Originally Posted by Lefty59
I've been wondering all summer why I here it fire on propane (usually early in the morning) even though no demand for hot water has been made and the electric and gas are both on.
If the electric element isn't working, then I suspect it hasn't worked from the day we took delivery as I was well aware of the problem with turning it on without first filling the tank thanks to a neighbor's prior experience.
One other question, is the propane/DSI switch supposed to be lit when turned on? Mine isn't, although I believe it was on our maiden voyage. Dealer says the switch is normally unlit unless the reset light is illuminated.
You're most likely hearing the propane burner kick on in the morning because the water has naturally cooled inside the heater to the point the thermostat calls for the need to heat the water to it's pre-set temperature (and the electric element isn't working). That's just normal operation, just like the water heater in your house.
As far as the electric element NEVER working from day one of your ownership; that is a very definite possibility. You don't know what anybody at the dealers lot may have done previously before you took ahold of it. They may have inadvertantly burned out the element by turning on the switch during their pre-pdi, another customer could have, etc etc. We have also had several reports here in these forums of the heater not even being plugged into an electrical outlet from the factory. You might want to check behind the water heater to see if this is true, and that the outlet has power going to it. ( pic below used for reference only)
And just to be sure, usually on the black switch that controls the electric heating element, you push "IN" on the word you want to control the operation. If you want the element to be on, then make sure you push in on the word "ON".
This switch in the pic below would be in the "OFF" position.
and this switch below would be in the "ON" position:
Hope this helps