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Old 12-11-2014, 09:12 AM   #15
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Sanitizing the fresh water system is an excellent tutorial. The last part is for removing algae from the system. This can happen when an RV is stored for a long time with water in the system, especially non-chlorinated water.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:04 AM   #16
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I have the same valve on my water heater amd I cant tell any difference no mater in what position.. However in the sanitation mode, I think you need to leave the valve in "normal" position anyway.. And as far as the 90 degree drain fitting, I agree someone
has added this fitting and should be removed and anode put in. The new anode will also help with the smell...Now after you replace the anode and set he valve to normal put a cup of bleach in the fresh water tank, fill it with water and turn the pump on and run this solution through ahh the system faucets, hot and cold, including the shower and toilet..Then drain the system including the WHT,There should be a drain on the back side of the wht to completely drain it..The blue line will tee and go into the wht at the bottom and should after going into the wht and go to a valve in the line and then go through the floor,, If no valve, remove the anode again this will drain about 90 percent of water from the wht..the rest is no concern..
Replace the anode, if removed, add 1/8 cup of bleach to take fresh water tank and refill the system..Run all hot and cold faucets, commode and shower to purge ..
Also, Check under the sink in kitchen, there should be a water filter, replace the element..And you should be ready to go!!!!!!
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:51 AM   #17
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My Attwood WH from 1995 does not have an anode and never did.

Because the tank is Aluminum, it should not have an anode!

I think you can find the manual on-line if you have the model number.

Here is a link to a current manual. Tank maintenance instructions are spelled out in the manual.

http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/...2011.19.07.pdf
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Janelle12 View Post
Thanks Bflinn, I'll show that to my hubby!

I emailed the manufacturer to get details on the water heater tank. It is probably the original one; I wouldn't know how to check that for sure though!

Any ideas on how to check that bypass valve for proper function? I would think that if its set to bypass the hot water tank, that when you have the water pump on and the drain plug out with the water heater tank empty, you would NOT have water then coming out of the water heater drain. Will someone please verify?
What manufacturer did you email? You said in your opening post that, "We found that the water heater should have an anode rod." Does that mean it's a Suburban WH?

The shut off valve won't stop water from coming out the tank drain if the check valve is leaking. I'd start with vinegar in the water heater tank. That might clear up a bad check valve. Insert the proper water heater tank drain plug, with or without anode as your WH maker requires. (You can search on line with your make and model of WH with the word 'manual' to find instructions for your model.) Then fill the water tank with proper bleach dilution ratio, run each faucet, hot and cold, to get bleach water into all lines and let it sit. You can then flush and refill the water tank until bleach odor is gone. Be sure to use cheap bleach with no scent, Clorox and other 'better' brands often have scent.

I'd also suggest you remove and soak in vinegar all faucet aerators and shower heads. Leave them off while flushing the water system, water will flow more quickly. Again run water from all faucets, hot and cold, to get rid of the bleach water. Don't forget the washing machine hook ups, they can be hooked to hoses and drained out a window, also an outside 'dog' shower, if equipped.
-Bob
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:38 PM   #19
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We have a 1996 with just one bypass valve. It is not working correctly either. It's working a little better than yours but doesn't completely bypass the tank. We have decided to just winterize by blowing the lines out and leaving a little pink stuff in the drains.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:09 AM   #20
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With the valve in BYPASS no water enters the water heater, it "Bypasses" it, going straight into the hot lines, while still cold.

With the Bypass valve in USE, water enters the heater normally.

Flush it out.. you can also get a plastic "Wand" you shove into the drain opening to flush it with a garden hose, this may work better, any RV dealer will have it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:27 AM   #21
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With the valve in BYPASS no water enters the water heater, it "Bypasses" it, going straight into the hot lines, while still cold.
I think the problem is that for many of us with the one valve system the valve stops working correctly and water still gets to the water heater.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:44 AM   #22
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On a one valve bypass, the problem is usually the check valve. The bigger problem is access to that area. Check valve is a small cost, just sometimes hard to get to.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:00 PM   #23
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BFlinn, I had a brilliant idea and you can tell me whether or not it was brilliant. Remember, talk to me like I'm a child, because that about sums up my understanding about what I'm doing LOL.

I have aquariums so I had a powerhead (water pump). So I went to home depot (HD) and bought a thingy that screws into the water heater (where the plug goes) but on its other side it has a thingy that you can attach to some 3/4" tubing. I thought it would be a good idea to (set the waterheater to bypassed) and put the powerhead in the bucket of six gallons of water/vinegar mixture and pump it into the water heater tank (with the pressure relief valve open) until fluid flowed from it. So I did. When I had about two gallons left, I noticed the water level in the bucket wasn't going down any more, so I put the bucket up on top of a trash can to make it higher so the pump wouldn't have to struggle so hard. More fluid went into the tank (about a gallon) but left me with still a gallon in my bucket (My water heater capacity is six gallons). at this point fluid began to come out of the PRV so I shut it off and then hurried up and capped the line (with a rubber door stop cover LOL).

I guess my question is considering the laws of physics, strength of the powerhead etc, did I fail to fill my water heater to capacity with vinegar water?

And would your method have worked better (at eliminating any air gap at the top of the water heater)?
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:28 PM   #24
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Very clever, you have a bonus benefit of de-liming the aquarium pump! Actually, once the pump had started the flow of vinegar into the tank, you could have just raised the bucket above the level of the top of the tank and the siphon effect would have filled the tank. You could have disconnected the pump at that point, just being careful to keep the end of the hose submerged in the vinegar.

Your water heater is designed to always keep the top inch or so of the tank from filling, that being a required air bubble to absorb the expansion of the heating water. You could take the RV for a ride around the block to slosh the vinegar/water mix around to hit all parts of the tank, or do some vigorous action to rock the RV.

Once it's soaked overnight (if it's never been cleaned out with vinegar, overnight isn't too long a soak) Then drain and do multiple flushes with fresh water. If you have the wand that goes on a hose, use that to help rinse it out. You'll be grossed out by the crud that flushes out of the tank!
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #25
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BFlinn thanks! I went to the Walmart nearby to try to acquire one of those wand sprayer thingies but they didn't carry it. I'll pick one up soon. Yes I'm going to leave the vinegar in overnight. We plan on taking the RV out tomorrow evening so maybe I'll even leave it in so that it can get the benefit of the drive agitation! Might even get the other kind too if we're lucky lol. Then we'll drain it again.

After speaking with the local RV mechanic, we determined for a fact that my water heater bypass valve is indeed stuck and no bypass is happening at all. So I'll probably have vinegar-y water in the fresh lines, too! So we will drain all that out and start over at the end of the trip. Fun times being had by all!

Oh! And since the bypass was faulty and antifreeze was put in by the previous owner, our water heater tank had antifreeze in it. I'm not finding very good google results on the effects of that, but the RV mechanic said that I'd better flush several times to get the stink out. But was any permanent damage done to the aluminum tank by the propylene glycol/alcohol in the antifreeze?
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:07 AM   #26
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Bflinn, in my OP (opening post ha ha) i still didnt know for sure the brand type of water tank. Now i know for sure its atwood and aluminum so i dont need anode.

Thanks for the person who linked the manual, ill read it!
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:15 AM   #27
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Got it all cleaned out and i even drank some water and im not sick so i think i passed the test lol!! Now my next thing is to install some sort of prefilter and also a kitchen sink filter for my drinking faucet. Theres a top half of a filter under the sink but i cant seem to locate any results when googling the brand/type on the label. Are they sort of universal? Can i just measure the diameter of it and get any plastic housing and filter and itll work with whats in there?
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #28
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If your Dad used RV drinking water anti-freeze, it's safe for drinking in small quantities, I wouldn't make soup with it. On the filter origins, one of the nice things about a Winnebago is they have complete documentation on them back to very early models. If you go to this website, you'll find much information and PDF versions of manuals and diagrams. Perhaps the origins of the filter will be there.
Manuals & Diagrams
If you contact Winnebago maybe they can tell you if filter parts are still available. I don't think you'll be lucky enough to find a part that will fit, the diameter and thread pitch might be different. (be sure the part you buy to test can be returned) If there's space in the cabinet, you might just buy a new filter unit. If the fastenings at the filter are removable, it would be simple to put another whole unit in it's place. If the connections are crimped on, cut the lines on either side of the old filter housing and take the whole thing to Lowes, Home Depot, or any plumbing supply house. They should be able to match up fittings to let you put the new filter in place of the old one. With a new filter there won't be any issues with finding cartridges, old gaskets, etc.

Did the vinegar make the shut off valve function as intended? If not, you might remove it and replace it while shopping for the filter.
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