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Old 01-03-2016, 02:54 PM   #1
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Suburban water heater question

So many things all at once. We've been full timing in an RV for a month. It is brand new. Recently I've noticed the pressure release valve on our hot water heater has been dripping. Googling that seems to indicate that sometimes it can be normal. However, just recently the hot water heater has started making pinging noises. Also when you run the kitchen faucet or any other faucet in the house, the hot water heater makes what can be best described as a squealing noise. The noise lasts approximately a second or so. Of course we return to Google and lots of things say that might be the water heater check valve. We called a mobile RV mechanic in the area. He suggested we just run it on propane for a few days and see what happens. I did run on propane some yesterday and did note that the pressure release valve still leaked occasionally.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:58 PM   #2
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O and another weird thing, that singing nose occurs when you turn on other faucets hot or cold anywhere in the house.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:59 PM   #3
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Is this all at the same campground? Have you tried or do you use a pressure regulator on your water connection in case the site water pressure is high?
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:09 PM   #4
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Try opening the pressure release valve for an instant and close it immediately. Sometimes this will reseat the valve plunger and stop the slight leaking. Of course, be extremely careful not to get burned with the hot water spraying from the valve when it's open for an instant. Also, a few light taps with the handle of a screw driver on the flip latch of the valve will also seat it and stop the dripping. Try the tap on the flip latch before you try the instant open, be safer and less mess if it works!

PS- take the pressure off the system with either of these processes for best results!
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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https://youtu.be/4QcMM7Z41vo. This is a video of the noise it makes. Inside the water is being turned on and off as the noise is made. If you switch the electric off, it instantly stops.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSchleder View Post
Try opening the pressure release valve for an instant and close it immediately. Sometimes this will reseat the valve plunger and stop the slight leaking. Of course, be extremely careful not to get burned with the hot water spraying from the valve when it's open for an instant. Also, a few light taps with the handle of a screw driver on the flip latch of the valve will also seat it and stop the dripping. Try the tap on the flip latch before you try the instant open, be safer and less mess if it works!

PS- take the pressure off the system with either of these processes for best results!
Agree with opening pressure relief for an instant, just be sure to turn of the electricity to w/h first, then turn it back on when done. May just be some debris or sediment in the relief valve.
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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We are using a pressure regulator. We went through the procedures to reset the air bubble inside. No change.

See video of it whining:

https://youtu.be/4QcMM7Z41vo
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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Any theory on that noise? Could the heating element have enough lime on it in a month flat to do that? I found a site that described a similar noise and it was calcified build up on the heating element? I don't feel comfortable removing the propane assembly to check the element though. Thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:52 PM   #9
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Should be able to just unscrew the electric element; takes 1 1/2 socket or can buy a tool at RV supply stores. No need to remove anything to get to element, just the 2 wires on it.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:55 PM   #10
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Should be able to just unscrew the electric element; takes 1 1/2 socket or can buy a tool at RV supply stores. No need to remove anything to get to element, just the 2 wires on it.

I could get to the anode, but the element is squarely behind the propane assembly.
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