RV Hot Water Heater Bypass Valve and Drain Valve for Easy Winterization

Published on September 16th, 2019
Mod My RV

Winterizing your rig is one of the most important things you can do to protect it and ensure that it lasts for years to come. One way to make this whole process a bit easier is to install an RV hot water heater bypass valve and an RV water tank drain valve.

RV Hot Water Bypass Valve

Why do you need an RV water heater bypass valve? This valve is important during winterization because it allows you to bypass the hot water tank when blowing out the water lines or filling the lines with antifreeze, saving you time, effort, and antifreeze.

Some RVs come equipped with this valve, but if yours doesn’t have one, don’t worry; they’re super easy to install. In fact, alongside replacing an RV water heater check valve or an RV water heater gas valve, this job is one of the most common water heater DIY jobs out there.

RV Water Drain Valve

Now let’s talk about the drain valve we mentioned earlier. This RV water valve add-on is great for those who hate the task of removing the plug to empty their heater tank. It simply screws into the hole that usually holds your water heater drain plug and allows you to drain your tank with one quick turn.

How to Winterize

Begin by disconnecting the city water and emptying your entire water system by opening the water heater drain valve, RV black water valve, gray tank valve, and the RV fresh water drain valve. Once the system is completely empty, turn the knobs to bypass your water heater.

Blow Out Method

If you choose to blow out your lines, you’ll connect a blow out plug to your city water inlet, open the tap nearest the inlet and close all others, then blow air through the system using an air compressor and a tire pump tip. When the open tap squeals, stop the compressor, close the tap and repeat the process with the next tap. Continue this until all taps (including the toilet) have been opened.

It’s important to note here that you will want to ensure the RV water pump check valve is in working condition before starting, to avoid pump damage.

Antifreeze Method

Those who prefer to use antifreeze will put the winterizing hose of their onboard water pump into a jug of RV antifreeze. After switching the pump to pull from the jug and not the fresh water tank, open the tap nearest your pump and run the pump until you see antifreeze running from the tap.

Once you reach this point, close that tap and move to the next closest, repeating these steps until every tap runs pink. Be sure to run the toilet as well, and make sure to replace the antifreeze jug as needed.

Finally, turn off your pump, open one tap, and head outside and give your RV water inlet check valve a quick press. The RV water check valve tends to hold onto water, and pushing it will ensure antifreeze makes its way into the valve.

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