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Old 02-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #1
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How to light the Water Heater

Hi folks. I have purchased a used 2005 Forest River Cardinal and I'm still learning how to use these electronic appliances. How do I lite the hot water heater? What are the steps? Also, while I'm at it, dose the oven have an igniter on it too? If so, how do I lite it? Thanks in advance for your help!!!
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:15 PM   #2
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We will need to know what model the water heater and oven are. Are you sure that the water heater isn't a direct spark Ignition (electronic ignition) unit?
Give us the model numbers and you will get much better answers.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:40 PM   #3
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As for the oven, it will have a pilot light. It should have a push and hold button on the front while you light the pilot. Ask someone with a gas stove for help.

Water heater should have a Lighted on switch for gas operation. It will have an automatic igniter. It will light up while trying to light and then go out when it does. Do not attempt to turn on the Electric Element in the WH with no water in the tank. Some have an electric switch inside. Some do not.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BarabooBob View Post
We will need to know what model the water heater and oven are. Are you sure that the water heater isn't a direct spark Ignition (electronic ignition) unit?
Give us the model numbers and you will get much better answers.
The water heater is a Suburban, model# SW10DE. There is a small switch located at the bottom of the water heater, but it's in the same position that the previous owner had it in.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by orabun View Post
The water heater is a Suburban, model# SW10DE. There is a small switch located at the bottom of the water heater, but it's in the same position that the previous owner had it in.
If you look at the switch it will say on and off. If off is down it is off. It is for the electric side not gas. Do not turn it on with no water in the heater. There may or may not be a 2nd switch inside for the electric side. There will be a lighted switch for the gas as I stated in a previous post.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:41 PM   #6
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The switch for the electric heating element that Cavie is discussing is shown here:

Click image for larger version

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The inside switch for the gas operation is shown in the upper right on this panel. You may or may not have all the other switches. What's important is the water heater switch and the DSI Fault light next to it.

Click image for larger version

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I've attached a manual for you. The "10" in your model number means it's a 10 gal model.

Update: I see you have a 2005, so I've also attached an older manual for you. Most of what you need to know is common to both.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by orabun View Post
The water heater is a Suburban, model# SW10DE. There is a small switch located at the bottom of the water heater, but it's in the same position that the previous owner had it in.

This link should you get you all fixed up. You do not have a pilot light on the model. It's a direct spark ignition


Suburban's electric switch and much more
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