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Old 06-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
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Unhappy Water Heater phase II

As y'all recommended, we got a 'element wrench' and pulled the element. Through some lapse into social conscience or neglect of basic marketing principles, it turns out that almost all elements have the same size 'head' and so use the same element wrench; and they come in standard sizes; 1000W, 1500W, etc. So we found the stuff at our local plumbing supply. All to the good except that it didn't work when we finished. Element had good continuity at about 10 ohms and all connections were snug. The circuit breaker was in the on position, and recycled 'just in case'. No hot water. No voltage across the element with the switch in either on or off position. Any suggestions before we have to start to trace wiring?

tnx
geri
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
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If you are getting no power to the electric heating element, and you are using a form of 120 volt shore power, the breaker going to the outlet the water heater is plugged into is turned on, as well as have the water heaters electric element switch turned on...............you can also make sure that the thermostats haven't tripped. The 12 volt and 120 volt thermostats (technically referred to as Thermostat Limit Switch ECO Hi Limit) are behind the cover shown with the red arrows in the pic. You just press them thru the cover to reset them in case they have tripped. It states on the cover to push to reset.

KyDan, stated in the following forum that when he burned out his electric heating element, he also burned out his 120 volt thermostat.

what caused my 120 volt thermostat/eco switch the burn out (suburban water heater)

I am assuming that your water heater is also plugged into a 120 volt outlet in the trailer, or you couldn't have burned out the element to begin with. There's no chance you unplugged it anywhere and forgot to plug it back in?
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #3
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Water is Heating

Few tools as helpful as someone who knows what he's doing. Thank you WmTire. While getting that cover off is a lot harder than it looks, behind it are, as you state two (I guess) thermal protectors. Each has two 'sensors', the upper can be reset. Not sure of purpose of the lower, but connecting them is a fuse wire. This had an open in the middle. I'd post a picture if I knew how. The 'post a picture' insert wants a URL for the picture ????. Anyway, bridging the gap caused everything to (seemingly) work. Now just to track down one of the sensors,,, I tried ebay for the element and found a supposed replacement element, 1000w. On removal of the original I found that it was a 1500w element. So... Finishing this, I'm off to see if the water is hot. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geri View Post
as you state two (I guess) thermal protectors. Each has two 'sensors', the upper can be reset. Not sure of purpose of the lower, but connecting them is a fuse wire. This had an open in the middle. I'd post a picture if I knew how. The 'post a picture' insert wants a URL for the picture ????. Anyway, bridging the gap caused everything to (seemingly) work. Now just to track down one of the sensors,,, I tried ebay for the element and found a supposed replacement element, 1000w. On removal of the original I found that it was a 1500w element. So... Finishing this, I'm off to see if the water is hot. Thanks again for the help.
I sent you a private message on how to post the pics.

The 1500 watt elements can be easily found at Home Depots, for future reference. Here again, KyDan posted a link including part numbers for them early last month in the FAQ section about water heaters:

Cheapest price for electric element

If Dan sees this forum, he can tell you where he got the fusible link for his (or you can send him a private message), as he stated he checked his again in the above link.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #5
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My guess is you bought a 220 volt water heater element.

It MUST be 120 volt and no more than 1500 watts.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Was having problem with HW on electric, swapped element and no change. Pulled out switch and found it was bad, switch on order and will replace it when it comes in.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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I have a question......
Is there also an on /off switch for electric portion of wh inside at the monitor panel?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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Two things for Geri,
1 --make SURE the heater element you installed says 120v!!!!
This is IMPORTANT. It should say 1500 watt 120volt.
FYI this heater can be found at Home Depot for $10.
Hope you didn't pay too much at the plumbing supply shop!

2 --since you've burned out your fusable link on your thermostat/hi-limit
switch here is an Ebay link to a replacement.
This is as cheap as you are likely to find anywhere-- $17 + $5 shipping.
Suburban Water Heater Thermostat High Limit Switch Part 232116 1 | eBay

The link above is for the 120v thermostat.
There are many 12v thermostats on Ebay for the GAS side of the heater.
YOU need the 120v thermostat which I link to above.

Good luck!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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Inside electric hot water switch

I have a question......
Is there also an on /off switch for electric portion of wh inside at the monitor panel?[/QUOTE]

No there isn't; and should be. The electrical control switch, as I understand it, is the one on the heater itself. The inside panel switch only controls gas circuit.

And element is 1500 watt 115 volt unit, as was the old one which burned out the fusable link on the thermo switch.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #10
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Well you've got the right heater element.
Now you just need to order the thermostat/hi-limit that I linked previously.

It's not unusual for the heater element to burn out and in the process it
shorts briefly and that burns out the fusible link in the thermostat.
It happened to me 4 years ago.
I think I paid more than that for my thermostat too!

Good luck!

On my trailer, my water heater is on a circuit breaker by itself.
I can shut it off by flipping the circuit breaker in my fuse panel.
Some trailers have the water heater sharing a circuit breaker with
some other appliance like the fridge. In those cases you can't use
the breaker for an off/on switch like I do on mine.
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