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Old 05-07-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
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Solved- Electric water heater problem

I have a 2012 xlr 35x12 and have been camping in it for about 6 weeks now. I have had the water heater on electric the whole time and has been working just fine until today. It only puts out lukewarm water. It is not the bypass valve since that seems to be the common problem. What could be the issue? Thanks
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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First thing is check all the breakers in the breaker panel. Maybe reset them all just to be sure. I assume you have AC electric to the camper, microwave and Air Conditioning will both work. While unlikely, since you have been using it, the element could have gone bad. Open the outside cover, and near the bottom, slightly left of center, you will find a 2 inch round plastic cover with three screws. The element is behind this cover. With the AC power off, you can remove the cover. Then restore power, and take a voltmeter and check for 120 volts at those two screws connected to the element. If power is there, then the element is bad. In no power, trace wiring back through thermostat and breaker.

One last thought, make sure your GFI circuit is not tripped. Usually plug in the bathroom.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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If you don't have a volt/ohm meter now would be a good time to buy one to leave in the camper. It not a matter if you need it but when!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Update. It was the gfi plug and all was working well for about a day. Now no hot water again and gfi plug is ok as the breakers and fuses. I dont understand why it would work for a day and then stop working again.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Loose wire, bad thermostat, (intermittent), faulty plug, (water heater plug), number of reasons. If you don't have a voltmeter, get a drill, hairdryer, vacuum, or something that requires AC voltage. Test every plug with it, even the outside plug. Now access the rear of your water heater, find that plug, and test it. If all is well, you have narrowed it down to the thermostat on the water heater, or the electric element itself. I have seen elements go bad and trip GFI circuits. It won't fix itself. You have to do some work, or call a repairman.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Forest river is saying most likely the anode rod is faulty. I didn't think that had anything to do with heating the water or am I wrong?
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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Anode rod has nothing to do with element. It does corrode, so your tank won't. Now you have a 2012 model, not that old. Most folks get 2 or 3 years out of an anode rod. Can't imagine yours has been eaten away yet. Easy check, turn off water heater, and flush till water is cold. Then turn off water pressure, and open spigot to bleed pressure. Then go outside and remove the bottom plug in the center of the water heater. 1 & 1/16 inch socket, I think. Pull the rod out, and inspect. Be careful, you will drain the water heater doing this, as the anode rod is also the drain plug. It should be about a 1/2 in diameter. If all you have is skinny wire, time to replace.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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That's what I was thinking. I'm just going to have to look at it closer and do some tests to figure it out. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #9
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You should be able to ohm out your old element and compare it to a new one to see if its actually bad.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
You should be able to ohm out your old element and compare it to a new one to see if its actually bad.
which entails buying a new one
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