Originally Posted by BoatDude
We've been running it on gas this week. We go back today...so I will get a meter and troubleshoot next week when we return.
I was looking to see where the electric element is....I think it's accessible from the outside. There is a metal black cover at the lower area of the WH. I plan to order a new element and switch when I get home. Just in case. I hope it's an easy replacement. ...it looks difficult to access the back of the WH. And tips on replacing the element? Is there a gasket....etc?
The heater element is behind that black plastic cover. The cover is protecting you from the high voltage (120 VAC) terminals. You will likely need a water heater element wrench (about $6) as a normal socket that size will have too thick of sidewalls to get in there. Most likely, you'll also have to remove the gas/air mixing tube to get access to it, but that's pretty simple too.
As always, turn off all power, gas, and relieve water pressure first.
I also recommend draining the tank by removing the anode rod first. If you take out the element first, water will flow behind the sheet metal barrier and into your rig.
Should you have a damaged element, it may be warped and twisted and that will cause extra effort to bend the damaged element back into shape so it can be pulled back through the hole it was put in through. Again, no worries. It's damaged already. Some gentle forcing isn't doing further damage and the element is softer metal than the threaded hole.
Finally, the new element will come with a new gasket.
Total cost for the handy-man, including the new element wrench should be about $25 or less.
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Lou and Paula
2014 Rockwood 8289WS UltraLite w/Revolution Pinbox Engaged.
2011 F250 Power Stroke Super Duty King Ranch Super Crew Cab w/Reese 16K Hitch