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Old 09-26-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Water heater inlet/outlet valves

I've read several posts about the problem the water heater inlet/outlet valves can cause when they freeze up and no hot water is available at the faucets. I was told today by a fellow camper who had to remove his valves in order to get hot water to his faucets that only Suburbans have these valves. Atwood water heaters do not have them. Does anyone know if this is true? I'd feel a lot better knowing mine did not have these valves to contend with.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:53 PM   #2
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To the best of my knowledge, both water heaters have input and output isolation valves for bypassing the heater for winterization. The difference I have encountered is that one has an anode rod and one does not. Someone will correct me if that is incorrect.
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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It has nothing to do with Suburban vs Atwood and everything to do with the type of winterizing bypass system installed. A one or two valve system requires a check vale, whereas a three valve system does not. If you have the now-common single valve bypass, you have a check valve at the tank outlet. If you have theold 3-valve system you probably do not.

If you never use the bypass, you could remove the check valve - it is only needed when the tank is in bypass status.
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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To the best of my knowledge, both water heaters have input and output isolation valves for bypassing the heater for winterization. The difference I have encountered is that one has an anode rod and one does not. Someone will correct me if that is incorrect.
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As usual all RVs are so different from make to make, year to year and model to model that anything is possible.

My 18 year old coach, (with a 10 gal Suberban WH), has never had "isolation valves" or a "bypass for winterization", but like most, (all?), Suberban water heaters it has an anode rod.

Mel
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:43 PM   #5
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Mel,

I agree with what you are saying. I have a 12-year old fifth wheel, also with a Suburban 10 gallon heater. It has 1/4 turn valves at the input and output and a bypass, so I can put antifreeze into the hot water side of the system without having to fill the water heater with antifreeze. It also has an anode rod.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Per Surburan (I had a "Client" who called them) They do not install these valves at the factory, they are purly a body builder item

IN THEORY: you only need the outlet valve (Though some put 'em on the inlet and frankly I can find no reason at all to do that)

You only need them with a single valve byapss system

I have a 3-valve, an Atwood, and no INLET check valve.. Do not knwo about the outlet but suspect none,, With the 3-valve (Or 2 valve) bypass systems there is no reason to have a check valve.

Oh "the Client" (A mother/Daughter RV pair) was parked near me in a campground. After a few chats the mother confirmed the existence of the check valve, gutted it and they were once again in Hot Water..... They tagged it, since they winterized by the dry method (So it did not matter) and then did an even better repair a bit later (Traded up)
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:35 PM   #7
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Mel,
I agree with what you are saying. I have a 12-year old fifth wheel, also with a Suburban 10 gallon heater. It has 1/4 turn valves at the input and output and a bypass, so I can put antifreeze into the hot water side of the system without having to fill the water heater with antifreeze. It also has an anode rod.
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For 13 winters I have winterized my coach for Wisconsin winters, but I have never used RV antifreeze in my fresh water system.

I simply "gravity drain" everything in the fresh water system... (NO "RV anti-freeze".. "NO blowing out".. NO "freeze problems').

BTW...that is NOT my recommendation ...(just what I do)!

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Old 09-27-2014, 03:01 PM   #8
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Mel,

Thanks again for your expertise. I've only had my rig for one winter, so I suppose I may have performed overkill out of fear and ignorance. I'll try doing it your way and see what happens; it would surely beat flushing that junk out of the system next season. Thanks again.

Bob
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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My coach is a 2004 Itasca Meridian 36G and there is one knob in the utility compartment labeled "By Pass" for the water heater and that's all I have to turn 1/4 turn when winterizing. This keeps any antifreeze I'm pumping into the system at the water pump from entering the water heater. I have no idea what that knob is actually doing.
On my 1997 Southwind there were 2 knobs (valves) I had to turn right at the water heater in order to re-route the water flow around the water heater.
As I said, I have no idea what turning one knob enables the water from the pump to go around the heater.
I'm camped right behind a 5th wheel that had to remove the valves at the heater in order to get hot water, which is what brought this matter to mind.
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