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Old 04-27-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Unhappy Hot water heater won't work

We have a 2007 Forest River Charleston motorhome. The hot water heater won't work. Is there a schematic we can obtain to find out what is wrong? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. There is propane and the switches are activated. There doesn't seem to be any fuses blown.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:30 AM   #2
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Does it have a pilot light? Does it stay lit? or does it make a ticking sound? Make sure that the propane has traveled all the way to the water heater. It may also have an electric switch somewhere inside your trailer, maybe on your control panel?

Maybe some pictures could shed some light on the situation.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanaof4 View Post
We have a 2007 Forest River Charleston motorhome. The hot water heater won't work. Is there a schematic we can obtain to find out what is wrong? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. There is propane and the switches are activated. There doesn't seem to be any fuses blown.

Both Suburban and Atwood have have inst. books on line with good diagrams included. Check the websites.
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
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1. Have you verified there is no hot water at the heater itself (open the pressure relief valve on the water heater itself), and not just at the taps.

2. Has this RV been winterized, and the bypass valves are still set for the winter mode. This is the most common problem, and many many a camper forgets that the bypass valves are set this way, thus shutting off the HOT water flow from the water heater to the pipes. For usage, you need the cold and hot water valves open, and the bypass valve closed.

Here is a link to a post that has a great pdf file on the winterization/dewinterization hot water valves behind the tank, and the position the valves need to be set at.

Request for Winterization & De-winterization Instructions

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Old 04-27-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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No pilot light..an ignitor. No ticking sound. The propane stove works as does the A/C. I obviously don't know how to add a photo?? Will try again./Users/Owner/Desktop/Hot water heater.jpg
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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We are in Texas and it doesn't get too cold, but my husband drained the unit. He didn't dewinterize it he said.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Maybe a fuse for the power to the igniter is blown? Is there water in the water heater? lift the pressure release lever on the pop off valve to find out.

Here is the how-to for pics. Posting Pictures
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Both Suburban and Atwood have have inst. books on line with good diagrams included. Check the websites.
I found the Suburban site and I need Manual # 191662, but cannot access it. Husband is currently checking fuses.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:30 PM   #9
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Maybe this manual will help.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Suburban Water Heater Service Manual.pdf (716.3 KB, 266 views)
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:54 PM   #10
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If a Suburban water heater, it's probably the dual powered propane/electric heating element kind. You can usually use the electric if the propane side isn't working, or vice versa.

If you turned on the switch for the propane Direct Spark Ignitor inside your RV, and the propane didn't light after three failed attempts, it automatically locked itself out. You have to turn off the switch, wait a little, then turn it back on to restart the process.

This link below may help you understand, as well as where the electric heating element switch is located.

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE: verify that there is indeed water inside the water heater. You need to go outside and open the pressure relief valve on the top of the water heater, and see if water comes out. It may be hot so don't put yourself in a position to burn yourself.

Suburban's electric switch and much more

EDIT: Here is a pic showing where the pressure relief is located on the heater.

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