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Author Topic: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve  (Read 541 times)

rookieRV

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Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« on: July 07, 2018, 09:34:58 AM »
I got a basic tutorial on this infrequent task, I just have to ask: Since the hot water check valve is connected so high on the water tank (this is the only valve that seems in need of replacing... intermittent water from hot side), then must I unscrew the outdoor plastic drain plug and empty the entire hot water tank out?

My biggest socket is abt. 1/4Ē too small for that outside plastic drain bugger (but I do have an adjustable open-end wrench, if I can fit it to it!)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 10:06:46 AM »
There should be no need to drain it at all to replace the outlet check valve. The inlet (if it has a check valve there) would be an entirely different matter.

All you need to do is shut off the water source, let the tank cool and release the tank pressure.
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

rookieRV

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 10:38:01 AM »
Yes, it has check valves on both the bottom of the tank (the cold water inlet to the tank) and the hot water outlet (sends hot water out). Some say that I should go ahead and replace both valves, esp. since weíre full-timers for 6 years here (although it only shows symptoms of the hot water side... low pressure, wonít heat [we donít turn on heater for now]). If itís as difficult as some say it can be (need a torque wrench to remove valves [some fool using Locktite in leu of plummerís tape?]), then Iíll probably patch it only where itís needed.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 10:51:41 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 11:37:00 AM »
It would be helpful to know what year, make and model you have. I assume you have a Winnebago product? Typically Winnebago uses two check valves on the hot water heater and they are notorious for failing, search this Winnebago board for check valve for other stories. And yes, it would be a very good idea to replace both.

I also recommend you unscrew the drain plug and buy or borrow one of those RV hot water tank flush wand thingies and thoroughly flush the precipitates out of the tank. If the heater hasn't been flushed in a long time, you will be amazed at the accumulated crud in the tank.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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8Muddypaws

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 12:23:43 PM »
The level of difficulty depends on how hard it is to get at the check valve.  On our rig it required at minimum partially removing the entire water heater.  If yours is like mine it would be a good time to replace all the check valves, the mixing valve, and the heater element.  You might also want to invert and shake the sediment out of the tank then too.  I was amazed at how much 'junk' came out of it, and I use the wand on it every 6 months or so.
Retired computer professional
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Bill N

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2018, 01:37:35 PM »
The level of difficulty depends on how hard it is to get at the check valve.  On our rig it required at minimum partially removing the entire water heater.  If yours is like mine it would be a good time to replace all the check valves, the mixing valve, and the heater element.  You might also want to invert and shake the sediment out of the tank then too.  I was amazed at how much 'junk' came out of it, and I use the wand on it every 6 months or so.
m

I am the second owner of this coach but the original owner had both check valves replaced AND moved to a very easy to access area in case they needed to be replaced again  No longer a need to remove the hot water heater.  Of course then I had an element failure and, you guessed it, they had to remove the entire heater..............lol

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
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Rene T

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 02:07:54 PM »
Not all heater installations have 2 check valves. ALL the one's I've worked on only had the one on the hot water line. I've never worked on a Winny.
 
You should just bite the bullet and buy a cheap socket to remove the drain plug. If it's nylon/plastic, a crescent wrench may chew up the corners. Get the socket and use a socket extension. I use a 3/8" drive breaker bar and leave it along with the socket right there behind the access door.  My Atwood drain plug uses a 15/16" socket.
 
I would also recommend you flush out the tank as mentioned. Get a tool like this:

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/11691-RV-Water-Heater-Tank-Rinser-p/09-0207.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqfjlkdiN3AIVR1uGCh2fhAiHEAQYAyABEgJPqvD_BwE&gdffi=d722fab84a06472899ce2a16e4d2ed3f&gdfms=C87AB3FF41294AC8B3ABE3E4DD18D0B8
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 02:14:55 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

rookieRV

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 03:39:48 PM »
Yeah, Rene, I took out my largest socket (13/16Ē) to Ďsize it upí, the (Atwood GH6-8E 6 gal) unitís drain plug laughed (obviously the socket wasnít large enough). My accountant (who doubles as my wife) says that we should wait until later in the year anyway (weíre both teachers who decided to take a break this year from summer school work), and we have little need for hot water for now (esp. being 15 seconds from heated camp showers). That, or the progression of the summer has instilled within her a worse case of the Ďround tuitsí then I have ;)

I saw that cleaning rod extension earlier... If/when I do this, Iíll get it all in order for complete redo: Larger socket, new plug, wand tank rinser, two check valves, plumbers tape... :P

John! With so much rest time this summer, I built an SO2R headphone box, to keep my wife quiet from either my radio, TV, or both! Also auctioning some unwanted radio equipment, itís like paperwork reduction/downsizing here! Ready to part w/ my Heathkit QRP set (but not my factory built/aligned/tested Oak Hills Research OHR-500 8), yet). 73
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 03:52:17 PM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2018, 04:46:53 PM »
...John! With so much rest time this summer, I built an SO2R headphone box, to keep my wife quiet from either my radio, TV, or both! Also auctioning some unwanted radio equipment, itís like paperwork reduction/downsizing here! Ready to part w/ my Heathkit QRP set (but not my factory built/aligned/tested Oak Hills Research OHR-500 8), yet). 73
Roger that. We're in the last 2 or 3 weeks of a 4 month long house remodeling and addition project,  my radio room has doubled in size  :D . It's a good bit away from the new master bedroom so I'm looking forward to getting my station back on the air.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Our weather

Rene T

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2018, 06:36:08 PM »
I saw that cleaning rod extension earlier... If/when I do this, Iíll get it all in order for complete redo: Larger socket, new plug, wand tank rinser, two check valves, plumbers tape... :P

It's not a cleaning rod extension. Water actually flows through it and because of the small ID of the tube, it makes a real strong flusher to clean the walls of the tank.
I don't know what part of the country you are in but if you're in an area where you would never need to winterize, just pull out the top check valve and using a screwdriver, knock out the internals and put it back in. It's only used for winterizing.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

cbeierl

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2018, 11:15:39 PM »
Chris Beierl
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD

rookieRV

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 04:31:42 PM »
It's not a cleaning rod extension. Water actually flows through it and because of the small ID of the tube, it makes a real strong flusher to clean the walls of the tank.
I don't know what part of the country you are in but if you're in an area where you would never need to winterize, just pull out the top check valve and using a screwdriver, knock out the internals and put it back in. It's only used for winterizing.

Iím a full-time RVer who runs off a water hose on a rented lot... city water. We donít winterize here in FLA. Yeeaaah, I get to use the simplified approach 8)! The hot water check valve, plumberís tape, thatís all? (Ďscrewdriverí? and Ďinternalsí? I thought that those check valves need sockets/torque wrenches for removing/replacing).

rookieRV

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 05:16:52 PM »
Roger that. We're in the last 2 or 3 weeks of a 4 month long house remodeling and addition project,  my radio room has doubled in size  :D . It's a good bit away from the new master bedroom so I'm looking forward to getting my station back on the air.

One of the campsite employees here saw me tossing a line up a tree in my lot, and suddenly he took on the role of park manager, ordering me to desist. So I presently live w/ a MFJ-16010 L network transmatch tuning abt 15 feet of inverted V antenna alongside the southeast corner of the RV. I had 33 feet of 22 ga wire going north on the ground as the counterpoise, until the lawn workers tore it to shreds (even under the front of my RV!). No prob, I replaced it with 16 ga. solid copper ground wire! The L network sits outside in a food storage container on the park table/bench, protected from rain. Tuned for 40 w/ a bridge at the antenna base, reconnect coax, and use Icom 703ís built in auto tuner to compensate for any remaining swr (so far just masking a 2:1 reading w/o radios auto tuner on, but itís all so close to the ground anyway, so whatís really the point, right?) In the process, however, I soon discovered that my use of an MFJ T network on the radios end was pointless: Not only because of the Icomís internal auto tuner being able to do that job, but when I wanted to hear a more distant AM MW station on occasion, it was appearently beyond anything that the external T network could be of any benefit (quite the opposite)... The T network was probably doing little more than adding loss on MW reception (I could tell by pulling the T network on the station end out of the loop! Things on MW suddenly got louder, even when connected to an untuned antenna outside!) 73

Rene T

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2018, 05:31:43 PM »
Iím a full-time RVer who runs off a water hose on a rented lot... city water. We donít winterize here in FLA. Yeeaaah, I get to use the simplified approach 8)! The hot water check valve, plumberís tape, thatís all? (Ďscrewdriverí? and Ďinternalsí? I thought that those check valves need sockets/torque wrenches for removing/replacing).

No need of a torque wrench.  Just tighten the fitting tight enough so it doesn't leak. A socket would be the best tool, next a box wrench but a 12" or a 10" crescent wrench will also work. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 06:48:15 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

rookieRV

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 06:41:51 PM »
Thanks, Rene  :)

Bill N

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Re: Replacing Atwood hot water check valve
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2018, 06:58:30 PM »
One of the campsite employees here saw me tossing a line up a tree in my lot, and suddenly he took on the role of park manager, ordering me to desist. So I presently live w/ a MFJ-16010 L network transmatch tuning abt 15 feet of inverted V antenna alongside the southeast corner of the RV. I had 33 feet of 22 ga wire going north on the ground as the counterpoise, until the lawn workers tore it to shreds (even under the front of my RV!). No prob, I replaced it with 16 ga. solid copper ground wire! The L network sits outside in a food storage container on the park table/bench, protected from rain. Tuned for 40 w/ a bridge at the antenna base, reconnect coax, and use Icom 703ís built in auto tuner to compensate for any remaining swr (so far just masking a 2:1 reading w/o radios auto tuner on, but itís all so close to the ground anyway, so whatís really the point, right?) In the process, however, I soon discovered that my use of an MFJ T network on the radios end was pointless: Not only because of the Icomís internal auto tuner being able to do that job, but when I wanted to hear a more distant AM MW station on occasion, it was appearently beyond anything that the external T network could be of any benefit (quite the opposite)... The T network was probably doing little more than adding loss on MW reception (I could tell by pulling the T network on the station end out of the loop! Things on MW suddenly got louder, even when connected to an untuned antenna outside!) 73

I have to admit that I have had an Advanced class ham license since 1975 but am currently inactive.  I don't think I understood one word of that post...................lol      Shows how fast the memory dumps.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos