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Old 06-02-2013, 05:53 PM   #1
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hot water heater problem

We have a 2012 19' Rockwood Roo and have had it out 3x. This weekend we had a problem with our hot water heater. We flipped on the switch on the inside control panel and the light came on as usual but after about 30 seconds the light went off and it automatically switched to propane even though we were hooked to electric. We did not have this problem the previous 2 times out. Any ideas what is wrong?
Thanks so much!
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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you need to re-look at your Water Heater system.

it's a Suburban and the only switch inside, is for the propane operation, which works off of 12v battery power. all that electric hookups do is recharge the battery for the propane side to work.

the electric side has to be switched on from the outside of the trailer, behind the WH hatch. there's an electric toggle switch, usually has a cotter pin thru it, that has to be turned on for it to work on electric hookups.
and if you had it switched on when you hooked up to shore power and there was no water in the water heater, then you probably burned the electric element up.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!

As Dan said, the inside switch is for the DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) to use your water heater with propane. Electric is controlled directly at the WH.

So, your WH is acting normal.

Most likely, you were on both propane and electric at the same time if you flipped that switch while it was on electric. Using both is fine and is a quick way to heat the water and is especially useful if you have a family taking showers one right after the other.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpeterson View Post
We have a 2012 19' Rockwood Roo and have had it out 3x. This weekend we had a problem with our hot water heater. We flipped on the switch on the inside control panel and the light came on as usual but after about 30 seconds the light went off and it automatically switched to propane even though we were hooked to electric. We did not have this problem the previous 2 times out. Any ideas what is wrong?
Thanks so much!
As everyone has stated, it is working as normal off of propane. These water heaters are some of the most misunderstood of all things on the rv's. It confuses a lot of people and the dealers don't usually go over it too much when selling a trailer.

See if this oft-quoted link helps you understand the Suburban water heater.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ore-36197.html
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Thank you for all of this information-it does sound like we burned up the electric element! Our dealer did go over all of this information at pick-up very quickly and we forgot/misunderstood what the switch was for inside the trailer. Is this element hard to replace? Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #6
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Did the same thing dewinterizing mine this year. Live and learn. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get your element. Fixed mine for $10 and about 10 minutes of work.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dpeterson View Post
Is this element hard to replace? Thanks again!
Super-easy to replace if you are certain that the element is fried. Here's a helpful video.

The OEM electrical element is a 120 volt, 1440 watt, and 12amp rating. You can use a 1500 watt from a hardware store because the amps are only slightly greater at 12.5amp. Do not use a 2000 watt element, which needs 16.6 amps, because the breaker is 15 amps. The hardware store will also sell water heater socket wrenches (1/2" x 1 1/2").

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