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 > Maintaining air gap in new Atwood water heater

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Skipg

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Posted: 08/10/19 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am familiar with the procedure of how to get an air gap in a RV water heater to prevent
pressure valve leak, but this new Atwood water heater just will not maintain the air gap.
Do you think it is A bad relief valve? Thanks for your feed back.

CaLBaR

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Posted: 08/10/19 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skipg wrote:

I am familiar with the procedure of how to get an air gap in a RV water heater to prevent
pressure valve leak, but this new Atwood water heater just will not maintain the air gap.
Do you think it is A bad relief valve? Thanks for your feed back.


I have never tried to get an air gap and never had an issue with a leaking pressure relief valve either. I would think if your pressure relief valve is leaking under normal use than it is defective.

Rob


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rk911

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Posted: 08/10/19 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skipg wrote:

I am familiar with the procedure of how to get an air gap in a RV water heater to prevent
pressure valve leak, but this new Atwood water heater just will not maintain the air gap.
Do you think it is A bad relief valve? Thanks for your feed back.


well, I'm not. we're in year 33 of this RV thing and have never heard of a WH air gap. not being sarcastic...just wondering what the heck you're talking about.


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Posted: 08/10/19 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The air gap is actually an expansion tank. Water being uncompressible will rapidly increase in pressure when heated. If there is no air bubble at the top of the water heater, then the water pressure will pop the P/T valve every time the burner or element kicks on. With the air bubble in the top of the tank, it just compresses the bubble. Re-establish the bubble by shutting off water to the camper, open the P/T valve and drain some hot water. Close the P/T valve and open things back up.

Skip - if the bubble keeps collapsing, I'd replace the P/T valve. The seat isn't holding.

Rich - you've probably never had to deal with this because you drain your water heater every fall, thereby re-establishing an air bubble every spring.


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rk911

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Posted: 08/10/19 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tnks.

B.O. Plenty

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Posted: 08/10/19 03:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rk911 wrote:

Skipg wrote:

I am familiar with the procedure of how to get an air gap in a RV water heater to prevent
pressure valve leak, but this new Atwood water heater just will not maintain the air gap.
Do you think it is A bad relief valve? Thanks for your feed back.


well, I'm not. we're in year 33 of this RV thing and have never heard of a WH air gap. not being sarcastic...just wondering what the heck you're talking about.
40 plus years for us never heard of it either.

B.O.


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Skipg

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Posted: 08/10/19 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks I thought a bad valve was probably the problem.

time2roll

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Posted: 08/10/19 04:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a permanent solution consider a small expansion tank.

Amazon - Shurflow

Expansion is an issue for closed systems. Mine would leak at the water pump fittings if the WH would heat a tank of cold water with no usage. Took a lot of time to eventually find the intermittent issue.


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Posted: 08/10/19 10:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've always heard the air gap in a water heater tank is what caused the valve to leak. Burp the valve and no more leak. At least, mine works that way. Once all air is purged from the tank, the valve no longer leaks.
The only time it comes back is when I sanitize the system by draining and filling a couple times with chlorinated and plain water. Then I heat up the water, see it dribble, burp the air and let it cool down, then repeat. Second time; no leaks.

pasusan

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Posted: 08/11/19 05:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

For a permanent solution consider a small expansion tank.

Amazon - Shurflow

Expansion is an issue for closed systems. Mine would leak at the water pump fittings if the WH would heat a tank of cold water with no usage. Took a lot of time to eventually find the intermittent issue.
This is what I did. Our B has such a small water system that if I didn't let out some water at the kitchen faucet while water heating the relief valve would leak a bit. My manual (and the notice inside the door of the water heater) says that's normal. I just installed an expansion tank and so far so good.


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