Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Modifications and Updates
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-21-2018, 10:40 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
help a newbie with heater bypass? (with pics)

OK, my first question on this forum although I have been lurking for a few months...

I bought a 1988 Thor Citation 20 foot trailer about 3 months ago. The previous owners neglected it badly, and I am gradually repairing and replacing things. I am currently at the point where I am going to replace the water pump (the original leaks like a sieve), add a "pump converter winterizing kit", and install a heater bypass set-up to avoid filling the heater with anti-freeze. Once that is done, I will be winterizing it and continuing repairs in the Spring.

I am ready to do the first two projects, and am a pretty confident DIY-er...but the heater bypass has me stumped. I understand the concept...direct the antifreeze past the heater...but I look at my pipe arrangement and simply can't seem to wrap my head around what part goes where. Nothing seems to match up with all the diagrams and YouTube videos I have looked at.

Before I start cutting things...is it really all that horrible to just fill the heater with anti-freeze? Yes, I know it will cost more money, but I would prefer that to rolling around on that cold floor with my arms jammed in the cabinet. Its not an easy location, and worse coming at it from the outside.

Below (hopefully) are pictures of the pipes. One pic is labeled, and the other is the same area from a different angle which might help more experienced eyes confirm what I think I am seeing. Can someone tell me where I should cut, and what part of a bypass kit goes where, in this lay out?

Please excuse the cobwebs...haven't cleaned this area yet. I hope these pictures come thru...

Thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20181021_002600 labeled and smaller.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	97.2 KB
ID:	13588   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20181021_002604 smaller.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	103.0 KB
ID:	13589  

__________________

glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2018, 11:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Gemini 23TR
State: California
Posts: 526
have you thought about just blowing the lines out rather than using antifreeze?
__________________

__________________
2017 Gemini 23TR Ford chassis w/ power stroke 3.2
DW, Daughter and 2 dogs, Sofie (black lab/boxer) and Phoebe (schnoodle)
mountainsam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
Yes, but I don't have an air compressor. Might be able to borrow one....hmmm...
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
JamieGeek's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 6,984
Can you get access to right behind the heater? (In the pics it looks like the heater is the big brown thing in the back?)

The bypass kit would go right on the back of the heater between the intake and output lines. You're just getting confused because of where all the lines are going--just look at the two pipes on the back of the heater: cold in, and hot out. The bypass kit goes right there.
__________________
2014 Thor Axis 24.1
2016 C-Max Energi
2018 Chevy Bolt
blog - https://spareelectrons.wordpress.com/
JamieGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 02:58 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
I see what you are saying...and that does make more sense. No, getting to the back of the heater is even harder than getting to those pipes at the front of the pictures. I don't think my arms are long enough! The air compressor method is looking more viable, at this point.

I must know someone with a compressor. Or maybe I can buy something small enough to do the job, and yet not take up too much space.

Time to look at more YouTube videos!
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 03:27 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0376.JPG
Views:	47
Size:	219.7 KB
ID:	13592
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 03:31 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
Hopefully this helps. The exact placement of the valves, piping and fittings is up to you but this is what you are trying to achieve. During normal operation the valve on the bypass line is closed and the cold and hot water valves are open. In bypass mode the hot and cold valves should be closed and the bypass valve open.
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 03:37 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
I would probably install the hot an cold water valves as close to the “T” fittings as possible. That would reduce the amount of coolant that enters those two lines. Good luck and happy camping.
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 03:50 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 4
A HA! Now I get it! And I can reach those closer pipes, with some struggle, but not impossible. OK!

Wow, and thank you to everyone. Now I can get this done!
glassbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 12:34 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Ontario
Posts: 10
Winterizing Supply Pipes

I use a bicycle pump and it works great, just open one tap at a time and have someone turn the taps off and on and after you have purged all of the lines you can add antifreeze through the pump or get an antifreeze pump
Coveman2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 02:51 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Long & Winding road's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Axis 25.4
State: Arkansas
Posts: 838
That was an awesome diagram Dilleyx2! Very helpful.


Glassbird - take some pictures when your done. Let us know if you need anymore help. This site has lots of knowledgeable people on it.
__________________
2017 Axis 25.4
Big Foot Levelers, Aims 1200 Watt inverter, Ceramic Window Tint, Full River AGM 6V batteries, Front Hellwig Sway bar / Rear Track Arm, Safe T Plus Steering Stabilizer.
Long & Winding road is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 04:07 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
Glad to be helpful
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 04:16 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
DenverTransplant's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.1
State: Colorado
Posts: 257
You can also get a kit from Camco that uses one three way valve on the cold water inlet and a check valve on the hot water outlet. Haven't ever used one of these but the reviews are generally good.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-35983-Q.../dp/B0006JJ57Y
__________________
Rick
DenverTransplant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 05:11 PM   #14
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Fourwinds 24F
State: North Carolina
Posts: 39
Looks like you have Polybutylene (PB) pipe which is no longer used due to high rates of failure. If you can get to all of the piping easily then you might want to think about going PEX and replace everything. Otherwise, you need to be careful that you get PB to PEX transitions when installing the valves and bypass pipe. PB is not the same diameter as PEX and will require special transitions.
jimbo12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 05:21 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
The Camco bypass looks like a cool piece of equipment. I think the problem with it in this application is that Glassbird has a challenge in accessing the water lines entering and leaving the water heater. The Camco bypass looks like it has to be installed right at the water heater. It looks like Glassbird needs more of a remote inline application. Our 2017 Miramar 34.1 has a water heater bypass similar to the design that I diagramed
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 07:48 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Dilley-Dilley's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Miramar 34.1
State: California
Posts: 118
Glassbird, Are you sure that there is no access panel in the floor above that water heater where the connections are? It seems like there has to be some way to get at those threaded fittings. What is above where the water heater is? If you had to replace the water heater, how would that be done? I think that as jimbo12 suggested, you might want to consider a repipe with PEX in the future. If it is possible to get those hoses disconnected from the water heater then you might want to assemble new plumbing in that compartment using PEX. You could preassemble it how you want with all the fittings and bypass in your garage and then install it as a unit. If you could access the piping in other areas outside of that cramped compartment then you could cut and splice the plumbing in those areas. I know this is a little off the original question but if you’re going to modify and improve that plumbing you might want to just change it out while you’re at it.
__________________
Brian & Laura Dilley
2017 Thor Miramar 34.1
480 watt Go Power Solar
Four 6-volt Batteries
Dilley-Dilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 09:51 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
bevedfelker's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,211
Glassbird -- you got lots of good suggestions; however, no one showed you a diagram of what you are conceptually trying to do, & what exactly are you bypassing. Here is a conceptual drawing that shows you what you are trying to accomplish.

The whole concept is to By-pass the water heater so that when you winterize you aren't pumping 6 gallons of RV antifreeze into the water heater tank. So you have a cold water line going into one end of the water heater tank and you have a hot water line coming out of the water heater tank. So to complete a by-pass installation you need to install a valve in the cold water line going into the tank to close off that potential flow. Then you need to install a valve in the hot water line to close off that potential. When those two valves are open your water heating system is operating normally. When you close both those valves your water heater tank is now isolated -- no potential flow into it, no potential flow out.

Now comes the By pass piece. Close to those two valves on the intake and output of the water heater you are going to have to install a line that connects the cold water input to the hot water output. In the middle of that by-pass line you need another valve.

So with the cold water input and hot water output valves closed, you would open the valve in the bypass line you just installed. You can see that any cold water flow going to the water heater is stopped and that cold water flows directly into the hot water output. When you are winterizing, the antifreeze you syphon into the cold water line now bypasses the hot water tank and only flows into and through pex tubing. None gets into the hot water heater.

Part of winterizing is to take the plug out of the hot water heater tank so that the 6 gallons of water drains out.

So --
Normal Operation -- Cold Water Input Valve to heater OPEN Hot Water Output Valve OPEN Water Heater Bypass valve CLOSED

Winterizing Operation -- Cold Water Input Valve CLOSED Hot Water Output Valve CLOSED Water Heater Bypass Valve OPEN


You can see this clearly in the two schematics I attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Water Heater Bypass 2.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	128.2 KB
ID:	13613  
__________________

__________________
Ed & Bev Felker
Retired USAF Col and retired Nurse
Traveling with Lily & Bella ('Teddy Bear' breed)
2015 Vegas 24.1 (E-350)
bevedfelker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 06:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2