Wednesday, March 30, 2011

RV Repair 101 - My $160 Plumbing Lesson

When we arrived in Memphis we were having hot water problems. The water coming out of the tap was only lukewarm, if that. It was just warm enough to wash and do dishes with, not the steaming hot that it always had been. I turned the tank off over night to see if it would reset or something but it was the same after I turned it on again in the morning. Lukewarm.

Thinking I had a bad circuit board at best or a shot tank at worst, I looked up RV Repair on the Internet and found a mobile repair service. I called and they were here within an hour. He went through all the things I had done to no avail and then he started checking out the equipment. He figured there was nothing wrong with the tank as the water inside the tank was hot, it just was not getting to the taps.

He checked all the pipes and removed the backflow valve but that was not the problem and then he asked me if we had an outdoor shower and if I had used it recently. I did and I had! I had showers in Florida and had used the shower head to hose out the compartment in Clarksdale. He told me to go and see if I had turned the shower off by turning the taps off or by simply turning off the shower head. That was the problem! I had turned off the shower head and left both the hot and cold taps on. This was allowing the hot to mix with the cold in the pipes!

He put everything back together and gave me a bill for $160. A very expensive plumbing lesson!


  1. Thanks for posting this, Croft. Might save US some money one day. We've had our own expensive lessons... like the time we called a mobile guy to figure out why our TV satellite dish wasn't working, and paid $100 to learn that our crank-up antenna was in must the right position to block the signal!! We were red-faced newbies back then. :)

  2. You should have used the shower in our house like Norma did. Who would have thought that would have created the problem. I guess by both hot & cold faucets being on, it siphoned the cold water into the lines.

    Sounds like you're having fun. Paul

  3. Ouch! Quite the lesson and a good tip. We have an outside shower on our Lance camper - however we seldom use it being stationary in Xico.

  4. Hmmm, I need to work on my water heater too! It hasn't worked since we bought the rv. Won't stay lit. MaƱana!