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Water heater water supply hot water check valve

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#1 Casita Bella

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

I just finished a disheartening conversation with the rv repair place we resort to once our skills are exhausted (happens pretty quickly, actually) and I'm hoping that some of you will have suggestions and/or experiences that we can use.

On a recent trip we had no water from the hot water faucets, bath or kitchen. Repair dudes say it's a gummed up check valve (to keep hot water from back flowing into cold water lines), most likely filled w/sediment and cr*p from water heater (anode hasn't been replaced by us or PO - many years ...) which they've been whapping with a hammer to no avail. They say there is no way to get to it for replacement without removing the whole interior bench, which they're guessing will be at least 5 hours of labor in and out...

So, my ?s are:
1. Any chance the valve might un-stick itself if we just keep beating on it?
2. Is there some way to introduce something like vinegar or Lime-Away into the line that feeds that valve and hope that we can dissolve enough of the problem to get it flapping again?
3. What's involved with removing the bench - and successfully replacing it?

I'll be asking the repair guys all of this too, but I have a much higher degree of faith in responses from this group - your hands aren't in my pocketbook! Thanks.
Nancy & Al Wolfing + Tai (Ancient and Extraordinary Jack Russell Terrorist) & Molly (curly girl Pumi)
San Diego, California

#2 John0923

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 04:24 PM

We had a similar problem after a couple of months layup with our 2012 SD17. Fortunately a couple of taps with a wrench fixed the problem for us. I searched Casitaforum.com with the keywords "hot water valve" and found this in one of the threads talking about the problem you describe.

You might also try the "vinegar" treatment to eat away the mineral deposits.
I guess it might be possible to get a blockage with that yucky stuff.

Basically you put a vinegar/water solution in the water tank, then pump it
into the water heater and let it soak for a while (overnight?). It will
dissolve the deposits which you then flush out through the anode hole.
It worked on ours.

You'll then have to flush out the whole system to get the vinegar out.

There are some additional posts on this thread you might find helpful.

Here's the link


Edited by John0923, 15 July 2014 - 06:17 PM.

John and Judie
2012 17' SD
2018 Ford F-150

#3 Wally Z

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:59 PM

You can probably remove the T&P valve and pour the vinegar solution in through that opening.  T&P valve (Temp.& pressure) is at the top side of the water heater accessible from the outside of trailer.  It's the brass faucet looking device with a metal flip lever on it.  Some use it to bleed the air and check the water heater to make sure it's full.  It's a very important safety device.   It is just screwed into the top of the water heater.  This way you won't have to run vinegar in your city water tank and lines.  Use a funnel or a piece of hose to pour it into the WH.  You only need to fill it up enough to cover the outlet where the check valve is connected.  After you have let it sit for a period of time tap on the valve some more.  Then remove the anode and flush the WH out using the same T&P opening.  This will mean you are flushing from top to bottom out the anode opening.  I would catch the water coming out in a bucket just to see what is coming out. After you feel it is clean install new anode or old one until you get the new one to plug the hole.  Re-install the T&P valve, fill the WH as you would normally.  Hopefully the check valve will work now. Tap on it some more.  If it doesn't work I guess you'll have to remove it. Either that replace the entire water heater as pointed out on the other forum.

2014 17' Casita SD

#4 Carol Christensen

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:17 PM

Removing the bench is doable.  In 1999, we picked up our brand new Casita and drove it home to Nevada.  On our very next trip we had no water due to a air lock at the pump.  We called Casita from the campground in California and they walked us through the fix, which involved removing the bench to get to the pump.  We had a Liberty with a long bench, your SD with a shorter bench will be easier.  There are screws at the bottom of the bench that need to be removed and some on the top near the wall.  After that you can pull the bench out a few feet and the back of the water heater compartment and pipes are accessible.  Reverse the process to replace the bench.  NOTE: this will NOT expose the anode or water heater which are only accessible from the outside.  But may allow access to the check valve.  Sorry, I don't know anything about the check valves. 


You should get that old anode out so you can replace it, and flush all the sediment out of the hot water heater.  Those anode can be very hard to remove.  Be careful you don't damage the water heater.  I suggest using liquid wrench every few hours for a day or 2, then use a long handle wrench.  If that doesn't work, try heating the anode connection and use a socket wrench and a breaker bar.  Once the anode is out, clean the water heater threads and use Teflon tape on a new anode before installation.


If you are willing and able to do these things yourself, I would think the RV repair would not take long and would be much cheaper.


Good Luck

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)

Don't believe everything you think.

#5 Casita Bella

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the replies. I had a call late this afternoon from the repair dude, who said he'd had an idea and was going to work on it this evening, so I'll report back after I pick her up tomorrow morning - we're going "cramping" this weekend, hot water or not!
  • John0923 likes this
Nancy & Al Wolfing + Tai (Ancient and Extraordinary Jack Russell Terrorist) & Molly (curly girl Pumi)
San Diego, California

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