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Old 02-27-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Small leak in the water pump / water heater compartment

Have been spending the past two days waxing the roof and outside of the MH -- nice and shiny now. As I was finishing up, the DW said "there is some water under the MH over here." My heart stopped as I had been running the frig after the recall had been done to make sure that it worked and I had pressurized the lines to make ice. Sure enough, there was a spot of water under the coach where the water pump / hot water heater compartment is located. After reaching all over the compartment and the back of the hot water heater, the leak was found . Had to use a mirror to look behind the heater and one of the upper PVC couplings had a small crack in it -- now the fun began. As there is no way I could work behind the water heater (no space) and there is no other access point, I started the journey of removing the water heater. After working around two stripped out screws and finally getting the sealing compound broke loose (I have no idea what that stuff is around the edge of the water heater but, IT IS STRONG), I started to pull the heater only to find that the heater hose lines were too short to remove the heater. So I cut the hose (and lost about 4 gallons of Final Charge ) and got the heater out. Made the repair and then re-installed everything. While putting back together, I put in longer heater hoses, longer cold water line, and a longer hot water line. I also moved the check valve from behind the heater to a more accessible location . Now if I have to ever remove the heater again, I just take out the screws, break the seal around it again and can slide it out. Made it user friendly now.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by David K View Post
Have been spending the past two days waxing the roof and outside of the MH -- nice and shiny now. As I was finishing up, the DW said "there is some water under the MH over here." My heart stopped as I had been running the frig after the recall had been done to make sure that it worked and I had pressurized the lines to make ice. Sure enough, there was a spot of water under the coach where the water pump / hot water heater compartment is located. After reaching all over the compartment and the back of the hot water heater, the leak was found . Had to use a mirror to look behind the heater and one of the upper PVC couplings had a small crack in it -- now the fun began. As there is no way I could work behind the water heater (no space) and there is no other access point, I started the journey of removing the water heater. After working around two stripped out screws and finally getting the sealing compound broke loose (I have no idea what that stuff is around the edge of the water heater but, IT IS STRONG), I started to pull the heater only to find that the heater hose lines were too short to remove the heater. So I cut the hose (and lost about 4 gallons of Final Charge ) and got the heater out. Made the repair and then re-installed everything. While putting back together, I put in longer heater hoses, longer cold water line, and a longer hot water line. I also moved the check valve from behind the heater to a more accessible location . Now if I have to ever remove the heater again, I just take out the screws, break the seal around it again and can slide it out. Made it user friendly now.
The coach design engineers certainly went out of their way to make replacing parts user friendly (or even technician friendly) didn't they? Its really a shame they don't have to work on these things for 2-3 years before being allowed to design them. Things would certainly be arranged differently I'm sure.
Was there any way you could have avoided losing the cooling fluid, other than catching it in a tub? My coach is 7 years old and I'm sure I'll be doing the same thing in the near future, for the plastic valves if not the whole heater.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Hope you dont mind a dumb question, but why is there cooling fluid in the hot water heater? And where do you add more coolant to this system?
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jim & debbie, 04 Journey 34H
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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I believe the cooling fluid is coming from the motoraid system, but that's just a guess.
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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Hope you dont mind a dumb question, but why is there cooling fluid in the hot water heater? And where do you add more coolant to this system?
thanks
jim & debbie, 04 Journey 34H
That's how the water gets heated by the engine. Your coach should have the same system. I'm not 100% sure on the next part, but I believe that it's part of the same loop that goes to the dash heater. If that's the case, most of the coolant loss could have been avoided by closing the valves on the loop before removal (cutting) of the hoses.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #6
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The coolant is from the motor aid ----- as I drive down the road, it circulates (part of the engine coolant system) through the water heater and heats the water --- when I arrive, I have hot water.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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Ernieh, where are the valves you are referring to --- just in case I have to remove it again in the future or someone else has to remove one and I am around. You are correct in that it part of the dash heater system.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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"Waxing the roof"....my you certainly know how to find something to occupy your time.

The problem with way coaches are built, is from the inside out. No thought is given to any future repairs.

Ken
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:58 PM   #9
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Ernieh, where are the valves you are referring to --- just in case I have to remove it again in the future or someone else has to remove one and I am around. You are correct in that it part of the dash heater system.
On my chassis, one is on the left side near the oil filter. The other is on the same side, abeam the transmission. These are the same valves that are addressed on the "coolant filling procedure" sticker above the radiator.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:37 AM   #10
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thanks for info, yes I do have the coolant heated water heater (found in my operators manual), but for some reason it does not heat the water when travelling. I will check the two valves that ERNIEH described to see if they are closed.

thanks again

jim & debbie, 04 Journey 34H
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:26 PM   #11
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Jim -- you will be pleasantly surprised when you turn on the valves --- it is nice to arrive at the campground and have the hot water ready for you.
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