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Old 03-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #1
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Veeery strange water problem (long post)

So - we arrive at the campground and hook up to the spigot. I assemble our new disposable water filter, turn on the water and let it run through the hose, reducer and filter until everything looks good. I attach the setup to the trailer and cut the water back on.
Inside, I return the bypass valves to the normal position then bleed out the pink water from the cold side (lavatory-toilet-shower-galley). Sputter, spit, pink, then normal, clear cold water at all valves.
Now, same sequence with the hot water (minus the toilet). Slight hiss then nothing. Hmmm ... recheck position of bypass valves and try again - nothing.
Go to low drain valves. Cold water gushes from under trailer - no hot water exits.
Hmmmm .... Pull drain on HW tank - dribble.
Shut off spigot, apply hose end to HW tank drain, DW turns on water, goes into trailer, opens galley HW faucet, tank fills and water comes out of the faucet.
Conclusion: Blockage at cold water inlet to the HW heater.
Repeat application of water directly into the HW tank, only this time we leave all HW faucets shut and open a cold. Water spits and spurts, pressure builds and I take a shower. Luckily it's 80 degrees. After doing this several times, we reconnected and all was OK. We had normal water operation for the weekend.
Final analysis: Something WAS blocking the cold water inlet to the water heater - but what and where is it now? Did it flow into the tank and out of the tank drain when pressure blew past the hose and onto me? Or is it still lurking, ready to ruin another trip?
Problem: I have no access to water at my house or storage lot, so I plan to do the following. Put an air pressure inlet on the HW tank drain, fill the tank using the on board pump, remove the city water check valve, and blow out the water from the tank, through the cold water line, and out the city inlet.
What say ye?

Thanks in advance for any and all contributions. DW was sort of "beside herself" over this (if you git my drift),
Teach
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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Teach,

Look at the cold water inlet fitting. Is there a gray fitting or brass fitting screwed direct into the tank?

That may be a check valve on the inlet port to only allow water to flow in. If it gets stuck closed then water cannnot get in.

By you doing the back blasting trick you may have loosned it up.

Some have reported to not have the inlet check valve and some have it.

If all checks are working then the inlet check lets water go in, the outlet check, which is sometimes part of the bypass system, allows water to go out. And you never know you have a problem until a check sticks and water does not flow.

The outlet checks have stuck before. Folks cannot get any hot water. After bleeding the pressure off they undo the piping, give it a poke and then all starts working again. If yours has the inlet check then that may be the issue.

If you do not have an inlet check, well... then it may be something in the selector valve on the bypass. If you leave the bypass active, does cold water flow out the hot faucets and not fill the tank?

Hope this helps and please report the finds back. I have only known 1 other person to have the inlet problem, most have the outlet problem.

Good luck

John

PS the compressed air blast "into" the HW tank from the city water hook up port would be a way to confrim if something is stuck and not allow the HW tank to fill.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
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Hey there John - no check valves, just elbows and Ts. I put the bypass on myself, so I had all this apart last fall. We camped three times since without a problem.
My plan is to force water out of the tank and through the cold water line with compressed air back to the city inlet (check valve removed) to avoid forcing anything into a faucet, thereby exacerbating the problem.
I need a tapered fitting (like the drain plug) with a female on the other end to take a blow-out adapter. I drink a beer or three in the evenings with a plumber. For a pint o' Bud, I get lotsa advice - some good.

Teach
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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Two valves on your bypass?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Two valves on your bypass?
Yep
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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I don't know it seems that any thing that big would be hard to get into the system wonder if the valve has come apart inside? They are not exactly what I would call aircraft quality.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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I don't know it seems that any thing that big would be hard to get into the system wonder if the valve has come apart inside? They are not exactly what I would call aircraft quality.
I agree. Also, as John mentioned, I may have overlooked a check valve. I have a friend who is a steamfitter and trailer owner who seems to think I overlooked the check because it doesn't look like I expected one to.
Before I do anything else, he's coming over to eyeball the inlet and outlet fittings.
I think y'all are on to something. I betcha I have a check valve problem (or two).
Stay tuned.

Teach
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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Teach, The checks can be deceiving. The checks look like a normal pipe nipple and “maybe” a hex in the center to put a wrench on. Some just like pipe fitting nipples. The check parts are stuffed inside them.

They are “generally” screwed direct into the tank and look like a normal pipe nipple fitting. If you can poke a piece of wire through the center and there is nothing there, well then it is a pipe nipple…. Or use a mirror and light to look in.

Something is/was plugged somewhere… that much you already knew…. The divert valve, a check or a bady swollen rubber grommet maybe in a PEX fitting.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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If it weren't such a b*tch to get to (I have to remove the bed), I'd poke a wire and see. HW is working now, so I'll probably let that sleeping dog lie for now.

Teach
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awellis3 View Post
If it weren't such a b*tch to get to (I have to remove the bed), I'd poke a wire and see. HW is working now, so I'll probably let that sleeping dog lie for now.

Teach

If you ever want help with it, I'm sure we could arrange another trip to SRSP...
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #11
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You got to rip it up unless it near back hatch depending on model I had that problem took out valves but mine is easy just flip up bed
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