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Old 01-18-2020, 05:56 AM   #1
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Water heater leak

My Atwood 10 gal. Water heater has a leak at valve connection (see attachment)
It's where the plastic meets the brass.Its starting to drip faster.
To get a wrench on it I have to remove a heating line from the engine that has antifreeze in it. What's a good way to plug this line up when i remove the hose so I dont lose all the antifreeze. Will it come out fast? Can I replace this fitting with something different?
The heater is 13 years old. Is it easier to take out the whole unit. Very tight quarters.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:05 AM   #2
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Hammerhead work involved as it misses one of the basic ideas of plumbing.
Plastic and any metal expand and contract at different rates when they heat and cool, so putting one against the other and expecting it to seal without some form of designed transition is just hope and prayers.
If you start with plastic, the easy way is to continue with plastic. One might ask why they used brass?
I might suggest getting the correct fittings on hand, then cut the brass ell so that it can be removed in two pieces and go back with the correct plastic fittings. Can't say from here if that actually works until I could get the wrenches and see where it all lays out.
And it may require draining the antifreeze a bit to fix it, but that is still something I would do, rather than fight the neverending battle of it leaking.
kind of depends on how you like your poison ?
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
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I agree with Morich - that is a terrible installation! I can't help too much on your antifreeze question but I do have this input. From the water heater you have an ell. Then there is a check valve, a plastic fitting, and finally the water line. There is a rubber seal in the plastic fitting called a Pex Lock Swivel Seal part no 16435. A bag of 10 cost me about a dollar but shipping was more. If you haven't stripped the threads on the plastic fitting, I would replace just the rubber seal. Also replace the check valve while you are in there. If you get another 13 years out of it, you will be happy. By the way, those plastic fittings are used all over your coach so it is good to have some of those rubber seals on hand.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:10 AM   #4
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A stab in the dark for the antifreeze line. If its the hose in the picture, I would go to a good hardware store and get a galvanize plug. Make sure its close to the inside dimensions of the hose, smaller would be better. Undo the hose from the metal pipe put the plug in the hose and tighten with the hose clamp.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:15 AM   #5
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Here's another idea. When was the last time you changed your engine coolant? I hate to turn one project into two but if you drain and change your antifreeze you won't have to worry about how to plug those lines.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:25 PM   #6
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Another way to stop the antifreeze from leaking out is to get a pair of vice grips and prior to removing the connection put a lock on the hose -- don't do it hard enough to damage the line but, hard enough to pinch it off.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:38 PM   #7
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On my Vectra, the brass fitting going into the water heater tank was not a simple fitting. It was designed to control the water flow, additional cold water was mixed with the hot to extend the amount of normal temperature hot water available. I only mention this before you decide to damage the brass part to remove it. I would suggest removing the plastic line by unscrewing the plastic nut using a pair of pliers. Then you should be able to rotate the 90 degree fitting up (unscrewing it slightly) so you can better access to the plastic fitting screwed into the brass fitting.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:20 PM   #8
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I am confused, the Anti freeze is contained in the rubber hose at the bottom of the picture. its the heat exchanger that runs from your engine cooling system. The line in the forefront of the picture is a water line coming out of the hot water heater is the cold water intake. The brass fitting is a check valve, the plastic connector between the pex line and the brass is a replaceable part you may need to replace it and to trim the pex line to get a fresh connection and replace the fitting. you will not find that at lows or home depo its a motor home supply part. Lastly its common to have pex line connect to a brass check valve and its not the source of the leak I have had that set up on my rig for 19years. I am not aware of any plastic or pex check valves but there are plenty of Brass ones.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdrtile View Post
My Atwood 10 gal. Water heater has a leak at valve connection (see attachment)
It's where the plastic meets the brass.Its starting to drip faster.
To get a wrench on it I have to remove a heating line from the engine that has antifreeze in it. What's a good way to plug this line up when i remove the hose so I dont lose all the antifreeze. Will it come out fast? Can I replace this fitting with something different?
The heater is 13 years old. Is it easier to take out the whole unit. Very tight quarters.
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Don't let that radiator line worry you. You can use anything from a wood dowel to a bolt with a shoulder. Keep that clamp on and use it too. Just put your finger on the end when you pull it off and shove your plug in. To get an idea of the size try to find where the line comes off the engine area and size it accordingly.

If using new orings will stop the leak you are lucky. When I worked on mine to replace the check valve I couldn't get the old plastic fitting to stop leaking so I cut it off and used two Sharkbite fittings and a short section of Pex.

All I can say is access is the biggest problem. Good luck and here is a picture of mine when I finished the job.
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