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Old 01-11-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Suburban SW6DE water heater Boo Boo

Just before we left to come to FL, I decided to check/clean or replace the anode in the water heater. Always having used both electric and propane mode together, I just turned off the propane, drained the tank, removed the anode, bead blasted it and re-installed it, filled the tank and forgot about it. A few days ago, I needed to refill a propane tank, so I shut the propane off and while TOWTA was doing dishes, etc, I had the tank refilled. Came back and TOWTA said we're out of hot water. I checked the water heater breaker inside, good, checked to make sure the switch was on outside and it was and then the light came on (very dimly). Hey dumb a-- you burned the element up when you drained the tank and didn't unhook from shore power. OK, down to Camping connection to buy a new element. Bought 2 just in case I had another brain f-rt. Installed, works fine. Later, we're out of hot water. Check breaker inside, good. check reset outside and it's tripped. Reset and good to go. Again out of hot water, outside reset tripped again. Back to Camping Connection and get a new thermostat. $37 later and about 30 minutes work and all is well. Lesson learned, brain f-rt cost a total of around $50 and about 1-1/2 work. Time I could of spent reading.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
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Damn, I hate it when that happens, Coot.

How are you guys doing? Say hello to your bride from us.

Mike
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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Damn, I hate it when that happens, Coot.

How are you guys doing? Say hello to your bride from us.

Mike
Me too, just dumb on my part, so now when we get home, I'll try to remember to turn it off at the heater.

We're having a good time enjoying the weather (all but 2 cold days). Can't beat the weather here in FL in the winter. Hope MO weather is getting better.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
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I also burned out the element in our previous TT. Luckily no issues with t-stat. The most difficult part of the job was loosening it. The tool I bought to remove the element did not stick out quite far enough to get a good turn on it.

Of all the stupid human tricks we can do around our rigs this one doesn't usually cost too much.

We came back from FL on Dec 30 so you are officially making me jealous..
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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I also burned out the element in our previous TT. Luckily no issues with t-stat. The most difficult part of the job was loosening it. The tool I bought to remove the element did not stick out quite far enough to get a good turn on it.

Of all the stupid human tricks we can do around our rigs this one doesn't usually cost too much.

We came back from FL on Dec 30 so you are officially making me jealous..
I bought the tool also, when I get home I plan on welding a top on it and an old socket for a 1/2" ratchet to make it easier to use. I always carry my 1/2" torque wrench to check the lug nuts, anode and pin box pivot nut.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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Good idea OC. I was thinking of doing something similar with mine. It was bloody cold when I replaced the busted element (during our winter camping season) and I ended up using a long screwdriver that I bent and I smacked with a blunt object to get it loose. It did work, but I don't want to repeat it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing OC.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:48 AM   #8
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Why bead blast an anode rod? Wouldn't letting it soak in a container of white vinegar work? That is what I have been doing to my after-market anode rod. Within a short period of time the clear vinegar turns into a gray colored liquid and the anode rod is clean. My new TT is still winterized and have had no experience with the Suburban brand yet.

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Old 01-12-2014, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I bought the tool also, when I get home I plan on welding a top on it and an old socket for a 1/2" ratchet to make it easier to use. I always carry my 1/2" torque wrench to check the lug nuts, anode and pin box pivot nut.
Hmmm, for some reason I imagined that you brought your welding rig with ya OC. Or at least rented one for your stay there or made quick friends with someone local that has a rig.

A DIYer like you must feel kinda lost without one.

(BTW, your name was mentioned *often* yesterday while DH loaded and organized the pass through on our new toy...referencing that great sliding rack you made for yours)
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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FYI- Home Depot has about the cheapest price for the camco water
heater element.
See the FAQ water heater section.
Here's a link-
Cheapest price for electric element

New element about $10
Socket wrench to fit about $8
They don't carry the T-stat/hi limit tho....
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