Can't Winterize

Westwind

Well-known member
Hi - need a little help thinking through this problem - I have a 2012 (Built 4/2011) 3070RL Bighorn. I went to winterize it and switched the valves to Bypass (HW Heater) and Winterize (2nd Valve) and put the hose into the pink stuff - went inside and turned on the pump - pump ran but never shut off, went outside gallon jug was empty put another, went in turned pump on and went outside pump running and I could hear liquid running into the hot water heater. Shut it all off opened the
HW tank and pink stuff came pouring out.

So the problem is how do I stop the pink stuff into the tank?

So took of the hot water heater "Bypass Valve" and it appears to be working correctly. Someone in a previous posting said the hot water heater has a check valve on the top and his was bad and causing the problem. I'm questioning what valve - I have a pressure valve on the top of my HW heater, inside the outside door - or should I be looking for another valve?

Going to open up the trailer and get the Suburban book out and look at the parts Diagram.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Westwind,

The check valve is inside, behind the UDC. You'll have to take down the rear basement storage wall by the UDC to gain access. Cold water feeds into the bottom of the water heater and hot water comes out the top.

When your rig was built, the check valve used was probably plastic. If so, you should replace it with a brass valve like this one, but you'll also need a close nipple to get male threading on both ends. Align the arrow to the water flow when installing, and use teflon pipe tape or comparable product to get a leak-free seal.

Our owner-written Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide includes instructions and pictures showing replacement of the check valve.

Regardless of what the cause of the current problem turns out to be, replacing the plastic check valve is worthwhile because they can crack and leak, leading to serious damage.

Another possibility is that the bypass valve handle may have cracked in a way that allows the handle to slip over the valve control. It appears to be closed but may actually be open.
 

Westwind

Well-known member
Dan - Thanks for sending me in the right direction - it all make sense now that I have read and looked the Trouble Shooting guide over. Tomorrow I'll have to check the local Home Depot to see if they carry what I need, if not then I'll call an RV dealer that a 45 mile ride away.
 
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JohnD

Moved on to the next thing...
I tried to winterize my trailer last week, but the pink stuff only would flow through the cold water lines . . . not the hot water line.

I've bypassed the water heater and none of the anti-freeze went into it.

Any ideas?
 

Westwind

Well-known member
Your problem could be the bypass valve, or it could be a check valve - hopefully someone who has experienced your problem will chime in. If I haven't resolved my problem I'm going to have to do what you have done to get it winterized. I could also blow out the lines but I would have to connect and secure them so the air pressure is contained.
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
I tried to winterize my trailer last week, but the pink stuff only would flow through the cold water lines . . . not the hot water line.

I've bypassed the water heater and none of the anti-freeze went into it.

Any ideas?

John,

When you bypass the water heater, cold water or antifreeze should flow equally through both the hot and cold pex lines. I'm assuming you know it's not working because nothing comes out when you move the faucet to the hot water position. I'll guess you have the 3 valve bypass system. The valve to the cold inlet gets closed, the valve from the hot outlet gets closed, and the crossover line valve has to be opened. I think if the crossover isn't opened, you'll get water flow through the cold side, but not through the hot.

Pages 6 and 24 of the Water Systems Guide may be helpful.
 

JohnD

Moved on to the next thing...
John,

When you bypass the water heater, cold water or antifreeze should flow equally through both the hot and cold pex lines. I'm assuming you know it's not working because nothing comes out when you move the faucet to the hot water position. I'll guess you have the 3 valve bypass system. The valve to the cold inlet gets closed, the valve from the hot outlet gets closed, and the crossover line valve has to be opened. I think if the crossover isn't opened, you'll get water flow through the cold side, but not through the hot.

Pages 6 and 24 of the Water Systems Guide may be helpful.

Thanks . . . I will check that out.

You are correct . . . I get pink flow through the cold lines . . . nothing through the hot.

There is one valve right by the water heater (that I could find), and two by the water pump.

I must be missing another one somewhere.
 

TandT

Founding Utah Chapter Leaders-Retired
When I winterized my BH a few years back I didn't use any antifreeze in the water lines.
I only used antifreeze in the p-traps.
I drained everything and blew all the water lines out with a compressor.
I do the same thing at my place in Utah when we go south in the winter.
It works fine and I haven't ever had any problems. Trace
 

JohnD

Moved on to the next thing...
When I winterized my BH a few years back I didn't use any antifreeze in the water lines.
I only used antifreeze in the p-traps.
I drained everything and blew all the water lines out with a compressor.
I do the same thing at my place in Utah when we go south in the winter.
It works fine and I haven't have any problems. Trace

I blew out the water lines with an air compressor before running the anti freeze through.

I'm going to try and figure out my hot water line thingy later this week.
 

aatauses

Well-known member
If you want to winterize before attempting the removal of the check valve you can disconnect the hot line from your hot water heater and plug the line. then when you get time and the parts you can replace the check valve. To plug the hot water line you can usually get the plug at any hardware store--common item.
al
currently in Pensacola, FL
 

Westwind

Well-known member
OK - I'll try and keep this sort of short - When I pulled the wall and checked the hot water heater I thought the check valve was attached to the hot water heater. But upon closer look after I detached the water hose I realized it was just a nipple. Then the "Light Bulb" went off! I remembered when the tech was working on the HW heater in Florida, replacing the outside switch which had failed causing us to not have hot water for two days (Not Good) when replacing the switch he told me I should pull off the plastic check valve because Florida water causes them to fail. So not thinking it would make a difference I said OK do it.
In Florida you don't winterize - In Rhode Island you do.

So today I bought a new check valve - a brass one to the tune of $27.95, I'll re-use the plastic nipple that the tech installed and I should be all set!
I'll order a second check valve online for half the price I paid today as a spare.
 
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