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Old 10-17-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
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water heater bypass

Recently purchased a 2013 Micro Lite 21FBRS. Flagstaff does a terrible job of providing an owner's manual specific to the rig. My 2000 Fleetwood owners manual was very specific to my model. I am getting ready to winterize and there are no water heater bypass valves where the manual says they are. There is only one valve on the water line in the front storage compartment, but I don't want to assume that is it. It also does not indicate what position it is in. Can anybody enlighten me as to where the bypass valve is and in what position it should be in to bypass the heater? Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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The valves on the lines to and from the WH and the bypass line between is usually on the back of the WH. Can you access that area?

The valves on supply/discharge of the WH should be closed (handles perpendicular to the line) and on the bypass line between, the valve should be open.

BTW, welcome to the Forum!

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Can't access rear of water heater like I could on our old motor home.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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by the way, nowadays, lousy generic owner's manuals are the standard in the RV industry, not just with Flagstaff.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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I looked at some pictures of your model...looks like the WH is beside the pass-through access door on the non-door side. Most likely the WH is separated from the storage area by a removable panel. Your water pump and filter are probably in the same area.

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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yes. There is a panel there. I will check it this afternoon. Just might be the answer. Fingers crossed. Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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Glenwood63- your Micro Lite is exactly like my Mini Lite 2109S. The by pass line is accessed by the basement on the non door side (right side as you are looking back from the yoke). You should see 3 knobs on the water lines going in/out of the WH. The by pass is the middle knob and should be perpendicular to the water line. This position closes the by pass valve so water will flow in and out of the WH. To by pass, you move the bypass knob to parrallel and turn the 2 knobs that control the water lines to perpendicular. This stops off the water flowing in and out of the WH and allows the water/pink stuff to bypass the WH tank and continue to flow on.

I'm writing this by memory. I will take a picture after work if you still have questions. (Please excuse all spelling errors.)
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlacierGus View Post
Glenwood63- your Micro Lite is exactly like my Mini Lite 2109S. The by pass line is accessed by the basement on the non door side (right side as you are looking back from the yoke). You should see 3 knobs on the water lines going in/out of the WH. The by pass is the middle knob and should be perpendicular to the water line. This position closes the by pass valve so water will flow in and out of the WH. To by pass, you move the bypass knob to parrallel and turn the 2 knobs that control the water lines to perpendicular. This stops off the water flowing in and out of the WH and allows the water/pink stuff to bypass the WH tank and continue to flow on.

I'm writing this by memory. I will take a picture after work if you still have questions. (Please excuse all spelling errors.)
You are spot on. I removed the panel and there were the three valves. I assume by parallel you mean the handle is in line with the water line and perpendicular is across the water lines. In other water line situations an open valve has always been when the handle is in line with the pipe and closed is when the handle is crossing the water line. Just want to be sure that is true for Flagstaff too. The hot and cold water lines are easy to see. For once they did something simple and made cold blue and hot red. Duh! Too bad they didn't mark the valves on and off or explain that in the owner's manual or even said where they were located in the owners manual. My old 2000 Tioga had a simple little handle down by the side of the sofa which was next to the wall where the water heater was. It was clearly marked bypass. Just throw the handle and drain the heater. Well, I am old, but thank God I'm not to old to learn new tricks Please let me know if I have the on and off positions correct. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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glenwood63- you are correct. Attached is a photo. This would be the normal operating setting. The hot and cold water lines are open. The bypass is closed. I blew out my lines rather than use the pink stuff. I am hoping to get one more 3 day weekend trip in if the Mn weather will cooperate. Once I know I'm done for the season I will consider putting in the RV fluid.

There is a debate around here whether or not the RV fluid is necessary if you blow out the lines. We get very cold winters but some believe you don't need the RV fluid if you blow out the lines. If there is no water in the system then there is no need for the fluid. Except in the P traps. You always put fluid there.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlacierGus View Post
glenwood63- you are correct. Attached is a photo. This would be the normal operating setting. The hot and cold water lines are open. The bypass is closed. I blew out my lines rather than use the pink stuff. I am hoping to get one more 3 day weekend trip in if the Mn weather will cooperate. Once I know I'm done for the season I will consider putting in the RV fluid.

There is a debate around here whether or not the RV fluid is necessary if you blow out the lines. We get very cold winters but some believe you don't need the RV fluid if you blow out the lines. If there is no water in the system then there is no need for the fluid. Except in the P traps. You always put fluid there.
That's what I thought. Thanks so much for the help. I question the need for the pink stuff too, but I have used it because most everyone says you need to. Common sense (for what that is worth) tells me that if you blow out the water, there is no water to freeze. So, why put the pink stuff in?? I have drained water in homes that were to be left unheated by shutting off the water, opening all the taps and draining at the lowest (usually basement) tap. Never had a pipe freeze because there was no water to freeze. As long as there is no water in the tanks, and the water lines are drained at the lowest point, what is there to freeze except the drains? Even a small drop or so of water freezing in a pipe will not burst the pipe. It has to be full enough to cause the freezing water to expand enough to crack the pipe or hose. Unfortunately I don't know anyone personally who has used the air only method, so I will probably be one more cattle following the herd and put the pink stuff in. At least it is cheap unless you pay $100 to the dealer to do it. Again thanks for the picture and help. This site is awesome.
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