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Old 11-21-2022, 12:54 AM   #1
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Bypass question

Hello. I am a first time owner. Are the blue highlighted levers the water heater bypass valves? I turned both of them (not pictured) and when i put antifreeze into the city water connect, it went in to my water heater.
TiA


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Old 11-21-2022, 03:49 AM   #2
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There is no Red handled valve ?
Typically, there would be a Red handled valve on the top, assuming the picture represents the system configuration and is not rotated.
A Blue handled valve should be at the bottom and a Red at the top of the water heater. The valve that is configured to be perpendicular to those valves would be opened, and closed when in use. That is the valve that creates the bypass. The horizonal valves would block water from entering the water heater.

I remember a statement on this forum that Forest River is looking into changing the configuration. But don't recall seeing anything about it actually being implemented.

As always it helps to know what Brand, model & year you are requesting information for. Also, if possible, a better view of the back of the water heater. I understand that these are usually in a confined space, so it's not always possible. But perhaps more than 1 view from different angles.
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Old 11-21-2022, 04:57 AM   #3
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Hello. I am a first time owner. Are the blue highlighted levers the water heater bypass valves? I turned both of them (not pictured) and when i put antifreeze into the city water connect, it went in to my water heater.

TiA
Please post make and model number of the water heater or post year, make and model number of your RV.
The pics you posted, are not of a typical RV water heater bypass valves.

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Old 11-21-2022, 07:39 AM   #4
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The lower valve in your photo is the bypass valve. It, the bypass, is shown closed, and the other valve is open. so it is in normal mode. To go to bypass mode, switch the position of both valves you highlighted.

More often there is a third valve, which would be at the bottom entry to the heater tank, but the system can work with two valves like shown.
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Old 11-21-2022, 08:40 AM   #5
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just a couple of comments.

i think i see a one way check valve on the bottom output port (bottom in the picture - this is probably to how water output and it would be on the top of the tank). this check valve would be equivalent to the red handled valve mentioned in the posts above.

i looks like a very nice and clean installation. with brass fittings? was this done at the factory or by a previous owner? most factory installations like this use the pex crimp rings on plastic fittings, not brass with shark-bite type fittings.

if you are getting antifreeze into the tank there is an issue with one of both of the valves on the lines going into the tank. the blue valve at the top of your picture needs to be rotated 90 degrees to shut off flow into the tank. and the check valve at the bottom of the picture needs to be working to prevent antifreeze from flowing into the tank.

the valve in the bypass line needs to be opened. it does not directly affect whether antifreeze will flow into the tank. when it is open it allows the antifreeze to flow from the cold line to the hot line without it needing to go through the tank.
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:16 AM   #6
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I have to admit I'm confused on how this would ever bypass the water heater. I'm assuming the bottom valve is the cold water in. Why is the valve after the inlet to the water heater?
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Old 11-21-2022, 09:45 AM   #7
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I don't think the brand of water heater of camper matters in this case. From you picture, you have a valve that will stop the water from going in to the hot water output at the top of the water heater, so this is good, (this creates the bypass so that the water will circulate without going into the heater). You also have a valve that will allow the water to flow from the hot water line down to the cold water line, so this is good. What seems to be missing is there is no valve to stop the water from entering the heater at the cold water inlet line. Therefore, it appears as if when you close the cold water intake line and open the bypass valve, water will enter you heater from the hot water output line, (water of antifreeze which ever the case may be).
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Old 11-21-2022, 10:14 AM   #8
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As said. If (big if) the bottom connection is a check valve and the two valve handles rotated 90º it will bypass.
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Old 11-21-2022, 12:18 PM   #9
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As said. If (big if) the bottom connection is a check valve and the two valve handles rotated 90º it will bypass.
Except that the bottom connection should be cold water inlet. It should have the on/off ball valve. The hot water outlet should have the check valve.
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Old 11-21-2022, 12:25 PM   #10
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In a two valve bypass the check valve must be on the hot water out (typically the top connection). If it's on the cold in the antifreeze will flow into the tank but not out in bypass mode, at least until the internal pressure equals or exceeds the water pump pressure.
It's hard to tell from the angle of the picture but there may be a check valve on the top connection. I would also doubt this was a factory install, very unlikely they would use SharkBite fittings.

The attached photo shows the layout of a typical two valve with check valve bypass setup.
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:10 PM   #11
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Hello, it is a 2021 forest river salem 181rt
Well, unless the photo you posted is upside, it looks like one of the bypass valves is on the wrong connection to the water heater. It should be on the bottom, cold water inlet to the water heater and not the upper, hot water outlet.
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:16 PM   #12
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2021 forrest river salem 181rt
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:24 PM   #13
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The picture was taken from above the water heater, and was not turned around on upload
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
Except that the bottom connection should be cold water inlet. It should have the on/off ball valve. The hot water outlet should have the check valve.
Did you not see "If (big if)"?
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:45 PM   #15
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Another clue that this was not factory installed. It used white pen rather than blue (cold) and red (hot).

If the picture is oriente properly I agree the ball valve at the top and the check valve need to be switched. But if these were done wrong I’d also double check both the cold line and the hot line to verify that they are going to the proper port on the tank. Some where they should splice into the factory blue and red lines.

Very nice looking job. How can you be that neat and install in backwards?
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:37 PM   #16
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I agree, that's a really impressive setup. Those valve handles are much better.
That can't be factory. Must have been down by a previous owner.
OP, you bought this trailer used, correct?

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Old 11-21-2022, 04:06 PM   #17
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As said. If (big if) the bottom connection is a check valve and the two valve handles rotated 90º it will bypass.
Almost... (assuming the picture is oriented correctly)
As plumbed, if the bypass ball valve is opened (not 90º) and the upper ball valve is closed, (90º) the tank is in bypass and nothing will enter the tank because the check valve is plumbed to the tank's cold inlet. But... this presents the next issue...

Unfortunately, as plumbed and with the valves in the position they are in the photo, you'd never get any hot water or ANY water for that matter. The check valve in the cold inlet port would keep the water from entering the tank at the cold inlet and with the bypass valve closed, nothing could flow to the upper inlet.

If you opened the bypass ball valve and left the upper valve open, "some" water would make it into the tank but there'd be no flow to speak of THROUGH the tank.

The entire thing would work properly if the check valve on the lower tank inlet and the upper ball on the upper inlet were swapped. The bypass ball valve would stay right where it is.

Then... in normal mode the bypass valve would be closed, the now plumbed ball valve on the cold inlet would be open and water would flow in the cold inlet side, into the tank and out the upper outlet side through the check valve that is now plumbed to the hot outlet (providing it is installed in the proper flow direction) and then out through the plumbing providing hot water to the R/V. The closed bypass valve would stop any backflow of hot water coming out the upper outlet.

In bypass mode, the now plumbed ball valve on the cold inlet would be closed, the existing bypass ball valve would be open and the check valve (now plumbed to the hot outlet side) would keep antifreeze from flowing into the tank. (providing the check valve is installed in the proper flow direction)

Nice installation but someone mistakenly swapped the check valve and the ball valve positions. Oh... and that SharkBite fitting on the braided hose is asking for trouble. I've seen more than one of those leak.
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Old 11-21-2022, 04:22 PM   #18
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Whether you stop water from going into the water heater, coming out of the water heater, or both, do that not stop water from flowing through the water heater tank in all cases?

I agree with previous observations that the valves are much nicer than something Forest River would install.
The way it is plumbed right now, I don't see that there is any way to stop water from going in.

It can stop water from going out but when winterizing all the AF will end up in there.
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Old 11-21-2022, 04:29 PM   #19
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The way it is plumbed right now, I don't see that there is any way to stop water from going in.

It can stop water from going out but when winterizing all the AF will end up in there.
See my post right before yours...

As it is plumbed (but NOT with the handles as they are in the photo) you could winterize with antifreeze and nothing would flow into the tank.

The check valve would keep the antifreeze from going in the lower port, the ball valve on the hot outlet (closed) would keep the antifreeze from going in the upper port and the bypass valve (open) would allow bypass flow from the cold supply line to the hot outbound line.

It's the normal use issue this configuration presents that won't work. AND... if that check valve in the lower port is plumbed to allow flow INTO the tank... then you are correct... there is no way to bypass.
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Old 11-21-2022, 05:13 PM   #20
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See my post right before yours...

As it is plumbed (but NOT with the handles as they are in the photo) you could winterize with antifreeze and nothing would flow into the tank.

The check valve would keep the antifreeze from going in the lower port, the ball valve on the hot outlet (closed) would keep the antifreeze from going in the upper port and the bypass valve (open) would allow bypass flow from the cold supply line to the hot outbound line.

It's the normal use issue this configuration presents that won't work. AND... if that check valve in the lower port is plumbed to allow flow INTO the tank... then you are correct... there is no way to bypass.
Where is the check valve? I'm not seeing it.
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