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Old 06-03-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Taking water heater bypass valve out - any reason we shouldn't?

Tonight were going to remove our water heater bypass valve. It looks like it was an after market add-on.

When we dewinterized a week ago it was making strange noises when we turned on the hot water (maybe something is stuck in it) but I couldn't detect a leak. Yesterday I found it leaking and my husband fixed the leak at the one exit point on the valve but now it is leaking at another joint. It is a metal valve mated to plastic plumbing and we figure with the different expansion/contraction cycles of the two materials we may always have problems with it so were taking it out.

When we winterize we blow out the lines and only put anti freeze in the drains, not the plumbing lines. Is there any good reason to not take this troublesome valve out? Do we need it for anything other than putting anti-freeze in the plumbing lines?

A bonus is that I'm going to have a new kitchen faucet installed while he's under there doing the plumbing so I'm not too bummed about finding the leak.

Thanks for your assistance,
Michelle
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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Given that you can get away with just blowing out the lines there is no real function to the Bypass valve. You can always replace it when you want or need to.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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Hi Michelle,
Are you talking about the check valve at the back of the hot water heater? Or are you referring to the shut off valves(3) that you use when winterizing. What's confusing is you only mention 1 valve.


Here is a picture of the hot water bypass system.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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It similar to the one valve system in the pictures

Hi,

It is similar to the one valve system in your pictures. We have a brass valve like that labeled water heater bypass. At first it was leaking on the side going into the water heater. Now it is leaking on the other side going toward the plumbing. Both leaks are at the exit points to the valve (I believe).

Michelle
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:08 PM   #5
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You don't need the bypass if you use the compressed air method of winterizing and the single valve systems are problematic anyway - the check valve sticks or they leak. If you want to put something back in for emergency use, I'd get the Camco 2-valve kit,which uses two brass three-way valves.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Big problem - non-standard plumbing parts

Well, we got it out ok but then found that neither Lowes or Home Depot carries the right size of plumbing to mate with it to put it back together. It's like a small half inch plumbing size. Didn't fit with my residential faucet either so I'm bummed about that. Today were going to try Ace and call Camping World to see what they have.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:43 AM   #7
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About the only purpose in the by-pass is to save the anti-freeze.
The by-pass allows you to divert the flow and saves you 6 to 10 gallons of fluid.
Drain the heater,blow out the lines and your good to go.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:27 PM   #8
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During my first water heater flushing process I wanted to remove the electric element. The water piping was right in the way. In the process of repiping I removed the bypass piping. Since I am a full timer I really did not need it. I also installed a cold water feed shut off for the water heater.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:59 PM   #9
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I actually used the valve once.

One of the flex lines on the water heater split. It was nice to be able to isolate the heater and be able to use water in the rest of the coach until I could repair it--just not hot water.

Steve
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:14 AM   #10
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My vote would be to keep it if it is a true bypass value. We have an Atwood GC10A-4E in our MH and Atwood recommends that the tank be flushed out 2 or 3 times a year. The bypass value allows you to do it. Also, if you do flush your water heater and the drain plug were to brake, having a bypass value will allow you to still use water elsewhere. That would also be true if you had some other type of problem with the water heater. In MHO having no water at all is a heck of a lot worse than just not having hot water.

Bob
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #11
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You don't need a bypass valve to flush a heater tank. Or at least I never have used the bypass in the process.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone!

I appreciate all the good input. We have it out and the new plumbing in, thanks to ACE Hardware who had some stuff that would mate with the old plumbing. Unfortunately in the process we discovered something unfortunate. The P-trap under the sink was only fitted together with the pipe from the sink drain. It wasn't attached in any secure manner. When we removed the boards under the sink to work on the plumbing it got bumped so we had some sink drain water get under the sink. Fortunately since we had paper towels down to see if the new plumbing was leaking we discovered it right away and duct taped the whole thing together.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
You don't need a bypass valve to flush a heater tank. Or at least I never have used the bypass in the process.
Our water heater is lower than the fresh water holding tank and is typical for a lot of gas coaches. So not closing the bypass valve also means draining out the fresh water tank as the drain plug becomes a 'low point'.

Bob
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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Not using antifreeze might be the reason you have a leak. Blowing out the lines does not always get everything out. Remaining droplets of water will settle into the elbows and freeze. I would fix leak and start winterzing with antifreeze.....
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