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Old 11-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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Hot Water Questions...

We have done about 5 trips in the RV now. Each time - the DW has gone to take a shower - she has quickly run out of Hot Water. The 3 kids and myself have been fine - but as you can see - this is a cause of MAJOR concern!

When Mom is not happy - NO ONE IS HAPPY!!

So - perhaps I need to step back and understand how the heater works and make sure that I do NOT have a valve flipped wrong..

As I understand it - the Berkshire 390BH has a 10gal DSI water heater. When we start off on a trip - I will immediately turn the heater ON (red light comes on and then goes off). I will usually also turn on the water pump. (Do I turn this OFF when I hook up to the campsite - or does it matter?)

When we get to the campsite and are hooked up - We seem to have hot water (ie - washing hands filling tub for kids). But it runs out VERY quickly.. She tried taking a shower first think this morning before ANYONE used any hot water and it was out in about 4 mins. The coach sat all night - but the heater had been running (at least I think so). I know our propane is near full.

What can I do to ensure a warmer experience for her before the next trip?

Thank you,

Alex
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
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I would guess you have a by pass valve open allowing cold water to mix with your hot as a 10gal heater should last for a good shower check your valves and make sure the by pass valve is closed allowing only cold water into your heater also you do not need your pump on if you are hooked up to city water
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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First thing, never turn the pump on unless you have water in the freshwater tank. Second, never turn the pump on unless you have water in the fresh water tank. Third, never leave the pump on when connected to city water, such as in a campground. Never leave the pump on when connected to city water. The pump is for pulling water from the fresh water tank to the faucets and toilets. If you have a hose connected with pressure on it, such as in a campground, it will supply the pressure. Do not leave the pump on.

Now for the valves. You MIGHT get two gallons a minute out of your shower. If the water heater is full and working, and it is 10 gallons, and you have a 50/50 mix, that would be 20 gallons, or about 10 minutes of constant flow. Do you have a "cut off" switch on the shower head that you and the kids are using that your other half doesn't know about? Most showers, get wet, turn off water, wash hair, rinse, turn off water, soap, the rinse, then hot water is about done. Suggest put a five gallon bucket in the shower, and see how many time you can fill it before it gets cold. Your profile doesn't have your RV type or any useful information, can't help with valve location or what to do with them. Maybe make a search, there are diagrams on here that sow correct position for generic set ups. Also, no need to light water heater before you leave, usually only takes about 20 minutes for water to get hot. That can happen while you are setting up. Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:01 AM   #4
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Windrider - so I should not turn on the water pump? :-)

Actually thank you for that. It's one less mystery.

Not sure what I need to update in the profile - but as the signature says - we have a 2011 Berkshire 390BH - which is a Class A DP.

We do have the shutoff (or more appropriately slow trickle).

I will try the search - but any hints as to where the valve is and what they should be set too would be much appreciated..
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:26 AM   #5
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The bypass valve will be close to the lines in the interior section of your water heater. You might have to pull a panel from the cabinets, lift a dinnette seat or something to find that puppy. The bypass valve will be on a line linking the cold water input (sometimes a blue line ) going into the bottom of tank, to the hot water output (sometimes a red line) coming out of the top of the tank.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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Another suggestion is to install an Oxygenetics shower head kit, available through Amazon.com. It is a water saving showerhead, but inserts air with the water to still supply decent pressure for your shower. A tad above 50.00, but well worth it. These water heaters run through water pretty quick. Also, you can run gas AND electric at the same time, if you want to help heat water faster and a bit longer. Randy
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The bypass valve will be close to the lines in the interior section of your water heater. You might have to pull a panel from the cabinets, lift a dinnette seat or something to find that puppy. The bypass valve will be on a line linking the cold water input (sometimes a blue line ) going into the bottom of tank, to the hot water output (sometimes a red line) coming out of the top of the tank.
In rereading the 1st post, I now realize that the bypass is probably not the problem, since others can take a shower with not problem. My bad.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by amarzano View Post
We have done about 5 trips in the RV now. Each time - the DW has gone to take a shower - she has quickly run out of Hot Water. The 3 kids and myself have been fine - but as you can see - this is a cause of MAJOR concern!

When Mom is not happy - NO ONE IS HAPPY!!
What can I do to ensure a warmer experience for her before the next trip?

Thank you,

Alex
When you say neither you nor your 3 kids run out of hot water I have to ask:
Does she turn the water on & leave it run or does she wet down turn spray valve off - then soap down - then turn spray back on & rinse off. Some call this type of shower a sailors shower.

We only have a 6 gallon hot water heater & both my wife & I can take showers back to back without running off of hot water.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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Yeah, I didn't want to say it before, and probably shouldn't say it now, but here goes; the problem is probably female! They love long baths and showers, and usually must wash their hair, and shave their legs, and who knows what else!!! Not realizing that there is only 6 (six) VI gallons of hot water in there (at least on mine). When we camp at a place that has showers that are fairly decent, we just use theirs, mostly. Randy
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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Alex,
I would look to see about the bypass just in case it is part of the problem. It will be on the coach (inside side) of the water heater which is under the kitchen sink. It is down kind of low on the heater. You have to reach over the 1/2 'wall' that is in front of the water heater. I believe that if it is turned parallel to the coach floor, that would be the position for normal use, not bypass. It is a 1/4 turn valve so you only need to turn it 1/4 turn to put in the normal position. We have the oxygenics shower head and it really helps. I can wash my hair and shower (granted I am mostly bald) and not run out of hot water. I keep the shower head open and water running, but not full flow open.
Hope this helps.
Another thought- make sure that your outside shower and any other valves that supply water to other appliances that you don't need, are closed.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:34 PM   #11
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Tmmar -

Thank you - I was hoping for the specific location!! :-)

The kids don't have a problem - since they take baths and I just get the tub full and warm. I do turn the water way down in the middle, soap up, and then rinse. I didn't realize that we needed too. Perhaps - more cold and less hot would help as well.

Let me check the bypass the next time I am in the coach.

Alex

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Alex,
I would look to see about the bypass just in case it is part of the problem. It will be on the coach (inside side) of the water heater which is under the kitchen sink. It is down kind of low on the heater. You have to reach over the 1/2 'wall' that is in front of the water heater. I believe that if it is turned parallel to the coach floor, that would be the position for normal use, not bypass. It is a 1/4 turn valve so you only need to turn it 1/4 turn to put in the normal position. We have the oxygenics shower head and it really helps. I can wash my hair and shower (granted I am mostly bald) and not run out of hot water. I keep the shower head open and water running, but not full flow open.
Hope this helps.
Another thought- make sure that your outside shower and any other valves that supply water to other appliances that you don't need, are closed.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:06 PM   #12
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We also have the Oxygenics shower head. It is wonderful, it is my husband who takes the long showers. We just got a 2011 Berkshire and took 1 shower each with the shower head provided....after my husband took his shower he changed the shower head pronto. We removed the Oxygenics from our trade in and put the original shower head back on. We also purchased one for our home...Camping World also sells them. Around 40$ maybe.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:03 AM   #13
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If you have an outside shower, check that one as well. If the two valves are open, but the shower head shut off is closed, it will "dribble" slightly, but will also act as a mixing valve, cooling off your hot water anything beyond it in your system to. My outside shower is plumbed between my gally and the bathroom, and I couldn't figure out why I had HOT water at the kitchen sink, but warmed water at the batroom sink, 5 feet away....
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:49 AM   #14
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If you have an outside shower, check that one as well. If the two valves are open, but the shower head shut off is closed, it will "dribble" slightly, but will also act as a mixing valve, cooling off your hot water anything beyond it in your system to. My outside shower is plumbed between my gally and the bathroom, and I couldn't figure out why I had HOT water at the kitchen sink, but warmed water at the batroom sink, 5 feet away....
Good catch !!
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #15
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The CURSE has been broken!

I am happy to announce the DW has been able to complete her FIRST shower in the RV after 5 trips!! :-)

She did the Navy Shower routine and made it thru with hot water to spare.

Thank you all for the tips and info. I know know more about the Heater than I new existed.

FYI - I did find and check the bypass valve (it was not an issue). I also switched
The electric to ON a since we are on CG 50 amp. I will switch it OFF when we hit the road.

I did NOT check the pressure valve -
But will check when i locate it..

So - this all said I noticed a thread on Tankless heaters. If this can be retro fitted - It would be an upgrade
I would like to try..
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #16
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Most likely you looked at the pressure relief valve and did not realize it at the time. It kind of looks like an outside spigot for a water hose and is located outside under the tin cover in the upper part of the tank. Normally brass with a steel "lever" on the top of the valve; it should also have an aluminum washer with writing on it under the lever.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #17
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Do you know there is a small on/off switch at the bottom left corner when you open the water tank access panel on the outside of the unit. It is hard to see it, so look close. When it is on you are heating water with electricity as well as gas, really helps to bring it up to hot ffaasstt!
Jack
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:54 PM   #18
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Do you know there is a small on/off switch at the bottom left corner when you open the water tank access panel on the outside of the unit. It is hard to see it, so look close. When it is on you are heating water with electricity as well as gas, really helps to bring it up to hot ffaasstt!
Jack
Jack - Yes, that is what I turned on. The one with the cir clip thru it..
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:57 PM   #19
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Most likely you looked at the pressure relief valve and did not realize it at the time. It kind of looks like an outside spigot for a water hose and is located outside under the tin cover in the upper part of the tank. Normally brass with a steel "lever" on the top of the valve; it should also have an aluminum washer with writing on it under the lever.
Got it!

So I crack this open until water comes out? If there is air it will push out first?

Thank you..
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #20
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I don't know whether this will help or not but I always turn on the gas hot water switch when either one of us takes a shower so that it recoups much faster. never had a problem since I started doing this.
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