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Old 05-15-2016, 08:45 PM   #1
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Water heater noise - hot water only

We have brand new destination trailer with a 10 gal. Suburban water heater, which we used for the first time this weekend.

The water heater makes a somewhat loud and constant noise while running the hot water from any faucet. The noise stops immediately when we shut off the hot water. There is no noise when we run the cold water.

HELP . . .

THANKS in advance for your help!
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:51 PM   #2
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Hey there!
Can you access the plumbing connections to locate the source of the noise? Is there a 'winterize' or 'bypass' valve or valves? Probably a buzzing check valve on the hot out port. (We had a similar problem)


2010 Winnebago Aspect 28B
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:26 PM   #3
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To cut production costs and speed up installation a 'check valve' is installed in hot outlet on water heater vs a shut-off valve in hot line.

Check valve is internal of nipple screwed into tank....cheap plastic plunger/spring/o-ring assembly. Any debris in tank can get stuck in check valve causing it to 'vibrate' which results in an annoying noise. Could just be the cheap junk check valve

You can 'try' to flush/clear ----remove closest faucet aerator and run faucet hotside wide open
You can replace......same style or better brass one

OR
You can remove the internals of nipple (check valve assembly) and install a shut-off valve to use to isolate hot side when bypassing water heater tank (that is all check valve is for)
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:45 AM   #4
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You both have confirmed my suspicions. I wish I would have taken a photo of the piping system design.

Threaded into the hot outlet is a plastic inline check valve. Downstream from the check valve is a 90 degree elbow, a short run of pex, a 3-way T, another short run of pex, to another 90 degree elbow.

We have a classic case of flow turbulence. Never, ever put a 90 degree elbow directly on a check valve. I work for a valve manufacture (metal valves). The elbow should be placed at minimum 5-8 times the pipe diameters downstream from that check.

I believe we will need to replace the check valve with a ball valve based on the piping makeup any check valve would be subject to flow turbulence, unless we move that elbow, which will be a lot more work.

Thanks for you feedback!
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:32 AM   #5
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Yup. Sounds familiar! I just gutted the check valve and swapped the T you mention for a two way valve. Now I can bypass the tank when winterizing. Easy-peasy!


2010 Winnebago Aspect 28B
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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Gailb, I feel your pain. My Suburban SW12DE sounds like a motor running with the hot water running. It makes no difference if the water is hot or not. Just running water from the hot side of any spigot with the water heater on or off it makes the "motor running" noise. I bought the 5er new in 09 and it only started after 2 or 3 years.
I thought it was the check valve on the inlet to the tank, used as part of the winterizing process so I changed it. The original looked fine, but I changed it. Same noise. I replaced the check valve with a ball valve and same noise. I took out the valve completely and put a small nipple in its place. Same noise. I called Suburban and they said it is not their heater.
As you said, there is a 90 degree elbow on the end of the ck vlve. I didn't think of that but I will change that now.
Please post if it works for you. I had given up and just learned to live with it, but it is an annoying noise.
Good Luck......
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
To cut production costs and speed up installation a 'check valve' is installed in hot outlet on water heater vs a shut-off valve in hot line.
You can remove the internals of nipple (check valve assembly) and install a shut-off valve to use to isolate hot side when bypassing water heater tank (that is all check valve is for).
Old-Biscuit
A water heater bypass is NOT the only reason coach builders use a check valve/backflow preventer on RV water heaters.
See: The RV Doctor: RV Water Heater Check Valve - What For?

My 10 gal Suburban Water heater has a check valve. (aka: backflow preventer), in a water line on the back.... but my coach does not have, (and never did have), a water heater bypass installed.

Camco 23303 Back Flow Preventer

Mel
'96 Safari

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Old 05-17-2016, 11:35 AM   #8
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Mel S, the RV Dr. article you linked to mentions a check valve at the 'cold' inlet (bottom) of the WH. Mine had one at the hot outlet (top).

So far, I see no good enough reason for either.


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Old 05-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #9
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Mel S, the RV Dr. article you linked to mentions a check valve at the 'cold' inlet (bottom) of the WH. Mine had one at the hot outlet (top).
So far, I see no good enough reason for either.
2010 Winnebago Aspect 28B
RogerRoll
Do you really think Winnebago put a check valve in the hot water outlet of your water heater for no good reason?
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:06 PM   #10
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Check valve in HOT outlet is to stop back flow into WH Tank when WH is bypassed

Check valve in COLD inlet is there to stop back flow of Hot water into cold water supply line due to pressure difference caused by swelling of water as it is heated.....closed loop system.

BUT........neither are REALLY needed
Yes a small amount of hotter water CAN go back into cold water system from WH when the water is heated-------minimal-----and as soon as either (Cold or Hot) water is used the two systems equalize.


My WH has 3 valves.......NO Check valves
Hot outlet, Cold inlet and a Bypass

Hot water MAY backflow into the cold supply BUT this is really a non-issue

RV Mfgs use numerous valving systems when it comes to WH installs
3 Valve, 2 Valve, 1 Valve.......
But when it comes right down to it....Check Valves are NOT needed and are just a cheap/quick alternative to Real Valves.

RV Water Heater Bypass Systems
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mel s View Post
RogerRoll
Do you really think Winnebago put a check valve in the hot water outlet of your water heater for no good reason?
Mel
'96 Safari

I said 'no good enough reason'.

I'm pretty sure they put it there so when I bypass the HW (winterize or service) it doesn't fill from the top....except when it fails...all along buzzing like a cheap doorbell. I'm saying if you have to turn a valve to winterize you can easily turn two valves.
$5 valve, easy fix, no restriction, not likely to fail due to WH gunk.


2010 Winnebago Aspect 28B
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