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Water Heater Bypass Valve


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#1 Jim E

Jim E
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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:23 AM

Newbe here still trying to figure out everything.

1. Just wondering why there is a bypass around the hot water heater? My guess is that it is there so the heater will not be unintentionally be filled with water.

2. Also wondering why the heater won't drain without opening the plug where the AC heating element goes? Is that so that it will be less like to light up the heater without water inside?

BTW, I had a difficult time finding the BP valve. It was not readily visible. Found it by feeling around.
Jim E

#2 Tom&Joyce

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:18 AM

If your bypass valve is like mine, it is facing toward the outside wall. You also need to have the water pressure off in order to open or close the valve with ease.

The primary reason for the bypass is to allow for winterizing of the water lines without the need for filling the water heater with antifreeze (The pink RV antifreeze not the auto type)

The drain for the water heater is the anode rod. Be sure you have released all the pressure in the water heater before removing the anode. This can be done by using the safety pressure release valve on the water heater. If the tank pressurized, the anode will fly out with enough force to cause injury or travel a long ways once you get it unscrewed.

Hope this helps,
Tom
Tom & Joyce
2006 17 SD ""Our Roadhouse""
2014 Ram Tradesman

#3 Don in OKC

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:52 AM

The by-pass valve handle is 'hidden'........OK......that's not so good. If they made these little things in 'left and right', it'd be a more perfect world.

And I'll admit that once I went to clean out my hot water heater thinking it was empty, it wasn't due to the bypass valve being 'almost off' and I couldn't see it..........I got doused!

But, with the anode acting as a 'system drain plug' the owner is forced to remove it now and then. That's a good thing! I've known RVers who didn't have a clue what an anode did, or where it was or why change it.

I've known RVers who would plug in/heat their RV thru the winter mainly because they didn't want to winterize.

And some who would buy up to ten gallons of antifreeze, Casita requires one.

Casitas are so simple/cheap/quick to winterize.

Casitas plumbing system is a credit to 'KISS' engineering........if it just wasn't for that valve lever. :blink:

Edited by Don in OKC, 09 August 2012 - 11:55 AM.

Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C