Monday, September 19, 2016

Plumbing problems

About the time we got to Baker City, Oregon, we felt like the Beverly Hillbillies before they got to Beverly Hills.  Or maybe we felt like a family we once met who were traveling from Maine to California. They were in a small camper with two kids, a couple of dogs, a flock of chickens in a cage on top of their tow car -- and a broken water pump.

Because we had plumbing problems.

Our toilet wouldn’t flush, our hot water heater leaked, and even though the leaky hot water heater created hot water no hot water flowed from any faucet. Jim cleaned the spigot screens which helped the cold water flow, but still no hot water. I scrubbed the toilet flush holes with vinegar, which helped a little. 

After research and sympathetic comments from fellow RVers, we decided there must be hard water build up in the pipes. So while in Kennewick, Oregon, we heated five gallons of white vinegar and twenty gallons of water on our stove, poured it in the fresh water tank, and ran the fresh water through the faucets and toilet. 

That fixed the toilet problem and hot water heater leak. But hot water still didn't flow from our spigots. 

RV park staff in Kennewick recommended we call Paul the Trusty Wrench RV Doctor, a mobile RV service. Paul pulled out a drawer at the bottom of our closet, reached in, and voila. Running hot water.

Our motor home has what's called a water heater bypass. When a motor home is prepared to be idle in colder climates -- like ours was when we stored it in Utah last winter -- a bypass valve is opened. When our rig was de-winterized, the bypass should have been closed. The RV place that winterized and de-winterized our rig -- Motor Sportsland RV Sales/Service in Murray, Utah -- didn’t close a valve. Most folks who know RVs and read this will say "We could have diagnosed that!" but we never thought to check. Motor Sportsland also didn’t reattach an anode rod that heats our rig’s water via electricity. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. 

Anyway, Paul the RV Doctor knows RVs and he closed the water heater bypass valve. And now we feel like the Beverly Hillbillies admiring a fully functional cement pond. 
Jim and the Trusty Wrench RV Doctor looking for the water heater bypass, which was inside our rig at the back of a closet drawer.
And, a pic of 16-month-old Maddie looking for a squirrel.  She's a one-ear-up and one-ear-down girl.

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