Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
boats742's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Caution with Drained Water Heater

I winterized my Solera and drained the water heater a month ago. Today I brought it to my house and plugged-in the shore power. It kept blowing the breakers within 60 seconds in the house. The water heater was off on the RV systems panel. I could see the RV was pulling amps, so I turned-off the breakers one-by-one and sure enough the electric water heater element was on. Apparently the RV panel only controls the gas part of the water heater, so you have to either throw the breaker or go outside to the back of the heater and throw a switch to off (I read now).
__________________

__________________
2013 Solera 24S
Charleston, SC
boats742 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 07:08 PM   #2
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 15,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by boats742 View Post
Apparently the RV panel only controls the gas part of the water heater, so you have to either throw the breaker or go outside to the back of the heater and throw a switch to off (I read now).
Unfortunately, that's the way it works on many Suburban water heaters. This is also a very overlooked thing in PDI/Walk thrus.

Bad news is, you have likely burned out the electric heating element now (thus the breakers tripping)......and it will need replacement.

Instructions/links are here:

Suburban's electric switch and much more

Good news is, you'll most likely only do it once... and after this, you'll know how to replace the element. It happens fairly frequently, thus the reason for the detailed instructions in the FAQ section.

No need to knock yourself over it. It's just one of those live and learn things.
__________________

__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

Ducks are just all-terrain chickens
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mark and Linda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Smyrna, Tennessee
Posts: 445
I make it a point to flip my breaker inside the travel trailer whenever I am not using the hot water heater. When I pull out the anode for draining, etc. I flip the outside switch. One of my things on my check list. Hey, we are always in a learning process. When I de winterize I will probably forget to flip my switches until the DW complains the water is not getting hot enough.
__________________
2009 Palomino Puma 25RS
2007 Chevrolet Silverado
Prodigy P2 Brake Controller
Mark and Linda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 07:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,724
You found out the hard way. Sorry.

I always open the breaker when I pack up to leave camp, then I can't inadvertently burn it out. When I get to camp, I let the propane heat the water. Once it's hot and I know the heater is full, I'll turn the breaker back on.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 07:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post

Good news is, you'll most likely only do it once...
But always have a spare....
__________________
Hudlow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 07:41 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
boats742's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Thanks for the info... Why would it blow breakers if the element was bad? I thought it wouldn't pull any current...
It was 25 degrees when this happened, so maybe I will be lucky and it will still work...
__________________
2013 Solera 24S
Charleston, SC
boats742 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 09:41 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,724
Normally the heater element is a fairly large resistance due to its length. This resistance keeps the current at it's "normal" value. Usually when an element burns out, it "opens up" the electrical circuit and that's that. But once in awhile, when it burns through, one piece of the element can drop down and touch another portion of the element, reclosing the electrical circuit, but now the "effective" element length is much shorter. This means the resistance drops and the current goes up and it trips the breaker. Sometimes you can get this with an incandescent light bulb, too, where it trips the breaker as it burns out. So my guess is your element shorted as it destroyed itself.
__________________
1988 Coleman Sequoia - popup (1987-2009) - outlasted 3 Dodge Grand Caravans!
2012 Roo19 - hybrid (2012-2015)

2016 Mini Lite 2503S - tt (2015 - ???)
2011 Traverse LT, 3.6L, FWD
2009 Silverado 1500 Ext Cab, 5.3L, 4x4, 3.73
2016 Silverado 2500HD Dbl Cab, 6.0L 4x4, 4.10
rockfordroo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2014, 10:32 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
bob213's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
You found out the hard way. Sorry.

I always open the breaker when I pack up to leave camp, then I can't inadvertently burn it out. When I get to camp, I let the propane heat the water. Once it's hot and I know the heater is full, I'll turn the breaker back on.
Unless designated otherwise, breakers should not be used as on/off switches. You may not be replacing a burned out element, but you stand a very good chance of replacing a worn out breaker. The outside rocker switch is your best bet.
__________________
bob213 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 07:50 AM   #9
Wanna Be Camper
 
SaskCampers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob213 View Post
Unless designated otherwise, breakers should not be used as on/off switches. You may not be replacing a burned out element, but you stand a very good chance of replacing a worn out breaker. The outside rocker switch is your best bet.
Or do as a few other FR members have and install a switch with an indicator light inside the RV in a place where it is easily seen.
__________________

John & Deb
2011 F250 Lariat FX4 Crew Cab 6.2
2011 Flagstaff V-Lite 30WRLS
Days Camped 2016: 3 2017: 0
SaskCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2014, 08:07 AM   #10
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
 
TURBS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSasks View Post
Or do as a few other FR members have and install a switch with an indicator light inside the RV in a place where it is easily seen.
Such as.

TURBS

oc's buddy
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1391087262005.jpg
Views:	115
Size:	50.3 KB
ID:	45510  
__________________

__________________
TURBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
drain, heater, water, water heater

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



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com 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 12:33 PM.