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Old 08-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #1
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Check valve ?

I have another check valve going bad. This will be the fourth one in six years. I'm thinking of punching out the plastic valve insert . I know it is there to block anti freeze from going into the HW tank. I am wondering if there would be simple way to get around this? I do blow ot the system,and dump water out of pump filter before adding rv af.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:07 PM   #2
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If you are talking about the input line check valve on the back of the water heater, pretty sure its to keep the hot water from flowing back into the cold water lines from the HW heater. It wouldn't do anything to stop Pink from coming into the heater as it's flowing the same direction as the normal water feed. I'm assuming this is the one you are talking about having a plastic insert.

There is a bypass valve that you turn to isolate the water heater for winterizing (called Winterization Valve 1 in your manual.) It is the one which would stop the Pink from getting into the heater.

As far as I know, there is no horrible issue on punching out the valve on the intake water line other than the possibility of having hot water backflow into the cold lines. I have read of some owners doing that as a temporary fix when the check valve fails and they can't get a replacement. Not sure about the long-term impact...
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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There are 3 ways to winterize

WET, pour in the pink stuff, pump it through all the lines and clean out the mess next spring.. Nasty, Do not recommend it

Dry: Blow Gabriel Blow,, Open all valves including low point, hook the air compressor up and blow, about 50 PSI, several time, waiting a few mintues at least between blows.. There will not be enough water left in the system to matter (do drain the water heater before you blow, and again about mid-blow sequence and again when finished)

If the air in the lines ever freezes.. You won't care.. I highly recommend this method.

And the very best method: The "S" method.. Short version is "S-outh".
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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Yes it is on the back of the tank. It would be nice to find a "Quality" replacement. So without the check valve, the hot will mix with the cold ? Would it be that noticeable ?
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
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My best guess... without the check valve the hot water could potentially mix with the cold, would depend on how full the water heater is and the respective pressures. No, don't think you'd notice it as any time you use the water heater the cold water would flow into the tank to replenish and any back-flowed hot water would be flushed back into the heater.

I have had to replace mine, used a brass one that has held up better than the plastic versions.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
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Punching out the intake check valve is a bad idea. With it out water from your holding tank can run into your basement. Ask we what 40 gallons of water in the cargo area looks like. This happened while driving so it was not noticed until it was too late.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emiddleb View Post
My best guess... without the check valve the hot water could potentially mix with the cold, would depend on how full the water heater is and the respective pressures. No, don't think you'd notice it as any time you use the water heater the cold water would flow into the tank to replenish and any back-flowed hot water would be flushed back into the heater.

I have had to replace mine, used a brass one that has held up better than the plastic versions.
Where can I get the brass version??
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:56 PM   #8
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I got mine locally. I have an Atwood 10 gal heater and it used the 1/2" MPT fittings. You never mentioned the make/model of your water heater, so I have no idea what you need.

Found a similar one to mine online Backflow Preventer - $10.53 but again you need to check yours to make sure what size you need.

You can search online ('backflow preventer') is a good keyword with your make of water heater and probably get some hits.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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In my particular coach, I have an Atwood 10 gal, propane/electric model. Before my year's warranty was up, the check valve(s) started making noise. There was one on both the in and out connections on the hot water tank (with flow arrow pointing in opposite directions of course).

The dealer replaced both, and no noise for another year. Then more noise. I decided to get two replacements (all brass from Amazon) and wait until hot water stopped flowing. That was two years ago. Hot water still flows fine, just a bit of noise at the tank. I still have my two new valves ready if needed.

As the dealer explained, the reason for the valves is strictly to keep the hot water from mixing with the cold water, unless hot water is called for. Seems to work fine on my system.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for the response. We also have the Atwood 10 gal tank . When using hot water I hear what sounds like almost a squealing sound come from the HWT area. If the valve was installed the wrong direction the water wouldn't flow would it?
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:51 AM   #11
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Squealing can be anything... a kink in a flexible hose, a block in the pipe, a check valve failing, the pressure relief valve operating strangely. Could be the burner too if you hear the squeal only when on propane. One thing to do is read your owners manual about how to fill the tank properly to ensure there is an air pocket at the top of the tank. If you'd never done it you should also at some point do a flush out of the water heater with one of those inexpensive wands you put on the end of a hose... its amazing how much crud accumulates in the tank over a year. I do mine every Spring.

No, if the check valve was installed reversed, and it was working properly, you'd get no hot water at all. Like Journey39's tank, mine has check valves on both input and output and either being incorrect (installation reversed or valve failure) would cause a complete loss of hot water.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:38 AM   #12
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When I replaced the last valve it was also sounding the same way when hw was turned on. No noises from the new valve until this time out. That's why I suspect the valve once again. Yes I do drain the tank, normally in the fall while getting ready to head south, then once home in spring I drain and flush the hwt and blow out the system. We normally will take a two to three week vac enjoying the northern parts of the wonderful country. I drain the system when returning,then in the fall I sanitize the system to prepare for the winter south.

Tony Di mentioned the system leaking without the check valve. I can not imagine how that could happen. I have ordered new valves and will try once again.

Thanks again I really appreciate the feed back since I am always learning.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:43 AM   #13
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Just re-thought of something.... As noted that check valve is often a pain in the operating system.. But why do you need it?

Answer: To prevent PINK STUFF from back-filling the water heater when you winterize by the expensive method of putting a noxious chemical in all the lines.

Is there any other way you can prevent said back flow.. One that will not restrict water flow epically to the shower when you operate the cut off causing a blast of cold?

As it turns out there is.. Replace check valve with a quarter turn valve.

Close quarter turn when you winterize.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #14
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Actually, no, assuming we are using the same terms. The check valves on the back of the water heater (also called backflow preventers) do NOT stop the pink from coming in while winterizing. After all, the pink is flowing in the same direction as regular water. So the input check valve would allow pink to come into the water heater and the output check valve would allow pink to flow out of the heater. What check valves do is prevent hot water from back-flowing into the cold input pipe and cold water from back-flowing into the water heater from the output lines.

It is the Winterizing Bypass valves that keep the pink from going into the heater, bypassing the pipes to the heater. These are quarter turn valves that are different than the check valves. Usually located in a bay or by the water heater.

The OP already has that on his system, as I said in message 2.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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No EMI Bypass Valve #1 diverts the cold water from the water heater inlet to the bypass line.. IT DOES NOT prevent water (or pink stuff) from back-flowing into the heater tank.. THAT is the check valve's job.

I have a 3-valve system.. Thus I do not have a check valve and all the problems it causes.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:22 AM   #16
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In my case, the check valves do make a bit of a squealing noise when hot water is flowing, has been that way for two years. As I said earlier, the first set of valves did the same thing, dealer replaced them, quiet for 1 year, then noise again. This time I did not replace them. Although I fulltime, and never winterize, I do drain the tank annually, the squealing noise doesn't change.

In my case, the check valves are only for the normal flow of water to and from the hot water tank. There is a manual by-pass valve on the back of the tank plumbing that will isolate the tank from the water system during winterizing. The only reason for the by-pass is to keep the 'pink' stuff from filling the tank, and wasting 10 gallons of anti-freeze.

In my case, the only other check-valve in the system seems to be on the water line that runs to the sprayer in the black tank, used for cleaning. It makes noise too.

And, in my experience, I have walked by several RV's over the last few years, and noticed a squealing sound coming from the area of their hot water tanks. Seems like a common problem from a bad check valve design.

For me, the hot water continues to flow, I can put up with the noise. When it stops, I will replace them.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:05 AM   #17
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In my case, I have a 3 - valve system and no check valves (related to the hot water heater). For me, no issues. Here's another opinion:
The RV Doctor: RV Water Heater Check Valve - What For?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #18
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Well I think I'm going to wait for the flow to stop. The first malfunction when the mh was a year old, HW shut off, tech replaced, I watched. # 2 we noticed squealing before HW water flow stopped . Changed #3 when it started squealing. Now # 3 is squealing, so maybe I'm being to quick to condem. I ordered a new valve and will hope it stays in my" in case I need it drawer" !
Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:45 AM   #19
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Stearn, how's the water in your area? I'm wondering if maybe you have an extra dose of minerals that might be clogging up your check valves faster than normal. Just a thought. Do you use a water filter on your input hose? Might be worth a try.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #20
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Journey the outlet check valve is to prevent back flow of the pink stuff into the tank, there is no other reason for it.

As for inlet check valves on some water heaters.. I can see no reason for those at all save that in a few cases hot water can back up into a cold line without them, but a couple feet of pipe fixes that without the problems.
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