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Old 10-27-2021, 07:57 PM   #1
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2020 Cottage Hot Water Heater - Flow Diagram

Hi Fellow Cottage Owners,

I have a residential hot water heater question for you. At the end of 2020 when we left our rig in Southern California for the first time, I went to empty the hot water tank while still hooked up to the city water (the SO wanted to still be able to use the throne) and I could not drain the tank until I turned it off.

I'm pretty good at those "which path will the water drain down games" on Facebook but this water heater has me stumped. Any help here?

Pictured here is the hot water heater supply valves in the position that fills and supplies hot water to the rig.

The cold water line (blue) comes in from the bottom left, circles behind the tank, and the white 90-degree valve near the bottom sends the cold water supply into the bottom of the tank.

The hot water output line (red) leaves the tank at the top through the white 90-degree valve raps around the back of the tank and leaves through the bottom left and makes its way to the faucets in the rig.

If I turn both those white valves down shouldn't that stops the tank from filling? The way I see it the cold city water should travel up the blue line, then travel directly down the red line and back to the faucets in the rig so I can connect a hose to the bottom drain and pop the relief valve to allow air in. Right or wrong? I feel stupid right now.

Oh, on the tank door is a diagram which just doesn't make sense to me for this setup. There is no "winterizing manifold" that I can find. Anybody else have trouble with this as well?

We're pulling out in the morning and I don't want to mess around for an extra hour this time. Thanks a bunch.

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Old 10-27-2021, 07:59 PM   #2
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Oh geez, I hoped those pictures would show up vertical mode like they were shot. Sorry.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:18 PM   #3
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This is very simple, in this two valve bypass setup. You want to move the lever on the lower cold water inlet valve 90 degrees. This will stop water from going in the tank, but instead send it up the bypass line. See my notations in the picture.

Now you then turn the lever on the top hot water outlet valve 90 degrees. The will close off the hot water outlet line from the water heater, and keep the cold water that is now coming up the bypass line from backfilling the water tank via the hot water outlet line.

Changing these two valves puts your tank in the bypass mode so no antifreeze can enter the tank should you decide to pump it in your lines. This also ties the cold line to the hot line via the bypass line so any antifreeze pumped into the cold water line can also enter the hot water lines for protection....but bypass the tank.

Once bypassed, then open the drain at the very bottom of tank to remove water from the tank so it cannot freeze. You may have to turn on the faucets somewhere to allow air in so the tank can drain and not get stopped by an air vacuum when opening the drain. You may also want to make sure that white drain line from the tray doesn't have a valve on the end of it somewhere you need to open to allow the water to drain out. You may can connect a hose directly to that brass drain from the tank at the bottom and route the hose outside to drain the water.

That's all it is.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:27 PM   #4
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You have the same setup in essence as post #2 in this thread:


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ml#post1341683
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:41 PM   #5
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As far as the winterizing antifreeze manifold questions, this is usually at the water pump on a RV, but not sure if a destination trailer has such (no experience). Does your destination trailer have water pump, and if so, do you know where it is located? You must have something somewhere, according to the diagram. This 'manifold' is where you are able to pump antifreeze into your water lines.
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:49 PM   #6
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Thank you WMTire,

You confirmed exactly what I thought.

Two things I can add:

1) This destination trailer is at it's final resting place near Palm Springs, CA where it can get cold but rarely freezes but for a few hours, so I will never pump antifreeze into the lines. I drain the lines and then blow them out with a low presser air compressor, then pour antifreeze in the drain traps and toilet bowl to stop foul odors when leaving. I've never put a drop of water in the fresh water tank yet. I will when I return in January just to have an emergency supply, but the rig has been hooked up to city water and filters the entire time we're here in the season.

2) The other note is that while the upper 90-degree valve is turned to return cold water through the hot water outlet, my experience was that opening faucet(s) while still hooked to and operating the city water supply doesn't let any air into the tank so it drains really slowly because the water flows out the faucets not letting air return to the tank! I opened the relief valve to aid draining. It would be great if there was a cold water valve before the tank that simply didn't let any water get to the tank at all. I should look closer and if there isn't one, maybe I should add one.

Thanks again. This AND the link to your bypass info was very helpful to me.
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:56 PM   #7
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So my answer about the water pump and antifreeze is, I don't entirely know about the port for pumping antifreeze into the lines on this model. I do know where the pump is, I just haven't studied it well yet, and as we all know, Forest River simply doesn't give you a owner's manual that matches any model in particular. We learn all this on forums like this.
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Old 10-29-2021, 06:07 AM   #8
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draining the tank and blowing the lines out with water is perfect, regardless of how cold it gets. The lines cannot burst if there is no water in them to freeze and expand.


The only area in your setup I see where you could conceivably have a problem is the red water line from the top of the tank down to the top ball valve. Once you close that ball valve there is no way to get any water in that line out using gravity


Two possible solutions, when you have the lines all blown out and the tank drained but while there is pressure still in the lines open that valve to let the air pressure push the water in the line back up and into the tank. That tiny amount will not harm the tank if it should freeze in the bottom of the tank.


Or you could cover that red line and the plastic valve with foam pipe insulation to insulate it.
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Old 10-29-2021, 12:26 PM   #9
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Venting the water heater tank

We also have a Cottage model (2020, I think). Anyway, wmtire had it exactly right. But, to vent the heater tank after you've bypassed it, simply open the emergency pressure relief valve. Looking at your picture, you see the vertical white pipe that's in the approximate center of the tank going top to bottom? At the top of that pipe is the pressure relief valve. If the pressure gets too high in the tank for some reason, it's set to open to bleed off pressure so your tank doesn't blow valves off, etc.) Anyway, you can manually open that valve and let air in as well. To open, simply flip up the lever on the top of the valve. Make sure your tank is cool, or you will get a blast of steam out of the bottom of that pipe. Anway, that should let in air to break the vacuum and let you drain the tank. Leave it open until you're done and then flip it closed. I also open it when I'm filling the water system in the spring - until water comes out - it's just a thing for me in that I'm paranoid about having the heating element on with no water and burning out. But that's just me! 🙄 Enjoy the cottage. So far we like ours except for a couple things. I wish the water heater was gas so our electrical load wasn't so high (30A service for a 50A trailer), our awning motor broke the first season and the ice maker doesn't have any way to run it on demand for winterizing - you just have to wait for it to make pink ice - takes a while! And, yes, I've checked - there's no easy way to access anything to make it run manually. Other than that, it's been great!
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