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Old 02-23-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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RV Novice- Can you help w/ water heater?

We are brand new to RVs and have a 2011 Wildwood X-Lite with a Suburban water heater. We've had the trailer out twice, and can't figure out how to work the water heater. We've run water thru the faucets first to fill the tank, then turned on the outside switch (on the heater), then the inside wall switch. We've also tried turning on the inside wall switch first then the outside switch. We get a flame for a short time, then the flame goes out and the inside wall switch "reset" light comes on. Wanted to check here first for advice before contacting the dealership for help. ANY help will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Ok, I have to ask this, are the bypass valves in the correct position for usage? If you just got the trailer, it was probably winterized, and the water heater had been bypassed with the valves. Do a search on here for water heater, you'll find some pics of the valves and where they should be.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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The outside switch is only for electric only. You also must make sure the breaker for the water heater in on....that is located in your power center....probably mounted near the floor somewhere, with panel in front of it.

The inside switch with the reset light is for propane only. If you are getting a flame and then it goes out, you might have a bad thermocouple. That would be a dealer fix in my book.

BTW....welcome to the forum !!!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Thank you, MtnGuy and Windrider. We have a lot to learn, and we appreciate your help. Thanks for the welcome. This site is going to be of great value.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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David H.,

I think the other two posts covered it. Just a note...if the bypass valves were open, causing no water to flow into the water heater, turning on the electric to the WH may have caused some damage.

Ray
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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New water heaters no longer have a thermocouple. They have a flame sensor. Anyway, if it ain't full of water, it will never work right. You could hook us water to it, and open the "pop off" valve on the outside of the heater, behind the cover, near the top, the brass looking valve. With water connected and on, you should have water flowing out of that valve when you open it. Caution, you may get wet.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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David, there should be a blow out value towards the top of the heater (outside) there should be a lever that you can just lift. If water comes out you know your water heater is full. If nothing comes out(including compressed air) then your by pass is ON and needs to be switched. BE VERY CAREFUL IN CASE HOT WATER COMES OUT, PREPARE FOR HOT WATER(Just to be safe).

Second thing is your pilot on your water heater will not stay lit unless it is HOT. You need to press and hold the pilot button in for about 10 or 30 seconds till when you let go it stays on.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Most newer campers no longer have a pilot light.....the propane flame is lit by DSI.

Good point about the bypass valves. If they were left in the winter position, then the tank would be empty, and cutting the electric on would burn out the element.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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READ post number one. It is a brand new 2011 trailer. It has no pilot light, no thermocouple, none of the old stuff. It is a DSI unit, fully electronic. They outlawed all that old stuff a while back, at least in a new trailer. It is DSI because it has the switch inside. The red light will only be on while it tries to light, then go out after it lights. Might help to read the manual, but if there is no water in it, it ain't never gonna work.

Check the easy stuff first. Also if it is electric also, and no water, he may have blown the electric. But let's take it one step at a time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:09 PM   #10
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Will check all the suggestions above. Hope I haven't burned out the element. I read the manual, but it was no help. It didn't even explain the difference between the electric and gas switches, hence our attempts to go back and forth between switches. Thanks again for all the information.
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