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Old 04-23-2009, 01:36 PM   #1
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Water heater

I have sanitized the fresh water system and am in a campground. There is a constant leak from the water heater. I tightened the nylon plug and that stopped the leak from there. I have a leak and it is coming from the pressure relief valve. I am wondering if it is just overfilled or if I have a problem with it. In the past I can remember ( as when I winterized it) that the pressure relief valve usually allowed only the air to escape so I am wondering if I did or did not do something when I refilled the system.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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Some seepage at the pressure relief valve ...after initial hot water topoff.. can occur for a short while until pressures etc equalize. Your owner's manual probably addresses the slight leakage at the pressure relief valve...how to stop it..reset the tank top airspace chambe..etc..

The nylon plugs frquently crack...simple replacement with part from most RV sparts stores. Always carry a spare nylon plug..
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Our pressure relief valve has been leaking a little since we de-winterized. I read someplace in here to just open and close the valve several times and it would stop, but it hasn't. Not leaking enough to worry about, but it is leaking a little and we've camped out about 25 days so far this Spring without any change.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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Hi codgerbill,
If it is a steady stream leak there is a problem. If is is an annoying drip, drip, drip (just enough to get the side of the coach dirty) only time will tell. Try turning off the HWH and relieve the PSI in the water lines. After the HWH has cooled, open and close the valve a couple of times. Re pressurize the system and turn on the HWH. Wait a couple of days using the HWH as you normally would use it. If it still leaks, replace the valve. The part should be easy to find (standard plumbing fittings) and not that expensive.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi codgerbill,
If it is a steady stream leak there is a problem. If is is an annoying drip, drip, drip (just enough to get the side of the coach dirty) only time will tell. Try turning off the HWH and relieve the PSI in the water lines. After the HWH has cooled, open and close the valve a couple of times. Re pressurize the system and turn on the HWH. Wait a couple of days using the HWH as you normally would use it. If it still leaks, replace the valve. The part should be easy to find (standard plumbing fittings) and not that expensive.

Good Operating Manual process...but repeatedly flipping relief valve to try to correct problem can result in internal scale fragments getting between valve seal and fixture body resulting in continued leak..

New one cheap ($14) at standard plumbing store..easy remove and install when HWH is stone cold.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:09 AM   #6
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If you can't get the pressure relief value to stop leaking, replace it. There is crud in the tank that gets on the seal. I've done it in my coach & also my house. Be sure to flush out your tank as best you can with value out.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pubtym View Post
Good Operating Manual process...but repeatedly flipping relief valve to try to correct problem can result in internal scale fragments getting between valve seal and fixture body resulting in continued leak..

New one cheap ($14) at standard plumbing store..easy remove and install when HWH is stone cold.

If you decide to replace it..I found a medium sized(about 18 inch) pipe wrench worked well to grip and unscrew the neck of the valve. Use plumber teflon tape to reinstall valve.

Ther's a neat HWH tank flusher tool on the market...connects to garden hose and slips neatly in to drain plug for very effective flush of internal tank sump. I can't locate a website connection to it for you...but it's out there. Good opportunity to replace nylon plug with new one too..
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:31 PM   #8
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Usually, all that is needed to stop the drip is to replenish the air pocket by following the procedure listed in this PDF:

http://www.zoom-rv.com/scripts/pdfretail/get.php?id=318

I end up doing this about once every 2 months or so (I'm a full-timer). Like others say, if it's a steady stream of water coming out of the T&P valve or it starts dripping more than once a month, then it's best to replace it.

But remember, it's normal to use up the air pocket or gap and have a drip. Like I say, you just have to follow the above procedure when it happens.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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Camping World has the flush attachment mentioned above. It is yellow with a curved tip and screws on the end of a hose. An "on/off" valve is on the flush attachment that allows you to turn the water on and off as necessary. Once a year I use this to wash out my water heater and it is amazing how much scale builds up in the year of usage.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:23 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

Water Heater Flushing Tool http://www.rvupgradestore.com/index....OD&ProdID=1562 and here
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...ing-tool/14677
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:07 AM   #11
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Hi Ho: OTP valves should be left alone if they do not leak. Flipping them is a good way to start a leak which will often not stop. Mine is the same valve as one on your water heater at home and is therefore cheap and easy to replace. The easy solution is to just replace the thing and leave it alone.

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Old 04-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Ostermiller View Post
Hi Ho: OTP valves should be left alone if they do not leak. Flipping them is a good way to start a leak which will often not stop. Mine is the same valve as one on your water heater at home and is therefore cheap and easy to replace. The easy solution is to just replace the thing and leave it alone.

Dirk
But with all due respect, Dirk, I got the information I posted from the Atwood support techs ...both techs I talked to instructed me to perform the procedure I posted above when the T&P value drips.

They told me that although it might be the same or similar valve as a home water heater, the water heater itself in an RV functions a bit differently in that a home water heater you don't have to keep replenishing the air pocket in an "open system" as you do in one in an RV.

So I'm just repeating what they told me and what I read in their instruction manual:


Quote:
A Pressure Temperature Relief Valve, dripping while the water heater is running, DOES NOT mean it is defective. During normal expansion of water, as it is heated in the closed water system of a recreation vehicle, the Pressure Temperature Relief Valve will sometimes drip. The
Atwood water heater tank is designed with an internal air gap at the
top of the tank to reduce the possibility of dripping. In time, the
expanding water will absorb this air and it must be restored. Due to
variations in water quality, the Pressure Temperture Relief Valve may
have a shorter life and may need replacement within the water heater
warranty period. If corrosion is detected, it will not be covered under
warranty.

WARNING
SCALDING INJURY
Turn off water heater before opening pressure-temperature relief
valve to establish air space. Storage water must be cool.


TO REPLACE THE AIR GAP FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
1. Turn off main water supply (the pump or water hook up source).
2. Let water cool or let run until cool.
3. Open the hot water faucet closest to the water heater.
4. Pull handle of pressure temperature relief valve straight out and
allow water to flow until it stops.
5. Allow pressure temperature relief valve to snap shut; close faucet;
turn on water supply.
6. Turn on water heater and test.
At least once a year manually operate pressure-temperature relief
valve (FIG 10).
When pressure-temperature relief valve discharges again, repeat above
procedure.
The Atwood techs told me that to see slight dripping in a two month period would not be unusual and the above procedure should be followed to stop the drip.




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Old 04-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Hwh

Thanks to all. Great technical expertise in the explainations. I followed the instructions and I think I have solved the problem. I will know for sure on the next RV trip we take. I looked at the Atwood web site and in case I have to replace the pressure relief valve I will know how to get one. I am thinking that with all the technical expertise on this site that all will be well and a replacement will not be necessary. Thanks again for all who took time to help.
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