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Old 05-09-2021, 02:54 PM   #1
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Water heater woes

Hey there,

I'm going into my second week of living full time in an '89 Tiffin Allegro.

Most everything is good - except for these dang water heaters! This model has two 6 gallon water heaters.

I replaced the leaky pressure relief valves but I'm still not getting any hot water!

I have left them for an hour to heat up. During this time there was a blue flame going. When the blue flame switched off, I figured they were ready. Well, I only had about 20 seconds of hot water before it went cold.

What gives?!
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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Bypass valves still OPEN?

Cold line to hot line....bypass....dilutes the hot out?


Showers...

Inside/outside....if turned off via button/lever on shower handle t and not with the cold/hot knobs then the shower faucet acts as a mixing chamber.
Cold dilutes the Hot

Brand/Model of water heaters would be helpful
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Old 05-09-2021, 04:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Bypass valves still OPEN?

Cold line to hot line....bypass....dilutes the hot out?


Showers...

Inside/outside....if turned off via button/lever on shower handle t and not with the cold/hot knobs then the shower faucet acts as a mixing chamber.
Cold dilutes the Hot

Brand/Model of water heaters would be helpful

Can't find any brand markings on it - but they're old. Nothing fancy like buttons on the shower.

That bypass valve could be the culprit. So, you fill 'er up and then then close the valve? Well that's something!
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:19 PM   #4
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Water heater should have a cold inlet......bottom line to WH Tank
Bypass is not line between cold and hot
Hot Outlet probably doesn't have a valve...might...but many just have a check valve in hot out

Normal Operation
Cold Inlet OPEN
Bypass Closed
Hot Outlet OPEN (if equipped with valve)

Bypass is open (cold inlet closed) WHEN winterizing the RV Plumbing system *No need to put gallons of anti-freeze in WH Tank

System can be one 3-way valve, 2 valves, 3 valves
If cold inlet is Open AND Bypass Open......tank can fill with water/heat but bypass open will cause warm/lack of hot water
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:18 AM   #5
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After learning about the bypass valve, I can confirm it is CLOSED for both heaters.

One heater is malfunctioning - the pressure relief valve starts activating once it gets hot. That's not leaking, it's literally relieving pressure.

So, I shut that heater off and gave it a go with just one. Same problem, only have a few seconds of heat.

I'm going to just get a new water heater. These are from 1989, they're busted.
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:57 AM   #6
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Check valves in HOT Outlet are your issue if Bypass is Closed
They are clogged up with scale/calcium

The T&P opening is doing it's job

Replace the set of t-stats....they are NOT opening so overheating is occurring

Again....BRAND/Model
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:03 PM   #7
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I appreciate the advice but pricing out t-stats, finding them, diagnosing remaining problems, etc, just isn't worth it when compared to getting a new water heater.

A tankless heater runs for about $200, uses less propane and takes up less space than 2 water heaters! I'm sold
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:24 PM   #8
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You stated, that after heating the water, you get some hot water then it turns cold. Do you have an outside shower? If you do not turn the valve handles off, but just use the flow shut off at the handle, the valve assembly acts as a water mixer. Cold will be mixed with the hot and it will turn cool to cold very quickly. Check and make sure the valves on the outside shower facet are off. Otherwise you will be purchasing new water heaters for nothing.
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