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Old 12-11-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Today I finally got around to winterizing our coach. Usually it takes around 3-5 gallons of antifreeze. This time I was surprised to hear the pump going on and on and see the five gallon container go empty. I turned the pump off (don't you wish there was a pump switch at the pump?) and looked around and saw the antifreeze coming out of the unplugged hole at the bottom of the water heater. I screwed the nylon plug back in and set the safety valve back in closed position and noted that the by-pass valve was still in by-pass position, turned the pump back on and hurried to complete the job, and turned to pump off. I used around 7 gallons this time.

Have any of you all ever had a by-pass valve to malfunction like this before?

Wendell
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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Today I finally got around to winterizing our coach. Usually it takes around 3-5 gallons of antifreeze. This time I was surprised to hear the pump going on and on and see the five gallon container go empty. I turned the pump off (don't you wish there was a pump switch at the pump?) and looked around and saw the antifreeze coming out of the unplugged hole at the bottom of the water heater. I screwed the nylon plug back in and set the safety valve back in closed position and noted that the by-pass valve was still in by-pass position, turned the pump back on and hurried to complete the job, and turned to pump off. I used around 7 gallons this time.

Have any of you all ever had a by-pass valve to malfunction like this before?

Wendell
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:57 AM   #3
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Any chance the lever on the valve is loose and you just moved the lever and not the valve guts the first time?

No, I've not had it happen but I have forgotten to turn the valve to the bypass position. I would personally rather have the mechanical failure than the mental failure. I guess it goes with getting older.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Chippysgt:

No, the valve handle is secure....must be something wrong internal to the system.

I didn't do a search first; but I see that there are a lot of ideas regarding the check valve??? and other ideas. The water seems to be abated, not completely open into the water heater. Got the beast winterized OK, but will have to clean the water heater a lot next year when we unwinterize. There always seems to be something to fix; keeps a fellow busy.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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I had ours leak also, but only used a little more than usual. Pink stuff running down the side of the MH.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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I've resolved that the next time I winterize I will drain the water heater first, leaving the drain open, and then turn on the water pump with water still in the system. If it comes out the heater that means I have a bad check valve and need to replace it before winterizing.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:41 PM   #7
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My value never has worked! I only winterize once & it didn't shutoff. I also had a bad plug on the water heater & couldn't bypass it. I believe you can take the value apart.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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My bypass valve was mismarked or plumbed wrong. To bypass the WH I had to set the valve to normal, for normal operation I set the valve to bypass. Just have to remember how it operates twice a year and that is a challenge. I would change the plumbing but it is really tight in that space where all the valves and lines come together.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:05 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrankO:
My bypass valve was mismarked or plumbed wrong. To bypass the WH I had to set the valve to normal, for normal operation I set the valve to bypass. Just have to remember how it operates twice a year and that is a challenge. I would change the plumbing but it is really tight in that space where all the valves and lines come together.
Frank O. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Easier to just relabel the valve.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #10
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After having read these responses, I now realize that there is more to the plumbing than a single valve which is manually turned. I wish I had a diagram of the water heater check valve circuit; I had read that the "check valve" my be located in a place not easily accessible by humans. I will try to remember to check the position of the valve by attempting to switch the valve using water under pressure.

Thanks to all who responded.

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Old 12-12-2008, 02:10 AM   #11
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I had the same problem with the antifreeze getting in my HW Htr. It turned out to be the hot water heater outlet check valve had crud in it preventing it from closing. It was a bugger to get to to remove but with alot of beer and patience it worked out. When I took the check valve apart there was alot of plastic shavings that was left in the system that I would have to assume was left from when the coach was built. The manual operated valves on these systems are ussually pretty reliable as long as they aren't forced. If you still think it is the bypass valve then make sure the valve is installed right and when you open and close it it is actually turning the valve stem. You could probably tell this by when you turn the valve it will only travel 90 to 180 degrees and then stop (depending on the installation). If the valve moves smoothly and stops at either 90 or 180 of travel then I would suspect the outlet check valve is leaking back thru into the heater. HTH
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:33 AM   #12
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The first time we tried to winterize our coach we also found the bypass valve was mislabeled. It only took a couple minutes to label it correctly. Now we don't have to guess or try to remember which direction the handle should be facing to have it in the bypass position.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:03 AM   #13
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Journey bypass valve info

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Old 12-13-2008, 07:03 AM   #14
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OK, and thanks for the helpful ideas. Next spring after the thaw I'll give more attention to replacing that pesky check valve. For the time being I think that I have run enough antifreeze through the lines to adequately protect them.

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Old 12-13-2008, 12:19 PM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This time I was surprised to hear the pump going on and on and see the five gallon container go empty. I turned the pump off (don't you wish there was a pump switch at the pump?) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While there is not a switch at the water pump there are electrical leads with spade fittings that are easy to pull on and push back on. I just pull a lead, turn on the pump, then push the lead back on as necessary to powr the pump.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #16
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I disconnected the ice maker line and did the same thing. What a mess.
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