Hot Water problems on shake out trip - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-01-2003, 08:04 PM   #1
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Hot Water problems on shake out trip

Howdy folks,
I had my first outing with my 13 foot '98 Casita.

I had a lot of fun and everything went fine except the hot water stopped working half way through the trip.

The water heater works fine, the water gets hot - but I can't get hot water to flow from the faucet or shower on outside water or from the 12v pump.

Anyone run across this problem in the past?
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:17 PM   #2
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I love a mystery! More questions though. Did hot water come out of the faucet, then one day only cold water came out? Or, did the flow stop altogether? Did both hot and cold water stop?

Do you have a bypass valve for winterizing? After draining the tank, you turn the valve to take the tank out of the 'line' so that you can blow the lines without 'blowing' the heater tank. Not everyone has this valve. Could someone who was trying to be helpful have inadvertently turned the valve?

How did you check to see if you were still making hot water after the problem?
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Old 06-01-2003, 08:46 PM   #3
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Hot water problems on shake out trip

Hey Steve,

Before I lit the hot water heater only a trickle of water would come out of the hot water tap. Once I lit the hot water tank and it came up to temp the hot water flowed fine. I used the hot water several time Saturday to wash dishes etc. So it was working.

I turned off the heater before going to bed. When I lit the heater in the morning, there was no flow from the hot water taps, even after the heater came up to temp and the burner went off.

As for a bypass valve – I don’t believe one is installed – at least I don’t see one. I was the only one sleeping in the Casita – so no helpful valve turners were present.

When I turn on the cold water a small amount of hot water will flow from the hot water tap – until I turn off the cold water – then the hot slowly stops.

When I turn on the cold in the kitchen sink, and open the hot water tap in the bathroom sink, a small amount of hot water comes out of the bathroom sink hot water tap. It is hot, so that makes me think the heater is heating water.

Is the 12v water pump supposed to come on when you turn on the hot water? The pump does not come on when I turn on the hot water – but works fine on cold.

Quite a mistery to me.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:26 PM   #4
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Lemme take a stab at it.

First, your water pump won't come on because there is no demand for water. If there's no water leaving the water heater, there's no place for new water to go. Does that make sense? In other word, your pump is fine. I assume there is water in the water heater (checked the drain? This can be misleading as I found out when I thought I had no water, but did.) Don't do it when hot. AFter it's cool, open the drain valve. Open your hot water faucets and if it still doesn't come out, open the pressure release valve. If there is water in there, it will come out. (I finally learned how to empty mine)

When I got my '89, the hot water (regardless of whether heater was lit or not) worked great. Best I could get out the cold water was a dribble. I did everything. Then I removed pressure from the lines and took off the handle and opened it up. There were several small stones in there. I had a towel or two ready so that I could momentarily flip on the water pump to blow out the remaining stones that I couldn't get. So, I'm thinking that maybe something in the hotwater line clogged it up.

I realize that it had worked the day before, but only when you had hot water.

The bypass is possible, but on my newly installed bypass I still have water out of both sides of my faucet. It just bypasses the water heater. You might have a different type that just closed off all water to the hot water line.

First thing I would do is go out and check and make sure there is actually water in the tank. Then we can go from there. I betting that it didn't refill after you emptied it the night before.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:42 PM   #5
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Suz, :wave
Thanks - Yes it does make sense. No flow so no demand on the pump.

I believe you may be correct about me emptying the tank the night before and it not refilling.

The plan of action for tomorrow after work is:
Obtain the correct size socket from Harbor Freight
Drain the heater - check to see if water is getting to the heater.
Check for "stuff" in the lines.

I did make sure there is no bypass valve - but agree with you - there would be flow anyway.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:50 PM   #6
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Socket

Do you need a socket to drain it? I have a drain (albeit half gone due to rust) on the outside. It works the opposite of what I think it should. Have you looked to see if you have a little do-dad on the outside that has a wing nut type looking thingy on it? If it won't budge, try turning it the other way.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:59 PM   #7
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I just went out to the trailer and took a look.
I don't see any drain - either inside the heater compartment or outside under the trailer.:conf

Where is your wing nut thingy located on your trailer?
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Old 06-01-2003, 10:05 PM   #8
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hot water

Mabe.........

Ya had hot water, used it up, got air in the hot water tank, the high temp safety switch shuts down the flame to the hot water tank cause there's no water there. ;)

Need to get the air out of the tank?! :o

The anode plug will be really, really tight!
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:26 PM   #9
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Hot water Problem

You still have water in the tank. You have to pump water in to get water out of a faucet. Something is blocking the line. You need to take out the anode plug. It will require a 1+ 1/16 in socket (a six point is best) and drain the tank. What ever is blocking the line may come out with the water. You may have to fill it and re-drain more than once to get it to come out. If air doesn't come out of the hot water faucet when trying to refill the water tank you will have to bleed it off with the pressure relief valve.

If you try to operate the pressure relief valve before the tank is drained, what ever is clogging the line may stop it up too. SO DRAIN THE TANK FIRST!

Let us know what happens.
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Old 06-01-2003, 11:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Folks:wave

I want to see what shape the anode is in anyway since the trailer is new to me.

I think Ron and Suz nailed it. There is something in the system that is blocking the flow. :censor

Now for the fun part - finding it.

Thanks for the warning Ron. I would hate to clog my relief valve.
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:22 AM   #11
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Hot water

Oops, the hot water tank won't empty by itself, like Ron says, ya have to drain it. Guess I've had the anode rod out so many times my brain is as empty as the hot water tank. :)
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:40 AM   #12
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Hot water

If it's a stuck check valve........
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3edafd954ade8Casita bench removed close up.jpg/>

There's a check valve on the inlet and outlet of the hot water tank. Removing the bench isn't as bad as it may seem. A #2 square drive bit is required and about 6-8 screws to remove. The top caps of the check valves are removable for inspection.

Here's the pressure relief valve......
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3edafea89a801Casita water heater relief valve.jpg/>
I think Suz 'wing nut' is refering to the little lever, it swivels around AND out?! :)
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:19 AM   #13
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In general, when you open either faucet the water pump should turn on.

The water pump pressurizes everything downstream of it. Open either faucet and water escapes, the pressure goes down and the pump senses this and turns on trying to bring pressure back up again.

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3edb43e4b9f97WaterSys.jpg/>

It takes a really, really, really long time to fill the hot water tank. Especially with the on board water pump. Still, if there were air trapped in there, the pump should turn on when you opened the hot water faucets.

If the pump 'purrs' when the cold water is turned on, but doesn't when the hot is turned on, then I'm with most everyone else in suspecting a blockage in the hot water side. No water out, no pressure loss, no pump on.

You're already checking for scale from the tank walls or other debris blocking the tank outlet. Depending on how easy it is to get at the hot water connection under the faucet, you could could try using VERY low (10 or 20 psi) air pressure to blow backwards through the system. I suggest this ONLY if you've drained the water heater and with the annode rod out.

Another thing to try while the annode rod is out. Flip on the water pump. If you can hear water pumping in AND its flowing out the annode rod hole then the heater inlet side is clear.
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Old 06-02-2003, 08:39 AM   #14
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Wing nut

Granted I have an ancient water heater, so mine may be different. But draining mine involves two things. Opening up the drain on the lower front side of the heater and releasing the pressure valve thing on top.

To open it, you unscrew it. However, loosening it is just the oppositie of unscrewing a bolt. When you screw it in, it opens the drain. The water will come out the center of it. Then release the pressure valve switch. The water will shoot straight out.

I assumed that they all had a drain, but perhaps they don't. If they don't, then where does the water come out when you release the pressure?

You are right to remove your anode rod and test it. If you wait too long, it becomes permanent. Believe me. I simply cannot get mine out. I appreciate all the help, but it is now a permanent part of my tank...which I will replace in the fall or spring of next year. When I buy my new one, I know to check to make sure it has a drain on it.

I'll see if I can find a diagram.
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