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Old 07-08-2022, 02:30 PM   #1
Camper82
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Hot Water Issues

Our hot water heater is having issues. We can heat the water with propane, but not with electricity. We have replaced the electric heating element and the thermostat. But we are still not getting hot water.

Any suggestions for us?

Our appointment with a technician isnít for a month, so we are hoping we can fix it.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:40 PM   #2
sourdough
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Originally Posted by Camper82 View Post
Our hot water heater is having issues. We can heat the water with propane, but not with electricity. We have replaced the electric heating element and the thermostat. But we are still not getting hot water.

Any suggestions for us?

Our appointment with a technician isnít for a month, so we are hoping we can fix it.

Brand, make, year and model of trailer? Atwood/Dometic water heater or Suburban? 6,10, 12 gallon?

The brand and size of the water heater should be inside the compartment door. Could be a switch not on, thrown breaker or ???
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:50 PM   #3
chuckster57
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Welcome to the forum

Like Danny said, make and model of water heater would help.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:57 PM   #4
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RV is a 2014 Retreat. Hot water tank is a Suburban.
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:09 PM   #5
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Ok, suburban has the heating element on outer end. Take the cover off (3ea 1/4Ē screws.) then with the water heater turned on electric, and plugged into shore power use a VOlt meter set to AC voltage. Test for current between ground and the black wire.

If there isnít, then you need to trace back. The switch in the lower left corner is known to be problematic, I would unplug from shore power before testing. Your looking for continuity when turned on.

If thatís good then itís time to check the breaker in the power distribution panel.
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:11 PM   #6
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I know this is dumb but is the A/C breaker for the heating element ON in your power center? If so, where is the switch for the electricity? Is it down on the bottom left of the water heater or do you have a switch on your inside idiot light panel (for the electrical part)?
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:24 PM   #7
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OP have you had this trailer for a while and everything was working but now isn't or are you just now trying to get the electric side to work? There is an upside down on/off switch on the water heater (lower left) that has to be on. Is it? Also, I've had to replace 2 of them due to them melting. Troubleshooting the AC side is pretty straight forward. The more information you provide about the situation and circumstances makes it much easier to analyze and saves everyone a lot of time and wasted questions.
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:31 PM   #8
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OP have you had this trailer for a while and everything was working but now isn't or are you just now trying to get the electric side to work? There is an upside down on/off switch on the water heater (lower left) that has to be on. Is it? Also, I've had to replace 2 of them due to them melting. Troubleshooting the AC side is pretty straight forward. The more information you provide about the situation and circumstances makes it much easier to analyze and saves everyone a lot of time and wasted questions.
Some of the Suburban water heaters have a switch up on the idiot light panel. Mine doesn't and has the switch on the bottom left of the outside part... I think these have the DE extension on the model name... the model of the water heater is on a decal or tag located on the outside part of the unit (on the wall I think?). The model would tell us a lot about how to trouble shoot. I had to replace the rocker switch, thermostat and heating element on mine as it has been left on by some previous owner and all were burn. I replaced the thermostat with a higher temp one so less hot water would be used when showering, in theory. You do have to be careful not to scald yourself when getting into the hot water.
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:37 PM   #9
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Some of the Suburban water heaters have a switch up on the idiot light panel. Mine doesn't and has the switch on the bottom left of the outside part... I think these have the DE extension on the model name... the model of the water heater is on a decal or tag located on the outside part of the unit (on the wall I think?). The model would tell us a lot about how to trouble shoot. I had to replace the rocker switch, thermostat and heating element on mine as it has been left on by some previous owner and all were burn. I replaced the thermostat with a higher temp one so less hot water would be used when showering, in theory. You do have to be careful not to scald yourself when getting into the hot water.

Yeah, that's why I was trying to get more info vs every one trying to troubleshoot different water heaters, wired different ways and not knowing what the OP had done, knew or anything else.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:33 PM   #10
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Yeah, that's why I was trying to get more info vs every one trying to troubleshoot different water heaters, wired different ways and not knowing what the OP had done, knew or anything else.
Well, will have to see if the OP returns. Signed off before you or I posted.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:35 PM   #11
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The thermostat/Hi-limit switch on the 120 volt side is also problematic on some Suburban years. Years ago, replaced several parts until I discovered the problem was the thermostat.
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Old 07-09-2022, 04:52 AM   #12
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Many folks also donít realize that IF YOU HAVE a second switch inside on the WH contrll panel for the electric mode there is a Remote relay that is mounted on the backside of the WH..

This is a 12 volt relay and it controls the 120 volt power to the heating element ..

If it is burnt up..which is usually the case then the OP will never get the WH to work on electric mode till the relay and damaged wire end terminals are replaced
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Old 07-09-2022, 04:59 AM   #13
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Many folks also donít realize that IF YOU HAVE a second switch inside on the WH contrll panel for the electric mode there is a Remote relay that is mounted on the backside of the WH..

This is a 12 volt relay and it controls the 120 volt power to the heating element ..

If it is burnt up..which is usually the case then the OP will never get the WH to work on electric mode till the relay and damaged wire end terminals are replaced
I think the relay you spoke of would have a different water heater model than mine which doesn't have it... mine is a SW6DE and the one with no electric element is a SW6D. Isn't the one with the relay a different model number or is my failing memory failing again?
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Old 07-09-2022, 07:30 AM   #14
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Many folks also don’t realize that IF YOU HAVE a second switch inside on the WH contrll panel for the electric mode there is a Remote relay that is mounted on the backside of the WH..

This is a 12 volt relay and it controls the 120 volt power to the heating element ..

If it is burnt up..which is usually the case then the OP will never get the WH to work on electric mode till the relay and damaged wire end terminals are replaced

This is why I was hoping the OP would share what water heater he had. If he tested at that switch on the heater and had no 120vac where to check next depends on the model of the heater (relay vs non relay). Maybe he'll get back or maybe he figured it out?? I believe you are the one that alerted me to that relay (which I now carry a spare).
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:13 AM   #15
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This is why I was hoping the OP would share what water heater he had. If he tested at that switch on the heater and had no 120vac where to check next depends on the model of the heater (relay vs non relay). Maybe he'll get back or maybe he figured it out?? I believe you are the one that alerted me to that relay (which I now carry a spare).
If the OP has an inside switch for electric mode and one for LP then there HAS TO be a remote relay installed in the junction box to supply 120 volts power the thermostat and heating element even if there is still an outside switch on the Wh for electric mode

Usually the models is SWxxDEL for dual mode LP me electric operation

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Old 08-16-2022, 06:43 PM   #16
Bingo 57
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HW tank issue

Long time no post, have been following along though. This post is very helpful to me with a problem on a new to me unit I picked up this spring. I now have a 2018 Springdale. Still have the 2016 Cougar, just have a different set of uses for the NTM Springdale. It does have the WH issues described in this thread. Hence is why I still follow along. Thanks for being here.

Best to all!
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