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Old 10-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
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Unknown water line valve- 2005 Classic

Today, while winterizing our 05 classic 30, I noticed that below the three bypass valves at the hot water tank, there is a line running along the length of the trailer and it has a chromed on off valve - similar to the three on/off bypass valves.

No idea what that would be for unless maybe it is a main water shut off on the incoming city water line - I don't know why you would need one though.

I don't believe it is any sort of low point drain as the trailer has two low point drain valves protruding thru the belly pan underneath.

The valve is in the open position and I have never touched it.

Any ideas as to what it is for? Not that easy to trace the pipe to and fro the valve although I could give it a try.

Thought I'd ask here first!

Brian.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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just blindly guessing...

it is the shut off for the external water outlet/fixture,

which is located near the btf and main water connection.

this is easy to check.

assuming that IS what it is, drain the line (external fixture)

then turn the INTERIOR valve off.

if routinely using antifreeze

both valves need to be OPEN till pink flows...

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
just blindly guessing...

it is the shut off for the external water outlet/fixture,

which is located near the btf and main water connection.

this is easy to check.

assuming that IS what it is, drain the line (external fixture)

then turn the INTERIOR valve off.

if routinely using antifreeze

both valves need to be OPEN till pink flows...

cheers
2air'

Maybe, but I wouldn't have thought so. There is an external valve to get fresh water located in the outside compartment right next to the fresh water hose connection.

When I winterize the trailer, I crack that external valve open until it runs pink then close it.

I'm a bit concerned about winterizing the actual inlet hose connection. I know that there is a check valve in there and with our last trailer, (SOB) I could depress the valve with a screwdriver and get pink stuff fowing out that way too.

With the AS, there is a filter screen in there and it really doesn't seem to want to come out to allow me to depress the one way valve.

It doesn't seem I could get it out without destroying the screen.

For the last two winters I have ignored it (reluctantly) and just made sure I got good flow of pink stuff out of the adjacent hose bib and all has been well - looks like I'll be doing that again this year!


Brian.

(PS - not sure what is "btf?")
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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Mystery valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Today, while winterizing our 05 classic 30, I noticed that below the three bypass valves at the hot water tank, there is a line running along the length of the trailer and it has a chromed on off valve - similar to the three on/off bypass valves.

No idea what that would be for unless maybe it is a main water shut off on the incoming city water line - I don't know why you would need one though.

I don't believe it is any sort of low point drain as the trailer has two low point drain valves protruding thru the belly pan underneath.

The valve is in the open position and I have never touched it.

Any ideas as to what it is for? Not that easy to trace the pipe to and fro the valve although I could give it a try.

Thought I'd ask here first!

Brian.
I have a 2008 Classic FB with what appears to be the same valve configuration, except in my case that valve has always been in the closed position and everything works. To clarify this configuration, there is a cold water line that comes up through the floor, crosses below the water heater and then goes back through the floor. From this line there is a tee that feeds the WH with the normal configuration of 3 valves and a bypass pipe. All of that makes sense. It is beyond the tee where this valve is located. In the 27FB configuration, the WH is located under the bath sink on the curbside. The galley is also located on the curbside. The cutoff valve for the exterior water valve is located under the closet on the streetside near the water pump. This valve remains a mystery to me.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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With this valve open, both city water pressure and on board pump will supply water to the outside faucet, since they are plumbed together behind the faucet/city hookup panel in the outside compartment. With the valve closed, the on board pump water is not allowed to go through the valve nor the brass one way valve.
It's really a screwy set up, IMHO.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeDoodle View Post
I have a 2008 Classic FB with what appears to be the same valve configuration, except in my case that valve has always been in the closed position and everything works. To clarify this configuration, there is a cold water line that comes up through the floor, crosses below the water heater and then goes back through the floor. From this line there is a tee that feeds the WH with the normal configuration of 3 valves and a bypass pipe. All of that makes sense. It is beyond the tee where this valve is located. In the 27FB configuration, the WH is located under the bath sink on the curbside. The galley is also located on the curbside. The cutoff valve for the exterior water valve is located under the closet on the streetside near the water pump. This valve remains a mystery to me.
When I asked Airstream customer support a similar question about a check valve in my trailer, they emailed me a copy of the plumbing drawing.

Try asking them what the valve is.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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I see No reason for the brass one way valve...unless its in case you're using city water and then travel to freezing temps and forget to close the shutoff and now are using heated on board fresh water. BUT, if you're dumb enough to forget to shut off the silver valve....you're certainly too dumb to remember to open the outside faucet and let any residual water drain out....it'll freeze anyway.

w7, what did AS tell you?......this otta be good!
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I see No reason for the brass one way valve...unless its in case you're using city water and then travel to freezing temps and forget to close the shutoff and now are using heated on board fresh water. BUT, if you're dumb enough to forget to shut off the silver valve....you're certainly too dumb to remember to open the outside faucet and let any residual water drain out....it'll freeze anyway.

w7, what did AS tell you?......this otta be good!
Actually they didn't know either.

However when they sent the diagram and I figured out that there was a labeling mistake on it, I was able to see what the check valve does.

It is a check valve in parallel with the exterior faucet shut off valve.

The exterior faucet is connected to the same pipe as the freshwater inlet right next to it. Therefore if the check valve where not present, there would be no fresh water available from the inlet fitting if the exterior faucet shut off valve were closed. The check valve allows outside incoming water to bypass the valve, while keeping water from the trailer's tank from reaching the exterior faucet when the shutoff valve is closed.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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W7, that's correct, but I still think it's screwy....see post #7.
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:50 AM   #10
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Those two valves are from the Department of Redundancy Department.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:26 AM   #11
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W7, that's correct, but I still think it's screwy....see post #7.
Sorry, I didn't read all of your post 7 the first time.

For my part I am glad it is there.

I leave my shut off valve closed all the time. I have yet to find a need for the outside faucet.

If I am in a RV park with water connection, and it is going to freeze during the night, I simply disconnect the water, open the outside faucet to drain that part of the plumbing, and use the FW tank for the rest of the night. If that check valve were not there I would have to be messing around under the bathroom vanity to turn the shut off valve off and on.

To each his own.

Ken
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:51 AM   #12
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I do use my outside faucet. I got one of those short garden hose pieces, about 6' long and a "trigger" style nozzle. I bungee it to the BR awning strut and I have an outdoor rinse of station. Rolls up and stores in the faucet compartment.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:43 AM   #13
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There should be 2 shut off valves in the 27fb: one for the toilet (to allow servicing) and one for the outside faucet (to prevent freezing when using the trailer in cold weather). In our 27fb, one of the valves is by the water heater under the lavetory sink and the other valve is under the acess panel in the closet.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #14
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...I leave my shut off valve closed all the time. I have yet to find a need for the outside faucet...
exactly.

and that short section of pipe to the outside faucet CAN freeze.

i have used the outside faucet only 4-5 times.

each use was after returning to covered storage from a long trip.

first time the trailer was filthy and covered with salt.

so the fresh tank was used to soap WASH/rinse, detail the stream in the storage lot.

this used up the entire fresh tank (~45 gallons) which need to be drained anyway.

all the other times the outside faucet was used to QUICKLY drain the fresh tank rather than use the nylon drain valve.

the pump/faucet takes about 15-30 minutes to complete what otherwise may take hours.

still it makes good sense to keep that line in the OFF position during the cold months.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
Actually they didn't know either.

However when they sent the diagram and I figured out that there was a labeling mistake on it, I was able to see what the check valve does.

It is a check valve in parallel with the exterior faucet shut off valve.

The exterior faucet is connected to the same pipe as the freshwater inlet right next to it. Therefore if the check valve where not present, there would be no fresh water available from the inlet fitting if the exterior faucet shut off valve were closed. The check valve allows outside incoming water to bypass the valve, while keeping water from the trailer's tank from reaching the exterior faucet when the shutoff valve is closed.

Regards,

Ken
After posting here first, I contacted the dealer where I purchased the trailer and he was scratching his head over this one also. I then contacted the Mother Ship and got a speedy reply that confirmed what Ken said here. I've got my water drained now and will pump the pink stuff in later in the week and will be able to confirm at that time, but it does seem that if that valve is closed, only city water will be available at the exterior faucet. Opening the valve will allow water from the FW tank (or antifreeze) supplied by the onboard pump to the exterior faucet. I haven't found this documented in the Owner's Manual nor Airstream's online winterizing instructions. Without knowledge of the function of that valve, there is a degree of risk that water might remain in that segment of pipe.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:47 AM   #16
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(good 4 u 'doodle, following up with tech support)

without a pix, we r still left speculatin' on which valve is d'topic.

this specific external water service line shut off (mentioned and discarded in post #2)

is covered in the relevant owner manuals (page C-7 in 2005) ...

CAUTION: The exterior water service line to the utility compartment is in an unheated section of the trailer and must not be used in below freezing conditions.

A water valve is provided so the water can be turned off to the line. The exterior water service shut off valve is located in the lavatory cabinet. Close the shut off valve and open the water service for a few seconds to drain the line and prevent freeze damage.


folks have posted pix of this section of plumbing (and related bits)

in a variety of the classics that have this arrangement...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...for-56832.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ferrerid=16139

like so many of the most common questions,

there are genuinely useful older threads...

with great details, pics and insight.

it is really unfortunate this stuff gets lost/buried and goes to waste...

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:02 AM   #17
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...without a pix, we r still left speculatin' on which valve is d'topic. ... 2air'
1st attempt at attaching a photo...

The valve in question was in the lower right, circled in red. This is where I found it on my 2008 27FB. I suspect that it could be located elsewhere in different models. In this photo, the water supply comes from the left. The water heater valves are in the bypass positions. The 4th valve is shown closed, but if I understand what the Mothership told me, I need to open it, the external valve cutoff and the external valve to flood that line with antifreeze.
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:29 AM   #18
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The same mystery valve is in my Safari 25' FB, but it doesn't lead to an external faucet, but to a drain directly under it. This is under the bed and next to the water heater. When I am winterizing it drains water for some minutes. "Some" means more than a few and less than forever. It drains that water line and may drain the hot water heater tank because once I have drained it and open the drain plug on the heater itself, I get no water out of the heater. When I blow out the lines, air comes out of that drain.

There's nothing I could find in the owner's manual about it.

If it's a coincidence that a similar valve exists in the Classics in the same place, but goes to an external spigot, it is best to drain the line. Maybe on the Classics it serves a dual purpose—external spigot and water heater drain.

It's hard to see because of the carpeting in our trailer and I'm sure some people haven't noticed it because of that and that it is not mentioned in the manual.

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:48 PM   #19
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good pic doodle, very clear now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeDoodle View Post
...The 4th valve is shown closed, but if I understand what the Mothership told me, I need to open it, the external valve cutoff and the external valve to flood that line with antifreeze.
yes that's correct.

if you want the antifreeze to remain in that section of plumbing

the external faucet should be closed once the pink stuff is flowing.

however simply closing the '4th valve' and opening the external will drain any water and prevent it from freezing.

so either approach works.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:04 AM   #20
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Update - Airstream fibbed to me

Upon further personal investigation, it turns out that this "mystery valve" simply drains the water line feeding the water heater, and if the bypass valves are set for normal operation, it will drain most of the water from the water heater also as Gene noted in a previous post. The valve does not bypass a supposed check valve in the exterior water spigot as JC told me.

This is a quote from the Owner's Manual for my trailer:

"The fresh water line drain valves have been moved to the exterior of the coach for easier access. If you look between your tires you can see a galvanized “box” that is a few inches lower than the trailer frame. This “box” or pan supports the water tank.

The line drains will be the two brass petcocks extending from the end of the pan. The white plastic petcock you will see is to drain the water tank."

There is in fact a 3rd low point drain as illustrated in the photo I previously posted. For my trailer, the brass petcocks that resemble automotive radiator drain valves are on the road side and the extra valve is on the curb side. I've looked for additional low point drains and have found none.

As I had previously posted something that turned out to be incorrect, I wanted to nix this myth before it sent someone down the wrong path.
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