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Old 08-09-2014, 11:12 AM   #1
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Water Heater Bypass? Gas and Electric?

Another quick question...

When we picked up our new RV, (see sig), it's supposed to have a bypass, but I wasn't told where it is. I thought it was supposed to be both electric or gas, but didn't seem to heat the water when just electric was on.

Anyone clue me in on this quandary?
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:27 AM   #2
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The valves for water heater by-pass, some RV's have a single lever, others have 3 inline 1/4 turn taps. Should be right beside or behind , the tank. Handle across the line is off, lined up is on. For hot water inlet and outlet valves open, valve in crossover closed. For winter by-pass the opposite , and the tank drain opened.
On electric water heat time is hours, compared to 10>15 mins. for propane.

EDIT: Post again if you can't locate the valves, and I'll post a picture of mine.
Do you have the operators manual for the W/H , if not post the brand and model and we will find one.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:44 PM   #3
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Bypass is different from heating.

Without a model number, we can give you no info on heating options.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #4
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Somewhere, Usually near the Water heater, there is/are either 1, 2 or 3 valves. On my coach they are "Behind the heater, (You remove a panel inside the rig to access them) two are open for use and the third (Bypass line) closed, for winter use or storage (no water heater) you close the top and bottom ones and open the middle one to bypass. Then ull a drain plug (outside) and a bunch of other work.

On some I have seen a single valve on a panel next to the heater

On some the valves are in the "Wet Bay" with all the other water stuff.

On some... Well you get the idea. valves can be in many places.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:34 PM   #5
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As to electric operation--most have 2 on/off switches, one in the trailer and one on or near the back of the water heater. The one on the heater should be left on and then use the interior switch when electricity is hooked up.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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The water heater by pass is used to winterize the RV. You unscrew the drain plug and drain the water heater, the by pass valve(s) are then set to stop water from flowing through the water heater. The water lines, cold and hot, can then be blown out or the water pump can be used to pump RV anti freeze through the lines to prevent freeze damage.

The water heater is usually 12 v for power and control, LP for heating. Many models in addition have a 120 v AC heating element. The water heater isn't like an RV refrigerator, you have to select the heat source manually. Don't turn on heat until the tank is full of water. The 120 v element often has two switches, one inside for turning it on when needed, the second switch is a 'safety' switch located outside in the WH compartment. It should be turned off when the tank is empty, other than then it can be left on to control from inside the RV.

On many WH the 120 v electric element only supplements the heating and extends the supply of water for a shower or large volumes of hot water. It often can't really heat water very quickly from a cold tank. The LP gas heater is usually much faster, both together is the fastest setting.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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The bypass is usually at the back of the water heater and you should be able to see the plumbing.

On electric heat, your water will take a couple of hours to heat up and on propane it should happen in 30 to 45 minutes.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I'm going to look it over when I get back over to the RV later this week. Again thanks and I'll report back what I find.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKP Kirk View Post
The bypass is usually at the back of the water heater and you should be able to see the plumbing.

On electric heat, your water will take a couple of hours to heat up and on propane it should happen in 30 to 45 minutes.
The caption in white , is not correct. The by-pass valve, as shown , is closed.
The hot and cold valves are open. Normal operating position.
For winterizing, the hot and cold need to be closed and the by-pass opened, & the drain plug removed from the outside of the tank. Then you can run RV anti freeze through the hot & cold line with out any entering the H/W tank; by disconnecting the 12v pump inlet tube and installing an adaptor to draw the anti freeze out of a jug.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The caption in white , is not correct. The by-pass valve, as shown , is closed.
The hot and cold valves are open. Normal operating position.
For winterizing, the hot and cold need to be closed and the by-pass opened, & the drain plug removed from the outside of the tank.
That is exactly that that white printing states.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:58 PM   #11
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Beg to differ, your label says, "This is the Normal operating position. Close this Valve when Winterizing with Anti-Freeze"

As pictured, the valve is CLOSED (handle across pipe) To winterize, you OPEN that valve so water loops through cold to hot without entering the WH tank. I assume the tank is to the left in the photo, the hot and cold valves would be CLOSED for Winterizing, hus blocking flow through the tank.

In the following photo, the center valve needs to be closed for normal operation, (they're all open in the photo) the cold and hot valves remain open. To winterize, the center valve is open and the top and bottom valves are closed, stopping flow into the tank.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:01 PM   #12
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That is exactly that that white printing states.

No, it says Normal operation position , " Close "this valve.
The valve in the picture is already closed, handle across the tube direction.
Caption should read " Open " this valve and close the other two, valves, for anti freeze installation.
EDIT : Thanks Bob, I guess we were typing at the same time.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:06 PM   #13
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As to electric operation--most have 2 on/off switches, one in the trailer and one on or near the back of the water heater. The one on the heater should be left on and then use the interior switch when electricity is hooked up.
Joe
I agree with Joe. If you are getting hot water from the propane then you still have to turn on the electric switch on the outside water heater compartment for the electric to work. Why they do this I have no clue but you have to have both switches on for the electric to work. Leave the one on the water heater in the on position like Joe stated and then just turn it on and off with the inside heater switch.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:28 PM   #14
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I agree with Joe. If you are getting hot water from the propane then you still have to turn on the electric switch on the outside water heater compartment for the electric to work. Why they do this I have no clue but you have to have both switches on for the electric to work. Leave the one on the water heater in the on position like Joe stated and then just turn it on and off with the inside heater switch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Post # 5 As to electric operation--most have 2 on/off switches, one in the trailer and one on or near the back of the water heater. The one on the heater should be left on and then use the interior switch when electricity is hooked up.
Joe
Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Post # 6...Don't turn on heat until the tank is full of water. The 120 v element often has two switches, one inside for turning it on when needed, the second switch is a 'safety' switch located outside in the WH compartment. It should be turned off when the tank is empty, other than then it can be left on to control from inside the RV....
The reason has been covered earlier in this thread.
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