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Old 08-10-2007, 06:35 AM   #1
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WATER HEATER LEAK....

Anybody have experience with a leaking water heater? I have been trying to isolate the source of the leak in my 83 T-1550 and after spending hours under each cabinet looking and listening for drips I noticed the cardboard shroud around the hot water tank was dis-colored. I removed the cardboard and all the wet moldy insulation inside of it. The amount of mold makes me think the previous owners either didn't notice the leak or ignored it. Anyway, I sill can't pinpont the leak. I just can't see under the tank and behind the heater without removing them. Plus the gas line to the heater looks like its been rubbing the body of the trailer where it passes thru to the heater - the little rubber gasket was on the floor...I'm guessing the heater and/or tank need to go. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:36 AM   #2
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Opie,

I think you're looking at a new WH in the near future. I have heard of them leaking, though I haven't had that experience myself. However, I have heard of many people say their unit has a new WH when it goes up for sale, so they must not be repairable. My guess is the WH was not properly winterized one time and that caused the leak. I'd recommend removing all the screws on the outside and pull it out just to see.

BTW, if your door is painted, they are removable, so you could swap out the old door and the new door so it matches.

Jon
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:12 AM   #3
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Water heater

I had to pull mine out becauuse the previous owner had broken one of the plastic connections off in one of the connections. Taking it out was an easy job getting the broken off plastic out of the threads was not easy.

Make sure that you shutoff the gas before disconnecting the water heater's gas connection. I than put a brass plug in the gas connection to prevent anything stupid from happening, like some one turning the gas back on. Home depot sells brass plugs.

After that it's a simple question of disconnecting the water at the rear and removing the 10 or so screws around the front.

Before purchasing a new one you can easily test the unit for leaks when out by pressurizing it. Block one of the water ports and connect a hose to the other.

Good Luck

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Old 08-10-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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Leak test

I was just reading RV View from Camping World and they had a leak detection test in this issue.

Disconnect your hose. Put some water in your tank. Turn on your pump. After the pump stops running open your taps for a minute to remove air and wait for the pump to actuate and for it to stop. Now wait and listen for the pump to reactivate.

If it comes on, cycles or burps it means there is a leak.

Norm
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #5
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I'm not really sure I need to test for leaks, the wet insulation, the moldy cardboard and the puddle were pretty good indicators. I'm just having trouble seeing where it is leaking from. I'll just have to deal without it for now. I'm not sure I want to put too much $$$ into a 24 year old TT with water damage on the floor. The AC is already on the fritz and that combined with a water heater and floor repairs will start to add up quick. I can always boil water to wash the dishes and use the camp showers (if I have to...)
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:53 PM   #6
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Possible

The reason I suggested a leak detection is that I had a similar problem when I bought mine though the leak was not from the water heater but rather the kick out window above it. Shortly after I bought the trailer I sat in it during a rain storm and the kick out window leaked badly. It's constructed differently and has a higher leak potential.

I had to replace a portion of the floor under the water heater.

My other leak was over the door due to a faulty seam where two pieces of aluminum came together.

So far working on it for two straight months I've spent well under $1000 including three new tires.

There will soon be a posting showing what I've done.

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:55 PM   #7
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Opie,

If you do decide to not replace the water heater, make sure you cap off or shut off the lines going to it. Otherwise, every time you hook up water, the tank will fill (and leak).

It also might not be a bad idea to cap off the gas lines too.

Jon
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:59 PM   #8
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My water heater (6 gal Atwood) leaked and I brought it back to the dealer being under warranty. I could see water on the floor under it but couldn't find a leak. It turned out to be a crack in the casing at the top which is under the insulation so you can't see it. it was replaced.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input, good advice all around as usual. I'll have to think about my options....
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:40 PM   #10
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There's another option that I experienced with my first bypass kit for my water heater. The brass valves leaked. After replacing the bypass valves, I had no further problems.
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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When I bought my Sunline, the water heater was leaking around the welds at the fittings. So I removed the tank and accessories, dried out the cardboard/insulation wrapping, and took the tank to work. One of the weldors repaired the leaks. Then I put it all back together and it works great. The only thing was the push fittings that go around the pipes to hold the front panel on. They were junk once I removed them, so I just used hose clamps instead. Worked just fine.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:02 AM   #12
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I've decided we can live without it for a while. Spending hundreds of dollars on a free trailer didn't make much sense. We mostly camp locally anyway, so there is always a shower, and we can always heat water on the stove for the dishes. So I replaced the stem washers in the leaky valves to shut off th ewater going in, but I'll leave it in place for now so I don't have to waorry about capping the lines and the gas. Maybe someday I'll find a deal on a water heater and get to it, just not this year.
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