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Old 07-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Water Heater Help

I just bought a 2008 shamrock hybrid. Can't get the water heater to work. When I turn on the water heater switch inside the rv, the red reset button comes on. I get no help from the manual. I found an on- off switch inside the heater panel outside. Should it be off or on, if I want electric water heater? Would really appreciate some advice.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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The switch inside the outside heater access is the electric on/off, check inside circuit breakers for 120 ac for wtr. htr. Only device for this circuit.
If red fail light comes onwhen lighting on gas means no ignition. Could be gas not reaching burner, ignitor not working "should pop and arc for about 20-30 seconds when you try to start. Can you have someone operate switch while you watch outside? This is all based on Suburban water heater, Atwood is different in all contorls are in the camper.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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Molatch,

Two things,

First Welcome to the forum.

Many times your questions can be answered by using a few key words in the search box at the top of the page. In your case a search on "water heater" would have returned several hundred similar questions. Also posting a new problem as a reply to a "solved" thread will almost guarantee no one will look at your post. I moved it to a new thread and named it something that should get the attention of most members who are dying to help you.

Second,

The original thread you posted to Water heater not working on AC (SOLVED) had the answer to your question (pretty much) as it contained the wiring diagrams for your heater; both the AC side and the DC/Propane side.

Note: I mention DC/Propane since both are required to fire the water heater on propane. You also failed to mention your model of water heater or even the year of your camper. This is important because some older water heaters had manual pilot lights. Since you say you have a "fault/reset" light I assume you have a direct spark ignition like the previous thread's wiring circuit.

To run on AC all you need to do is flip that switch (photo in previous thread) to ON and have a good element (not fried by turning it on without water in it).

To run on DC/Propane you will need a good battery, fuses, and, well, propane.

When you first switch on the propane (in the camper switch) the "fault/reset light comes on when the heater is calling for "fire." The Fault/Reset light will stay on until the water reaches the correct temperature determined by the high limit switch. Then it will go out.

If it stays lit, it is because "fire" never happened.

It will try to light 3 times and each try can take over 5 minutes for a total of about 15 minutes. If you do not get a "light" after the control board tries three times, the system will shut down and will not work until power is removed from the water heater by turning off the switch; waiting 3 minutes; and turning it back on again. This is to prevent a buildup of propane in the cabinet that could ignite in a spectacular way.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I checked the inside circuit breaker and it had tripped, I reset it and still didn't work, and it tripped again. Should I push the rubber reset buttons in the outside panel?
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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If you are tripping CBs DO NOT reset again. You (or someone else) applied AC power to the water heater with no water in it. This has fried the heating element and it will be UNSAFE to operate it that way now. A burst water heater element will leak power into the water heater water and corrode out your water heater and could cause a shock hazard.

If you tried to use the propane without water in the heater your most assuredly tripped the high limit switch.

Open the pressure relief valve and water MUST come out or the water heater is empty. You MUST have water in the water heater to safely operate it in any mode.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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Thank you for your help Lou and VinceU. I did mention the year and make of my camper in my first post. 2008 Shamrock Hybrid. I have no idea of the model of water heater. But, the diagram in the original thread is identical to mine. If I use propane to heat do I just flip the switch in the panel box to off? And turn the inside switch on? If I heat by propane it would not matter if the ac fuse is tripped, right?
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molatch View Post
Thank you for your help Lou and VinceU. I did mention the year and make of my camper in my first post. 2008 Shamrock Hybrid.
GAK - missed that. 2008 should have a newer water heater with direct spark ignition.

"If I use propane to heat do I just flip the switch in the panel box to off? And turn the inside switch on? If I heat by propane it would not matter if the ac fuse is tripped, right?"

Trip the AC Circuit Breaker in your panel labeled "water heater" to OFF. (until you can replace your element) The AC and DC/Propane systems are two INDEPENDENT systems.

Make sure it is full and turn the switch inside to on and see it it lights.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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I made sure the water was running in all spigots before turning on the water heater. So, I hope I didn't fry it. Unless it was fried when I boight it. (did I mention I am a woman with zero mechanical skills?) I imagine my best bet is to take the camper somewhere and have it checked out. Thanks so much.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molatch View Post
I made sure the water was running in all spigots before turning on the water heater. So, I hope I didn't fry it. Unless it was fried when I boight it. (did I mention I am a woman with zero mechanical skills?) I imagine my best bet is to take the camper somewhere and have it checked out. Thanks so much.
Opening the faucets does not fill the water heater like your house water heater. There are bypass valves that prevent that so you don't fill your water heater up with RV antifreeze (6 gallons worth).

Look at the back of your water heater for shutoff valves. They are open when aligned with the pipes and closed when crosswise.

This is how they should look when water will fill the water heater. The valves are exactly opposite when put away for the winter.

(Sorry but "Andy" threw me)
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:50 AM   #10
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I have another question, please. I have been researching and figured out that I had the by pass value open on the water heater. There was water in the hot water tank - I checked. But, the city water was coming into the camper and by passing the hot water heater. Would that have tripped the electrical breaker? And would the element have burned out the few seconds I had the water heater switch on - if there was water in the wh tank? I assume this is also why the propane would not kick in and heat the water. There are only 2 valves, which threw me off. I kept seeing three on most diagrams. So I assume this is a 2 valve system. I can't try to run the wh until we go camping again and have a 30 amp hook up. But, I want to know what I am doing when we go. Thanks so much for your help.
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