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Old 06-19-2018, 07:40 AM   #1
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Suburban water heater doesn't work at all

hello,

sw6del model. We are in a campsite for a few weeks and the water heater was working fine. So last night taking a shower there was no hot water. Tried both gas and electric but neither mode works. All I can find online is trouble shooting for one mode or the other but not both. Is there anything common to both propane and electric I could check?

Thank you
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisegrandma View Post
hello,

sw6del model. We are in a campsite for a few weeks and the water heater was working fine. So last night taking a shower there was no hot water. Tried both gas and electric but neither mode works. All I can find online is trouble shooting for one mode or the other but not both. Is there anything common to both propane and electric I could check?

Thank you
Do you have no hot water or just lukewarm?
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:52 AM   #3
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.......and the water heater was working fine.

Was everything fine in the campground you are in now?
Did you move anything or change any controls?

If it’s a Suburban heater, you should see a rubber oval shaped cover in the upper left area of the heater access door. Inside are both the 12v and 120v resets and thermosensors for both electric and propane. Push both......they don’t move very much at all. They might be the only common factors for both propane and electric.
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:56 AM   #4
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Lets start with basics like...
Did you check the 120v breaker for the water heater?
Is your gas turned on? Do other propane appliances work?
Do you have a multimeter and know how to use it?

The gas and electric are really two separate systems.
Either can be used by themselves or both can be used together for faster recovery.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
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Once you've verified the suggestions listed, pull up a .pdf on the Suburban SW6DE and print a copy for future references so you at least have a hard copy to follow. Got the multimeter? Treat each side separately gas and electric. When you switch on the Lp does the DSI light adjacent to the switch light up. Troubleshooting 101... start at one end of the circuit or another, easiest most accessible first. Fuses and breakers right?I believe both sides use 12 vdc for control circuits.

If you do a search on suburban water heaters you will get so much info
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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Angry

This all happened last night. So last night I did push the reset buttons but I couldn't feel anything move. Tried to start the water heater but still wouldn't work. When I tried using propane the dsi didn't light at all. It usually lights for a brief period and then goes out.

UPDATE:
This morning I went out and jiggled some wires, (don't have the proper tools to take stuff apart) Came back inside, hit the propane side switch and it works now.
Only thing I can think of is loose wires, (didn't really feel any thing loose) or some sort of time delay?

Thanks for the replies. I may be back if it breaks again.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:02 AM   #7
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Actually there is nothing in common between the two modes other than the tank. The electric mode operates strictly on 120 VAC. The LP mode operates on both 12 VDC and LP gas. There is a ECO/High Limit switch for each mode. The power for each mode goes through the ECO/High Limit switches before going to the respective mode.

The Service Manual for most Suburban water heaters is in the Library section located in the dark green bar at the top of each forum page. Forest River Forums - Downloads - WH_Service and Training Manual 05-18-11.pdf .
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:06 AM   #8
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Glad to hear you are up and working. Thanks for letting us know! FWIW, I never felt anything using the reset buttons either. Most of my successes on these things came from renewing oxidized ground connections which I could verify with no parts on hand especially on the Lp side. That's possibly what you are finding too
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:49 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your help. I did download the manual for it just have to round up some tools to work on it again. I did notice where the box for the propane lights up is corroded pretty badly. We are camp hosting now so might be able to work on this during slow times.
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