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Old 01-14-2018, 09:38 PM   #1
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Filling water heater

Is it a good idea to open the pressure relief valve on your water heater every time you fill it or just open the faucet? I read that opening the pressure relief valve weakens the valve over time. I know in a regular home the water heater is much larger and a little air want hurt, but in an RV the water heater can be only 6 gallons. What's the norm in filling your RV/TT water heater?
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:41 PM   #2
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I just open a faucet.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:03 PM   #3
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X2 on what Crabman has posted. The only time I open the relief valve is after winterizing or extended periods of non use (month or so) just to make sure there's no air pocket. Even that is probably really not necessary, as the hot line in the back is above the relief valve if you compare the locations, it's just a habit.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:47 PM   #4
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open the pressure relief valve just like you would if filling you house WH. If you don't you will always have an air pocket inside unless your out flow hot water pipe is on the top of the heater.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:55 PM   #5
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Hot water outlet is always at the top of the water heater even when mounted on the side.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replys
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:56 PM   #7
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The biggest thing that opening the pressure relief valve does is ensure that the tank is full of water even if the winterizing valves are accidentally left in the winterizing position. That ensures that you won't burn up the electric element in case the valves are left in the winterizing position.

If the valves are accidentally left in the winterize position you'll get water out of the hot water faucets, but the water heater tank will still be empty.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:27 PM   #8
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In RVs, the two commonly used waters have the heating element installed well below the hot water outlet. If you open a hot water faucet and insure you have a good flow of water before you turn on the electric side of the WH you will no have a problem. It does not have to be completely full. It can be good to have a small air pocket to allow for expansion.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardwellmarty View Post
Is it a good idea to open the pressure relief valve on your water heater every time you fill it or just open the faucet? I read that opening the pressure relief valve weakens the valve over time. I know in a regular home the water heater is much larger and a little air want hurt, but in an RV the water heater can be only 6 gallons. What's the norm in filling your RV/TT water heater?
As others have correctly pointed out, it is a good idea to at least open the temperature and pressure relief valve after you have dewinterized to make "sure" you have water in the tank. We have way too many examples on this forum where a member failed to do it this way, and still had their winterization valves incorrect for normal usage, then burned up an electric element. It's why we keep this sticky thread at the top of the plumbing subforum:

NO (OR LUKEWARM) HOT WATER -Please read first

as well as a warning of such in this FAQ thread and to use the temperature and pressure relief valve:

Suburban's electric switch and much more

----------------------------------------

If you never winterize...or have made sure your water heater is properly dewinterized during camping season... then you can just open a faucet.

Hope this helps
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