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Old 04-03-2017, 07:17 PM   #1
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Hot Water Heater Backflow Preventer

Has anybody ever had this part break? I took it apart because we were getting no hot water and the plunger came off the spring it came out in pieces.

If so, do they usually break or just get stuck?
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:01 PM   #2
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Your check valve broke, that's why the spring came out. If you have possession of the spring - great. Had the spring gotten into the hot water heater, it could have come in contact with the heating element and shorted it out. You should have two check valves; one for cold water in, and one for hot water out. Replace them both and make sure the arrow (on the check valve) points in proper direction for water flow. Make sure you turn off hot water circuit breaker prior to starting job.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:04 PM   #3
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I only saw one on the cold side coming in. The spring is still inside the little white plunger/plug fell out. Unless they installed the valve further away from the hot water heater but if it's not pretty close to water heater what would be the point ?
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:10 AM   #4
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My research showed some setups came with a check valve on the cold water side only, as mine did. I installed a second one on the hot water side while I was in there, but it wasn't required.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:19 AM   #5
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I gutted the check valve on the outgoing line years ago when it was giving me constant problems, even after installing a new one. It works fine without it. The only problem is if you want to winterize using antifreeze, it will backflow into the water heater tank.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:55 AM   #6
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Winnebago uses two check valves. One on the input and one on the output. The one on the output allows a single diverter valve to bypass the heater for winterization.
A tech at the Winnebago factory told me that the one on the input keeps the pressure increase as the water heats up from pushing hot water into the cold water line. It appears that a lot of builders don't use that one.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:03 AM   #7
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I recently had an over-pressure problem due to hot water heating. In the course of diagnosing the problem, I replumbed the lines from an outlet (hot water) check valve and a three-way valve to no check valves at all and three individual valves (cold in, hot out, bypass). This is simpler for most of us to understand, and less failure-prone.
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