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Old 08-05-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
quiverkiller
 
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Default dumb plumbing question

I "finished" building my van about a year ago. This past trip I ran out of water and it donned on me that my water heater is still probably full of water that I just can't pump out. Is there any elegant solution to this problem? I've included a schematic of my plumbing system, the pump is the 12V shurflo everyone uses and the heater is an isotherm isotemp that I have still yet to hook up to the van coolant line (so it's not heating).

I haven't checked but am just assuming the heater is still full of water. The only way it wouldn't be is if the shurflo could pump air, which I doubt.

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Old 08-05-2019, 07:57 PM   #2
gltrimble
 
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Default dumb plumbing question

I have similar plumbing arrangement. The Shurflo will not pump air so the water heater and most of the plumbing remain full of water. If you are desperate for water you can partially drain the Isotemp using the relief valve hand knob.

This is actually a good safety measure as you would not want to operate your Isotemp heating element with an empty tank per the Isotemp instructions.


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Last edited by gltrimble; 08-05-2019 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
royce
 
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Default Re: dumb plumbing question

Nothing dumb about the question.
At first glance, I would lean towards cutting in a low point drain on the cold supply line to the heater, where ever the low point in that line is.

Another thought is, can it be blown down with air through one or more of your fixtures?
Without knowing all the routing of your piping and if there are vertical traps in the piping, it is hard to determine if that would work as well as a low point drain.

Royce
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:15 PM   #4
quiverkiller
 
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Default Re: dumb plumbing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by royce View Post
Nothing dumb about the question.
At first glance, I would lean towards cutting in a low point drain on the cold supply line to the heater, where ever the low point in that line is.

Another thought is, can it be blown down with air through one or more of your fixtures?
Without knowing all the routing of your piping and if there are vertical traps in the piping, it is hard to determine if that would work as well as a low point drain.

Royce
I do have a low drain that is tied into the isotemp's pressure relief valve, just omitted that from my diagram. I also have a quick disconnect between the fresh water tank and the pump to which I can hook up my air compressor to blow everything dry in the winter. Just wondering if there was also a way to have regular access to that water.

- also, when I ever do get around to tying in the van's coolant loop to the isotemp, I was going to add a bypass valve so I could choose not to send coolant to the heater.
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:00 PM   #5
royce
 
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Default Re: dumb plumbing question

Quote:
Originally Posted by quiverkiller View Post
I do have a low drain that is tied into the isotemp's pressure relief valve, just omitted that from my diagram. I also have a quick disconnect between the fresh water tank and the pump to which I can hook up my air compressor to blow everything dry in the winter. Just wondering if there was also a way to have regular access to that water.

- also, when I ever do get around to tying in the van's coolant loop to the isotemp, I was going to add a bypass valve so I could choose not to send coolant to the heater.
OK,
I think I understand what you are after.

How about cutting in a couple tees and valves, so you could use your heater as the supply tank?
Here's a quick sketch.
To use your heater as the supply tank, #1 valve is closed, #2 valve is open and #3 valve is closed.
Now then, you would need to establish a vent, which could be as simple as opening the hot water at the sink or cut tee and valve in somewhere along the HW line.

Bear in mind that this set up would only be good for cold water.
But it would get you out of a bind, when you run your tank dry.

Royce
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