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Old 10-15-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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Hot water heater, sw6de, please help

This is the first of many, many posts asking for help. I thank you for your patience, knowledge and understanding.

I'm going on day three of no shower here because I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the hwh to work/light/heat the water.

My husband is in the Army and is going to be deployed, and my family and I are going to be staying in a 2014 Forest River Cherokee Toy Hauler, 377V, that we purchased from a private party. I have been camping literally twice in an RV, and that was as a child. I feel like I know nothing going into this, and that's very unnerving for me, but we're doing it to save money.

So here's the scoop on the hwh. From my research, and please correct me if I'm wrong, the d-e part of the model number means it can run off of electricity or propane, right? So I went to turn it on the hwh the other day, and since I don't know what to look for, I didn't realize that the rod wasn't in it. After much research, I discovered that I need a rod to hold the water in. I bought a rod, and then a day later discovered that I have to find a bypass knob. Finally found that as well.

So here are the steps that I'm doing to turn the hwh on.

1) Make sure propane is on. Check.
2) Make sure we have propane. I'm getting flames from my stove -- check.
3) Make sure there's water in the hwh. I hit the pressure release thingy and water comes out -- check.
4) Go inside and flip the hwh switch. Here's where stuff gets hairy. So the first time I did that, I got a flame -- I heard it; I saw it -- in the hwh. Then a bit later, I had hot water for all of about two seconds, then it was cold again. I haven't been able to get it to light since; however, when I turn on the hot water inside my rig, I get cold for about three to four seconds, then hot for about two seconds, then right back to cold.

Anyone out there had this problem before?


Also, I have read that there should be a switch inside my rig for either electric or propane. I have seen no switch.
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:06 PM   #2
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You didn't get one by pass knob turned.
There should be three.

Cold knob inline
Hot knob inline
Bypass knob turn 90 degrees from inline

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Old 10-15-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
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Water heater may not come on because water is already hot.

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Old 10-15-2015, 04:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwhillow View Post

Also, I have read that there should be a switch inside my rig for either electric or propane. I have seen no switch.

Usually there are two electric switches. One of the switches is on a control panel inside the rig and the other is behind the hwh panel on the outside of the rig.




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Old 10-15-2015, 04:21 PM   #5
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Old 10-15-2015, 04:23 PM   #6
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Howdy whisperwhillow, the suburban water heater can seem confusing at first, but here is a detailed FAQ on it's operation...including where the electric heating element switch is located and assessed from outside the trailer (the switch inside is just to the propane usually)


Suburban's electric switch and much more

You sound like you still may have the bypass valves not turned correct.

If you have three valves on the backside of the water heater (assess to which will usually be thru a fake panel, cabinet, etc from INSIDE the RV. Once you have gained access to these valves, and have three like in the pic Turbs posted... you need to make sure the inlet valve is open to the water heater, the outlet valve is open from the water heater.... but the by pass valve (which is the valve/line tying the cold water and hot water lines together) is CLOSED.

You want the handle parallel with the line it's on to for it to be Open...and the handle crossing the line for it to be CLOSED. Since the bypass water line usually runs vertical, it's easy to not pay attention and actually have the handle in the OPEN position, not the closed position. You want your handles turned like the pic that says normal use.

If you have that bypass valve OPEN, then it's going to allow cold water to mix into the hot water line before it goes into the water heater. So you will be sucking hot water out of the heater initially, then sucking cold water very shortly afterwards...with the bypass valve not fully CLOSED.
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:46 PM   #7
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Just an addendum. Not all RV's have the three valve bypass system. They can also just have two or even one valve systems...and thus use internal one way check valves in the inlet/outlet lines to the water heater. The three valve system seems to be the most common though, and unless you state yours is different, then the advice is going to be based on that assumption.
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:48 AM   #8
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Hi, y'all! Thank you so much for the responses! So, I opened up the wall behind the cargo area again to access behind the hwh. I turned the knobs the way I think TURBS was explaining and the picture displayed. Going to try to attach a photo of what the knob configuration looks like now.

After doing this, it seems that the water stays warmer for a little bit, but not hot and not for very long. What could this mean?
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:58 AM   #9
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Hmm... not sure why, but I can't seem to upload a photo of the knobs.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:40 AM   #10
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The site has been experiencing problems with photo uploads, and the tech team is working to find the problem. You may can try a couple of times, and the upload will take.

I also sent you a PM with my email, that you can send the pics to, and I will upload them to this thread.
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