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Old 01-19-2020, 06:37 PM   #1
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Stumped! Water heater bypass

For the life of me, I canít figure out the bypass on this water heater. Obviously the blue line that looks braided is for the bypass but why does it run up to the hot water exit? Iím not sure what to open in the spring. Thanks!

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Old 01-19-2020, 06:55 PM   #2
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is there a shut off handle hiding backwards were the 4 blue lines come together or is just a t fitting?
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:17 PM   #3
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is there a shut off handle hiding backwards were the 4 blue lines come together or is just a t fitting?
Thatís the strange part. There is not a shut off there, only on the top one
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:28 PM   #4
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Thatís the strange part. There is not a shut off there, only on the top one
So you're thinking you need to shut off both ends of the center blue hose to bypass the WH? Why wouldn't shutting off one end have the same effect? What am I missing?
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:30 PM   #5
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forget trying to bypass. im trying to figure out why a hot line from the exit goes back to the cold side.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #6
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forget trying to bypass. im trying to figure out why a hot line from the exit goes back to the cold side.
I'd say it's not a hot line going anywhere. It looks to me like it's a cold line which goes FROM the cold side to the HOT side and that it's purpose is to bypass the water heater by sending cold water from the cold side and past the water heater to the hot side into the trailer.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:04 PM   #7
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how do you bypass from the exit side? if that top shut off is closed that blue line does nothing if its open cold water goes into the hot line and the exit of the hot water heater? I guess my question for the op is do you have hot water and is that top shut off open or closed? based on the braided line it is not factory. it is someone without a pex crimp tool doing after market mods.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:07 PM   #8
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It appears there are three valves on your system. I have edited your picture and show them numbered as 1,2,3.


The number 2 valve is turned where the handle is not visible in the pic, but it should be on the opposite side.


It appears the #1 valve shuts off all outgoing water from the tank inlet . I'm thinking it may be a drain line for the tank.


The number 2 valve (which you cannot see the handle as it's in back) along with the #3 valve at the hot water outlet are what is used to bypass the system.


When both handles of #2 and #3 are turned in parallel with the bypass line (as they are currently), then tank will be bypassed, but antifreeze can still be inserted upstream of valve #2 and it will be inserted into the hot water line (but not the tank) to winterize.


Come summer time, you want to turn both valve #2 and Valve #3 90 degrees, so then cold water will enter the bottom of the water heater inlet and be able to exit out the top of the tank outlet. If #1 is a drain line, you also want to turn it 90 degrees to keep from draining the tank.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:19 PM   #9
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I edited my suggestions above as I now think you have a drain line on your tank. See if it makes sense now, possibly.


Valves #2 and #3 are turned currently where the tank is bypassed...and valve #1 is turned where the tank can drain out the hose.


Come summertime, you want to turn all three valves 90 degrees.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:38 PM   #10
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see post 3. he is stating that your two is not a shut off, that it is only a T?

at least that was my question unless his response meant the t below it. based on the circle I would think it was a shut off but cant tell for sure.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:46 PM   #11
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see post 3. he is stating that your two is not a shut off, that it is only a T?

at least that was my question unless his response meant the t below it. based on the circle I would think it was a shut off but cant tell for sure.
#2 is a valve. The handle is on the opposite side. The OP may need to relook or feel for it.


I see that the OP just picked up a new destination trailer at the very end of November. I'm thinking they just haven't learned all the nuances of it yet.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:22 AM   #12
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This may help you visualize how the water flows with the arrows.


With the way the three valve handles are when parallel with the lines as currently, then any inserted antifreeze will flow thru the cold water line, bypass line and into the hot water line. Valve #1 will also drain any water in the tank out thru the bottom drain line. No antifreeze can enter the tank due to valve #2 and valve #3.


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Now when you turn all three valve handles 90 degrees to use the water heater.....then cold water will flow into the bottom inlet of the tank and out the top outlet of the tank after it is heated. No water can drain out the bottom, once you close the #1 drain valve.


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Old 01-20-2020, 10:59 AM   #13
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how do you bypass from the exit side? if that top shut off is closed that blue line does nothing if its open cold water goes into the hot line and the exit of the hot water heater? I guess my question for the op is do you have hot water and is that top shut off open or closed? based on the braided line it is not factory. it is someone without a pex crimp tool doing after market mods.
I just received the unit and it is winterized, so I wonít know until Spring.. I see someone else posted another image with an explanation, I just wanted to reply to your question as well. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:04 AM   #14
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This may help you visualize how the water flows with the arrows.


With the way the three valves are when parallel with the lines as currently, then any inserted antifreeze will flow thru the cold water line, bypass line and into the hot water line. Valve #1 will also drain any water in the tank out thru the bottom drain line. No antifreeze can enter the tank due to valve #2 and valve #3.


Attachment 222063


Now when you turn all three valves 90 degrees to use the water heater.....then cold water will flow into the bottom inlet of the tank and out the top outlet of the tank after it is heated. No water can drain out the bottom, once you close the #1 drain valve.


Attachment 222064
Thanks for the pictures! You are correct that valve 1 is a drain for the tank which is nice.. so in the spring I will turn valve 3 vertical? And this will stop the cold water from going in the back side of the hot water coming out?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
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Thanks for the pictures! You are correct that valve 1 is a drain for the tank which is nice.. so in the spring I will turn valve 3 vertical? And this will stop the cold water from going in the back side of the hot water coming out?

Thanks again!
You will turn valve 1, which closes the drain hose. You will turn valve 2 (the handle is on the backside) to where it is parallel with the short blue line feeding the tank input, and then turn valve 3 where it is parallel with the line coming out of the tank output.

You will turn ALL valves 90 degrees. There are three valves in total.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:37 AM   #16
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Would that be a 2 valve bypass system with a drain valve??
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:57 AM   #17
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:07 PM   #18
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You will turn valve 1, which closes the drain hose. You will turn valve 2 (the handle is on the backside) to where it is parallel with the short blue line feeding the tank input, and then turn valve 3 where it is parallel with the line coming out of the tank output.

You will turn ALL valves 90 degrees. There are three valves in total.
Thanks again! Editing my image was extremely helpful. Hopefully it can help others as well.!
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:27 PM   #19
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Would that be a 2 valve bypass system with a drain valve??
Basically yes.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:31 PM   #20
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Would that be a 2 valve bypass system with a drain valve??
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Basically yes.
It appears to be a small residential type water heater so the configuration is just a bit different from what we typically see in an R/V with the typical low point drains and water heater drain plug. I'm guessing the OP has a cottage style model.

Thanks to wmtire for his very helpful annotations!
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