Rv Hot Water Heater Not Working

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How Do I Know If My Rv Water Heater Is Gas Or Electric

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot, Diagnose, and Repair

Although RV water heaters run on solar energy, gas, oil, and electricity, the most common water heaters operate by either electricity or gas. Similar to domestic water heaters, electric RV water heaters warm up the water when it comes in contact with large coils extending into the tank. In comparison, gas RV water heaters use a burner to heat the water in the tank. Before using or even troubleshooting your RV water heater, it is essential to understand what it runs on. The following instructions will help you identify what kind of water heater is in your RV.

The main difference between an electric RV water heater and a propane gas water heater in the mode of heating:

  • Gas RV heater: These water heaters require you to ignite the pilot light manually. However, modern RVs with gas heaters have an automatic ignition that comes as a switch.
  • Electric RV water heaters: These water heaters work when you have a 120-volt power source called shore power or a generator in your RV. They also have an electric thermostat that controls whether power is needed to heat the electric element or not.
  • Combination water heaters: Some RV water heaters come with both electric and gas modes, which you can use separately or together when its convenient.

Check this too: Rinnai Water Heater Troubleshooting & How to Guide

Can An Rv Awning Be Repaired

Repairing the awning on your RV is a relatively simple job, but this depends on whether its a portion that needs repairing or if the entire thing has to be replaced.

Either way, most people feel comfortable tackling the project themselves with just a little bit of knowledge, and the DIY approach can save hundreds of dollars.


If You’re Using Electricity Double

If you have an electric water heater, you should inspect the heating element as well. These elements can corrode and deteriorate over time. In addition, if you switch on your water heater without any water in it, the heating element may melt.

You may need to replace the heating element to remedy your water heater problems. This is most likely something you’ll do from outside your RV. Special tools, such as a heating element wrench, will also be required. One may be found in most hardware stores, or If you live in Mississippi, and Tennessee you cancontact the Airstream dealer in case of any problem.

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Do Dometic Rv Water Heaters Have An Anode Rod

No, and this answer would apply to the Dometic Atwood water heaters as well. Their style of water heaters is made from aluminum. This may be a better system but it is hard to say.

Suburban brand water heaters, also made for RVs and trailers, do come with an anode rod. The reason they have one is that the companys water heaters are made from porcelain-lined steel. That difference makes the anode rod essential.

The Dometic design actually gives you one less part to worry about going wrong. A new popular option is the new tankless water heaters. These free up some weight and space for other important pieces of equipment.

Plus, they should give you fewer hassles when it comes time to repair those models. They are easier to find and you probably have more room to maneuver than you would with a traditional RV water heater.

Solving Problems With Manual Light Water Heaters

Jayco Hot Water Heater Not Working : Rv Water Heater Troubleshooting ...

If you used your water heater previously, you should know if your unit has a pilot light because you need to light it each time you go camping. The pilot light should stay lit as long as your unit its connected to a propane source. However, like any small flame, it can go out. So first, you should check to ensure your propane supply is on and l providing gas. Next, check your propane tanks and gas line, and make sure the valves are open.

When you go to light the pilot light, if it continues to go out when you ignite it as you normally do , you may have a bad thermocouple. The thermocouple senses the temperature of the pilot light and will tell the unit to supply propane to keep it lit. If it fails, propane wont flow to maintain the pilot light, and you will get a pilot outage. Its an inexpensive part and easy to replace.

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Flushing Your Rv Water Heater

You should plan to drain and flush your water heater at the end of each season. Over months of use, your water heater may develop the buildup of magnesium and calcium deposits, white solids that attach to the inside youre your tank. While these deposits are harmless, if not flushed out, they can impede the functioning of your water heater. However, cleaning them out is pretty easy.

When flushing your RV water heater, the first thing you need to do is turn off the gas and electricity to the switch. You should have some switches inside the RV on or near the control panel. Let the water cool for a few hours before proceeding with the maintenance. Then, run the hot water until it cools down if you dont have time.

Next, its time to drain the RV water heater tank. Start by turning off the water at the city water connection or turn off the pump if youre using your freshwater tank. It will continue to fill when you open the water heater if you dont. There should be a larger plug with a bolt head on its end on the tanks exterior. This plug/bolt also doubles as the anode rod in many models. To free the plug, you will need a deep socket and possibly a large ratchet or a breaker bar. These can be difficult to remove if its your first time removing it or it has been in the tank for a while. Start by breaking loose the bolt but do not remove it yet. Unscrew it to the point where you can turn it with your fingers. Water will likely start to seep out.

How Often Should I Replace My Hot Water Heater Anode

You should plan on replacing your RV hot water heater anode every single year or two. This is a necessary component of just about any water heater, unless you have a tankless model. The anode is designed to prevent corrosion and decay of the interior wall of your hot water heater.

This anode is fairly easy to replace, especially after you do it once. I highly recommend watching this video all about hot water heater anode replacement. While this may seem like a daunting task at first, you really should plan on doing this regularly as part of your RV maintenance and repair process.

This is especially true if you have purchased a used RV. It is likely unclear what state your RV anode is in, so replacing it is a good idea. However, all anodes need replacing at different rates, based on how often your RV is used and water is run through your tank.

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If You See Water Dripping From My Water Heater Access Panel What Causes That

All tank water heaters have a relief valve, which safeguards against pressure buildup from the steam in the tank. Relief valves are designed to eliminate this pressure automatically. However, its not unusual to see them leak some water when working properly. If its excessive, you may have an air bubble in the tank. This problem is easily fixed by letting the water cool and manually opening the relief valve until water comes out. You may also want to lower the temperature setting on the RV water heater, which should correct the problem.

What Is An Rv Water Heater

RV Water Heater Not Igniting Or Staying Lit – Troubleshoot – RV Maintenance And Cleaning

An RV water heater generates hot water for an RVs plumbing system. This water is typically used for washing your hands, doing dishes, and showering in an RV.

Most RV water heaters can use propane and electricity as a source to heat the water. Youll want to know the specifics about your RVs water heater and when you should and shouldnt use it.

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Water Dripping From The Camper Access Panel:

All water heaters and RVs come with a relief valve. As soon as you heat the water, it starts expanding, resulting in steam leading to excess pressure. Stop relief valves help eliminate this pressure automatically as soon as they start working.

And usually, that doesnt leak. However, if the water is heated to a very high temperature, then the water might start leaking. You can set your camper heaters temperature settings, which might solve the issue.

If the issue continues, you might need to replace the valves as this can cause camper heater leakage.

Common Questions About Rv Water Heater Problems

Why is my interior panel not illuminated or dead?

The interior panel operates on a 12-volt direct current system. Check the 12-volt fuse and battery charge levels if its not illuminated or dead.

Should I leave my water heater on all of the time?

The thermostat on your tank-style water heater continuously attempts to maintain a specific temperature based on factory settings, whether youre using hot water or not. So, if you need to conserve propane, then you shouldnt keep your water heater on all of the time. If youre using the water heater on 120-volt electric, it might not be as much of an issue to keep the system on unless youre exceeding your RVs power capabilities while using other appliances. Tankless water heaters are meant to be left on as they are very efficient and dont light the flame unless there is a demand for hot water when a faucet is opened.

What is that power switch inside the tank-style water heater compartment?

The power switch inside Suburban water heaters is for an RV technician to turn the water heater off for service or repairs quickly. Leave it on. Use the interior switch to power the unit off and on.

How do I know if there is water in the tank?How long does water take to heat on each source?

It takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes for water to heat on propane and up to 30 minutes on electric.

How often should I drain the water heater?

Anode rods should be replaced if more than 75 percent of the anode has eaten away.

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How To Fix Rv Water Heater Switch Not Working

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If you have an RV with a water heater, there is a good chance that the switch to turn it on and off is not working. This can be a big problem, especially when you need the water heater to take a shower or run the dishwasher. In this article, we will show you how to fix the RV water heater switch.


  • Should the water heater be switched on?
  • What Causes A Water Heater Reset Button To Trip

    Suburban SW16DE 16

    There are multiple common issues that could cause your water heater reset button to trip.

    Some of the most common issues are a faulty thermostat, loose wiring, corrosion in the tank, grounding issues, or other faulty switches in your water heaters system.

    Much like the fuse box in your home, a water heater reset button isnt likely to trip for no reason. If youre regularly pressing the reset button on your water heater, you should discontinue using it.

    You could be putting yourself, your family, and your RV at risk.

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    How To Turn On An Electric Water Heater In An Rv

    One of the best perks of camping in an RV is having the comforts of home right at your fingertips with one of the main comforts being hot water!

    Weve discussed how to light an RV water heater pilot light, so now lets turn our attention towards electric water heaters.

    In this quick guide, youll learn how to turn on an electric water heater in an RV step-by-step. Plus, learn a few important tips, so you dont ruin your water heater in the process.

    Lets get started!

    Problem : Water Not Heating Up

    Sometimes when you see that even after you turn on the tap, there is no hot water, which means the water is not correctly heating up. Additionally, neither the tank nor the hot or cold lines will receive any water, and the tank didnt fill.

    What Causes Water Not Heating Up On Jayco Water Heater?

    There can be many reasons for the water not heating up in the Jayco water heater. The main reason most of the time is that the bypass valve is closed and causing issues. Another common reason is that the thermostat setting is altered or faulty, causing the water not to heat up.

    How To Fix Water Not Heating Up On Jayco Water Heater?

    As we have said, there can be two probable reasons for your water not heating up, so you will need to troubleshoot the reason first.

    Fixing Bypass Valve

    The heater is shielded from the coolant by a bypass valve. Before you may store additional water for showering, you must totally rinse out the heater if antifreeze somehow manages to get inside.

    So, check properly if the bypass valve is turned off. If it is turned off, then coolant can enter inside the water, causing it to cool down. So make sure to turn on the bypass valve.

    Fixing Thermostat

    The thermostat controls the temperature of the water, and if there is a fault in it, you will need to fix it. You will need a multimeter to check the thermostat properly.

    How Much Does It Cost To Fix Water Not Heating Up On Jayco Water Heater?

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    Descaling Your Rv Water Heater Tank

    Once you get as much of the calcium and magnesium buildup out of the tank as you can by flushing, you can choose to do a descaling cleaning if you wish. This step involves giving the inside of the tank a vinegar soak, where the acidic vinegar will break down whatever buildup is remaining in the tank. To do this, youll want to add a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water to the RV water heater tank. There are a few ways to get the mixture inside the tank. The easiest is to remove the pressure release valve and pour it in with a funnel. Another way is to utilize your winterizing setup to add the vinegar mixture to the system like you would antifreeze. However, in this instance, youll want to leave the bypass valve at the water heater open, so the mixture fills the water heater. The benefit of this process is that it also sanitizes your water lines if you choose to run the mixture to your faucets.

    Once the mixture is in the RV water heater tank, you will want to let it sit for a few hours. If you can, I recommend letting it sit overnight. Then, when youre ready to drain it, open up the plug and pressure release valve and proceed as you did in step one. It would be best to give your entire water system a second clean water flush to remove the vinegar taste and smell from your water lines and faucets.

    Rv Water Heater Maintenance

    Diagnosing A Suburban RV Water Heater Not Working On Electric

    The single most important maintenance item for your water heater is to drain it periodically. Draining your hot water heater will help to keep it free of sediment which reduces the tanks ability to heat the water efficiently. To drain the water heater follow the steps below.

    • Turn off the water heater and allow it to cool completely
    • Turn off the secondary 110V switch on the back of the water heater
    • Turn off the city water and the water pump
    • Open the hot and cold water faucets
    • Open the pressure relief valve on the water heater
    • Once the pressure is reduced, use a 1-1/16 socket wrench and unscrew the anode rod
    • Drain the tank completely
    • Clean out the sediment at the bottom of the water heater tank using a wand attached to a water hose
    • Reinstall or replace the anode rod and use Teflon tape to prevent water leaks
    • Do not over tighten

    RELATED READING: Check out our article called RV Propane Not Flowing? How To Troubleshoot and Solve. This article has saved our readers thousands of dollars!

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    Low Hot Water Pressure

    Having low water pressure is another common RV water heater problem that can be quite obnoxious. If this is your problem, there are a few ways to troubleshoot. First, check the water pump to see if it is working properly. Next check for mineral deposits inside the screens of your faucets. Minerals can build up over time and lead to slower water flow. If this is your problem, soak the screens in warm vinegar to break minerals down.

    If neither of those seems to be the culprit, make sure the bypass valves are open. Last, check your RV water heater check valve. A faulty check valve is a common cause of low hot water pressure. The check valve prevents backflow of water, but if it is not working as it should, it will slow the flow instead. If this is your problem, youll need to replace the water heater check valve.

    Why Do I Have To Reset Water Heater

    There are a few times when the emergency limit switch may trip and turn your water heater off. It could be something like a power surge or a thunderstorm that causes an occasional trip. If it only trips every once in a while for one of these reasons, you can reset it yourself and save yourself the trouble and cost of calling a plumber.

    If the water heater keeps tripping your circuit breaker or if the water heater itself keeps tripping for no clear reason, this is a red flag, and you should call in a professional. It could be a more complex mechanical issue like a short in the heating system, a loose wire, or a faulty thermostat.

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