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Old 10-11-2017, 04:13 PM   #1
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Bypass valve with compressed air winterization?

I bought a new Coachmen Freedom Expression 248 RBS a few months ago. I noticed in the manual under "Winterizing with Compressed Air" that you should turn the water heater valve to the bypass position.

My question is, why? I can see why you might want to do that if you were winterizing with antifreeze. But if I drain the water heater and winterize with compressed air, why would I care if the bypass valve is turned or not? I'm not sure what I'm missing, but it doesn't make sense to me.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:21 PM   #2
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If your only doing the blow out way I don't see any reason why, as long as you drain the water heater also, no water in heater, no water in lines. Might be wrong but I doubt it. Who told you that anyway?
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stlsailor View Post
I bought a new Coachmen Freedom Expression 248 RBS a few months ago. I noticed in the manual under "Winterizing with Compressed Air" that you should turn the water heater valve to the bypass position.

My question is, why? I can see why you might want to do that if you were winterizing with antifreeze. But if I drain the water heater and winterize with compressed air, why would I care if the bypass valve is turned or not? I'm not sure what I'm missing, but it doesn't make sense to me.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
Making a guess here but maybe it's so the air doesn't have to travel through the water heater to get to the hot water lines? You'd build up better pressure going through the lines alone.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:30 PM   #4
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If your only doing the blow out way I don't see any reason why, as long as you drain the water heater also, no water in heater, no water in lines. Might be wrong but I doubt it. Who told you that anyway?
That quote "3. Turn the water heater bypass valve to the bypass
position." is directly from the owner's manual, p. 37, under the heading "Winterizing with Compressed Air". So I'm thinking to myself, why would an owner's manual tell you to do this?
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:39 PM   #5
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Making a guess here but maybe it's so the air doesn't have to travel through the water heater to get to the hot water lines? You'd build up better pressure going through the lines alone.
Well, that's a possibility of which I'd not thought. I guess I could see that.

On the other hand, if I blow out at about 45 lbs. of pressure, and my pressure regulator is set to that, I might think that it wouldn't make any difference. Except that I do have all the faucets open simultaneously, which I normally don't have. So, there might be something to that thought.

Yet on the other hand, the manual says to open all the faucets simultaneously. I'm guessing if I set the output to 45 lbs. then if the faucets were closed, once it reached 45 the compressor would shut off. So I could open them one at a time and be more sure nothing was left in the lines? I guess that's another question as to why the manual says what it does of which I hadn't thought. Maybe the small pancake compressor I carry doesn't shut off automatically like the large one at home. I'll have to check that, I suppose.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:59 PM   #6
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I think it might just take longer, there going cover there you know what
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Wouldn’t you have to wait until the water tank built up 45psi before it started blowing through the hot lines in earnest?

To me, it just takes out a large vessel that doesn’t need to be blown into/out. Emptying it is sufficient.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:08 PM   #8
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It could be a safety concern. A WH full of pressurized air will shoot the anode rod a good distance if it is removed unless the pressure is released. It could easily injure someone. It will do this even with water in it, but the amount of pressurized air on a WH with water in it is less.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:08 PM   #9
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I have tried both way's and I can honestly say to bypass the water heater and drain it via the drain plug and use air to complete the rest. If you use compressed air to force the water out of the water heater you will be pushing air thru the system for a lonnnng time.
It easily takes twice as long to winterize.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:24 PM   #10
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It could be a safety concern. A WH full of pressurized air will shoot the anode rod a good distance if it is removed unless the pressure is released. It could easily injure someone. It will do this even with water in it, but the amount of pressurized air on a WH with water in it is less.
I never thought about that, I suppose because I never take the anode rod out. I usually take off the drain plug, then put it back on when the WH is empty. I can see the point, I guess, if one were to take out the anode rod. It's a better suggestion than anything of which I thought.
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