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Old 02-14-2010, 07:45 AM   #1
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Upgrade water heater with tempering valve

One of the older plumber's tricks for helping an undersized water heater is the addition of a tempering valve. Its a simple 3 way valve with internal temp control. Mixes hot and cold water to produce pretty constant outlet temp (115 or so). Then the water heater temp is set to a higher temp (150 to 160). The net effect is more hot water for a longer period of time from the same size tank. This is essentially what Atwood has done with the XT series water heaters.

The tempering valve itself is not expensive, about $35 in the 1/2" size.

Just wondering if anyone has gone this route to improve the amount of hot water available from a 6 gal atwood.

On our older motorhome we replaced the atwood with a propane tankless unit. It worked great but was very expensive and required modifications to the motorhome outside wall. I want to avoid the expense and the modifications this time in our new coach.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #2
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Just wondering if anyone has gone this route to improve the amount of hot water available from a 6 gal atwood..
jcthorne, Quite a few people have viewed this post today, I have been following it because I thought we might have seen a response. Personally I have a 10 gallon Atwood DSI and I can't remember running out of hot water either before or after using our Oxygenics shower head.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #3
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I was intrigued with this idea as well and was hoping that someone would post that they had done this as I, also, have a six gal tank.

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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jcthorne, Quite a few people have viewed this post today, I have been following it because I thought we might have seen a response. Personally I have a 10 gallon Atwood DSI and I can't remember running out of hot water either before or after using our Oxygenics shower head.
We also have the 10 Gallon Atwood and the Oxygenics shower head. We take back to back showers and have never run out of hot water.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:25 AM   #5
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Well, if no one has experience with this, I'll post up when I have it done. If it does not work out, I'm only out about $50 in parts and some time.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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We have an Atwood 10 gallon heater with the DSI. However there is no provision to increase the temp of the water being heated. To make the tempering valve work we would also need a new adjustable thermostat.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:10 AM   #7
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This sounds like a good way to solve a small problem in our household. Or is that RV hold?
We have a tankless unit in the stick house that works very well and the wife had me set it to a comfortable temp for showers etc. with a small mixture of cold water.

In our Simba, you have a choice of just plain very hot and it can catch you off guard if you are not careful so the mixing valve sounds like a good idea.

In Ontario Canada it is part of plumbing code to have one on a normal water heater so this sounds like a good solution for us.

Now I just need to find a 1/2 inch version.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:03 AM   #8
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PEXsupply has them for $35, just bought one.

To the previous poster, yes you would need the attwood adjustable thermostat which runs about $25 from most rv supply stores. I also added an electric element and have it set just slightly higher than the propane thermostat. That way both heat sources are active but the electric will keep it warm in stand by, keeping it silent when not using hot water.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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I have the attwood 10 gal.TE with the mixing valve. It hasn’t worked since I bought my unit used about a year ago. The water temp only gets to be about 100. I like your idea. Please let us know how it works. I don’t see why I couldn’t do something on that order. The price of my replacement valve is about $150. They sure are proud of it. I’ve also been told take my valve has a plastic lock behind the valve handle that can be broken off to allow you the ability for adjusting the temp. Hope to be able to check it out in a few weeks. Will follow up as soon as I find out….Thanks
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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Just caught your post .. Our Bounder has this built in. they call it Exo Therm.
Seems to work just fine. With reasonable care we don't run out of hot water.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:57 PM   #11
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I have the Atwood 10 gallon with 16 gallon capacity because of the mixing valve technology... I love it. It delivers hot hot water and by mixing the original 10 gallons of super hot with some cold it brings the temp down to usable and increases out put... love it. Now I just got to get the oxygenics shower head.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:04 AM   #12
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For anyone that has retrofitted or a water heater that uses a mixing valve, be sure to maintain the valve as we have had a lot of issues with it not working properly due to contamination from minerals and debris. Either install a water softener or perform the annual removal and maintenance to keep it functioning properly.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:24 AM   #13
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My DW and I went out to the storage lot to work on the mixing valve. After spending too much time finding the right screw bit I decided to pull the valve. They had put some type of glue on the screw where the bit goes in. To keep you from tampering with it. When we removed the knob we found 2 sets of spines. On the valve and inside of the knob. The small one was to adjust the temp. And the large locked the knob to prevent you from adjusting the temp. Well now I’m ready to make some changes. That will happen next week when we go camping. I’m sure this will give me hot water now. As long as I don’t have any leaks…LOL. And I will take more showers. It really was not difficult since I did in 30 min. and I only have one arm. I also called the dealer with the hot water heater numbers and they gave me a price of $260 for parts plus..
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #14
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Thanks for the update. Let s know how it works out.
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