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Old 10-23-2016, 02:35 PM   #1
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What went wrong here??(Winterizing)

So these are the only two valves on my water heater line. I turned the bottom(blue)to straight up-down(by-pass??) and left the top(red) in-line the way it is shown in pic assuming I have to in order to get AF to hot line.. I seem to still get antifreeze in water heater. Also I have a good flow of cold water AF but nothing to very little for hot,just a trickle of AF coming out. I tried turning red to up-down with no difference noticed. Seems there is a very lot of air in the system also. The pump runs good with cold open but start/stops with faucets closed.I drained the WH first and I wounder if this should have been my last step?? Thanx in advance for any help.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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Hi Willbur,

This is obviously your first winterization in this unit. It does not look like the typical hot water heater water line configuration.

When you say that you tried with the red line valve in the up position, did you also have the blue in the up position at the same time?

Blue definitely needs to be up so no cold water enters heater.

Are there more than two positions that the red line valve can be in?

Good luck,
Don
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willbur View Post
So these are the only two valves on my water heater line. I turned the bottom(blue)to straight up-down(by-pass??) and left the top(red) in-line the way it is shown in pic assuming I have to in order to get AF to hot line.. I seem to still get antifreeze in water heater. Also I have a good flow of cold water AF but nothing to very little for hot,just a trickle of AF coming out. I tried turning red to up-down with no difference noticed. Seems there is a very lot of air in the system also. The pump runs good with cold open but start/stops with faucets closed.I drained the WH first and I wounder if this should have been my last step?? Thanx in advance for any help.

Both valves now in online position
Switch both valves to parallel the bypass line thus cutting out the heater. Pull out heater plug or anodes to prove it and system will be in bypass. They are simple 3 way valves.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:32 PM   #4
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If you did not close off the top valve before you put antifreeze in the system, I would check your water heater to make sure there is not antifreeze in there now. Both of those valves should have been turned before introducing antifreeze. The top valve prevents antifreeze from back flowing into the hot water tube.

When I put antifreeze in my lines, I bypassed the heater, ran antifreeze, then drained the heater.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:54 PM   #5
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The water ( antifreeze) moves in the direction the valve handles are pointing. When in use, you you want them horizontal so water runs into water heater and back out to sinks etc. For winter, you want both handles pointing up and down so antifreeze flows down and back into the system plumbing. Then remove the WH drain plug/anode and allow the WH to drain.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:04 PM   #6
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I know I have to have the bottom Valve in the close(up) position to by pass. I was guessing that the upper had to stay open in order for the AF to RETURN to the hot faucets. I was thinking that the HW tank had a back flow preventer to keep AF from flowing in thru the top of tank red line. I know im missing something very basic here but just cant figure it out. I did have allot of AF in HW tank which I emptied and rinsed. Tho I did eventually get a small flow at hot water taps,with allot of air,I would like to know where Im going wrong here. Also I notice that the valves handles are set differently,upper is out and lower is in. Would this make any difference???
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Willbur View Post
I know I have to have the bottom Valve in the close(up) position to by pass. I was guessing that the upper had to stay open in order for the AF to RETURN to the hot faucets. I was thinking that the HW tank had a back flow preventer to keep AF from flowing in thru the top of tank red line. I know im missing something very basic here but just cant figure it out. I did have allot of AF in HW tank which I emptied and rinsed. Tho I did eventually get a small flow at hot water taps,with allot of air,I would like to know where Im going wrong here. Also I notice that the valves handles are set differently,upper is out and lower is in. Would this make any difference???
Should not make a difference, but looking at your picture, both of those valve handles should be parallel to the up/down bypass tube to bypass the water heater. You said you flushed out the antifreeze in your WH, which is good, because the AF is not good for the WH. In the future just remember to flip both valves before introducing the AF and drain your WH last ��
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #8
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I think of it like this. The red pipe is normally for the hot water coming from the water tank and the blue one is for the cold water going into it. The vertical blue pipe in your picture is the by-pass. Turn both of the valves so that the handle matches the vertical blue pipe. This will allow the anitfreeze that you pump through the lines to go through the blue pipe on the left in the picture up the vertical blue by-pass pipe and out to the left through the red pipe. That will pressurize your hot water lines allowing the antifreeze to flow through them.

Another thing that I always do after draining the fresh water tank and before adding antifreeze to the lines is to locate the low point drains and remove the caps, or turn the valves, to drain water out of the lines. I also open all of the faucets to allow air to enter the lines to assist in pushing out the water. Be sure to replace the caps or turn the valves after the lines have stopped draining.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moellerdan View Post
If you did not close off the top valve before you put antifreeze in the system, I would check your water heater to make sure there is not antifreeze in there now. Both of those valves should have been turned before introducing antifreeze. The top valve prevents antifreeze from back flowing into the hot water tube.

When I put antifreeze in my lines, I bypassed the heater, ran antifreeze, then drained the heater.

Good luck!
I forgot to do that with my our trailer last week. Last year on the Bunkhouse she got the first pink shower when i closed off a bunch of valves and the check valve for the city water inlet failed...
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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It's not harmful anyway. Propolyene Glycol (RV antifreeze) is a common ingredient in commercial bread making...

When you consume a slice of sponge bread, you've consumed some....lol
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:08 PM   #11
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That and Ethanol
the last RV antifreeze i purchased said it contained Ethanol and not to use around open flame or spark.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:09 PM   #12
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Just curious, why do you empty the WH last? I drain mine as soon as I'm done camping for the season, turn the by-pass valve and winterize when I get around to it. Never had any issues.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Willbur View Post
I know I have to have the bottom Valve in the close(up) position to by pass. I was guessing that the upper had to stay open in order for the AF to RETURN to the hot faucets. I was thinking that the HW tank had a back flow preventer to keep AF from flowing in thru the top of tank red line. I know im missing something very basic here but just cant figure it out. I did have allot of AF in HW tank which I emptied and rinsed. Tho I did eventually get a small flow at hot water taps,with allot of air,I would like to know where Im going wrong here. Also I notice that the valves handles are set differently,upper is out and lower is in. Would this make any difference???
What you are missing is this...
Your particular valves are not simple on-off valves.
They are two-way flow valves.
When the handle is parallel to the water heater tank inlet/outlet lines, they allow water to enter and exit the water heater normally but block the flow to the bypass line.

When the handles are parallel to the bypass line, they allow the flow to go through the bypass line but not into the tank.

If the valves were NOT located directly at the tee of the bypass line (and farther in towards the tank) they would then be simple shut-off valves and in this case, a third valve would have to be plumbed in the middle of the bypass line to open or close the line.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:31 PM   #14
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Here is a photo that may help you understand the flow inside the valve.
The flow will follow the direction of the handle's position.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willbur View Post
I know I have to have the bottom Valve in the close(up) position to by pass. I was guessing that the upper had to stay open in order for the AF to RETURN to the hot faucets. I was thinking that the HW tank had a back flow preventer to keep AF from flowing in thru the top of tank red line. I know im missing something very basic here but just cant figure it out. I did have allot of AF in HW tank which I emptied and rinsed. Tho I did eventually get a small flow at hot water taps,with allot of air,I would like to know where Im going wrong here. Also I notice that the valves handles are set differently,upper is out and lower is in. Would this make any difference???
To answer this part of your question, see the crude drawings I made below.

The top one shows the flow (when turned to bypass) and why the valves are plumbed in the directions you pointed out (one with handle in/one with handle out)

The bottom drawing shows what would happen if both the handles were on the same side of the line.
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