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Old 07-04-2015, 11:30 PM   #1
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HOT Water pressure - Rockwood Mini Lite

Hello, I'm wondering if anyone in the know might have an opinion about what direction I need to take with this problem:

I have a Rockwood Mini Lite 1905 that is about 2.5 years young. It has a Suburban SW6DE hot water tank. The problem I am having is extremely low HOT water pressure - ONLY the HOT water is a problem, the cold seems normal. I have been reading these and other forums and trying to troubleshoot this problem but so far with no success. Here is what I know / have done:

1) I have checked to make sure the flow valves are both open in and out of the hot water tank, and that the bypass valve is closed.
2) I have checked to make sure that the outside shower head is off and both valves are closed.
3) I can verify that the tank IS heating water - very well - both on the propane side and independently on the electric side (have tested both).
4) The annode rod is new this spring with de-winterization done by a local dealer I have used several times.
5) I let the pressure out of the tank, removed the annode rod, and "flushed" the inside of the tank with a special hose wand for this purpose. Some sediment did come out, but nothing that would seem significant.
6) I removed what I thought was a check-valve on the "cold water in" connection, only to find that it was NOT a check valve, but just a connector. It had no obstructions.
7) I tried filling the tank (without heating the water) with the annode rod out - the tank seems to fill fine (no obstructions coming IN) and gushes right out of the annode rod opening.
8) The only thing I have not yet disconnected is the "hot output" connection but it seems like maybe there is "nothing to see there" (???)

I'm at a loss what to do next. Upon re-filling the tank and trying again, I am still experiencing very low pressure only on the HOT water side. The cold water flows just fine. I have also tried these steps both once with a full hookup (city water connection) and separately just the holding tank and water pump - doesn't seem to make a difference.

One thing I'm not real sure of is there is a valve inside connected to the pump - it is a T connection - seems not to impact water flow, but since I don't understand its function, I guess I don't know if it is set correctly. (???)

I have some pictures of my setup, with some notes, located in this One Drive folder in case that is helpful to anyone.

I feel like after having this camper 2.5 years, and previously other campers, I should be able to isolate this problem, but I can't seem to figure what step to try next other than the dreaded "trip to the service department"...

If anyone has any input on this it sure would be apprecaited.


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Old 07-05-2015, 02:35 AM   #2
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you have checked everything i would have so far , now look into piping kinks,valves, faucets shower heads? that T connection may have something to do with it Good luck

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Old 07-05-2015, 06:38 AM   #3
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is it possible to back flush the hot water line that comes out of the tank to the unit hot faucets? you might have debris or sediment in the line between the tank and faucet. Seems unlikely though since it's only 2.5 years old. also check that the pipe size doesn't step up larger than the cold water supply to the heater. That's all I can think of. You could upgrade the water pump possibly boost your pressure that way.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:50 AM   #4
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Might try to take the hot water faucets apart and examine for debris.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:22 AM   #5
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Does the same Dealer perform the (Winterizing)? If so they may open the Low water drains (Before) they drain they remove the (A-Rod) allowing (White Crap) downstream in the H/W lines and valves! Youroo!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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I kinda agree with youroo, by your pictures it looks like a hose clamp around the hot water tube. I would take that apart. Then put a splice from the W/H hose (outlet side) to a city hose. Take all the screens out of the fixtures open them all to the hot side only and blow the hot water line's out. I'm assuming that you get the same pressure either on city water or pump on only water? In other words you have noticeable difference on either system your using? That Black thing looks like a check valve of some sort, if the one end is tied into your city water line before the pump? After 2 1/2 years something plugged or broke off somewhere. I did not see where the H/W supply hooks into the pump, is it at that black valve?
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:24 AM   #7
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One thing to consider, if not a kinked that the hot water out valve is either not fully opening or is clogged with something perhaps. Those plastic valves aren't the best, and sometimes even if the handle turns, it's not turning the actual valve inside.

What you are describing almost sounds like a valve not fully opening.

Have you always had this problem, or has it just started occurring, maybe after dewinterizing it this year?
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:25 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the quick replies so far. While I am not an "expert" on any of this, the explanations of a clog in the line or the possibility of a failed valve seem to make sense as next logical things to check. Makes me a little nervous at the point of "starting to take things apart" as I need to know when I can help myself vs. when I am going to make things worse by tinkering.

To answer a couple of questions:

The same dealer did the winterizing as did the de-winterizing - my confidence level in them is about average though - I'm considering doing my own this year.

The problem seems to be the same whether on city water or on pump.

One additional thought that may be impacting this (?): Last fall I waited too long to winterize - the night before my appointment, things went below freezing. It damage (had to replace) the canister which holds the water filter at the input, also the kitchen sink faucet, and the bath shower head. Servicing dealer replaced each of those parts and also says they tested everything else to be working (ie. not damaged). That seems to be a fair assessment having used the unit four times now this season - except for I am wondering if something related to that situation is the root cause of the low hot water pressure.

I'm going to check for kinked hoses and the like today. Next I will see if I can backflush the hot line somehow - I don't know yet how I feel about changing valves, but that seems like a logical thing to check too. At some point, I may have to hand this over to someone more of an expert I guess. Thanks again for the replies so far.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:54 AM   #9
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As I'm trying to narrow down the cause of the problem, does this seem a logical approach?:

There are only (4) hot water "outputs" in my camper - bathroom sink, bathroom shower, kitchen sink, and outside shower by kitchen sink.

If all (4) outputs exhibit the same symptoms, then it seems the problem is "further back" in the line somewhere before the first output and after the water heater. Also I've been able to verify that the "output" from the tank is not obstructed itself, then it seems my starting point begins with the point after the output, checking those plastic valves, and generally the waterlines in that area if they are clogged or kinked.

Also, I think I have eliminated this "T" switch as a source of the problem:
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:51 PM   #10
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I have a new minilite.....hotwater flow not nearly the output of the cold water. I put this down to say the "muffler affect" of the hotwater tank....cold water flows unimpeded to the Fawcett while the hotwater has the extra "mile" to cover. only glanced thru this thread so I don't know if you have seen a degredation of pressure from one season to another....not saying you don't have problem somewhere.

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