Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-27-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
Senior Member
kenandterry's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,675
Suburban water heater questions

What is the quickest way to test the electrical heating element for a water heater? Assuming an electrical heating element failure (for whatever reason) what is the approximate cost to replace one? My RV has a Suburban heater, so I assume any RV service centre should be able to provide one, seeing how as Suburban and Atwood seem to be the models most common.

For a Suburban, is the element that black oval shaped object located at the 10 0'clock position to the anode rod? Are there any secrets to it's removal? With all electricity and propane turned off, anything else to disconnect during replacement?



Ken and Terry
2010 Georgetown 330TS being pushed by our
2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)
kenandterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
Senior Member
backin15's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 390
The quickest way is with a multimeter. You can check for voltage across the two wires going to the element, voltage + no heat = bad element.
It is behind the black oval thing which is a cover which you need to remove to access the wires. The only issue with removing it is you need a special socket which you can pick up at any hardware store. You may need to remove the burner though to get to it, it is all nuts and bolts though. I have done it twice, you would think I would have learned the first time I turned it on without water in it!

backin15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 29
I have found new elements at Home Depot for past units we have had to repair. Lots cheaper than CW or other RV supply stores. HD stocks various length elements for small home 110V home hot water heaters.
jmacintyre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 10:04 PM   #4
Senior Member
jimh's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lake Charles, La.
Posts: 1,535
i replaced mine right after buying the trailer. i don't remember what i paid for the element but think it was $15.
may be better to go ahead and buy the socket. i found the one i bought would work on a home unit as well as the travel trailer. that would lead me to believe the size is common. then i would pull the element and have it for comparison when i bought the replacement. i purchaced mine from a local trailer and rv supply.
jimh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2011, 06:50 AM   #5
Site Team
KyDan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 7,121
These guys have it pretty well covered but I just want to
stress to be SURE you get a 120v element. Most at Home Depot
or Lowes are 240v but you can usually find the 120v and a reasonably
priced special socket to fit them.

And you might want to be sure the water pump/supply is off and
there is no pressure in the water system.
I forgot that once myself
I can tell you this, a whole lotta water can come out that hole
in a very little time!

Good Luck!
Dan & Rita D
2017 Nissan Titan 5.6L King cab 4wd
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63, 2018-30
KyDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
CLASS "A" Senior Member
cfsoistman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Upperco, Maryland
Posts: 3,135
Camco 2000 Watt, 120 Volt Screw-In Water Heater Element - 15120 at The Home Depot

I believe they sell a 1500 watt and a 2000 watt. Check your breaker in the electric panel to see which you have 15 amp for the 1500 watt or 20 amp for the 2000 watt.


2007 Georgetown 370TS

Driver: Charlie
Navigator: Sheri
cfsoistman is online now   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:56 PM.