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Old 06-29-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
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Suburban H20 heater problem

My water heater on my suburban water heater is not working properly. When I try to use the electric side the breaker trips on the distribution center. The first 2 nights we camp when we first got it, it did the same thing. When I got home I replaced the heating element with an exact replacement part, and thought I was done. The old one looked fine. It even showed the same Resistance as the new one did, but I changed it anyway.

Last week we went on a 7 day trip, and the electric side still doesn't work. The gas sides works fine. When I try to switch from gas to electric, the breaker trips. I'm using a lot of gas at a campsite that has electricity.

Maybe someone on here can help me out. I'm kinda stumped. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:33 AM   #2
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Remove the rubber cover from the thermostats. The left side is the AC side.

Look for a broken connecting wire or twisted thermostat body that may be touching the frame of the water heater.

Ebay has replacement ones; just make sure you get the one for the AC side as the DC side is made different.

Suburban RV Water Heater 120 Volt Thermostat 232317 | eBay
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Herk, I will give it a look.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:06 PM   #4
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Well they both looked good.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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Not much left in that system

ON/OFF Switch shorted?

Wiring to the outlet?

Something in the camper pinching the Romex?
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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Yeah Herk your right. The only other thing I can think of is that the solenoid on the A/C side of the gas valve is bad. The Trailer is under warranty, but it's a real pain to get this TT out of my driveway. You wouldn't believe how tight it is. Anyway I'm trying to avoid the warranty issue. Looks like I may need to though. If our house sells we plan on going full time, so I need that electric side to work.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer3025 View Post
Yeah Herk your right. The only other thing I can think of is that the solenoid on the A/C side of the gas valve is bad. The Trailer is under warranty, but it's a real pain to get this TT out of my driveway. You wouldn't believe how tight it is. Anyway I'm trying to avoid the warranty issue. Looks like I may need to though. If our house sells we plan on going full time, so I need that electric side to work.

Thanks for your help.
There is an AC side of the gas valve?
That is a new one on me.
Is it specific to your model?

Propane is only DC controlled with NO AC component.
Two separate and independent systems on models I am familiar with.

Here is the DC diagram. Note: no AC at all.


My money is on a pinched 120 volt wire going to the outlet the water heater AC side plugs into or a short inside the socket.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer3025 View Post
Yeah Herk your right. The only other thing I can think of is that the solenoid on the A/C side of the gas valve is bad. The Trailer is under warranty, but it's a real pain to get this TT out of my driveway. You wouldn't believe how tight it is. Anyway I'm trying to avoid the warranty issue. Looks like I may need to though. If our house sells we plan on going full time, so I need that electric side to work.

Thanks for your help.
There isn't much AC wiring in the water heater, the only item left besides hidden wiring is the circuit breaker. Its probably 15 or 20 amp and tripping with inrush current of the heater element. Easy to change and not expensive might be worth a try.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
There is an AC side of the gas valve?
That is a new one on me.
Is it specific to your model?

Propane is only DC controlled with NO AC component.
Two separate and independent systems on models I am familiar with.

Here is the DC diagram. Note: no AC at all.


My money is on a pinched 120 volt wire going to the outlet the water heater AC side plugs into or a short inside the socket.


Ok I wasn't sure about the solenoids or a/c power . Right now I'm at home with A/C going to the TT, water tank filled, 12vdc water pump on, Gas valves off on both tanks, breaker is closed, and the switch to the electric side of the heater is on, and I'm making hot water. It has done this before, but somewhere along the line it will trip the breaker inside the TT. The element is new, and both t-stats are good. I'm just waiting for it to get good and hot, then I'm going to try switching from AC to gas (DC) and see what happens. The last time I switched from gas (DC) to AC it tripped the breaker. It has done this on several occasions. I tried to trouble shoot it while camping last week with neg results.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
There isn't much AC wiring in the water heater, the only item left besides hidden wiring is the circuit breaker. Its probably 15 or 20 amp and tripping with inrush current of the heater element. Easy to change and not expensive might be worth a try.

That just might be. I didn't think about that breaker. Thanks for your help.
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