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Old 10-06-2019, 11:08 AM   #1
skids
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Electric Water Heater damaged

My wife wanted to get the fridge cold for a coming trip. I told her to put it on electric rather than LP gas to get it cold. 3 hrs later I asked if she turned on the fridge with the button above it. She says there is a button there? She showed be where she toggled a switch for electric on the control panel. IT WAS FOR THE WATER HEATER! Do you think it fired the element because it was winterized? Is there any way to tell without filling it with water?
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:10 AM   #2
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You can ohm out the element with a meter to check.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:23 AM   #3
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Isn't the element inside the tank? I guess I should look for wires leading into the tank from the bcircuit board, right? What should it read, anything other than infinate?
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #4
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If you have a meter this should help you out;

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Old 10-06-2019, 11:38 AM   #5
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OK, I pulled the red and the brown leads and tested the tank side of the connectors. I got 46Kohms. I hope that means all is OK. (I was about to be sick!)
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:42 AM   #6
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Now I saw the video. I am not sure what I tested, but it's back to the drawing board.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:54 AM   #7
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OK, I pulled the red and the brown leads and tested the tank side of the connectors. I got 46Kohms. I hope that means all is OK. (I was about to be sick!)
Ummm... It depends on what the ohms are supposed to be, as described in the video. A lot of ohms might mean that the element is fried. And too low of ohms could mean the same thing.

My guess is that it is shot. Having an element go for three hours with no water is almost a guarantee of it being burned out. It usually only take a few seconds without water to destroy it.

If it is shot, it's not a terrible job to replace an element...
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:01 PM   #8
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Turn off the power to the hwh, remove the leads on the element and read the resistance. Your post says 46K?? ohms? If so, I would remove the element and check.it. It should read much lower than that.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:13 PM   #9
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I'd pick up an element. It only takes a couple minutes to fry the element. They're not too expensive nor a big deal to change.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:23 PM   #10
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Turn off the power to the hwh, remove the leads on the element and read the resistance. Your post says 46K?? ohms? If so, I would remove the element and check.it. It should read much lower than that.
A typical ohm reading for a 500W element is 28.8ohms and for a 1000W element is 14.4 ohms. A very high reading is indicative of an open circuit.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:33 PM   #11
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Were you plugged into shore power? If not, nothing to be worried about.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:55 PM   #12
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Ohm's law states I= V/R, so I is the amps found by dividing the voltage by the resistance. So I = 120 volts divided by 56,000 ohms resistance. Amps would then be 0.0021428571. The resistance should be less than 20.
The element is inexpensive, readily available and simple to replace.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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Yes. She was trying to turn on the fridge.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:17 PM   #14
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It happens, the good news is it's an inexpensive easy fix.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:22 PM   #15
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Well, I saw a youtube video where the element is accessed from inside the coach. Also, the element is very low in the tank and he said that if it is removed, a lot of water will spill into the cabinet space where it is hard to clean up. It doesn't have to be removed to test it for ohms however. Yeah, I will deal with it after limbering-up my back (someday soon). I guess I can just use gas for the time being. Thanks to all for your help. I hope we didn't burn out the circuit board also...
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:25 PM   #16
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A typical ohm reading for a 500W element is 28.8ohms and for a 1000W element is 14.4 ohms. A very high reading is indicative of an open circuit.
I'm hoping that's what my post indicated....or at least I thought it did.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:26 PM   #17
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Just to err on the side of safety there is a rocker switch at the WH lower left corner. I turn that off when breaking camp. No way to power up the WH till that switch is turned back on.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:30 PM   #18
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I'm hoping that's what my post indicated....or at least I thought it did.
I don't know what I tested from the outside. To test the element I needed to go inside and into the cabinet behind the bypass hoses.
(I'll get to that)
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:33 PM   #19
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I will look for that rocker switch on the board. It was the one on the control panel that my wife switched on (!)
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:33 PM   #20
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Good luck.
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