Water heater bypass - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2005, 08:05 AM   #1
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Went by local RV place here and bought a bypass kit for my Atwood water heater in my 2003 Scamp. This bypass looked easy enough - just unscrew connections into heater and put the brass valves in and hook lines back to these valves and install line between them. Sounded easy. Got home and it looks like to me that the lines need to be disconnected from the brass fittings in order to uncrew the fittings. They are attached to these fittings with what looked like an extra band of plastic pipe and I guess a special tool. I don't have tool. Where do I go from here? I guess I'll buy 6 more gallons of antifreeze and fill the heater to fill the hot water lines? Meanshile since it dropped to 22 last night and maybe same tonight, I drained heater and blew lines out as best I could thru city water connections and put anti-freeze in tank and pumped thru cold lines and a little in drain traps and then as much of hot lines as I could with only 3 gallons.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:11 AM   #2
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I installed one on my old water heater, but it's like today's Suburban so I probably can't help much.

Regardless of the brand or placement, you will have a cold water entrance and a hot water exit from your heater. This is where the bypass is installed.

Here's a pictuer of mine, just in case it might help.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:24 PM   #3
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Chris,

You need to look at Suz's picture closely. Note that there are two water lines, one on top of another.

The bottom line is the cold water. It comes from either the left or right. There is a horizontal Tee that goes into a brass fitting at the bottom of the water heater. That fitting is a Tee as well with the stem of the Tee pointing to the bypass loop that curves up to the hot water outlet. On the brass fitting note that there is a lever pointing back towards the bottom water line. In this orientation, the water should come in from the cold line and pass right into the bottom of the water heater.

The water heats and comes out the top, drops down to the top water line and runs off in two directions. Probably one way to the kitchen sink, the other way to the shower.

If the lever is rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise, it would point towards the loop. In this case, water comes in from the bottom line but before it can get to the water heater it is turned and set up to the outlet side and on towards the kitchen sink and/or shower. When you bypass the water heater, water will still come out the hot water faucets, it's just cold.

The bypass valve, brass in this case has a proper orientation. If you flopped this one over so that the lever is underneath, then the valve wouldn't work right.

I've taken the liberty of marking up Suz's photo since it's such a clear shot of what's happening.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:30 PM   #4
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The bypass valve pointing towards the cold water supply outlined in blue.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:33 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve and Suz. Unfortunately, my plumbing looks nothing like yours. I understand how the system works but my problem is that the current semi-transparent flexible lines seem to be crimped directly to the brass fiting that is screwed into the heater. If I try to turn the brass fitting, the lines would twist and twist and they don't seem come off of the brass fitting.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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Heres mine.
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:05 PM   #7
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This is ringing a bell. Didn't we talk about this before? It's PEX tubing that is crimped on with copper rings. I was surprised to learn that PEX came in semi-transparent. There are also specialty fittings that allow twist on connections to PEX tubing. Your tubing is probably, but I won't guarantee it, 5/8 OD, 1/2 ID.

Here's mine as long as we're building a database of images.

Note that some lines are crimped on to removeable fittings, some on elbows and such.

By the way, if it's not PEX tubing, the rings are apparently subtly different, perhaps to make up for the different wall thicknesses.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:08 PM   #8
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Chester - your semi-transparent lines look like mine. In orer to splice the bypass in, do you just cut the lines and install those plastic ends. Do they compress the tubing by twisting them on or do you have to glue? Thanks
Steve- it does say PEX on the line and as I remember it says 1/2" ID
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Z@Nov 17 2005, 02:08 PM
Chester - your semi-transparent lines look like mine. In orer to splice the bypass in, do you just cut the lines and install those plastic ends. Do they compress the tubing by twisting them on or do you have to glue? Thanks
Steve- it does say PEX on the line and as I remember it says 1/2" ID
NO Glue.Just cut and compressed on .
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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Chester thanks
Did you find a kit with the valves and so forth or just buy individual pieces? I think I saw things like this at Lowe's hardware but wasn't sure it was right thing. Like I said, the one I got from local RV place won't work for me.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by steve L.@Nov 17 2005, 12:05 PM
This is ringing a bell. Didn't we talk about this before?
And thanks for reposting the information Steve
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:41 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Chris Z@Nov 17 2005, 02:34 PM
Chester thanks
Did you find a kit with the valves and so forth or just buy individual pieces? I think I saw things like this at Lowe's hardware but wasn't sure it was right thing. Like I said, the one I got from local RV place won't work for me.
I got a whole kit from a RV Store.It came in a bag.
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:44 PM   #13
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It looked like this only plastic valves.
http://www.camco.net/Menu.cfm?SupCategoryI...&ProductId=2267
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Old 11-17-2005, 02:48 PM   #14
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I wish I had taken before pictures, but all of my original plumbing was crimped. All of the white you see (and the fittings) is where I replumbed it using compression fittings. If you look closely you can see a little of the gray pipe. This would be the same as your clear. The one I was really worried about was the one that went into my water pump. When it started leaking I thought I was in a real jam. Not so, they make a fitting that has a little rubber gasket thingy and it works perfectly.

You may have a hard time getting the tubing over the connection, but it will be easy if you heat it with a regular hair dryer.

NOTE: I did have to buy a few extra fittings, as I recall, so that I could make the connection without the crimper tool.
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