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Old 01-30-2015, 06:26 PM   #1
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I may have done something STUPID with water heater....

I just picked up my RV from being in the shop 3 weeks for a stress crack repair. Sunseeker 3170.

I had the dealer winterize the system before sending to the body shop for repair. So, NO water was in system.

Ok, I get to RV park. I filled up my water tank. Here is where the stupidity went in.

I turned on the water heater BEFORE I pressurized the system. I think the water heater was on about 30 minutes before I ran water through it.

I realized this, and turned water heater off, and just ran water cold through the system.

Am I going to start seeing problems with my water heater? Due to stupidity?
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:33 PM   #2
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Unfortunate event. Water heater on with no water, element probably toast. I think it needs water to keep the element from burning up. Usually not a very expensive repair. Can happen to anyone, especially when you get in a hurry. Let us know how it works out.

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Old 01-30-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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I turned on the water heater BEFORE I pressurized the system. I think the water heater was on about 30 minutes before I ran water through it.
If "was on" means the electric side was on and not just the propane system, you have ruined your electric heating element. If you are talking about running the propane system only, you may have a different problem.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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I did the exact same thing last weekend-forgot that I had purged all the water out of the water heater. I only have propane so it turned on for about ten minutes then I heard steam coming from the pressure valve. Added water to the heater and flipped switch and nothing. Removed outside panel and pressed reset button and it fired up and all was good.

Hope yours is just as easy.


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Old 01-30-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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As mentioned above, If you turned on the electric side of the water heater and you were connected to shore power ( 110VAC) you burned out the heating element. It takes less than a few seconds. You can still use the WH on propane. Replacement element is relatively inexpensive, parts lots less than labor.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:09 PM   #6
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Ok, I know an RV dealer that does service on Saturday, so I have an appointment for tomorrow.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #7
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Ok, I know an RV dealer that does service on Saturday, so I have an appointment for tomorrow.
It's an extremely easy and inexpensive fix. Watch how they do it so you feel comfortable making the repair yourself. It's always a good idea to pull your electric anode at least once a year for inspection and flushing the tank anyway.

No permanent damage done.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #8
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So it's the anode rod they have to pull? Aw man, I had the RV dealer in Chehalis (where the body shop was) replace the anode rod.......
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:25 AM   #9
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You need to replace the heating element, not the anode rod. That is what burned out when you ran it with no water. The heating element is what heats the water. The anode rod is simply a sacrificial rod that prevents corrosion of the HW tank. In the attached photo. The rod on the left is new. The rod on the right is totally gone. I would not wait to get to the point where mine looked like the one on the right. The anode rod should be checked once or twice a year depending on the water quality. They are very simple to replace as you simply remove it and if needed, screw in the new one.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:29 AM   #10
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