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Old 03-31-2014, 11:32 AM   #1
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Hot Water Heater Leak from Lack of Winterizing

Took the coach out yesterday to get ready for an upcoming 2 week trip....thought I had winterized it well enough.....guess not. Bottom flare on the water heater leaking....the way they build these things at the factory drives me nuts. The plumbing is like a throw away system....anyway, I was able to grind off the compression connectors, found reinforced hose and a new flare from Home Depot....back in business again.....$20 and about 2 hours of work.....Guess next year I will be draining all water, blowing out the lines with air, AND using antifreeze...
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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That's what I've always done. Drain, leave the anode out, bypass the WH, blow the system dry (First time with low point drains, so I'll do that too this winter) then pump antifreeze. The system takes a couple of gallons, one gallon goes down the gray drains, about 1/3 gallon each, one gallon in the black tank.

Sorry it happened but at least it was a relatively easy fix.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcnitt View Post
Took the coach out yesterday to get ready for an upcoming 2 week trip....thought I had winterized it well enough.....guess not. Bottom flare on the water heater leaking....the way they build these things at the factory drives me nuts. The plumbing is like a throw away system....anyway, I was able to grind off the compression connectors, found reinforced hose and a new flare from Home Depot....back in business again.....$20 and about 2 hours of work.....Guess next year I will be draining all water, blowing out the lines with air, AND using antifreeze...
Same thing happened to a friend of mine (only he now needs a new water heater). I found that the water heater bypass kits may leave a small amount of water standing in the lines between the bypass valves and the water heater tank inlet/outlet. On my old TT I addressed this by winterizing, leaving the system pressurized with antifreeze and opening each of the valves going to the water heater just enough to fill them will antifreeze too. Same for the city water inlet...I go outside, pull the screen and push in on the check valve until antifreeze comes out there.

Our new 5ver has a built in single handle bypass handle/setting...but I will be checking out just how this works to clear water from the lines into and out of the water heater lines beyond the bypass valves. Thinking I will have to pump some antifreeze into the water heater to clear the inlet...still unsure how I will be able to clear the outlet line as I can no longer physically access all 3 bypass valves...but I likely will also remove an access panel so I can check for sure based on your and my friend's experiences.

I've never just used air...always antifreeze...as air sometimes will leave small pockets of water in low spots in the water lines that may present a problem depending on the freeze pattern that takes place in the line.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:18 PM   #4
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We live 30 miles so of Ft Worth TX, in the three RV's we've had I have winterized with air only adding antifreeze to the traps, it has worked out OK for us. Lucky I guess as we do get a freeze sometimes for a week or so. After draining everything I operate the buy pass valves a couple of times to be sure those lines are also drained leaving the anode rod out till we are ready to de-winterize. If we lived farther north I would also add the antifreeze to the lines. We camp south through the winter months, winterizing and de-winterizing happens several times during the cold months.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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This will be our 4th season with our TT. We live in Wisconsin, where it gets below zero frequently. We've only used the blow out method and have never had a problem. Everything works just fine this spring, even after the wicked horrible winter we just endured.

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Old 05-03-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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Sounds like your problem may have been avoided if you'd have left the anode rod out...even if there's a little water in there and it freezes, it can't build up any pressure and the ice has somewhere to go.

I winterize using compressed air first, then antifreeze, but I bypass the water heater, so I don't think any antifreeze gets in there. I just pull the rod out, drain, and leave it out all winter. Now you have me thinking that maybe I do want to pump "a little" antifreeze into the hot water heater after draining, then flip the bypass valve, then do the rest of the camper's lines.

Things that make you go "hmmmmm."
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