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Old 12-24-2017, 12:46 PM   #1
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2005 Ambassador Water Heater Access

I have a 2005 Ambassador 40 PLQ. I need to get to the rear of the water heater to replace the. check valve but I can't figure out how to access anything except the front of the unit. There is a body panel that the heater is attached to but, short of pulling the whole heater out, I can't find any way to get to its rear to service it.

Suggestions?

Joe
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joedarock View Post
I have a 2005 Ambassador 40 PLQ. I need to get to the rear of the water heater to replace the. check valve but I can't figure out how to access anything except the front of the unit. There is a body panel that the heater is attached to but, short of pulling the whole heater out, I can't find any way to get to its rear to service it.

Suggestions?

Joe
Is your water heater curb side all the way in back like mine? If it is I open the closet door on the back wall, and pull the wood panel off the cabinet that has circuit breakers thatís in the closet...the panel exposes the back of the water heater.
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:36 PM   #3
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Not sure of yours but on my 07 Neptune I can open the access doors to the water tanks and easily get to the back of the WH. This is the door passenger side just in front of the rear duals. You remove 2 screws hidden between the panels to open the door. HTH

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Old 12-24-2017, 04:02 PM   #4
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On my 2007 Knight I had to go thru the small access door in the storage compartment and remove the water lines then remove all the screws on the outside that hold the heater in. Not that hard of a job.
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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On my Ambassador, you can access the rear of the water heater from either a small panel in the basement rear wall, or by opening the curb-side wet bay door (screwed shut, you have to remove the screws and lift the door up, hold it open with a prop rod...) between the two you have some (perhaps painful!) access to the rear of the heater. In mine, the water heater is technically in the wet bay on the curb-side. (This configuration means it helps keep the wet bay at that end heated, which is a plus.)
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Old 12-25-2017, 04:20 AM   #6
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On my Ambassador, you can access the rear of the water heater from either a small panel in the basement rear wall, or by opening the curb-side wet bay door (screwed shut, you have to remove the screws and lift the door up, hold it open with a prop rod...) between the two you have some (perhaps painful!) access to the rear of the heater. In mine, the water heater is technically in the wet bay on the curb-side. (This configuration means it helps keep the wet bay at that end heated, which is a plus.)
Nehog
Merry Christmas!

On my unit, the WH is mounted to a big panel that looks like a regular compartment hatch, but no latch. The typical WH vent/access cover is on the outside of this. Are you saying to lift open the big panel? Won't this pull on the connected water lines?

Joe
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Old 12-25-2017, 05:12 PM   #7
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... The typical WH vent/access cover is on the outside of this. Are you saying to lift open the big panel? Won't this pull on the connected water lines?

Joe
Merry Christmas to you too.

No, the panel next to it (rearward, between the waterheater and the rear wheels. It opens to expose the back of the wet bay, and is connected to the same bay as the water heater is in (the curb side of the propane tank bay...)
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:51 PM   #8
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My unit's wet bay is on the other (driver) side of the coach. It appears the only access to the WH is through the little 8in x 8in hatch in the basement compartment. You can either look in or put one arm in but not both. It appears you have to cut a PEX water line to spin the bypass valve off the check valve in order to replace it. There must be another way; I can't believe this is how it's done at the factory. I'd take it to the shop, but they're booked up with Spring projects for a couple weeks.

Joe
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:28 PM   #9
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I think I see what I have to do in order to get the water heater compartment opened to a serviceable position. It appears the water heater is mounted to a top-hinged compartment door that's screwed shut at the bottom. So if I remove the screws, disconect the gas line at the front and disconnect the 2 hand-tight water lines on the back, the compartment door should swing up with the WH attached to it.

Does this sound right?
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:05 PM   #10
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... disconect the gas line at the front and disconnect the 2 hand-tight water lines on the back, the compartment door should swing up with the WH attached to it.

Does this sound right?
This may work, but what is to the rear of your door with the water heater? A wider door, again held closed with screwed straps at the bottom? This is the other end of your wet bay, basically the backs of the tanks... At least that is how my 06 is. Much easier to get at the water heater from that side then through that small hatch.
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:57 AM   #11
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I looked at that approach. Access through that hatch to the WH compartment is blocked by a large holding tank that goes up to about 12" from the ceiling. Even if I were a very slender man, I'd have to wiggle across the top of the tank, getting pretty torn up in the process, and possibly not getting back out.

Right now, I'm disconnecting the WH compartment hatch from the top hinge and water/gas connections and hope to slide everything out the front.

Joe)
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:01 AM   #12
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Got it!

I used the procedure I proposed above.

The problem was that the plastic plunger inside the brass body of the check valve broke loose and was almost perfectly blocking the outlet.

Lots of flow now.

Joe
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:34 AM   #13
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Joe-

Glad you found the cause.

You may want to consider replumbing the water heater with separate valves for cold, hot and bypass. I did that. No more water heater check valve failures for me!
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:59 PM   #14
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Joe-

Glad you found the cause.

You may want to consider replumbing the water heater with separate valves for cold, hot and bypass. I did that. No more water heater check valve failures for me!
One might also wonder if perhaps quick disconnect fittings would be an idea as well?
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