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McFly
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145
Hot water heater bypass - problems winterizing **UPDATED**

Hi there, this boat came with some very convenient bypass valves on the hot and cold side of the hot water heater, with a braided steel hose (toilet tank kind) in between them. To bypass the HWH all you have to do is turn each knob to bypass...... or so I thought.  Here's what's going on....

I followed Rich Lemieux's checklist and drained the HWH with a length of hose into the bilge.  Then used a compressor (only 25psi of air) in to the HOT (out) side with the water line pulled off to completely drain out the HWH tank.  Next on the checklist is to put a gallon of antifreeze in each of the 3 tanks.  With the other two valves turned to OFF, you turn on the FWD tank at the manifold and run the sink in the head until you see antifreeze.  Somehow Anti freeze filled up the Hot Water tank during this process!!  Anti freeze did in fact make it to the head sink faucet but most the entire gallon of water ended up back in the hot water tank.

My only thought is that the valve on the COLD side (in) is broken in the open/normal position and only the handle is turning.  

In the attached picture you can see antifreeze coming out of the open drain.  Am I missing something here?  Tomorrow I plan on pull off the hoses and just connecting them with a short piece of hose in between them, the old fashioned way to bypass.
 
Thanks again for the help!

**** SEE UPDATED POST AND PICTURE AT END OF STRING****

Mike

Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
Chachere's picture
Chachere
Last seen: 9 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 10/27/10
Posts: 608

From the picture, it looks like the handles on both bypass valves are indeed set in the correct position.  So I think your conjecture is correct that something is defective here.  Short term, yes, just bypass the old-fashined way, but you could also disassemble the valves (which are technically diverter valves) from the HW heater and inspect them to see what gives.

Bummer about getting antifreeze in there.   Make sure you flush out well in the spring; the stench of heated antifreeze from a faucet is not pleasant.

BTW, I don't think you really need to go to the trouble of using a compressor to blow out the last bits of water from the tank.  Just open the pressure relief valve (i.e., flip up the lever on it) to break the vacuum, and the tank should drain out fine.  Whatever last bit of water remains (if any) will not do damage to the tank if it freezes, as it will have plenty of expansion room. 
 

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Matthew Chachère
s/v ¡Que Chévere! #466
1985 C36 MKI tall rig fin keel M25
Homeported in eastern Long Island, NY

McFly
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

Matt, thanks for the reply and the tips. After buying a piece of tubing from wm and making the old fashioned bypass, the winterization of the potable water system went great. I'm going to screw those diverter valves off and get them home on the bench where I can inspect them.

Thx for the tip about rinsing out the hwh tank in the spring. I'll tape a note to it so I remember. Thx again.

Mike

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
Wally-1840
Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 11/9/09
Posts: 115

Hi Mike,
I bought a bypass kit a number of years back. I had the same problem from the start. I uninstalled it as the antifreeze smell that got through into the hwh took forever to to flush out. My theory was that the valve worked, but had enough "clearance" to let a small amount of antifreeze into the tank. I now just put in a hose to bypass, simple and it works.

I just drain the tank by opening the galley hot water faucet as a vent and when the level gets below the pressure relief valve I open that too. I don't use a compressor and have not had a problem. 

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Wally
"Onanne"
2000 MKII, deep keel, tall rig
​Lake Champlain
 
McFly
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

Hey Guys, I got the valve from the COLD (IN) side home and the valve is fine.  IT WAS MOUNTED AND ARRANGED BACKWARDS!  I attached a pic so you can see what I am talking about.  The water from the pressure side hit the bypass valve and STOPPED in Bypass position.  If I flip the valve around and move the nipple fitting to the other side, the arrangement would work properly, creating a bypass, avoiding the HWH.  I still can't explain why AF entered the HWH tank though.  Maybe like Wally was saying a small amount was leaking-by the valve.  But the short time the pump ran the AF began draining out the open tank drain.  That still perplexes me.  The short answer is the 12" tube connecting the water lines worked great, I will probably stick with this arrangement and move the nipple fittings from the valves back on to the HWH.  see pic below.....

Mike

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
Chachere's picture
Chachere
Last seen: 9 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 10/27/10
Posts: 608

Was on our boat this weekend and took a look at the bypass I install a few years back.  Turns out we have 1 diverter valve (on the cold-input side), and on the hot-output its simply a T fitting with a check valve between the T and the output.
 

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Matthew Chachère
s/v ¡Que Chévere! #466
1985 C36 MKI tall rig fin keel M25
Homeported in eastern Long Island, NY

McFly
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

Matt, that seems like a good arrangement.  After some clearer thinking, here is how AF entered the tank, pretty straight forward really:

When putting pressure on the system, and starting with the faucet in the head, I toggled button in the handle to turn flow off.  Doing this caused adequate pressure to cause the AF to back up the HOT side, through the bypass valve, across the bypass line, to the 'backwards' bypass valve and into the tank and out the drain.  See the picture attached....

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
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