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Old 09-24-2015, 09:47 PM   #1
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Left hot water heater on

We went camping a few weeks ago. Packed up and came home. I just realized tonight that we left the hot water heater switch in the on position. Do you think we have burned up the element?????????? UGHHHH We have a Forest River Vibe Ultra Lite. Love it!
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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if the camper isn't plugged in, it isn't on anyhow
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by robbitl View Post
We went camping a few weeks ago. Packed up and came home. I just realized tonight that we left the hot water heater switch in the on position. Do you think we have burned up the element?????????? UGHHHH We have a Forest River Vibe Ultra Lite. Love it!
If you left water in the heater, you are most likely OK. If you drained the heater, or perhaps opened the low point drains (usually though this won't drain the heater out), you might have ruined it if you hooked it up to 120 volt AC.

EDIT: As davel1971 said, if you haven't connected to a form of 120 volt shore power since getting home, it's not powered anyway...so you're good to go
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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if the camper isn't plugged in, it isn't on anyhow
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:02 PM   #5
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Don't know if you left it on propane, but it might be toast.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:13 PM   #6
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Don't know if you left it on propane, but it might be toast.
Good point, Neil. We just assumed he meant the electric switch since he didn't specify. It's possible he could have meant propane. If he turned the propane cylinders off, then even that should be a non-issue even if there is no water in the heater, and the hi-limit ECO should have tripped if he has the Suburban with the gas on, no water...... which again we are guessing since we don't know exactly what the OP has.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:51 PM   #7
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If you did burn up the element it's not too bad to replace. I know! Here are a few of my findings that might help. You don't need an OEM replacement element. A Campmor works just fine and is half the price. Also you need a special socket to unscrew the element from the tank so make sure you get one of those too when you buy the element. You might have to loosen or remove things like heater baffle, gas pipe, etc., but if you take your time and remember how it came apart you should be ok. I burned up mine last year after I de-winterized and forgot to turn the water heater bypass off.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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As with Lloydg's post, I bought a replacement element at Lowe's, who also had the special socket. Although I had a socket for the hex size, it was too thick to fit in the hole.

As others have said, if there is water in your water heater, you'll have no damage either on electric or propane. It's no different from your water heater at home in that respect.
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