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Old 04-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #1
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No Hot Water

Suburban SW6DE. I am positive the electric heating element is burnt out. The guy I bought this from had left the switch in the on position. So I would say it's a safe bet that the 2 months here at the house hooked up to shore power, has fried that element. My question is, should it still not work on the propane side of it. I can get it lit, no problem. But after about 10 minutes of the burner being on, it kicks off, as it probably should be doing. However, when you open up the hot water faucet, you will get luke warm water for about 5 seconds, and then right back to cold. I know you can run this on both gas or electric at the same time, which I assume that's what this guy had done. Thus the switch having been left on. Upon asking him, he says he ran it on the propane side. I am not understanding why there is no hot water if that heating element is for the electric use only. Or is it? Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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Have you checked the water heater bypass valves behind the water heater?

Hot water heater by-pass help?
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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No Hot Water

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Have you checked the water heater bypass valves behind the water heater?

Hot water heater by-pass help?
Yes, the bypass valve is open. This type of water heater is new to me, but if the bypass valve was closed, I wouldn't even be able to get water into the hot water heater would I? After I flushed all the antifreeze out of the lines, I opened it back up. Going from a 1975 Man-O-War 19ft camper to this Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite 34 footer, is like night and day difference to what I am used to. Thus the stupid questions I may ask at times. Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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Yes, the bypass valve is open. This type of water heater is new to me, but if the bypass valve was closed, I wouldn't even be able to get water into the hot water heater would I?
The only stupid question is the one not asked. Don't ever feel bad to ask questions as this what this forum is for.

How many water valves do you have behind the heater? You could have one, three....possibly even a fourth one

If you have three, then you will need the valve to the cold water going into the heater open, the valve to the hot water coming out of the heater open, and the bypass valve (which lets the incoming cold water completely bypass the water heater and feed into the hot water line) closed. If this valve is open, then it's letting cold water mix in with the hot water.

Anyway to post a pic of what you have? It would be a lot easier that way to see what is going on.

A three valve system should look similar to this pic, where the inlet and outlet valves are open, and the bypass valve closed:

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Old 04-07-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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The only stupid question is the one not asked. Don't ever feel bad to ask questions as this what this forum is for.

How many water valves do you have behind the heater? You could have one, three....possibly even a fourth one

If you have three, then you will need the valve to the water going into the heater open, the water coming out of the heater open, and the bypass valve (which lets the cold water completely bypass the water heater) closed. If this valve is open, then it's letting cold water mix in with the hot water.

Anyway to post a pic of what you have? It would be a lot easier that way to see what is going on.
There are 3 valves. Cold water line, (Blue0, Hot water line,(Red), and the bypass valve which is barely accessable. You have to feel for it. All 3 are in a very hard to reach spot inside the RV behind about a 4" wide compartment door. I am pretty sure the bypass valve is open. If so, that would explain the no hot water. I will go close it and see if that does make the difference. Thanks
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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There are 3 valves. Cold water line, (Blue0, Hot water line,(Red), and the bypass valve which is barely accessable. You have to feel for it. All 3 are in a very hard to reach spot inside the RV behind about a 4" wide compartment door. I am pretty sure the bypass valve is open. If so, that would explain the no hot water. I will go close it and see if that does make the difference. Thanks
Your welcome, I added a pic to my previous post that may help as well as clarifying it some more.

Please let us know if this gets you fixed up.

Just remember, when you get ready to winterize the system...that you need to close the cold water inlet valve, close the hot water outlet valve, and open the bypass valve. This way when you drain the tank, you won't have any way for water to get into the tank.

You can then flush out your water lines, or add the proper kind of potable water antifreeze to your system, and won't need six gallons of the pink stuff inside your water heater.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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Your welcome, I added a pic to my previous post that may help as well as clarifying it some more.

Please let us know if this gets you fixed up.
WOW!!!! That bypass valve was open. As soon as I closed it I immediately had very hot water. I wish mine were as easy to get to as the ones in your picture. So now that it works on the propane side, I guess I will need to get that heating element replaced for it to work on the electric side. The manual that came with this was not very helpful at all. As a matter of fact, I was almost convinced that this was a propane only water heater after reading it. Only one very small paragraph on the electric usage, and that only said if it was electric optional. I saw a really good post on here on this very same model and printed it out. After seeing that, I then knew that I did have the elec or propane option. That's when I realized the heating element just about has to be fried because the previous owner left that switch in the on position. It's been hooked up here on shore power for over a month. Thank you so much. A very big relief. As soon as I get that element replaced, we will be taking this down to our permanent lake spot to leave for the summer. This is a great forum
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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This is a great forum
Yes, it is.

Here is a pic you can print out and leave behind your water heater, to remind you how the valves should be.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #9
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Yes, it is.

Here is a pic you can print out and leave behind your water heater, to remind you how the valves should be.
Nice job Bill, <30 minutes the OP was in business! Took me an hour when I got my FR, valves hidden behind a Marine 4" deck access cover, in the outside compartment!
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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A huge thank you to wmtire for the answer to the 1st post! We just bought a used 2012 v-lite 30wfkss and could not figure out why the hot water tank kicked on and seemed to work but only had Luke warm water!!!
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