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Old 06-04-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
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Help, no hot water

OK guys I need some quick help. Due to some illness I have not had my RV for awhile and we were planning to take our grandkids out west for a few weeks starting Monday.
I took my RV to a local campground to check everything out and I find I have no hot water. The heater seems to be working. I pulled water directly out of the heater relieve valve and it is plenty hot.
I suspect my backflow valves on the water heater are clogged but one thing puzzles me. The flow out the hot water faucet is fine, just not hot. I would have expected the flow to be diminished if the backflow valves were clogged.
Where would you start?? We had these pesky valves replaced several years back, but I thought I remembered the hot water flow was really slow. Not the case here and my memory may be bad. it was several years ago.
2001 Winny 37G Adventurer with Work Horse Chasis.
Many thank as I am under a time gun here.
SeaRay
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
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It sounds like your winterization valves are still in bypass mode to me.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:49 AM   #3
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I will check but we do not winterize the coach. It staus plugged in year round.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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It sure sounds like the winterizing bypass valve got turned somehow.
The diagram below shows how Winnebago plumbs it. The valve handle should be pointing towards the water heater .
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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It will be acouple of hours before I can get out to the coach to check out the winterization valves. Can't tell you how much I hope that is what is wrong, but we have never winterized it so I don't see how the valve could have gotten turned, but believe me I will check it first because the check valves are a beast to get to.
Any other ideas if that does not pan out??
The full volume of hot water flow is what has me wondering how it could be a clogged check valve.
SeaRay
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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The possible situtations are:

Valves in "WINTER" position.. there are two or three type of valve systems

1-2-3 valve
Single valve has two positions, USE/Winter Make sure it is in the USE position, I've only worked on one of these.

2 valve has 2 valves, one goes on into the heater, the other "Bypasses" it.
NORMALLY these have oval shaped handles and if the long axis is in line with the pipe the valve is open.. Key word is Normally, does not mean always.

3 valve has the same 2 valves plus a 3rd valve in the water out line on the heater. Same comments apply

Bypass valve closed others open is the way it should be..

NEXT: Since the water heater makers do not know if it's going to be a 1-2- or 3 valve system they often put a check valve in the hot water outlet to prevent back flow of pink stuff when winterizing,, This valve suffers mineral build up and refuses to open. When that happens it is the same as that 3rd vavle being closed, NO HOT WATER, lots of hot at the TPR valve, but none at the shower or sink.

Soultion (if you do not winterize or if you do so by dry method) is to gut the valve.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaRay View Post
It will be acouple of hours before I can get out to the coach to check out the winterization valves. Can't tell you how much I hope that is what is wrong, but we have never winterized it so I don't see how the valve could have gotten turned, but believe me I will check it first because the check valves are a beast to get to.
Any other ideas if that does not pan out??
The full volume of hot water flow is what has me wondering how it could be a clogged check valve.
SeaRay
I don't think the check valve can cause the problem but there is one other thing to check.
If the outside shower head is off at the head and the two faucets are on you can get a cross feed between the cold and hot lines. That can cause the hot water to be cold.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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Ok guys. next update. I pulled the top check valve which was an all brass one I put in about 4 yrs ago and I gutted it so it is nothing but a connector nipple. No luck. Still getting barely lukewarm water. Rechecked the water out of the WH and it is plenty hot. Can't leave your finger in it but a few seconds. Checked the outside shower, it is off at the faucets.
I tried all the hot water faucets hoping I had a bad one but all are the same.
I tried to take the lower check valve off (cold water intake) and I simply can't get to it. CW in Bowling Green replaced it several years back so I know you can change it w/o removing the heater, but I had some pretty serious surgery last year and it is 98 degrees here in SC and I just can't get the bottom one off. Not sure it is the problem anyway.
I got a PM from one of our members who had a similar problem and it turned out he had a mixing valve on the back of his heater that was clogged. I just finished taking off and reinstalling the output valve and I did not see anything that looked like that. He said it was an anti-scald protection valve, but I think Winny puts those it the faucets because I have forught that battle with the shower faucet.
How about it fellows? Winnys have a mixing valve hidden back there somewhere??
SeaRay
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:22 AM   #9
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Well, you've got hot water at the TPR valve and you've gutted the out check valve and still have luke warm water. What's left? You need to check the input check valve.
Cold water has to get in for hot water to get out. Sorry.
What about an experiment, shutoff and drain the water heater tank, leave drain plug out and see if cold water will flush through?
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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Some do have one (mixing valve) but many don't. You might want to call Winnebago customer service with your VIN or better yet with your coach ID number and ask them.

I had to replace my diverter (winterizing ) valve because it had a very small leak when in the normal position. It let cold water feed into the hot water output line.
It took me a while to figure it out because it had only been used twice in 6 years and I couldn't believe it was bad.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:35 PM   #11
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That leaves the bypass valve.. If you have a single valve it may have failed, if you have the 2 or 3 valve system the bypass valve may have failed, or it may be in the wrong position.

As for the anti-scald valve... Attwood found a way to put 10 gallons of hot water in a six gallon pail.. They do it by heating the water to around 180 degrees (hot water is normally 120) then mixing in cold water to "dliute" it down to 120.. This works out to 4 extra gallons. or there about.

Just so you know. b
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #12
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Guys Thanks for all the input. I like the idea of draining the WH and leaving the drain plug out and turning the water back on to see if the input valve is letting water in. I just cannot manage to unscrew the bottom valve. I managed to cause a slow leak though so I will try to stop off at CW along I20 or I40 and let them fix it. Actually CW replaced that valve some years back. If I remember correctly they guarantee they installations for life so if I can fiind my receipt I might get a break on the repair.
It still puzzles me that the flow out the hot water faucet is so stong if the inout valve is clogged.
Oh well, I will let them figure it out. Wish us luck, we start out tomorrow from SC to the Grand Canyon with 2 grandkids.
When I get it fixed I'll post to let you know what it took to fix.
SeaRay
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:04 PM   #13
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I hope you have a great trip with or without hot water. The grandkids will remember this for the rest of their life.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:39 PM   #14
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Mystery solved. After replacing the outlet check valve to no avail I could not get the input off, too tight a space for me. Stopped at CW in North Little Rock and they had me fixed in about 2 hours. Seems the by pass valve had malfunctioned and even though I had it in the right position it was not letting water into the heater. They even fixed the leak I caused when I tried to get the lower check valve off. They got me right in and out in no time. I had called ahead so they were expecting me.
Now I have 2 more problems. Just into New Mexico one of my blades on the radiator fan came off and damaged the shroud. We were towed to a local truck repair shop which at first look did not inspire confidence, but those guys had my fan and shroud off in no time. They could not locate a fan (this was a Sunday morning) so they took off the opposing blade to balance it and left off the damaged shroud and sent me on my way for $100. Pretty reasonable considering this happended at 5PM on Saturday and I was on my way by noon Sunday. They even put a drop cord out for us to have power Saturday night. Way to go Coachnet Road Service.
MY 2 new Problems?? The closest Workhorse dealer shop in Flagstaff is having trouble locating a fan. 2nd problem the darn Bosch brakes are acting up again. My brake light came on as we came into Gallup NM. Will try to get to Falgstaff and have it looked at. Been through 2 recalls on this and now there is a 3rd I am told.
SeaRay
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