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Old 07-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Where is the water heater bypass valve?

Newbie here Where might I find the water heater bypass valve in my MH? How can I tell if there is water in the water heater? It is a Shasta Cynara --- stepchild to the Forest River Forester. The only valve that I can easily spot is on a blue pex line in a bay about 5' to the rear of the water heater access door. The water filter is in this bay, but everything is nicely concealed so I can't follow the lines without dismantling something. That valve has been in the "on" position -- pointing the same direction as the water line.

I tried heating water for the first time. I consulted the manual which only stated to "if there is a bypass". I looked inside the water heater access panel, not seeing a water valve, I turned on the WH switch and went outside, planning to come back later to take a shower.

When I returned there was a smell of melted plastic inside and the switch light was no longer lit. I assume I burnt out the electric element?? Can I get hot water using propane? It's a Suburban. I pushed the reset switch just now and heard gas igniting.


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Old 07-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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There are two ways to pipe the "by-pass" if you have one. One has a valve at the inlet and outlet of the water heater and the other has a single 3 port valve. To see if you have water in the water heater, have the water connected to the coach OR the water pump on. At the water heater bay, lift the lever on the water heater, if you have water there, you will get some air and then water. DO NOT do this with the water heater on or hor as you may get burned.

You should be able to see how the water heater is plumbed from under a bunk or in the back of a cabinet. You may have to remove a panel to get at the back of the water heater.

For propane heating of the water heater, make sure the valve at the tank is on. You may have to light a stove burner to clear the lines of air and cycle the water heater through a few start cycles. I presume you have a DSI (direct spark ignition) which you should be able to heat sparking or clicking when it tries to light. At the heater you will heat ir roaring slightly when it is lite.

Hope you get to shower.


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Old 07-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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It would appear that you do not have a bypass which would be attached to the water heater and would look something like this Save at RV Partscenter - RV Parts and Supply
You should be able to see on the exterior the water heater access door, there you can observe the propane ignite and burn (check flame color and adjust by moving the air shutter) if you have a nice blue flame you should be good to go. You can also check to see if you are getting power to the electric heating element using a VOM. Suburban and Atwood both have manuals available on line with pictures that will show you what is what and how it works, or doesn't.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:18 PM   #4
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w/h bypass

the bypass valve on most w/h is at the back of the unit where the tank is connected to the plumbing if i wanted to know if the heator was bipased i would go to the access door for the heator open it and pull the handle on t/p valve if you get pressurised water out you are not in bypass lee
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:55 PM   #5
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Finally found the bypass valve -- under the bed but there is a round port with a plastic screw-in lid. Thank you Forest River! BUT, the water heater anode popped out as soon as the water started to fill the tank.

This makes 4 factory plumbing issues I've found -- missing fresh water tank drain cap, 2 faucets with incorrect valves and the anode. Is this typical in a new RV?

The good news is I got a shower and am surprised that it wasn't as cramped as I was expecting. One more small victory for a full time lifestyle.
Barb (RVM18), Sena (capuchin monkey, RVM Head Mascot) & Lily (Maltese/Yorkie)
2011 Shasta Cynara 230F, 2012 Smart Car toad, 372 watt solar FMCA #F466348
The Journey is Our Destination. Full-timing since 5/18/2011 - no end in sight
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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The water bypass valves are under sink area. to the right of tank There are 3 to deal with
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:58 PM   #7
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Picture shows valves in summer position.

In the winter they will be turned in opposite direction.

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heater, water

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