Broadway heater dump valve frost protection

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Post by CC on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:03 pm

I've read in the Broadway's manual that the water heater has a frost protection feature built in that automatically opens and dumps the water at +3° is there anyway to over ride this setting? 


How do others get along with this feature?

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Post by stoneb on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:56 pm

The frost protector is built into the cold water plumbing pipework, usually next to the water heater as on my vehicle. It's job is to protect the water heater and pipework in the vehicle from freezing up and damaging anything, such as causing water heater, pipes and joint bursts or water leaks when the system temperature freezes at about zero degrees Centigrade and later returns above +3 degrees Centigrade. It is there to save you the expense of repairs to these bits!

If you try to over-ride this device (by, for example, jamming the reset lever, or push button, in the "normal" position before it gets to freezing conditions) you will cause serious danger to your water pipe and heater systems. Over-ride it at your peril, it is there for your benefit.

The only inconvenience you will suffer is the loss of the water held in the water heater and pipes - easily rectified eh?

The best way to ensure the frost protector stays in its "normal" position is to keep the vehicle warm, that is, above +3 degrees C. (at least the water tank, pipes, water heater etc.)

The frost protector comes in various models but incorporates a small electrical solenoid (held in "normal" position by connection to the 12 volt leisure battery) and a manual reset lever, or push button, that keeps the water inside the pipework.

If the temperature drops below about +3C the device opens and the water drains out onto the ground outside, allowing the system to continue getting colder but, having no water, no bursts etc occur upon freezing or subsequent thawing. The same will occur if you disconnect the leisure battery, you lose the water from the water heater etc. If this happens you will need to reset the lever (or push button) which should stay closed provided the 12 volt leisure battery is connected and the temperature is above about +3C.

My son says RTFM (Read The Flippin' Manual) (or something like that) and check by looking at the relevant bits. Fiddle with the frost protection valve by all means - the worst that can happen is that you'll lose some water, but hopefully gain a better understanding of what happens, how it works, and - saves you money!

Best wishes, Barry. up!
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Post by inspiredron on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:37 am

Without going down the garden to the van I cannot be sure but I believe that the frost protect valve on my Nuevo is entirely mechanical ie no electrical connections.  It is already open for the winter - manually I hasten to add - it's a push button.

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Post by DuxDeluxe on Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:05 am

I've got the same on the Pilote. Turn the lever and the solenoid pops out and the water is dumped. Push button underneath at bottom to reset it. Looks like a good system. The van is fully winterised so a 3deg C in the van is pretty cold. A useful safety feature

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Post by CC on Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:54 am

Thanks for the feedback.... Seems you are happy with this system, was just a little concerned it could prove to be a little inconvenient, having been away a number of times in close to freezing conditions and waking to a severe frost with no ill effects. Of course I realise it's purpose smile!

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Post by ajrm on Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:18 pm

As long as your heater is on when its very cold, the dump valve won't operate, the temperature around the valve and therefore the heater needs to drop to 3˚C for the dump valve to operate, so don't sleep with the heating off! You could lose all the water in your system if the valve operates.
If your valve does operate or you empty the system and want to fill it again, the valve will not close till the temperature of the valve reaches about 7˚C, which means you need to run the heater for a while to raise the ambient temperature enough to close the valve.
You can buy a Frost Control heating element made by Truma. This fits in the dump valve and will heat the valve up quickly( you need the heater running) so you can fill the system earlier. I have one fitted to mine.
Also, the dump valve on mine is mechanical. It will not operate if the leisure battery is disconnected, thank goodness!
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Post by Cymro on Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:38 am

Not being familar with these, I assume that in the case where the motorhome is not going to be used for a few winter months, it is still possible (and fail-safe) to drain all the water at the onset of winter? i.e the Old-fashioned "winterisation" of emptying every water tank and cistern (including the Carver water heater and hot water tank) and pipework, and leaving the taps open.
Is that still possible?
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Post by ajrm on Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:32 am

Yes, a lot of people do this. Don't forget the toilet header tank
Allan

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Post by Jaytee on Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:35 am

We used ours last winter in some pretty cold spells and no probs at all. The residual heat from the water tank remains for a long time even without it being kept on. Good system as I did leave the MH longer than anticipated one time and it dumped the water for me allthumbz

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Post by inspiredron on Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:17 am

Relying on the dump valve is NOT a substitute for winterisation!

When you drain down for winter you should always put all the taps (kitchen, bathroom sink and shower) in the mid position and open so that the tap itself can drain. If water remains in the tap it will freeze and break the tap.
Also remember to drop the shower head down to the floor so that the pipe empties before lifting it back onto its support. I normally leave the taps open and in the mid position all winter. I also leave the waste drain open but close the fresh water tank drain after it is empty to avoid small nasties making their home inside the tank over winter.


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Post by Jaytee on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:56 pm

Hi Ron, yes I realise that totally I was only saying that the weather caught me by surprise and the valve helped.
We don't winter our unit as such as we use it most of the time. However IF we were to leave it unattended or severe weather was imminent and we didn't have the heat on we would drain down fully.

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Post by Pete Taylor on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:49 am

As our new Stanton has STILL not arrived(!) could someone confirm if this frost protection valve empties all the water in the pipes, or just the water in the heater?
Obviously it cannot drain water which is "downhill" of it so, as I can't go out and have a look, where it is positioned in the system?
Our Topaz had a drain valve on the Truma water heater but it only let out the water contained within the heat exchanger, everything else had to go out via the tank valves and with the taps open. One thing I did discover was that if I drained down and then took off the shower head and blew down the pipe, a rather surprising amount of water came out of the supposedly empty system.

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Post by Jaytee on Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:01 pm

Hi Pete, I am not an expert by any means but I open all the taps etc when I do a complete drain down otherwise water will be trapped in the pipes. the shower pipe I just undo from the mixer tap and let that drain off. I then do a quick drive around to help shift as much as possible.

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Post by Pete Taylor on Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:57 pm

Jaytee wrote:Hi Pete, I am not an expert by any means but I open all the taps etc when I do a complete drain down otherwise water will be trapped in the pipes. the shower pipe I just undo from the mixer tap and let that drain off. I then do a quick drive around to help shift as much as possible.
Yes, that's what I do too. even after driving around for a week with all the taps open I still managed to blow water out of the system!
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Post by Jaytee on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:00 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:
Jaytee wrote:Hi Pete, I am not an expert by any means but I open all the taps etc when I do a complete drain down otherwise water will be trapped in the pipes. the shower pipe I just undo from the mixer tap and let that drain off. I then do a quick drive around to help shift as much as possible.
Yes, that's what I do too. even after driving around for a week with all the taps open I still managed to blow water out of the system!
Presume That is what the gadgets I have seen advertised to 'remove' all water must do?

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Post by Paulmold on Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:03 pm

Pete Taylor wrote:As our new Stanton has STILL not arrived(!) could someone confirm if this frost protection valve empties all the water in the pipes, or just the water in the heater?
As far as I know, it's just the heater. The water pump has a non-return valve in it so I presume that the water will stay in pipes once it's passed the pump.
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Post by mikethebike on Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:23 pm

Hi For what its worth ,last winter was very mild.In Peterborough my min/ max thermometer never went below 39 f.
I forgot the toilet flush water ,no problem.

Regards

Mike
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Post by skyrakes on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:13 pm

Last 2 winters mine dumped on me once. It just emptied water from the heater and associated pipe work.  I have covered all my pipes with foam pipe protectors.
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Post by ajrm on Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:51 pm

skyrakes wrote:Last 2 winters mine dumped on me once. It just emptied water from the heater and associated pipe work.  I have covered all my pipes with foam pipe protectors.
Do you leave the foam pipe protector on all the time? I was told if they get wet they can contribute to freezing of the pipes especially when driving in very cold weather.
I have all my outside pipes and drain pipes lagged with Armaflex water repellant pipe insulation.
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Post by mikethebike on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:10 pm

Hi That sounds a good idea if going to the Alps in winter  Allan.

Regards

Mike
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Post by ajrm on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:15 pm

mikethebike wrote:Hi That sounds a good idea if going to the Alps in winter  Allan.

Regards

Mike
Thats the plan.....
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Post by skyrakes on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:26 pm

Yes. Left on 52 weeks. Never got wet or any condensation
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Post by mikethebike on Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:39 pm

ajrm wrote:
mikethebike wrote:Hi That sounds a good idea if going to the Alps in winter  Allan.

Regards

Mike
Thats the plan.....
Me I go south .When I can.

Enjoy.

Mike
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Post by Pete Taylor on Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:35 pm

skyrakes wrote:Yes. Left on 52 weeks. Never got wet or any condensation
Pipe lagging is made from closed-cell foam, which can be immersed in water without absorbing any... which is why it is called closed cell! smile!

One might have hoped that it would be fitted as standard by the van converter, as it has to be easier to do during the build than as a retro job. If they charged us an extra fifty- quid, who would even hesitate before paying?

Enjoy the snow.
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