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Old 04-30-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
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Angry Water Leak from Hot Water Tank area



2015 Jayco White Hawk 23 RBS

I'm getting a heavy leak from around the Hot Water Tank area. I know it's not the water pump but it's coming from under the Tank (wrapped in styrofoam) and the blackbox on the front of the tank. I can't really tell where it's coming from.



A) How do I gain access to see the leak?

B) Does anyone know where the leak could be coming from?

C) An idea of how to fix it?

D) What is the Black Box?

I have attached a picture of the tank and black box. I show an arrow where the leak is. It's not coming from the pip in the foreground but under the blackbox,


Thank you
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:20 PM   #2
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Assuming that you have an Atwood HWH....., the black box cover protects the electric HWH element head and associated wiring connections. The black box cover when removed also allows for removal of the electric HWH element. True off all electrical power when removing this cover.

The styrofoam around the tank can also mask and divert the leak.

Possible HWH leak sources:

* Heater element.
* Crack in tank or seam weldment.
* Cold/Hot water connections
* Pressure relief valve.
* Unrelated PEX or connectors in area.

For reference, the following pics are from my retired '05' Eagle TT. Your specific Atwood model and location may differ;



Cover and wiring removed.........



Bob
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:36 PM   #3
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Tank leak?

Thank you for replying

What's the easiest way to determine where the leak is coming from? I see some videos of people removing the panel on the outside of the Camper, which requires removing the gas line connections and several other things. Is there a way to view the tank while it's in the camper? Can I access it from underneath?Is there another access panel that I don't know about?

BTW: I tried to post the picture here again.
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Camper Leak.JPG  
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:00 PM   #4
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TT HWH access in most cases is limited to a single inside TT access panel and the other is from outside. The removal of the entire HWH is from the outside and is a time consuming venture.

I would have the HWH tank under water pressure and confirm that all visible PEX & associated connections aren't leaking (as viewed from both inside/outside access panels)...., especially the inside cold/hot water connections above and to the right of the black box (these connection leaks can direct water back behind the styrofoam.... they did on mine).

Next I would see if you can "back" the black box away from the tank enough to expose the heater element head checking for signs of moisture (my black box had two nuts holding it to the tank).

You could also use a razor knife and remove a section of the styrofoam above the black box (re-install the styrofoam with duck tape). This may allow for added vewing of the heater element...., look for signs of moisture on the metal tank surface. Watch for any rust stains on the inside styrofoam that may suggest a leak area.

Is there a chance any PEX tubing or HWH had water that froze during the winter?

The above process would be a start........

Helped a friend last year replace a HWH tank due to a leak..., it wasn't until we removed the styrofoam and found a pin-hole leak at an upper seam weldment.

Bob
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:02 PM   #5
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First thing to check is the outside caulking around the water heater. My parents had a leak just like you described, it took a few years to find.

I had a small leak at one of the water pipe connections. It showed up after a few years of use. All I did was tighten the pipe nipple.

I suspect your black box is similar to my grey box, which is the power connections.

Question; if you charge the system with the water pump, while the pump is left on, does the pump cycle periodically? If it cycles, you have a plumbing leak, if not, the leak will be from else where.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:06 PM   #6
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you have to determine yourself what's leaking.........it can be one of the pex fittings or the valve might be cracked. Or the ring need to be crimped better. Just check the possibilities.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:46 PM   #7
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Tank leak?

When I place the hose in the "city water" connection and turn it on, it immediately starts to leak heavily. I don't have to turn on the water pump for it to leak.
I'm almost positive that it's not coming from the pipes in the foreground, but from somewhere around the tank. It appears as if it's coming out of the black electrical box on the outside of the styrophoam but I think it's coming from inside or the fittings from behind the"outside" panel.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:57 PM   #8
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You'll have to open up things in order to determine where the problem lies, that's what the RV shop will do. Save your money and start figuring this out.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:20 PM   #9
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If you put the WH in ”bypass” does it still leak? That will tell you if it’s the tank or something else.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:06 AM   #10
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Tank Leak Update

Thank you for all the advise. here's what I've found.

I removed some of the styrofoam and turn on the bypass and turned off the 2 connections to the tank, no leak. As soon as I turn on the connection to the tank and I can hear the tank filling up, it begins to leak. I turn off the connection to the tank, no leak.
It seems to be coming from the back of the tank. (External side). I can't really see, but if I could, I'm sure it's just a connection leak rather than a tank leak. Is there a way to get access to the other side of the tank/connections/pipes without taking the entire unit out?
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain0030 View Post
Thank you for all the advise. here's what I've found.

I removed some of the styrofoam and turn on the bypass and turned off the 2 connections to the tank, no leak. As soon as I turn on the connection to the tank and I can hear the tank filling up, it begins to leak. I turn off the connection to the tank, no leak.
It seems to be coming from the back of the tank. (External side). I can't really see, but if I could, I'm sure it's just a connection leak rather than a tank leak. Is there a way to get access to the other side of the tank/connections/pipes without taking the entire unit out?
The only connections on the outside are the pressure relief valve and the drain, both easily visible from outside under the cover. The other connections are the cold in, hot out, and electric element all on the back (interior) side of the heater.

From your description of the leak it seems to me that your tank itself probably has a hole or split.
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:00 PM   #12
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Thank you

Well, that's not good news.. but at east it's news. Thanks again to everyone who participated. Enjoy a cold beer for me.
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Old 05-06-2018, 03:45 PM   #13
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Please post the solution when it is fixed. Sure helps to file this info away for the next time.
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