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Old 05-31-2023, 11:41 AM   #1
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No water heater bypass valves?

Hello All!

I have a 2006 Fleetwood Pioneer 180CK TT that's new to me. I went to start dewinterizing and sanitizing the plumbing system and found that there are no bypass valves for my Atwood water heater. I'm reluctant to introduce a bleach solution to the lines and tank without being able to bypass the WH. Is there another process to sanitizing in this situation? The system also has an expansion tank in the cold water supply line in front of the water heater connection; assuming I would want to keep bleach solution out of that metal tank as well. I suppose I would need to add a bypass for best and future results but was curious if there is a work around at this point. Thanks for any helpful input!
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Old 05-31-2023, 11:48 AM   #2
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If you can, please post a picture of the front of your water heater.
I would think that there is a valve on each line going in and a jumper line that is the bypass, but a picture will tell.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 05-31-2023, 11:57 AM   #3
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The expansion tank would only need a shutoff, not a bypass.
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Old 05-31-2023, 12:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Flyer15015 View Post
If you can, please post a picture of the front of your water heater.
I would think that there is a valve on each line going in and a jumper line that is the bypass, but a picture will tell.

Mike in Colorado
Pic attached; looks like in and out to me with no jumper line and no valves.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_Zh...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 05-31-2023, 02:54 PM   #5
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Well, it looks like you have a plumbing job ahead of you, if you want to isolate the hot tank
You will need 3 valves. hot, cold, jumper, and a short piece of tubing, and a couple of "T's".
However, the small amount of bleach needed to disinfect your plumbing should not harm your hot tank or the accumulator.
I've done it a couple of times with no ill effects to either.
Adding the isolator will let you give the hot water tank a good vinegar bath to remove the calcium build up without affecting the rest of the system, and that's a good thing. Here, You Tube is your friend.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 05-31-2023, 03:27 PM   #6
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When I sanitize my system ,I sanitize everything including the hot water and pressure tank. After you run the sanitizing solution through the system , drain the hot water tank and lines . I will run a few rinses through the system, draining the tank and lines after each rinse. I only bypass the hot water tank when winterizing the lines with antifreeze.
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Old 05-31-2023, 03:31 PM   #7
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For what its worth, you can buy a hot water bypass kit that has valves and fittings and directions all in one package.
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Old 05-31-2023, 10:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flyer15015 View Post
Well, it looks like you have a plumbing job ahead of you, if you want to isolate the hot tank
You will need 3 valves. hot, cold, jumper, and a short piece of tubing, and a couple of "T's".
However, the small amount of bleach needed to disinfect your plumbing should not harm your hot tank or the accumulator.
I've done it a couple of times with no ill effects to either.
Adding the isolator will let you give the hot water tank a good vinegar bath to remove the calcium build up without affecting the rest of the system, and that's a good thing. Here, You Tube is your friend.

Mike in Colorado
Yep, I think I've come to that conclusion as well. Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-01-2023, 06:12 AM   #9
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The primary purpose of the water heater bypass is for winterizing with RV antifreeze. The hot water tank can be drained to prevent freezing. 6 gallons of RV antifreeze is then not required.

Bleach in the hot water tank is less of an issue. Use only the recommended amount of bleach for the recommend time period to prevent corrosion.

There is the same issue with the fresh water holding tank. A bypass suction line allows flushing plumbing with antifreeze without using lots of antifreeze in the fresh tank.

Bleach in the fresh tank is desired. It can be easily flushed out.

The pressure tank is also a freezing and flushing issue. You may wish to drain the pressure tank and not allow antifreeze into it.

Flushing a horizontal pressure tank is nearly impossible. The fresh water system will be forever contaminated with antifreeze.

Using bleach in the pressure tank has the same issue. It will be difficult to get all the bleach out when finished.

I would try to mount the pressure tank in a vertical position so water would naturally drain out when pressure is removed. In vertical position and drained, freezing would not be an issue. A valve to block antifreeze would be enough.

Bleach is still an issue. Filling with bleach water and draining may leave a residual taste for a while. Flushing it all out may be difficult.
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Old 06-01-2023, 08:52 AM   #10
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I would think that the pressure tank would contain only miscule amounts of liquid when your plumbing is depressurized. The 30 or so PSI behind rubber diaphragm would push it all out. No? I've never bothered with a shut off valve on mine. No problems using RV antifreeze.
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Old 06-03-2023, 08:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ_R View Post
Hello All!

I have a 2006 Fleetwood Pioneer 180CK TT that's new to me. I went to start dewinterizing and sanitizing the plumbing system and found that there are no bypass valves for my Atwood water heater. I'm reluctant to introduce a bleach solution to the lines and tank without being able to bypass the WH. Is there another process to sanitizing in this situation? The system also has an expansion tank in the cold water supply line in front of the water heater connection; assuming I would want to keep bleach solution out of that metal tank as well. I suppose I would need to add a bypass for best and future results but was curious if there is a work around at this point. Thanks for any helpful input!
Here are some bypass kits and parts:

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/shop-...rch=Bypass+kit

Tim
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Old 06-08-2023, 11:24 PM   #12
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Use a peroxide based sanitizing process and don't worry about the corrosion.

Purogene and citric acid as an activator. Used by the airlines for sanitizing potable water tanks on airliners. Can be bought on Amazon.

Charles

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