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Old 08-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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Question Water Heater Removal

I am in the process of removing my water heater in order to get to the Coach Heater Blower, which is defunct. I have removed the white “wall” to the left side of the WH and most of the black caulking around the front flange of the unit itself. I am just starting to get a little outward movement by pulling on the black front box and the back of the WH. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY THEY CAULKED THIS THING SO THOROUGHLY IN PLACE? 20 screws through the front flange should provide an adequate mechanical anchor and modest sealing would prevent air or water migration in or out. When it comes time to re-install, WHAT CAULKING SHOULD I BUY and from where?
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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I can't answer your question, but have to agree that that "black stuff" is nasty.

I have had to fight it several times when removing panels for access to holding tanks, plumbing, etc. I have used silicon when replacing the panels and have had no problems with leaks.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:14 PM   #3
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I like butyl rubber tape for a sealant
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Furnace Blower

I just pulled the whole furnace out and dis=asembled and replaced the blower motor. I had to do nothing with the water heater. My coach is a 97 Itasca Sunrise.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:46 AM   #5
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I removed mine twice and didn't add any extra sealant, just screwed it back in.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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Talking Sealing the Water Heater Flange

Thanks to all for your comments and sealing suggestions. I succeeded yesterday in getting the WH all the way out of the compartment, although it is not completely detached from the coach yet. One engine coolant line from the engine to the WH is detached in the wheel well, but I had a devil of a time separating it from the rubber sealant where it comes through the bulkhead into the compartment. The other coolant line was not similarly stuck, but it comes from (or goes to) the rear heater core and is still attached; I will be separating this next. I wonder why it exits the compartment and immediately loops back through another hole in the bulkhead to connect to the heater core? Probably a space problem or else to facilitate repairs! LOL I will find out by the time I get the coach heater blower out and I will let you know.

Although I’ve not yet decided which caulk, I plan to seal my water heater flange when I reinstall. The coach heater, when activated sucks its air from the WH compartment through its heater core, blowing it into the floor furnace ducting that is shared with the propane furnace at the rear end of the duct. In my rig, the compartment has an opening above the WH that opens into the TV cabinet above, which has an intake opening and grill behind the passenger seat, completing the airflow loop for the Coach Heater. However, I’m not going to overdo the caulking; I’m going to apply a dab at each screw hole, and a small bead over the edge of the flange after screwing it down. The reason is this: when you turn the coach heater on, any air leaks to the outside will draw in cold air (possibly freezing air) and we don’t want any of that air in the compartment with the WH, the water pump, and a bunch of associated water lines, do we? We’d also do better to have the coach heater heating recirculated inside air, rather than having to heat the cold outside air.

I have taken some pictures along the way, so when this is all over, I plan to publish a procedure summary with photos, probably as a Word document.

The sun is out, so I the coach heater unit may see the light of day today!
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:48 AM   #7
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When you reinstall the WH make sure you don't have a kink in the coolant line. After I installed the WH, my cab heater quit working, I had water flow to the heater control valve, but no heat.


It took a call to the Freightliner Help Desk and a lot of head scratching to figure out the cab heater and the motoraid were on the same loop. FL confirmed that the coolant line for the WH was at the end of the loop, when I straightened the coolant line, everything worked great.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Thanks, Denny.

Yesterday I succeeded in removing the Coach Heater box and taking it down to the motor and plastic squirrel cage blower. My thanks to "tderonne"(and possible predecessors) in another thread for the washer on shaft solution. In my case, binding was between the blower and the motor and placing a simple washer on the motor shaft before putting the blower back on seems like a permanent fix to me. The bad news is that the blower runs fine on high, but not on low. I assume that means I have to replace the resistor pack that is mounted in the heater box next to the heater core. Anyone have a source for this other than a Winnebago/Itasca dealer?
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:21 AM   #9
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If you go to RV repair place you can buy a roll of that tape; It is best to use it; and Not sub for another type of sealer;; Heres why; That heater With water weight appx 100 lbs I say appx. I know some will point out 6 gallons of water at&^^$##@@! whatever;;; Anyway The heater is supported by the Mounting Feasha plate; If that shacks loose while on the road, you pull in to your site push the heater start button And you have Gas/water/electricity That must be in there prospective places , Or bad things happen;; I have seen Propane lines Fractured From moving around Repaired water damaged floors along with a host of other problems caused by owners skimping or thinking they new better then the Manufacture. Life is good.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:26 AM   #10
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Smile Coach Heater Blower Success

I had to order the resistor through the usual Win channels, and it arrived two days ago. Once installed, I placed the loosely assembled box on its shelf, plugged in the coach power harness, and voila! High and Low positions of the Coach Heater switch now work as advertised.

So now I have the CH firmly installed and I am making up new heater hoses to supply the CH and the WH. Yesterday I picked up some butyl tape (thanks, bachler) and with a little luck, the WH will be back on board by nightfall today.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #11
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Before you tuck that H20 heater away, you might consider replacing the one-way check valves on the back of the heater. Just a preventive maint. thing. I would hate to have to undo what you have just done.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:45 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Water Heater and Coach Heater Success!

Thanks, Lt46. My OEM plastic check valves appeared to be in fine shape and I had not had any noises or other problems with them, except there seemed to be a bit of leakage from where the hot outlet check valve threaded into the tank. I removed, re-taped, and reinstalled that one. Having left the check valves in place, I likewise did not modify the OEM WH bypass valve arrangement. I did install new heater hoses for the motoraid and added some length so that the WH can come clear out of the compartment while still attached.

As I got the WH all the way back into its compartment, when I was reconnecting the two fresh water connections, I started to wish I had followed one member's suggestion to cut an access panel in the floor of the compartment at the back of the WH. This would greatly improve making (or breaking) those final connections and inspecting for leaks.

However, everything is reinstalled now and everything works! I do have a little bit of sealing and foaming to do yet, but the hot water is flowing and the coach heater is blowing (on both speeds).

As mentioned before, I am going to organize my thoughts and procedures, along with a bunch of pictures into a single document, which I will make available here as soon as it is finished.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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Hey Dean, sign me up to be first on the list for a copy of your "How-To" word doc. Can you keep it under 5 meg?

troth@mail.cmh.net

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Old 09-25-2011, 02:15 PM   #14
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Water Heater Removal & Coach Heater Repair

Tom, your copy is already on its way!

I’ve been too long from this thread, but I have been busy. For those of you Winnie/Itasca types having issues with your Coach Heater (the rear heater) or needing to remove your Water Heater for some other troubleshooting or repair, I have written a description of my experiences titled, “Water Heater Removal & Coach Heater Repair.” It is a 10-page, 1.9 MB Word (2007) document with about 50 reduced size pictures in the text. Almost all of the pictures are automatically linked to their full-size originals (if you are connected to the internet, which I assume you are, since you are reading this), which I have posted online on my Windows Live SkyDrive. There are also over 70 additional photos there to supply details and possibly clues to your own equipment. If you would like a copy of this document, just drop me a note to dmoxness at ptd.net. It is a .docx file; request a .doc copy if you have an earlier Word version.
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==================================
Coach Heater Blower - Water Heater Removal - Rear Heater Fan - Remove Coach Heater - Back of Water Heater
==================================
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