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Old 01-20-2020, 12:04 PM   #1
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Water heater bypass valve

Recently purchased 2020 airstream flying cloud fb twin 25 ft. Water heater bypass under twin mattress with small round hole to access. Almost impossible to reach and turn. Anyone have any ideas to make it a simpler process?
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sewall View Post
Recently purchased 2020 airstream flying cloud fb twin 25 ft. Water heater bypass under twin mattress with small round hole to access. Almost impossible to reach and turn. Anyone have any ideas to make it a simpler process?
Take out the wood panel the mattress rests on. Should be pretty easy.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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Make that hole bigger.

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Old 01-20-2020, 04:22 PM   #4
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We winterize using just using compressed air so haven't needed to access that valve. We just pour some antifreeze down each drain to protect the P traps and call it a day after blowing out all the water with air. If you are going to use antifreeze, though, you would need to access that valve. Antifreeze is more work to load into the trailer in the winter and then flush in the spring.

Maybe antifreeze is required in more extreme climates, though. This is a very hot debated topic which you can spend hours researching. All I can say, in Portland, OR, air has worked fine for us.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #5
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Can you make up some sort of tool to grip the valve handle and turn it from outside the hole?
If you are blowing out the system how do you remove water from the HW tank. Usually the by pass is opened and inlet out let valves are closed before blowing out. (maybe your valve does all of that in one single vale...not familiar with the new trailer set up.) otherwise you keep pushing water mixed with air from the tank into the HW piping. The HW tank is then drained by removing the drain plug. A little bit left in the tank is of no consequence, but a little water in the piping and taps can be a problem

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Old 01-21-2020, 01:58 PM   #6
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It is often described as a bypass valve, but it is actually a cold water inlet to the water heater. In "bypass" cold water travels through the mixing valve but does not enter the tank itself a check valve prevents water from back flowing into the tank when the inlet is closed. A drain valve is accessible from the front CS outer compartment to first drain the tank prior to closing the subject inlet valve. I agree the inlet valve is a bit hard to get to... I'm waiting to hear if anyone has rigged up something they like.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:19 PM   #7
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Valve tool

I too have struggled with that valve. I’m looking to make a tool (as suggested in a previous post). It needs to have an inside diameter of 1”, and have opposing slots of about a 1/2” cut in it. It should be about 18” long and have a handle of some sort at the top end. That’s the design, I just haven’t figured out what to start with. I’m a woodworker, not a metalsmith. Any ideas?
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:20 PM   #8
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I have made such things out of PVC pipe, which is easy to cut, add handles with more pipe and so on. Just buy a few feet of the right size stuff and go from there. I have done that with my natural gas shutoff at my grill so I do not need to get down on the ground to shut it every time.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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Perfect Larry. You're the man! I've got this.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:39 PM   #10
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I put a 10" marine deck plate in the floor of my closet so I could access the valve and water pump connections for winterizing. Airstream looked at it as a desired improvement, but I don't know of any installed.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:57 PM   #11
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Ditto

Ya beat me to it. Ditto on the PVC

Quote:
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I have made such things out of PVC pipe, which is easy to cut, add handles with more pipe and so on. Just buy a few feet of the right size stuff and go from there. I have done that with my natural gas shutoff at my grill so I do not need to get down on the ground to shut it every time.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:21 AM   #12
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It is often described as a bypass valve, but it is actually a cold water inlet to the water heater. In "bypass" cold water travels through the mixing valve but does not enter the tank itself a check valve prevents water from back flowing into the tank when the inlet is closed. A drain valve is accessible from the front CS outer compartment to first drain the tank prior to closing the subject inlet valve. I agree the inlet valve is a bit hard to get to... I'm waiting to hear if anyone has rigged up something they like.

Thanks for the update
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:31 PM   #13
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It is difficult to access. Look at it in beam of a flashlight to fix in your mind, then immediately reach for it and turn (takes a firm touch). I've had to turn it 3 times now when winterizing and it's much easier to access/turn for some reason. "Practice makes perfect"?
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:21 PM   #14
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Must be time for Mr Airstream to post noting that the unanimous concerns have been noted and the factory directed to come up with a sensible solution
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sewall View Post
Recently purchased 2020 airstream flying cloud fb twin 25 ft. Water heater bypass under twin mattress with small round hole to access. Almost impossible to reach and turn. Anyone have any ideas to make it a simpler process?
Remove the mattress, and lay down between the camper wall and the hole. This position allows you to reach down the hole and easily adjust the valve.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:38 AM   #16
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Going to see if JC can cut a larger hatch to make access easier while standing on my feet.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:30 AM   #17
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Our water heater is under the driver’s side rear twin. Besides the access hatch the plywood from the bed can be removed for access if needed. A hatch could be added there very easily.
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