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Old 12-30-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
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Winterizing (pink stuff) without bypass valve

I have a single bypass valve and either the bypass valve or the one way valve isn't working. I found a way to get pink stuff through the hot water lines using the shower head. Nothing new really I'm sure.

1. Open cold valves one at a time until pink stuff flows.

2. Open cold and hot valve in the shower and verify the shower head is off.

3. Open hot water valves one at a time.

4. Drain hot water tank.

If the hot water tank doesn't have a one way valve this might still work you would just use a little extra pink stuff presumably.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:42 AM   #2
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Looks like it would work, but why not just replace the one way valve or replace it with a shut off?
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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Confused

Was the water heater filled with water or pink stuff?
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:30 PM   #4
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Was the water heater filled with water or pink stuff?
I had already drained the water heater. Just a little pink stuff came out the water heater while opening the hot water valves. It took less than a gallon to do the whole rv. This was way easier than changing anything out. I saw pink stuff come out every faucet.
Without this work around I was going to have to either change the one way valve or fill the entire water tank to get flow thru the hot water lines.

I just used a fairly basic plumbing troubleshooting technique where you use a faucet to connect the hot and cold water lines together. It just happens that with the rv already having a shut off at the shower head it's all very simple to do. (Hard to explain)
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #5
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Looks like it would work, but why not just replace the one way valve or replace it with a shut off?
Bob, I have the rv parked at our hunting spot until Jan. If it looks easy enough I will probably change the valve when it's warmer.
I noticed a couple recent post where brand new rv's don't have bypass valves and this might work for them as well.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:47 PM   #6
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I don't quite see why the hwh doesn't fill with antifreeze when pumping it to/through the cold water lines.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:12 PM   #7
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Agree with TomBr. What prevented the HWH from filling when the cold lines were flooded with the pink stuff? That's the purpose of the bypass valve, to prevent that. The pink stuff gets to the hot faucets happens either way, i.e. either around or through the tank
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:21 AM   #8
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Agree with TomBr. What prevented the HWH from filling when the cold lines were flooded with the pink stuff? That's the purpose of the bypass valve, to prevent that. The pink stuff gets to the hot faucets happens either way, i.e. either around or through the tank
I can't speak for every situation but this worked for me. When I tried to put the bypass valve to bypass there was no flow through the hot water lines at all. This indicated to me after running two gallons into the water tank that I had a problem.

When I did the "work around" I saw pink stuff come out of every faucet with the hot water valves open. As I said previously some also went through the water heater. I used less than a gallon and I'm happy.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:10 AM   #9
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You may have had a small piece of debri stuck at and preventing your check valve from working properly. I dont see how the shower head would prevent pink stuff from entering the hwh. The moment you start pumping antifreeze into your system it would start filling the hwh unless it is bypassed. I think your shower head has tricked you into thinking it has done something that it hasn't. Take that with a grain of salt as im usually wrong.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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I try to imagine how to make this happen, and I always end up back at the winterizing valve. The valve insert (the part that turns) has one hole running straight through it and one hole drilled into it from one side into the straight-thru hole. When turned one way the straight-thru hole runs the flow straight through into the tank and the 90 degree hole is against a blank wall. Turned 90 degrees, one end of the straight-thru hole is against the blank wall, the flow is in through the 90 degree hole and out into the bypass through the other end of the straight-thru hole. If the valve insert is installed incorrectly ( or the valve itself is installed incorrectly) you can end up with the 90 degree hole pointing towards the tank instead of towards the inlet line when you turn it to the bypass position, thus stopping all flow in from the inlet. Then running the flow through the shower head would run it into the hot water side at the shower, and while it would then flow into the tank as well as to all the hot water lines, you might be able to fill all hot water lines before too much runs into the tank, thus achieving the effect described here. So my guess is that your bypass valve is either assembled incorrectly or installed wrong, looking like a tee at the tank inlet instead of like a straight-in run with a tee off the side (this would have the same effect of closing off flow through the cold water inlet when turned 90 degrees).
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:35 PM   #11
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Come to think of it, you might have the same problem if the cold water inlet is plumbed into the tee on the bypass valve and the bypass line plumbed into the straight-out end of the valve, in which case the bypass position of the valve (the lever of the valve pointing perpendicular to the straight part of the valve) would be running cold water into the tank but with the valve in the straight-thru position (the lever parallel to the straight part of the valve) all flow from the cold water line would be cut off. Rather an interesting problem. Perhaps you would tell us which position the handle is in for normal operation. I know the handle can be removed, but I don't know if it or the insert part can actually be installed in/on the valve incorrectly.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:53 PM   #12
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Or the same problem would occur if the valve is installed with the flow arrow (on the body of the valve) pointing away from the tank-in the parallel position cold water flow would go into the tank, but in the perpendicular position all flow in from the cold line would be cut off, with the only route of flow being from the bypass line into the tank so again the shower head route would pump pink stuff into the hot water lines and ultimately into the tank but perhaps allowing the described effect to occur. Since the little flow direction arrow is hard to see, I finally (I hope!!) conclude this is the most likely reason for this. Could you look for the arrow and tell us which way it points?
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:51 AM   #13
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Looks like it would work, but why not just replace the one way valve or replace it with a shut off?
Bob,

You were right. It worked.

I'll change the valve when it's warmer and if it's easy to do.
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