When we bought this rv she had wonderful hot water, went out today just to run everything for a little bit and although the water heater came on, blew HOT exhaust, never got any warm water, not even tepid. Enclosed a picture of the water lines at the heater, is something turned the wrong way?? Also which way should these valves be turned to winterize?? Any hep will be appreciated since this is my first time winterizing a rv.

Tags: rv water heater bypass valves

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John you might check your thermo coupler. It might be as simple as replacing it. Since it was working just fine then just gave it up. Another simple place to look is the level of gas left in the propane tank (is it empty)& is the gas turned on. P

I started off with K.I.S.S. checked the propane level,40% then checked the exhaust VERY HOT so I know we have a flame somewhere, then felt the pipes they got a tad warm but after letting the dang thing rum for 20 minutes the only thing that happened was I burned some propane. The water out of the sink never got warm. Still think there is something with those valves. Shouldn't the center on be turned off during use and the top and bottom turned off when winterizing?

Might have a bit of dirt, cob web or insect gunk stuck in orifices around the burner area. Blow the burner area really good with compressed air. Try it again. If thT doesn't help - Then I would look at the thermo coupler to see if that is toast. How I winterize my system is different then most. It does work for us. I use compressed air on my city water fitting. You'll have to purchase an adapter that screws onto the male threads and has a quick connect air fitting on the other side. I drain my water heater by turning off the water pump,open all faucets, turn the drain screw on the hot water heater (it's located on exterior) so the entire system starts to drain, slowly open the preasure relief valve let more water out. Then I close all the faucets including the pressure valve on the hot water heater. Close the valve shut on the out side of the hot water heater (the one that is on the topside of heater).Then i hook up the air compressor and run it. I cycle it off and on several times. I'll close the drain screw and let the air pressure build up in the lines; then I'll crack it open and let more water out. I continue doing the this pressurizing then depresurizing until it a damp mist of water. It typically takes me about an hour. I have a small pancake style air compressor; if I had a larger capacity it would not take as long to remove the water out of the lines and heater. When that is done. I open all the valves, faucets and rain screw open for the season. I pour a little antifreeze down the kitchen sink drain, bathroom sink, toilet and shower drains. I know there are better ways to winterize but this is how we do it. Hope this helps. P

thanks will give that a shot. Took her out a while ago to check the front brake job I did, worked great now I can stop on a football field instead of the local airstrip. 16000 pounds will never stop on a dime. Now to find this thermo coupler and also figure out why the furnace blows but doesn't get hot. I know I have gas, the stove works great and like I said the exhaust of the water heater gets VERY HOT. This is worse than a boat, get one thing working and tow others quit.

I don't how cold it is where you are with the our ambient temperatures are hovering around the upper teens. Cold will make any propane appliance really cranky to get lit and stay lit. It wouldn't hurt to blow out the furnace while your at it. Thermocouples tips need to be warmish or hot to work correctly. Be patient it may take several try's. P

Was close to 70 here today. Got to love living in the South. Motorcycle weather almost year round and less than 30 days below 32.

Greetings John, from the pictures you have a cleaver tank bypass set up. If you are getting hot exhaust from your tank heater it's more than likely that, that part of the system is working properly; if it wasn't you wouldn't have the heat. go to the tank valves and check if it is in bypass. turn the valve in the center of the two tank lines counter clock wise. If you can't then your tank is most likely in bypass. for normal operation open both tank lines and close the one in the middle. Do NOT try to heat the tank again until you can ascertain if it has water in it or not. this can lead to a catastrophic failure as steam can result in your tank. Again close the center valve and open both tank valves and fill the tank, then try heating the water it should only take a half hour or so to tell if it is heating. That valve set up is for you to bypass the tank when you winterize. most folks drain the hot water tank and bypass it to fill the line s with RV antifreeze. It's just not economical to fill the tank so it gets drained. Pat Daly has a how to link over to the left of the page on winterizing  and he posted one i wrote near the bottom of the this page you should have a look at them and it may help you with what I have told you here. I'm sorry I wasn't near a computer over the last 5-6 day or I would have posted earlier. I hope this is of some help to you. 

Thanks for the great help. Now I think I have a handle on the valves, common sense told me that the center or bypass should be closed but not everything is common sense on a RV.

Good morning, John; 

     Nice to hear that the hot water difficulty may be sorted out. 

     You mentioned the comparison between a motor home and a boat.  Relax and enjoy what you have; there is something worse.  It is called an "airplane." 



          Latte Land, Washington 




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