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Old 10-29-2014, 05:05 PM   #1
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Leak at water heater

Help! When we left yesterday I discovered a water leak at the water heater. Looks like its dripping out the burner. Cleaned it all up and when we stopped for the night I hooked up the water and fired the burner, worked fine and no leak. This morning it's wet again at the bottom of the burner, not running out just a seep. Trailer is two years old and water heater has been cleaned and had a new anode rod every year. Would this be a connection or a leaking tank? Can I get to it from the basement or does the whole thing come out the side? Just need some advise here as I don't know if I should tackle this or have it done. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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are you sure it's not leaking from the pressure relief valve and running down? When you empty the hot water and reheat an entire tank it builds up pressure and some times causes a drip from the valve. Depending where the valve points it could run down anywhere.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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Pressure relief valve is dry, that was the first place I went. We were in some heavy rain a couple of weeks ago and it blew on that side pretty hard. My first thoughts were that it blew in there and since we were on electric it didn't dry out. Wishful thinking.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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Could it just be sweat? I've had sweat drip down in the burner and make some sizzle occasionally.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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Wouldn't think it would be sweat as it hasn't done it before when we were in a lot more humidity. We're in Amarillo now headed to South Texas and it's really dry here. If you spit here it never hits the ground!
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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just a thought. Texas is usually far more humid than us.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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More info. Just took the burner tube and igniter out of the hole to see better. The water seeps into the burner space from the side of the space about six inches in. Not being familiar with the system, I'm going to assume that the tank is leaking. Does this sound right?
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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I would guess a fitting at the back end, but you probably won't know till you get in there. It's all wrapped in insulation.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:00 PM   #9
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So thru the basement? Don't know if I can get my big belly in there!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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That's how my tech got to mine - he disappeared way back in there and was squatting behind it. But he was a small guy.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:02 PM   #11
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Think I'll wait til we get to south Texas to try anything. I know a couple really good mobile rv guys that can bail me out if I get in trouble. I also found out that the tank is under warranty for three years if that what it turns out to be. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:39 PM   #12
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Oh definitely. It would be rare that the tank corroded through, but I have heard of them leaking at a weld. I saw a fella that pulled one out of his Montana that had been seeping for a couple of years and rotted his subfloor. He never noticed until his floor got soft. Tiny leak at the weld.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:35 PM   #13
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That's what this looks like, there is a weld right there. I just went and talked to the "water heater tech" at the local rv dealer and he was pretty adamant that it was a leak in the tank. Said to call suburban and they should take care of it. I'll do that as soon as we get settled down south. Right now it drips once every five minutes so it should be ok until Monday. Thanks again.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:05 PM   #14
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Slow leaks are like termites.......they do damage without being noticed.
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:36 AM   #15
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Fortunately this one runs down the burner chamber and outside. Spot on the ground the size of a softball after 24 hours.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:22 AM   #16
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Ugh... Don't forget that on an RL, after you take the basement wall down, the furnace with all its ducts is there in front of the water heater. You can barely see the WH. Mine had a loose wire that prevented it from working and it was all I could do to even touch the top of it where the wire bundle was to check it.

I was fortunate and could diagnose & repair my problem without enlisting the dealer. During the diagnosis, the dealer wanted to pull the whole thing out, but that required that they cut through and disturb all the sealer around the WH frame
(which is painted during the full body paint job).

Not offering much hope, but cosmetically, it will come out better is it something that can be repaired from the inside...
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:14 AM   #17
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5th time,

Exactly what happened to mine- a wire came off of the electric igniter in the back. When I got to the Dealership, the mechanic had neatly removed the furnace ducts and pushed them to the side and he was back in there with his legs crossed like Buda fixing it. I couldn't believe he got back there.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:33 PM   #18
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AA sounds like that man was a star in the Hobbits movies!
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:06 AM   #19
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Come to think of it, he wasn't wearing shoes and had hairy feet
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