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Old 10-19-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
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Losing Hot Water?

Recently my Suburban hot water heater began leaking at the outlet pipe. This went on for several days until I realized it. It began after suddenly losing hot water pressure while using the sink and washer. The hot water heater at the time was off so I turned it back on with both propane and electric to heat it up fast. Slowly the pressure came back from zero volume to a lower than normal pressure. Anyhow I found that the outlet on the hot water heater that connects to the plumbing was leaking. I tried to tighten to no avail. I disconnected it and found a deformed rubber type gasket. I tried to reseat it as best as possible but lost pressure again. So I tried again. This time I had pressure and no leaks. However I spotted a valve type piece laying next to it. I figured it was some type of check valve but decided to leave it out because my pressure was working.
I have now noticed that my hot water does not retain its heat no where as long as it did before. Especially when using cold water. It seems to be maybe mixing with the hot water heater contents.
Can someone give me advice on this? Am I correct in assuming this is a check valve? I thought maybe it was not necessary because as long as there was pressure on the inlet there would be no reverse flow back into the hot water heater.
I attached a pic of said part.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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Yes, that's your hot water outlet check valve.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "does not retain its heat." Does that mean your hot water isn't as hot, or your hot water doesn't last as long, or the gas/electric is coming on more often to maintain the set-point temperature?

Not having the check valve installed shouldn't affect the normal operation of the hot water heater. Many of us have a manual hot water outlet valve there instead of a check valve, i.e., our lines are "open" all the time, which is effectively what yours is now with the check valve removed.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:14 AM   #3
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We need a complete Pic of his "Plumbing in regards to his W/H Bypass" it looks different from most! Youroo!!
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #4
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We really need to see your bypass valves at the bottom of the water heater, to see how yours are setup (and to make sure they are correct)

The pic you have below is from the top of the water heater, and is the line the hot water comes out of. We need a pic of where that vertical water line (at the T junction) intersects with the line that goes into the bottom of the water heater which is your cold water inlet. This is where your bypass valve (or valves) will be located.

A zoomed out view with all the lines visible at the back of the water heater tank would be the best.

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Old 10-19-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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I'm betting his looks like the pic in Post #1 here:

'06 Rockwood 2501 winterizing

I assumed he never touched his cold water outlet/bypass valve, but maybe he did.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:18 PM   #6
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Here is some better pictures folks. I also didn't think that valve would make a difference.
To answer your question my hot water seems to disappear much quicker than usual. I turn on the propane for 15 minutes in the morning and it lasts me all day. Lately it has not. Today only lasted about 4 hours. I was using cold water frequently but no hot so it should not have disappeared.
Perhaps there is another leak somewhere?
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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Your bypass valve is set correctly.

Is the incoming water colder than usual? If so, it will cool off the hot water faster.

Also, it's getting colder out. If the tank is cooling all day and night, it's probably getting colder by morning than it used to a month or so ago, so 15 min of heating may not be enough to bring it back up to "normal." Rather than running it "for 15 minutes," you should run it until the thermostat shuts it off. Then you always know it got to the same temperature.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblucas3 View Post
Here is some better pictures folks. I also didn't think that valve would make a difference.
To answer your question my hot water seems to disappear much quicker than usual. I turn on the propane for 15 minutes in the morning and it lasts me all day. Lately it has not. Today only lasted about 4 hours. I was using cold water frequently but no hot so it should not have disappeared.
Perhaps there is another leak somewhere?
The valve will definitely make a difference because when in bypass, it allows the cold water supply to mix (via the bypass) with the hot water coming out of the tank.

15 minutes in the morning on propane may or may not bring the tank up to full hot temperature. Why not just leave it on?

As we are in the fall season, incoming water temperatures can be colder, affecting the longevity of the hot water supply too. Maybe there is really nothing wrong?

EDIT: rockfordroo... you beat me!
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:51 PM   #9
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Timing is everything!
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:31 PM   #10
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As far as leaving it on until the thermostat cuts it off is that it's to hot and I'm to cheap. This RV costs more in utilities then my two bedroom uninsulated 1950 house does.
I did consider the cooler temperature but that does not explain where the hot water disappeared to in 4 hour's without no other use than cold water.
I've actually been running the propane a little longer on cooler mornings. Not to many of those yet in Florida.
I suppose as long as that check valve is not necessary to control any hot water loss and that the manual valve is in the correct position then my original post is answered.
I am going to experiment with the manual valve in the other position to see if the tank retains the heat better. Will let you folks know tomorrow evening how that goes.
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