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Old 07-29-2016, 08:04 PM   #1
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Hot Water Heater Problems this week

Our water heater is a Suburban SW D 6. It operates on propane only.

I turned on the water heater and after a period of time (unsure how much) I noticed a cloud of steam coming from the side of the trailer. It was coming from the water pouring out the pressure relief valve. I turned off the toggle switch for the water heater and the water stopped coming from the relief valve.

A few hours later I pressed the reset button and turned on the water heater again. A period of time passed (unsure exactly as I wasn't timing events. I am guessing about a half hour) and I noticed I could still hear the propane flame. I turned off the water heater and measured again. The water was about 75 degrees C (about 170 F).

I tried later and the heater would not come on while measured water temp was about 120 degrees.

The next morning the water heater worked fine when I turned on the toggle switch. However, to be on the safe side, I turned if off after 15 minutes of heating.

I know the heater has thermostats that will open pressure relief valve if the temp exceeds 180 F and will not start heater if water temp is above 110 F.

So, I am guessing that the thermostat that is supposed to turn off the propane flame when the water reaches the appropriate temp is not working. I am basing this on the water steaming out the pressure relief valve and later the propane flame still burning while the water temp was at least 170. However, I am guessing it must be a different thermostat that prevents the flame from starting if the water temp inside the heater is above 110.

Is this an easy fix or should I make a dealer appointment? Until the problem is resolved I am noting the time when I turn on the water heater and am making sure to turn in off after 15 - 20 min of heating. That got us through the rest of our trip without a cloud of steam coming from our trailer.

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Old 08-01-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
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There is a hi limit cutout and then the thermostat in the circuit. The T&P (Temp & Pressure relief) valve is set 210F and 150 PSIG. The thermostat is set to between 120 & 140F.

If the thermostat was bad and the T&P valve was a little weak, it could have relieved and the ECO (hi-limit) not have tripped.

I'd check the thermostat to make sure it's still attached to the tank wall and for proper operation.

You most likely had a t-stat failure.
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