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Old 08-25-2008, 09:19 AM   #1
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Atwood water heater water hose connections problems

My 02 Sunline, had a problem 3 or 4 years ago, the top hose connection on the inside the camper side of the heater started dripping water. There are 2 nylon braided hoses that come out of the back of the heater and are connected to a T fitting, to both the cold & hot water water lines inside the camper. There are hose clamps the kind that have no adjustment on the nylon hoses at both ends.

When i had the problem 3 or 4 years ago, I was living in the trailer down south for the winter. I cut off the hose clamps went to an auto parts store got some heater hose and heater hose clamps and replaced the braided nylon hose with the heater hose. That is still working. Now the bottom hose connection out of the water heater is starting to drip water every now and then.

Question has anyone else had the same problem and if so what was your fix ?

I talked to the factory at the time of the first problem they were still open, and they sent me a blue hose bypass arrangement that they said they were now using and none of my friends or me could figure how it would fit and work with the water line arrangment, in my (2975),camper.

My first thoughts are to fix the second leak as I did the first. Thought I'd ask the question, there's alot of know how on this forum. Any info appreciated.

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Old 08-25-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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I don't think that it is a good idea to use automotive heater hose to replace drinking water lines. Not only will it not take as much pressure as the braided water lines but I don't think that a rubber hose should be used for potable water lines. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the lines that you replaced?

Maybe some photos of the blue lines sent by Sunline and a pic of the back of the heater will help.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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Here is a pic of the back of my Atwood 6 gal. gas/elec water heater. This shows the red & blue lines and the bypass kit. At the bottom of the vertical blue tube there is a lever to flip to bypass the WH for winterization.
Hope this is helpful

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Old 08-26-2008, 05:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info.

Rick

The heater hose is on the hot water discharge side of the water heaterthe connection at the tank. I don't drink or cook with the hot water from the water heater. Although we do was dishes with it's still not the same as drinking it in my mind. The second line that's now starting to leak (drip) is the cold water inlet line to the hot water tank again at the connection at the back of the tank, again I only comsume cold water from the water line that comes directly from the city water connection.

The reason I didn't reuse the nylon braided hose is the original clamps were narrower than the heater hose clamps I bought,and the nylon hose was age hardened and i didn't thing it was a good idea to put the wider new clamps on because it was hardened. Maybe I should see if i could buy the nylon braided hose and just replace it with the heater hose clamps.
i agree that the heater hose will not take as much pressure as the nylon braided hose will. Any thoughts ??

Kitty

thanks for the pic I will study it, looks like I would have to replume the red pex tubing to install the blue line/valve arrangement, that looks like the same thing Sunline sent me a few years back. What's also confusing to me is how to make the connection of the blue lines to the back of the hot water heater. I'm not a plumer so maybe it's not all that complicated.

Thanks again for your help.

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Old 08-26-2008, 08:33 AM   #5
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I would suggest that if you go to a big plumbing supply, or even Lowe's, you may be able to get the fittings to install the lines that Sunline supplied. I'd recommend using that setup because it has the winterization valve and the lines are drinking water safe. There should be adapters threaded on to the water heater for the barbed hose fittings. If so, remove them and take them and the Sunline turn on fitting to your plumbing supply and they should be able to supply the fitting you need. You'll also need teflon tape for the fittings. Probably would be a good idea to see if one of your friends is knowledgeable about plumbing and get them to help with the project. Remember never force or overtighten fittings. If the fittings on the water heater are not threaded on and are integral with the heater (doubtful, but possible) don't try to remove them, you'll have to stay with your current setup (clamped hoses).

If you'd rather stay with your current setup, I'm sure that the above sources could supply the proper potable water hoses to replace what you have. If the hose is too stiff to go on the fitting, heat it up a bit with a hair dryer and it will go on. That's another good part about the Sunline setup, most of the connections are screw on.

I would highly recommend going with the potable water hose for a number of reasons but especially strength. You don't want to wake up one night with your bed floating on water!
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Rick

Thanks again.

Since posting this morning, I've called the local harware store (ACE), has nylon/vinel braided hose and sells it by the foot, 1/2 ID, which is what I think i need.

That's the way I think I'll go for now, untill I can find someone to help me with the Sunline blue arrangment. With kitty's pic I see how it's to be installed, but I believe some Repluming of the red pex tubing would have to be done. That I don't feel comfortable with at this time. The braided hose and clamps I can take care of myself, want to go camping right after labor day.

Thanks again, Happy Camping.

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Old 08-26-2008, 11:24 AM   #7
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Great, I thought that the proper hose would be available to you locally. Wow, makes me feel a lot better that you're going to put the high pressure potable water hose back on.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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Stopped in to ACE harware, today. They have clear braided 1/2 in hose. Two kinds, one rated 55 psi and the other rated 220 psi pressure. The later seams to really have a much thicker wall, that's the one i got. wunder if I should have got yhe 55 PSI ? Thinking the hose clamps might work better for the thinner wall hose ? Any thoughts/comments etc. ? Sunline1
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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It's possible for your water supply to exceed 55 psi, so I think you were wise to go with the heavier hose. If you don't have one, you may want to pick up an in-line water pressure regulator: They run around $12 at Camping World and they keep the water pressure between 55 and 60 psi.
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al in PA
they keep the water pressure between 55 and 60 psi.
Actually, they are rated to keep it between 40 and 50 PSI, or at least the ones I sold, which were the blue Camco plastic ones and the Marshall Brass brass ones. I believe the lines in the coach are rated for 50 psi max, but personally I think that is a conservative answer. I can't say I've ever heard of people having RV water lines break from too much pressure. It's more that wonderful upcoming season, winter!

Jon
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:23 PM   #11
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Since posting earlier, I installed the new 220 psi braided hose, and turned on the hot water heater, about an hour ago, of course the water is up to temp, looked no leaks. The new hose has expanded (balooned),more than I would have imagined. i think during inital use going from cold or room temp water to hot creates more pressure in the system. Maybe I should check to make sure i have an air pocket in the top of the hot water heater, I remember reading something about that in the hot water heater owners manual. So far so good.

Thanks all. Sunline1
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline1
Since posting earlier, I installed the new 220 psi braided hose, and turned on the hot water heater, about an hour ago, of course the water is up to temp, looked no leaks. The new hose has expanded (balooned),more than I would have imagined. i think during inital use going from cold or room temp water to hot creates more pressure in the system. Maybe I should check to make sure i have an air pocket in the top of the hot water heater, I remember reading something about that in the hot water heater owners manual. So far so good.

Thanks all. Sunline1
Sunline1

You said the hose ballooned up; I tried to follow exactly where you put this hose but may have missed.

Is the new hose on the HOT water side?

If it is on the hot side, they do sell both tubing for hot and cold applications. While you can use hot rated tubing in a cold application, pending the tubing, using cold rated tubing in a hot water can cause the ballooning effect.

The tubing should not be ballooning to the point you can easily see it with the human eye. If by chance you did get cold rated hose and using it in a hot application, long term you may want to change it. It needs the temp rating as much as the pressure.

Read the printing on the side of the tubing. Sometimes it will tell you hot or cold water. Or ask the guy at the hardware store if what he sold you can take hot water.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:13 AM   #13
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I think you are right, I must have got tubing that was not high temp rated.
The tubing actually sprung a leak.

I found the original factory piece of tubing that came with the camper and put it on. Had a little difficulty, with the heater hose (auto) type clamps, ruined one. There's a pretty fine line between tighting and over tighting. When I first put the clamps on, turned on the water heater and had a few drips, just gave them a qtr. turn and so far so good.

Now that I think I have it all fixed. I'm studing kitty's water heater pic.
I guess it reallly wouldn't take too much to replume my camper to accept the "Blue line arrangement" sent to me by Sunline a few years ago. If I have any more problems maybe I'll takle it.

Pre Flight inspection almost complete. AC fine, Refrigerator fine, hot water fine. Just want to cycle the furnace and I'm ready to fly/camp. !!!

Thanks All.
Happy Camping
John
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:22 AM   #14
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John

Glad things are at least holding there own. For the moment....

Yes the worm gear drive hose clamps can have a fine line between tight and broke. The worst offenders are the cheep plated steel ones. If you look for All Stainless, both the band and the worm gear, those are tougher and can take more abuse. They will not split apart like the cheaper ones. I by accident picked up some of the plated cheep ones out of Wal-Mart and never again. They for sure have a built in torque limiting device..... Anything past almost tight = broke.

Lowes/Home Depot and even the ACE store have all stainless ones. Ideal is one manufacture and while they cost a few cents more, they are light years ahead. There are other brands as well.

http://www.idealclamp.com/

Good luck and happy camping.

John
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Lowes/Home Depot and even the ACE store have all stainless ones. Ideal is one manufacture and while they cost a few cents more, they are light years ahead. There are other brands as well.

http://www.idealclamp.com/

Good luck and happy camping.

John
Yes, Ideal and Breeze are two good brands when it comes to those worm drive clamps.

I do a LOT of automotive work, and occasionally wind up with some off-brands. They are ALWAYS a headache.

- Frank
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:23 AM   #16
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Thanks guys I'll keep that in mind.

John
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:10 AM   #17
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Sunline 1:

If you decide to put the updated setup in, I noticed in the August 2008 copy of RV View, there are transitional fittings available from a company known as Flair-it. It is on page 22 that someone wanted to mate the new PEX tubing to older grey polybutylene tubing and the problem was discussed.

This may not directly apply to your situation but that company may make fittings that would help you adapt to the newer setup.
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:01 PM   #18
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Rick

Thanks I'll keep that in mind.

John
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