De-Winterization - need help identifying valves

I am attempting to de-winterize for the first time and am not getting adequate hot water. (The dealership winterized it for me last fall.) Can anyone tell me what each of these valves are and whether I have them in the correct position in order to use both hot and cold water? I have an Atwood water heater, and this is what I can visualize at the back of the heater which is located underneath the dinette bench seat. Is the yellow valve the hot water bypass valve, and if so, what direction should it face in order for water to go into the heater? Perpendicular or in-line? What are the lower two valves for? (when they were positioned in-line, water drained out the bottom of the Airstream, so I moved them to the perpendicular position. Is this correct?). I've seen other threads discuss needing to remove and clean out the mixing valve, but since all of this is under the dinette bench, what is the best way to access it? Do you have to unscrew all the bolts and lift off the bench?
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:20 PM   #2
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The yellow handled valve is the water supply to the hotwater heater. To let water flow into the heater you have to to turn the handle so its inline with the pipe-- its currently shut off which is the "bypass" position.--Frank
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:31 PM   #3
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Make sure all the valves are open. They all look closed. Did You run your heater without water? You can slightly pull up on the pressure release valve to make sure there is water in your heater prior to ignition.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
. . .
. . . You can slightly pull up on the pressure release valve to make sure there is water in your heater prior to ignition.
This is not the correct way to get air out of the water heater IMO. Whether connected to city water, or using the pump and water in the fresh water tank, simply open all faucets until no air is left in all the hot and cold lines. [including outside shower and toilet]

The PRV should remain closed to ensure that the proper "head" of air remains in the water heater to allow the water to expand as it gets hot. The tank is designed to leave some air inside at the top of the tank.

If you open the PRV to let all the air out of the top of the tank, in fact you will force the PRV to do its designated job and blow off excess pressure -- and very hot scalding water -- into its mechanical space. Hopefully no human being will be nearby when this happens.

Your owner's manual should describe this in some detail, but probably not perfectly IMO.

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Old 05-03-2021, 12:37 AM   #5
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PS -- Regarding which valves to close, or leave open, your owner's manual may be some help. If any of those valves lead to low-point drains ["LP" -- hard to tell from the photos IMO], they should be closed [perpendicular to the pipe/valve]. Reaching the valve handles can be difficult [thank you Airstream . . . ] -- probably no need to remove the dinette IMO -- any exterior access doors to this space?

You might want to check in the specific sub-forum which includes your 2020 30' International:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f539/

There may be photos in the threads there which mirror yours IMO. Frank is correct -- the yellow valve handle should be in line with the valve body and pipe IMO.

Regarding inconsistent hot water, it is possible that you have crud in the filter which is part of this "mixing valve," although probably unlikely in your new-ish trailer. If you have used unfiltered campground water, then "crud in the mixing valve" moves to the top of the list as a possible cause, due to bad/hard well water in many locations. Always use an inline RV water filter in your potable water hose, whether on city water or filling the water tank IMO.

"Mixing valve filter debris site:airforums.com" search results -- https://www.google.com/search?q=mixi...=airforums.com

Good luck,
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:14 AM   #6
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This is the exact setup on our 2019 International 30 foot.

The yellow handle is the hot water bypass valve. It should be in line with the pipe when de-winterized.

The other two handles are the low point drains. They should be closed. If you are hooked up to city water, OR, you have on board water and turn on your pump, if either of the low point drain valves are open you will know it because water will shoot out the low point drain line underneath your trailer.

The mixing valve is high up on the water heater tank. To access it you would have to remove the dinette table top, seating on that side of the dinette, and water heater cover/box.
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Old 05-03-2021, 04:28 AM   #7
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Great details thanks.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:20 AM   #8
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As someone who has struggled with this too many times, let me just advise you one last thing: once you have it set up correctly, take a photo, print it out and keep it in the trailer! Same thing with the winterized set up. I finally did that end is so nice!
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:44 AM   #9
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Try the Airstream YouTube channel

There is a one hour video by Airstream on their YouTube channel regarding de-winterization. Highly recommend it as a picture is worth a thousand words- but the video has voice over so you get the best of both worlds!
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:43 PM   #10
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Thank you!
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:47 PM   #11
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This was incredibly helpful. I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:28 PM   #12
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Sorry for the confusion! I meant to quickly pull up on the pressure relief valve to verify there is water in the heater before igniting. ...a cold unit hopefully full of cold water.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:44 PM   #13
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. . .
. . . I meant to quickly pull up on the pressure relief valve to verify there is water in the heater before igniting. ...a cold unit hopefully full of cold water.
The best way to make sure there is water in the water heater is to run all hot and cold lines until no air comes out of any intended orifices, including exterior shower and toilet. This will leave the correct "head" of air inside the top of the water heater, to absorb expansion as the water heats up.

Flipping the PRV up is not at all necessary IMO.
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