Originally Posted by TheHugens
Hello fellow 5ers!
Anyway, last September we had the Co and propane sensor act up. Cut the wire after making sure the RV was safe. I thought it was the battery........replaced with two 6V and a sweet battery disconnect. Hooked the sensor up, tested propane, left everything on for two nights, all is well.
This AM I pushed the water heater on button and the DSI Fault on the monitor came on. switched off then on again and no fault code, but my CO and LP sounded. I turned off the switch and reset the alarm. 30 minutes later I had to cut the neg to shut it up.
After reading many posts, I still have no idea what a D.S.I. Fault is. Can't find it in the manual either.
I have a Suburban SW6DE in the 5ER. Found the electric plugged and tested it, works fine. Thermal switched seems set.
No heat on AC at all. Until today I assumed I only had a propane water heater. The id tag actually gives it propane spec only, yet I have a secret on off switch on the heater and 110 going to it.......
Any ideas or help.
Just a few basics for anyone else who may read this thread later on in life.
The Suburban SW6DE model number means you have a 6 gallon water heater that has a Direct Spark Ignitor (D.S.I.) and an Electric powered heating element. This water heater can be powered by propane, electricity, or both at the same time. You can use the electric option when you are at campsites that have electricity, and the propane option when at places that don't.....or a combination depending on your needs.
Airxcel | Suburban Manufacturing Service
If using the water heater on propane, you must first make sure your propane tanks have fuel, are open, and the lines aren't full of too much air going to the water heater. You can usually turn on your stove in the camper and this purges a lot of air from the lines first.
You will now turn on your Direct Spark Ignitor (D.S.I.) switch inside your trailer/coach. Your particular RV may just have a switch that says water heater. The DSI is an electric ignitor (DC power) that takes the place of the old fashioned pilot lights that gas powered water heaters have. You can usually hear a rapid clicking sound at the water heater as the DSI is making sparks to ignite the propane. By not having a constantly on pilot light that burns constantly, the DSI is safer and uses less propane.
You just leave the DSI switch on, and whenever the water heater needs to heat water on propane, the DSI will provide the sparks to ignite the gas. If you turn the DSI switch off, then you won't be able to use the propane option.....thus turning off your water heater using propane.
The DSI uses an electric current (DC/battery) to make sparks which lights up the propane to start the burners to heat your water. If the DSI system fails to light the propane after a set number of attempts/time, you will get a fault and the system shuts itself off (including propane). If you keep getting faults you may have a propane delivery problem somewhere. My switch shows a fault until the propane ignites which can take a few attempts. Once the propane ignites, the fault light goes off.......................but after so many failed attempts the whole system locks itself out and won't retry to light.
Now for the electric option. Some trailers/coaches have another inside switch to turn the electric heating element on, which is located inside the water heater. This element works only off of 115 volt AC power, and you must be plugged into some form of 115 volt shore power for this heating element to work.
However, many (including all of my trailers), do not have an inside on/off electric heating element switch......but this black switch is located on the front of the water heater itself...near the left hand bottom side. It is hidden just a little. You will have to open/remove your outside water heater panel to get to this switch. See pic
Now, if you turn on the electric heating element, you must always make sure the water heater is full of water first. If you turn it on and there isn't water in the heater, the element will burn itself out in a matter of seconds, usually before you can even say "OH CRAP", and turn it back off.
When using this switch, it's a good idea to make yourself some kind of tag or something to remind yourself it's on (and to turn it off when breaking camp/draining water lines). Many, many a camper has forgot to turn the element off, when breaking camp. They drain their water and/or heater, and pull their trailer home. When they get home they plug back into shore power and IMMEDIATELY burn up their electric heating element.
If you do burn the electric heating element up, you can still most likely use the water heater on propane only. Sometimes though, with a burned up heating element, it will trip your breakers in your trailer.
You can power your water heater by propane and the DSI....as well as the electric heating element (as long as you have 115 volt shore power) at the same time and get the fastest heated water.......or either one individually
Now I have concerns with your alarms going off constantly. You may possibly have a propane leak somewhere, maybe in your water heater system somewhere. If you are getting DSI faults, which means the water heater is not lighting with the Direct Spark Ignitor, there may be a propane leak which is not letting the water heater fire up correctly. This isn't something I would take lightly, and you might want to consider getting it professionally looked at. We want to keep you around here.