Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dirty job done.

Location, at Home, CA

Another “Dirty Job” out of the way.

It was time for my annual replacement of the sacrificial anode in the water heater. Not only was the anode replacement due but I had other issues with the water heater. For some time while dry camping, the water pump would cycle intermittently. Aggravating at best but no apparent solution until recently.

While camping at Cachuma Lake earlier this month I noticed water dripping from the area of the water heater.  Inspection showed the water coming from the TPV valve which keeps the heater from over pressuring. Sometimes the valve will leak if the “bubble” at the top of the heater has been lost causing excessive pressure. The remedy is to briefly open the TPV valve and let some water out. However, in my case the valve was so corroded that I didn’t think it would reseat itself.

I purchased a new TPV valve and already had a few sacrificial anodes in stock so today I tackled the repair.

For once, I didn’t get deluged with water when I removed the anode as I was smart enough to release the pressure in the lines by opening a faucet at the kitchen sink first.

As the water gushed out it also brought a lot of lime with it. After the water slowed I used a wire with a 90 degree bend in the end to loosen more of the lime and with repeated flushing got most of it out. Some of the chunks were really large.

I installed a new anode and turned the water to the RV back on. When the water started to come out of the TPV valve hole which is at the top of the tank, I turned the source water off and installed the TPV valve. This should give me an air bubble or gap at the top of the tank.

Turning the water back on and purging the air from the lines by opening a kitchen faucet completes the installation. I tested the heater by first turning it on electricity and within a few seconds I could hear the heater element come on. Next I started the water heater on propane and left it heat completely to check that the TPV valve was not leaking. After an hour all looks good.

I picked berries again today and got 11.5 baskets. My largest picking so far this year.