How to fill hot water tank (only)...?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Systems (The Fresh, The Blue, The Grey, &' started by curls, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    Is there an easy way to fill JUST the hot water tank? The tank is currently bypassed.
    I'm thinking of opening the trailer and un-bypassing the tank, connecting city water, and using the outside shower (Jayco 1007) to open just the hot water faucet. That should fill the hot water tank ONLY, correct?

    * Reasoning: I hate filling the main water tank and then taking 6 gal from it just to fill the hot water tank. I find we run out of cold/tank water in 2 days and usually camp for 3. I want to fill both and/or just the hot water tank before setting up the trailer at the campsite. :)
     
  2. ezakoske

    ezakoske Member

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    Nov 30, 2014
    I usually fill the water heater tank before my trips also if I don't have campsite hookups. I do it as you describe above, by opening the hot water shower faucet until it purges the air. I also will manually open the over-pressure valve on the water tank once in a while to purge air there.
    Once I get to the campgrounds, I fill my fresh water tank from the faucets using a hose and a water-thief/water-bandit.
     
  3. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    Awesome. I guess the big thing is un-bypassing the water heater in my case (as I had it bypassed last trip due to having sulphur smelling water. That has been hopefully fixed using 1:2 vinegar:water mix sitting overnight).
     
  4. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    Actually I shouldn't even need to open the shower faucet!
    Just connect city water to inlet and open the pressure relief valve at the top of the hot water tank, to let air escape.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I usually just connect the city water, and open the kitchen faucet. I know the relief valve would work, but by opening the faucet I get a lot of the air out of the lines (some gets in on the road, but the major spitting is done). We do fill the fresh water tank at home, for us the weight isn't an issue & filling at some of the campgrounds we use isn't guaranteed. (In many connecting to a spigot is not permitted, in others it's just not handy. If we have to refill during our stay, we use a 2-1/2 gallon water jug and rattle siphon). Even if we plan to have city water, we partially fill the tank, since we can use it on the road. It turned out to be a good thing last year, when I had to make an unplanned stop overnight, due to weather. It was great not to have to connect the water during a sandstorm.
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

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    May 21, 2015
    The pressure relief valve should be tested yearly, but opening it too often can (I didn't say will) result in leaking. If you have an outdoor shower it will do the job just as well. But I don't like to pressurize the water system with the top down due to one sput when the galley faucets were left open when we closed it up, that was quite a mess to clean up.

    The sulfur smell is from anaerobic bacteria and is caused by untreated water sitting in the tank too long. A simple drain and refill should resolve the problem. If you've been to a campground with questionable water supply it might be best to drain the tank and refill with treated water when you get home

    I usually drain and refill the wh tank twice a year, when I sanitize the water system. I leave the wh tank filled between trips
     
    JPBar likes this.
  7. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    I always drain after every trip. I'm pretty sure there was gunk in there and some hard water scaling, as I just flushed the tank after 24h of vinegar /water and there was a fair bit of small particulate that came out. Will fill with city water (really good stuff here) tomorrow and see if the smell is gone.
     
  8. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    Texas
    I do it the way SteveP does, always has worked for me this way.
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    We drain and rinse after most trips, it depends on the length of time before we head out again, as well as (sometimes) the water we've had in the tank. The water at the last campground was safe, but a bit odd-tasting, so I drained the tanks when we got home (we'd only added about 5 gallons to the fresh water tank). The grit from hard water and the sacrificial anode can be amazing
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  10. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    Yeah but after 3 trips with 3 known good water sources and draining every time... It still smelled. Google search of sulphur water showed vinegar as a common way to rid the tank of deposits which cause the smell.
     
  11. curls

    curls Member

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    Apr 22, 2013
    The vinegar trick and a thorough rinse worked GREAT. No smells, pure tasting water (even used it for coffee).
    I was able to remove the pressure valve to fill the tank this time before leaving home and it worked well. I used new Teflon tape on it when reinstalling, and no leaks whatsoever. :)
     
  12. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    I only drain the water heater at the end of the season.

    Would anyone drain there homes water heater when they are gone camping for a few days??
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    No, but our home ones have been "self-cleaning", our water is very hard, so mineral build up is an issue. The grit I rinse out of the TT 6-gallon one, from the water and sacrificial anode can be somewhat amazing, just after a week or 10 day trip. I don't want that all to collect over an entire season.
    Also, if we've had to add campground water to the fresh water tank, I usually prefer to drain that out after the trip. The water at our last campground was safe, but a bit metallic tasting.
     
  14. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Not sure of your specific water heater model. Most manufacturers use words like "self cleaning" as a marketing gimmick. I have drained, flushed, and swapped many water heaters. Most are filled with sediment. Some so bad, city pressure is unable to push it through the drain valve. This, of course, varies regionally.

    I drain and flush the camper water heater at the end of the season. Most people worry about their camper water heaters and never consider thier homes.
     
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    When we had our previous water tank installed, the guy that did it said they'd seen some filled halfway with sediment and/or conglomeration. The one he was installing had a self-cleaning feature, that hot water tank lasted 20+ years. (The one original to the house lasted about 15.)
    In the meantime, I'm happy draining and rinsing the TT hot water tank a few times a season. It'd be nice if it was designed to make replacing the anode easier, I usually have to have DH do that part, my hands aren't large or dexterous enough to manage.
     
  16. drocks

    drocks Member

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    Jul 15, 2015
    Any RV with a fresh water tank/water pump system and a city water fill will have a check valve installed on the water outlet line at the fresh water tank to prevent city water pressure from back flowing into the water tank. I fill the water heater and water lines by using the city water fill and usually open the pressure relief valve on the water heater. When the water comes the relief valve, the tank is full.
     

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