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Old 04-18-2018, 05:37 PM   #1
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Water Heater

Decided to take a look at the water heater today. PO said the trailer had been winterized but when I took the cap off (they had a pipe that extends out from heater I am assuming to route water away from the trailer), this is what I got.


Doesnít appear to be any water leaking inside the trailer but....

So, what am I possibly looking at here? Or what should I be looking for?

Thanks,
Tommie


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Old 04-18-2018, 07:26 PM   #2
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Was it several gallons? Obviously, there shouldn’t be any water in there other than just what is residual at the bottom (a few cups at most and that wouldn’t drain). Most people take the plug out (cap off in your case) and leave the tank open until spring so that can’t happen.

If there isn’t a leak now and the tank didn’t burst then you may be fine. De winterize, flip the heater bypass valve (or valves) and fill the system then try the heater. Keep a close eye on it when filling in case there is a leak.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:21 PM   #3
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I don't think it was full but definitely not just a few cups. More like a couple of gallons.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:49 AM   #4
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Obviously not ideal, but if it didn’t crack or split that is great.

Just in case you don’t know, Don’t test it if it isn’t fully water.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:58 AM   #5
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Thanks Tod.

I am guessing (hoping) that since there was water still in it and no water was coming out of it on the inside that it did not crack. Which is amazing since it has been parked for over a year now. I did have to open the pressure relief valve so that the water would drain faster. I hope that is a good sign. I guess my new concern is if he did not drain the water heater, there still may be water in the lines. He said he used some pink stuff but the water out of the tank was clear. There is no bypass on the water heater but I do have a kit so I may go ahead and install that while the tank is empty.

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Old 04-19-2018, 12:16 PM   #6
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One of the historians could tell you for sure, but I’m almost sure the all had bypass valves (older ones had 2, newer had one valve) - if not, things were modified. Either way, just watch it as you bring the whole system up to pressure. Open up all the cupboards and have some towels handy - watch, listen outside and in.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:23 PM   #7
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One of the historians could tell you for sure, but Iím almost sure the all had bypass valves (older ones had 2, newer had one valve) - if not, things were modified. Either way, just watch it as you bring the whole system up to pressure. Open up all the cupboards and have some towels handy - watch, listen outside and in.
Nope, I don't think so. The winterizing kit was optional on Sunlines I think through the end. I'm not sure when they started offering it as an option. I seem to recall I've heard of other '80s ones that didn't have anything for winterizing.

I never had my '86 in cold weather months (bought in April, sold in August), so I don't know what it had/didn't have in terms of bypass.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:30 PM   #8
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Nope, I don't think so. The winterizing kit was optional on Sunlines I think through the end. I'm not sure when they started offering it as an option. I seem to recall I've heard of other '80s ones that didn't have anything for winterizing.

I never had my '86 in cold weather months (bought in April, sold in August), so I don't know what it had/didn't have in terms of bypass.
Well there you go, that is why I stay out of the historical aspects .
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:40 PM   #9
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Yeah, I checked a while ago which is why I ordered a kit.


I will try to test the water system and get it installed this weekend. Thanks for all of the info.

Tommie
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod Osier View Post
One of the historians could tell you for sure, but Iím almost sure the all had bypass valves (older ones had 2, newer had one valve) - if not, things were modified. Either way, just watch it as you bring the whole system up to pressure. Open up all the cupboards and have some towels handy - watch, listen outside and in.
Hot water heater bypasses were an option, so you may not have one factory installed.

Look for a pipe connecting the cold line into the heater to the hot line out of the heater. There can be one, two, or three valves involved depending on how it was done.

Typing at the same time☺....to add to Jon's......I have probably one of, if not the last, custom ordered Sunline that was delivered, and it was an option still.



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Old 04-19-2018, 03:13 PM   #11
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Hi Mack,

I followed the lines and did not see a bypass. I am pretty sure I don't have one.

The other thing I found is there is some blue build up in the pressure relief valve. Bad?



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Old 04-19-2018, 03:57 PM   #12
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Hi Mack,

I followed the lines and did not see a bypass. I am pretty sure I don't have one.

The other thing I found is there is some blue build up in the pressure relief valve. Bad?



Thanks,
Tommie
I'm not a plumber, but my gut tells me I would replace that relief valve.

That spring controls the pressure the valve opens at, and I'd be concerned that build up of scale might not let it release properly.

OK, so I was a pump operator in the VFD for many years, I might know a little bit about.......

BTW - I don't see a bypass on the picture of your water heater.

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Old 04-19-2018, 04:02 PM   #13
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LOL...Thanks Mack.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:23 PM   #14
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Hi Tommie,

This pic of yours


That water heater has been replaced along the way. That is not a 1987 heater. The really old ones did not use the white formed styrofoam insulation. It had more of a cardboard kind of insulation. So that is the good news.

The not good news is they left water in the heater and yes it is wherever it can flow too in the pipes. In your area of VA. I know some years when I use to work down there we had snow and really cold, but not always. Did you get mega cold this winter? like the zero and below?

Also a heads up. I see the vise grips on something the prior owner installed. Atwood uses a nylon plastic plug in the tank drain. They do that on purpose as to not use steel fittings as it can easily cross thread and ruin the soft aluminum threads in the tank. Ideally that steel part comes out and you use a nylon plug. If you want to extend the piping to make it easier to drain, let us know there are ways of using nylon fittings and hose to make it work and not run the risk of messing up the tank threads.

Hopefully your piping is still sound.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:40 PM   #15
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Thanks JohnB,

Yes, I do believe that the water heater has been replaced before. I have 2 manuals in the binder. One for 1986 the other one is around 2000 2002. I did find a couple of threads of some mods that a couple people did to their water heaters. I believe one was yours and the other was from someone else I printed those off and picked up some parts from Lowe's yesterday. I will give it a shot this weekend. I don't think we got to 0 or below this winter. It did go down in the 20s though.

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Old 04-24-2018, 07:05 AM   #16
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Tried to do a little with the water heater yesterday. I now know why there was no bypass on the heater. There isn't really much room to put one. I tried moving the power converter over but it would only move about an inch. The red cable coming into the converter has very little slack. I don't know why they would put the power converter so close to the water heater. I know space is limited but it still doesn't make sense to me. I did get the P&T valve replaced and managed to get out that pipe that was in where the nylon plug normally goes. And surprisingly I did not screw that up. Unless I can get that cable to give more I will probably have to scrap the bypass idea for the heater and take the parts back out. Without more room I can't finish the hookup.

Bypass kit installed. You can see where the old screw hole is for the power converter.


Thanks for looking. Any ideas please let me know.

Tommie
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:33 AM   #17
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I don't know why they would put the power converter so close to the water heater. I know space is limited but it still doesn't make sense to me.
Yeah, it seems like a terrible idea to me. Great question!

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Old 04-24-2018, 09:02 AM   #18
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Hi Tommie,

H'mm OK I see the problem. Here



2 options maybe on how to overcome.

1. Install a 90 degree street elbow in the tank and then screw in the bypass. That is if you can still get to the knob to flip it. That will put the piping 90 degrees to what you have now. A street elbow has male threads on one end and female threads on the other. They also make some brass ones that are a tighter 90 deg. See here at Lowes https://www.lowes.com/pd/B-K-1-2-in-...ing/1000158185

Other stores may have that too, shop price. And better check as the Lowes store may or may not have the 1/2" NPT you need. May have to order it. If that fitting is too close, and you have room then uses a close nipple and a standard 90 deg elbow.

Close nipple, they have 2 kinds
https://www.lowes.com/pd/B-K-1-2-in-...ing/1000158129

This one is a little longer but easier to remove if needed and not destroy the fitting.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/B-K-1-2-in-...ing/1000158133

A closer 90 deg elbow then the standard if needed
https://www.lowes.com/pd/B-K-1-2-in-...ing/1000252829

2. If number one does not work, then you can install a 90 degree elbow in the tank like above and add a 4 or 6" long (as needed) pipe nipple to move the bypass valve out further away from the heater. Then screw in the bypass.

Here are a variety of lengths
https://www.lowes.com/search?searchT...s+pipe+nipples

There is no hard and fast rule the bypass has to screw into the tank directly. Being 6" away still works. Just make sure the piping extension is level to slightly tipped down hill draining to the tank. You do not want standing water to lay in the piping once you drain the heater.

I know you will overcome this! Not having a bypass is a real bummer.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:54 AM   #19
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At least I know I'm on the right track. I found some of that stuff online last night at Lowe's and printed it off. Just wasn't quite sure how to pull it off.

I also need a couple of tee fittings with two male ends and a female connector on top to make the existing setup work. I could only find tees that are either all male or all female. I'm headed out to Lowe's in a few minutes to see what they have.

Thanks!

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Old 04-24-2018, 11:01 AM   #20
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Yeah, it seems like a terrible idea to me. Great question!

I think if I can make a little room that I may try to put a piece of thin plywood or something between the water heater and the converter. It may help a little or at least for small amounts of water. Just gotta get everything put together first. I like your pic. I had all power and breakers shut off and used work lights for that very reason. Safety first.

Thanks,
Tommie

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