Hi fellow Casiteers!
Well, one thing leads to another so they say, and they are correct in this case. The bypass valve was a cinch to repair after I took it out and looked at and disassembled it. It just needed a thorough cleaning, and a new o-ring. I soaked it is Evaporust which cleaned it back to bare brass. It should work without leaking now, but we'll see...
After repairing the WH bypass valve I decided to blow air through the hot water line to see if it comes out of the faucet. I made sure my air tank had no more than 50 psi in it and even then I introduced the air pressure very slowly at first so as not to cause any further problems.
Well, it did blow air out of the faucet but then there was a light “thump” as if something was pushed through the line and suddenly stopped.
So, in my usual ocd manner I decided to remove the faucet to see where that thump came from.
Of course this lead immediately to the problem of trying to get into that teeny doorway under the sink and then contort to get to the pex fittings on the faucet.
No way. The sink had to come out first to allow working access to the faucet fittings from above. Go figure. At least I did not have to remove the fridge.
The four wing nuts that hold the sink down are on extra long screws attached to the sink, and so trying to remove them while pinched through that little door opening proved very difficult for me. I am not a skinny kid anymore.
So I made a tool to help me remove the wing nuts, and that helped a lot. I just had to have an arm extended into the door opening and not my body.
So, the sink and the faucet were removed and I took photos of what I found.
Overall, like the bypass valve, the products used in this Casita are of pretty good quality and everything I found could be repaired instead of discarded and replaced. Even the faucet, which I assumed would be glued-together and disposable, could be completely disassembled and repaired very easily. No force was required anywhere to disassemble anything. One problem with my faucet though: the nut that holds the brass gosseneck or tap to the faucet base screws onto a plastic collar and that collar was deteriorated so that when I unscrewed it, it just crumbled. I suspect it was a bad cast part to begin with and even though it would be very easy to replace, I doubt if I can find just that part only so I will probably just replace the whole faucet with one that has a taller gooseneck.
That impresses me (so far) about the materials used on my Casita. The design and or workmanship is another issue, however, in a couple different areas.
That is the problem with have an engineering background and being ocd too.
When I designed and built industrial tooling and equipment I looked at every detail to the tenth decimal place, from the point of view of manufacturing and also taking into huge consideration the end user.
These Casitas are terrific little rv’s but sometimes little things could be engineered or built just a little differently and make a huge difference in user-friendly maintenance and repair at little or no additional cost to Casita.
Now I will climb down off my soap box and continue the saga of my original quest: to find out why my hot water heater wasn’t working.
So at this point I think I can start reassembling everything but there is still one obstacle: the hot water check valve. Early on I had tried tapping on it to free it but now I see that the problem was possibly downstream from there, a wad of stuff clogging the line.
But, if there was that much stuff in the line, how dirty or corroded could that check valve be? I don’t want to put it back together and then find that the check valve is bad so before I start reassembling I think I will investigate what it will take to cut the hot water pex line at that valve and replace it. The sticking point is cutting that pex line and the repairing it. This is where my plumbing ignorance and ineptness really shows up and I am afraid of the next step. If it’s a machine or a mechanical part I can fix it. Water lines are my nemesis.