Friday, September 5, 2014

Ugh Oh...No Hot Water!

Have you ever turned on the hot water in your RV and had the strange sensation of no hot water out of the water?

When we did this a few weeks ago it was a mystery...

The cold water was fine.  When we turned it on it ran fine.  But there was no response, no water, no anything out of the hot water faucet!

Has that every happened to you?

We did all the trouble shooting we could think of and checked connections, the water line, hose and ended up calling the Tiffin Motor Homes Service Center.  They seem like they always come through and had an answer for us.

They thought it was a hot water heater check valve that probably had sediment in it.  Once the sediment collected, the spring loaded valve.

All we needed to do was get down into the bay and take the valve off the hot water PEX line and replace it.  It was suggested we could find it at Home Depot or something like that...

I found the valve but it took some doing to get to it.
First I had to empty the basement area right next to the water heater.

Then I had to remove the sides of the water heater enclosure.
The small panel that the light and junction box were attached to was secured with four small screws and no big deal to take out.

Next, we emptied the hot water from the water heater.
Once the water was drained, I crawled back into the basement and removed the check value with simple hand turns on the fixture.

Then we set out on a search for a replacement part.
Not one here...
Nor here...
Nor could we find one at Home Depot...

We called the Service Center at Tiffin again and they indicated we could take the spring loaded piece out of the check valve and it would work OK for a while.  Meanwhile we ordered the piece from their parts department.

We put the old valve back in place and turned everything on and YES - we had hot water.

We had the part sent to our daughter's in Virginia Beach and it was waiting for us when we returned from our travels to the DC Area and Lancaster County and the Eastern Shore.

The good news was that the $12.18 part was waiting for us.  The bad news was that it cost $15.77 to ship to us!  Yikes!

But what are you going to do??  All in all we were glad to have hot water again!  And if you'd told us when this issue first came up, we could get it fixed for under $30, we wouldn't have hesitated.

So, we went through the same drill again and took off the old valve and put on the new one.
I swapped it out and Pam turned on the water.  I wanted to be careful and not strip the plastic turn fittings.  Pam turned on the water and it only took me a couple of seconds to yell 'Turn it Off!'
The check valve can only go one way and I had a 50-50 chance of getting it right the first time...

After some towel work and cleaning up a little water, I turned it around, secured it in place and --Success!!

It took us a month from initial "No Hot Water" to getting the replacement part and things fixed, but we got it done and learned some more things about the pieces and parts and maintenance on our beloved Roadrunner.

That it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!


  1. But what are you going to do??

    You're going to buy it through our links to where it's available for $14.60 and $2.62 shipping! :-)

  2. ....or you could have bought this one from Amazon for $8.59 with $0 shipping as a Prime Member. Just messing with you Randy. If the fix works, I'm always happy.
    In all seriousness, if you followed the TRVN Forum closer, you would have read that this is a fairly common problem.

  3. I've had the check valve go bad more than once.

  4. How come when it is a 50-50 decision, I'm wrong 90% of the time? ;c)

    I've read where the check valve guts can be removed and it will have no impact on the hot water supply. The check valve is there for the winterizing bypass. If mine ever gives me trouble, I'll give that idea a whirl first as we stay below the freezing temps in winter.

  5. Yep..sometimes the shipping cost is the killer of the deal..but what are ya gonna do?.ya gotta have it!

  6. love the lid setup for draining the water. . .LOL!