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Old 06-01-2016, 10:25 AM   #1
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Cool No Heating in the DSI mode

In getting ready for my upcoming trip, I hooked up to the house water and checked for leaks and things. Decided to make sure the water heater was still good, since I had replaced the Anode and the Heating element while I winterized the 5er. When I went to change the switch position on the water heater to "On", the switch was very hard to move but finally did change. Turned on the main switch on the Master panel and heard the igniters trying to light off the propane burner. I had the cylinders off. Never could get the heater to come on in the DSI setting, but does fire up and heat quite well with the propane. I commonly use DSI instead of propane. I am hoping that it is just a bad switch, but am open to hear of any other possibilities. How hard is it to change that switch??? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by dgibbs1955 View Post
In getting ready for my upcoming trip, I hooked up to the house water and checked for leaks and things. Decided to make sure the water heater was still good, since I had replaced the Anode and the Heating element while I winterized the 5er. When I went to change the switch position on the water heater to "On", the switch was very hard to move but finally did change. Turned on the main switch on the Master panel and heard the igniters trying to light off the propane burner. I had the cylinders off. Never could get the heater to come on in the DSI setting, but does fire up and heat quite well with the propane. I commonly use DSI instead of propane. I am hoping that it is just a bad switch, but am open to hear of any other possibilities. How hard is it to change that switch??? Thanks in advance.
Howdy. First off, we have some terminology problems. The DSI (Direct Spark Ignitor) is for the propane.

If you are talking about the switch on the front of the water heater, then that is ONLY for the electric heating element.

Maybe this FAQ will help as the Suburban water heater is one of the most confusing items in an RV.

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dgibbs1955 View Post
In getting ready for my upcoming trip, I hooked up to the house water and checked for leaks and things. Decided to make sure the water heater was still good, since I had replaced the Anode and the Heating element while I winterized the 5er. When I went to change the switch position on the water heater to "On", the switch was very hard to move but finally did change. Turned on the main switch on the Master panel and heard the igniters trying to light off the propane burner. I had the cylinders off. Never could get the heater to come on in the DSI setting, but does fire up and heat quite well with the propane. I commonly use DSI instead of propane. I am hoping that it is just a bad switch, but am open to hear of any other possibilities. How hard is it to change that switch??? Thanks in advance.
DSI is the propane "side", direct spark ignition (DSI) is what lights the propane for heat.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #4
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No Heating in the DSI mode

My bad....I am talking about the switch on the front of the water heater. It appears that when in the "ON" position, that it still thinks it is in the "OFF" position, as stated earlier, I can hear the ignitor trying to light off the burner 3 times before it times out.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:04 PM   #5
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You need to turn off the switch on the inside for gas for the sparking to stop. The inside switch is just for gas. The outside switch is just for electric. Most like the switch is bad and is a common problem.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:10 PM   #6
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My bad....I am talking about the switch on the front of the water heater. It appears that when in the "ON" position, that it still thinks it is in the "OFF" position, as stated earlier, I can hear the ignitor trying to light off the burner 3 times before it times out.
Doesn't seem like you read wmtire's link, or maybe you didn't understand it.

The electric heating element switch on the front of the water heater and the DSI switch inside the RV are TOTALLY separate. Neither one cares what position the other one is in.

The DSI switch inside the RV will try to light the propane irrespective of the position of the electric heating element switch on the front of the water heater.

Similarly, the electric heating element switch on the front of the water heater will turn the electric heating element on or off irrespective of the position of the DSI switch inside the RV. (Assuming you're plugged into 120VAC shore power, of course.)

Leave the DSI switch OFF and turn the electric heating element ON and see if you get hot water in 10-15 minutes. If you do, then the electric heating element is working OK.

If the DSI is sparking without lighting, have you tried lighting a stove burner for a minute or two? You may not have propane gas all the way to your water heater yet; running the stove will purge air from the line.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:13 PM   #7
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My bad....I am talking about the switch on the front of the water heater. It appears that when in the "ON" position, that it still thinks it is in the "OFF" position, as stated earlier, I can hear the ignitor trying to light off the burner 3 times before it times out.

It doesn't light because you said the propane bottles are off.....
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:05 PM   #8
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It doesn't light because you said the propane bottles are off.....
I missed that. I guess I thought it would be OBVIOUS to the OP that with the cylinders OFF, there's nothing for the spark igniters to ignite.

But what I said in post #6 still holds.
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Old 06-04-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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No Heating in the DSI mode

OK, here we go again.....
In my XLR Viper, on the Master Panel inside the 5er, is a switch for the Water Heater, along with a little indicator that says "DSI FLT" which I know what that means. No matter what position the switch on the actual water heater is in, I still have to turn ON the switch at the Master Panel.
My problem is at the switch on the water heater. With it in the "OFF" position (which means that propane will be used) and the bottles open, the water heater lights off just fine. When that switch is put to the "ON" position, and the bottles are open, the burner still fires up. Keep the switch in the "ON" position and close the bottles, and I hear the ignitor trying to light off. This is the position where the electric heating coil should be used, not the propane burner.
Thus my problem and the jest of the original question....has anybody had this switch go out on them and how hard was it to change??? Where did you get a new switch from? I am inclined to go to some place like Fry's or something like that.
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:06 PM   #10
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....
My problem is at the switch on the water heater. With it in the "OFF" position (which means that propane will be used) ....
Nope. With the switch on the face of the water heater OFF, it does not mean propane will be used. It only means electricity will not be used. This system is not like an RV refrigerator where it uses propane OR electricity. This type of water heater uses propane AND/OR electricity --- meaning it can use both at the same time. The switch on the heater's face only controls the use of the electric element. It has nothing to do with the use of propane - which is set by another independent switch.

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Originally Posted by dgibbs1955 View Post
My bad....I am talking about the switch on the front of the water heater. It appears that when in the "ON" position, that it still thinks it is in the "OFF" position, as stated earlier, I can hear the ignitor trying to light off the burner 3 times before it times out.
The switch on the front of the water heater has nothing to do with the propane ignitor.
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