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Old 11-13-2014, 08:58 PM   #1
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Winterizing water heater

While reading a recent post on winterizing hot water heaters I noticed the advice was to turn all 3 valves 90 degrees. This was my first time winterizing and I only turned 2 of the valves. The hot and cold. When I ran antifreeze through the lines pink antifreeze came out of all faucets. Does this mean my bypass was open all summer? If so Is that possible and still have hot water delivered to faucets during camping season? There is no water in water heater so I know input line was closed. Is there anything I need to do to avoid any winter problems?

Thanks
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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The two valves on the lines into the heater should be closed. The valve on the line between those two lines should be open. You are closing off the lines to the heater and bypassing them. Drain the heater. Turn on the hot faucet and the heater should not fill.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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Depending on how your water heater bypass is configured, you will have 3 or 2 valves. with 2 valves, they are 3-way to allow normal water flow in and out of that water heater pipe-or conversly from cold to hot water piping; with 3 valves, one near the top one near the bottom, which, when turned crossways stops the flow, and one in between, which, when turned parallel to the pipe opens the bypass from cold to hot water pipes.
No RV anti-freeze will enter the water heater this way. All you need to do is remove the drain plug, allow the WH to empty, replace the drain plug.

Now for your question about only turning 2 valves. If you have 3, and the center valve was already open(parallel), this allowed cold water to mix with hot before going to your faucets. You would have ran out of hot water much more quickly, and it would not have been as hot as designed.
I hope this helps some.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:59 PM   #4
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Thanks, I have a follow up question. The hot water was fine while camping so I guess the bypass was closed. I'm guessing I closed the cold water intake and opened the bypass when I winterized. This would mean I didn't close the hot water return valve because I only turned 2 valves. Is that a moot point since the tank is empty and the water left in the return line would have been emptied when I ran the antifreeze through or do I have to close the valve and run more antifreeze through?

Thanks
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:04 AM   #5
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Some (all?) HWS have a check valve on the inlet and some have it on the outlet as well. An outlet check valve would stop water getting back into the tank when the bypass line was open.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
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I remove the anode and make sure the water heater is drained out. I also use air pressure to blow out the lines, with the water heater still connected in so it also helps blow out any residual water in the tank.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #7
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It does not matter now, just remember that the valve handle indicates which way the water is flowing so if the valve is turned cross ways to the line then it is closed. If the valve is turned the same way as the line runs then it is opened. In any case just be sure when you get ready to get your unit ready for summer that the valve going into the top and the valve going into the bottom of your water heater run the same way as the tubing. The valve in the middle should be cross ways thus shutting off the by-pass. Good luck
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie Z View Post
Thanks, I have a follow up question. The hot water was fine while camping so I guess the bypass was closed. I'm guessing I closed the cold water intake and opened the bypass when I winterized. This would mean I didn't close the hot water return valve because I only turned 2 valves. Is that a moot point since the tank is empty and the water left in the return line would have been emptied when I ran the antifreeze through or do I have to close the valve and run more antifreeze through?

Thanks
Simple answer yes. your good to go.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
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This diagram shows a 3 valve bypass set up. In the photo, all 3 valves are open. For normal use, the center valve on the bypass needs to be closed. For winterizing, the center valve is opened and the upper and lower ones closed. The water heater drain plug would be removed and the pressure valve opened. If a check valve was installed at the hot water out on the heater, the top shut off valve on that line could be eliminated.

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