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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Atwood 6 gal water heater leaking

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Castle Rock CO

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Posted: 03/20/13 12:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all. I have this water heater in an 02 Ute. It is leaking from the pressure relief valve after heating up. So either the valve itself is leaking, or the temp control thingy is stuck and the valve is doing what it is supposed to do by releasing pressure because it is too hot.

Can someone point out to me, with a pic, where I need to be looking on the heater for something to clean, or replace? And what is it called if I have to replace it? I heard there was a replacement temp control piece with a temp dial to prevent it from getting too hot. Can I replace the relief valve if that is what it is?

Thanks

Phils

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Posted: 03/20/13 12:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those valves are frequently the source of leaks and are easily purchased at any good hardware store. The last time I had one leaking, I was camping (of course) but found a new valve and borrowed enough tools to get it changed.

Easier to change with the proper tools, I had only crescent wrenches and pliers.

Phil


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Posted: 03/20/13 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you take the valve out and make sure there isn't any sediment that is keeping it from closing? Those valves look similar to a valve on a house tank....replacing or inspecting shouldn't be too dificult.


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Posted: 03/20/13 03:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The valves are cheap enough. I would just change it.


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JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/20/13 03:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Before you go and change it, how bad is it leaking? Is it just dripping?

Try this before you start pulling parts. With your hot water heater full, and cold, open your hot water low point drain and then pull the lever on the pressure relief valve.

Leave it open till the water stops glugging at the pressure relief valve.

Close the low point drain and pressure relief valve, then light water heater.

While water heater is starting to warm, burp any excess air from your water lines.

Let it sit and heat all the way up and then recheck dripping.


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Posted: 03/20/13 04:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup, there's too much water in the hot water heater. There's supposed to be an air gap to compensate for the expansion of water being heated. If the air gap doesn't exist, then the pressure will cause the valve to leak water instead of air. Drain the water heater and then refill with the pump after it's all closed up. This should last a year or so depending on how often you use hot water and how often you completely drain your system.


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Grillmeister

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Posted: 03/20/13 04:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually the last two posts are correct, but the easy way to re-establish the air gap at the top of the water heater is to wait until the water is hot, turn off the water pump, turn off city water pressure and then open the pop off valve and let the water run out until it stops. Usually a half cup or so will come out, be carefull as the water is very hot. This will establish the air gap until it gets absorbed and starts to leak again. I have to do this about once a week when camping.
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Posted: 03/20/13 05:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting...I've never had to do that with any RV I've owned over the past 20 years.


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Posted: 03/20/13 06:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grillmeister is right!!

I have used Grillmeister's method.It works and it IS the way put the air gap back in the tank.

Which is how to stop the valve from leaking without replacing a perfectly good valve.


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AnEv942

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Posted: 03/20/13 08:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yes Interesting, Ive never established an air gap and ours or any previous tank doesnt leak? Or at least manually -I would guess though this occurs to a point just depressuring system. Course we have ours turned down pretty low, more heat more pressure. Certainly have never done this at home. I actually open the valve to bleed out air when refilling from drain/flush.

Not that it isnt true-I've just never heard this before. IF i had to bleed my tank once a week Id be changing the valve. But if it works is easier than swapping in new valve. However Im not getting- if it cant hold back water how does it hold back air? Or I guess it just doesnt leak water untill all the air is pushed out.

Yes the valve is the same as any home water heater-its called 'pressure relief valve' any hardware store will have them. Nothing servicable though sometimes debris will cause leak, Just need to match the pressure rateing which 'should' be stated on a tag something like 150 psi @ 210° (or less).


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