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Old 03-20-2017, 06:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
Have you always turned on the inside switch? Maybe your electric element has never worked.
As far as I remember, we've always turned on the inside switch. But never heard the gas fire up until that 3rd trip.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:22 PM   #12
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If this was the first time you ever used the water heater on propane, it is possible there was air in the propane line. The WH will attempt to light on propane 3-4 times and will then go into safety mode. You need to turn it off and back on to reset the saftey. It is therefore possible that on this trip you had two issues, burned up elect element and propane in safe mode. Also check the outside shower to make sure the faucets are not on. It will cause the water to be only warm. Probably far out there, but you did not by any chance change the bypass valves on the WH.
It worked fine on propane, coming on when we thought it should run in electric (even when the outside switch behind the panel was in the ON position.) The only problem was trying to get it to work again on electric. No one has messed with the valves or the outside showers.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:33 PM   #13
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Am I understanding correctly that if I only have one inside switch that it controls the propane side of the heater (for igniting) and not the electric side? So, the only thing needed to run the electric side is to turn on the outside switch behind the panel? Also, I would have to physically drain the hot water tank at the low point drain... this wouldn't get drained by emptying the grey water tank, correct? If that's the case, then the issue would be that the inside switch was turned on when it shouldn't have been. However, there were a couple hours between hooking up to 120V at campground (with outside switch on and inside switch off) and my son taking a shower. (We went for a long bike ride before showering.) I'm confusing myself at this point. Hope you all can follow!
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:49 PM   #14
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A few facts.
The outside switch only operates the electric element.
The inside switch only operates the propane side.
The WH will drain if you open the low point drains and a faucet or remove the anode.
The WH is in no way connected to the black or grey tanks
If you left the inside switch on after last trip and turned off the propane, then the WH would attempt to light but fail due to no propane. After three attempts it would go into fail safe. You need to remove power from the control board to reset it. Try turning off inside switch,if that does not work, you may need to remove the fuse for the 12V side of the WH.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
A few facts.
The outside switch only operates the electric element.
The inside switch only operates the propane side.
The WH will drain if you open the low point drains and a faucet or remove the anode.
The WH is in no way connected to the black or grey tanks
If you left the inside switch on after last trip and turned off the propane, then the WH would attempt to light but fail due to no propane. After three attempts it would go into fail safe. You need to remove power from the control board to reset it. Try turning off inside switch,if that does not work, you may need to remove the fuse for the 12V side of the WH.
Ok, I understand now that I had the inside switch on when I shouldn't have since I wanted it to run in electric mode. I have not removed the anode or drained at the low point drain. What do you mean about the faucets? The gas side is working fine, it's the electric side that isn't. If I left the outside switch on and hooked up to electric and did not drain the WH tank, shouldn't it have worked with the inside switch off?
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:41 PM   #16
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Are you sure that there was no hot water period? or that your son ran out of hot water? Was it cold immediately or after 5 minutes or so? If it was immediately I would have someone look at it.

Before you do that though try resetting the thermostat overheat buttons on the H/W heater. Up from the switch there should be two rubber circles. Press both of them. One is for gas and one for electric and they are like circuit breakers if the water gets too hot. I can't remember which is which but it won't hurt to press them both. It did happen to me once on electric and I had to reset it.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
Are you sure that there was no hot water period? or that your son ran out of hot water? Was it cold immediately or after 5 minutes or so? If it was immediately I would have someone look at it.

Before you do that though try resetting the thermostat overheat buttons on the H/W heater. Up from the switch there should be two rubber circles. Press both of them. One is for gas and one for electric and they are like circuit breakers if the water gets too hot. I can't remember which is which but it won't hurt to press them both. It did happen to me once on electric and I had to reset it.
No hot water at all when on the electric side. I did press those black reset buttons, they were not tripped.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:58 PM   #18
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Add it to your warranty list.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:14 PM   #19
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just thinking about this. the question that needs to be answered is whether the electric element is burned out or not. i don't know if there is a simple test to check this. but you could check to see if the element is getting power or not. if you took the cover off of the element there are two terminals on it that have 110 vac power leads attached to them. if you put a voltmeter on these terminals they should show 110 vac if the element is getting power. if it is and it is not heating water then you would have to assume that it is burnt out. (would a resistance check of the element show no continuity if it was burnt out?) if it is not getting 110 vac power then the reason why needs to be resolved. I see three possible switches in the current path, all of which must be closed for current to flow. 110 circuit breaker in the breaker panel, on / off switch on the water heater, and the high temp limit switch behind the rubber circle on the water heater.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:40 PM   #20
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I am new to the camping world and have a question that has been answered over and over, I'm sure! We bought our new 2017 Cherokee 274DBH in February. The first two times we took it out, we had no issues with the electric water heater. When we packed up camp the second trip, I forgot to turn the outside heater switch to the off position (I did remember the first time). So, when we setup the 3rd time, the switch was already in the on position for electric. My son tried to take a shower and of course no hot water came on. Then I realized I never turned on the heater switch inside the camper. I turned that on. When he got out of the shower, he said it still wasn't hot. I know you can burn up the element if there's no water in the tank when you start it. What I can't wrap my head around is that there was obviously water in the tank the first two times we camped because it was in electric mode and we had hot water. So what was different the 3rd time, even though the outside switch was never turned off (and my son ran the hot water faucet in the shower before I turned the inside heater switch on)?
OK Joanna, as with all troubleshooting, even though you are keenly aware of what all you have attempted/done, we have to go thru steps to eliminate and/or isolate things. This is why we have to ask a LOT of questions....so please bear with us.

As noted in your quoted posted above in red, you seemed to have now learned the inside switch is only for the propane/dsi side of your water heater. You can turn it on along with the outside switch to the electric heating element and gain the fastest heated water utilizing both heating sources.....or you can use it by itself. The inside switch has no bearing on the outside electric heating element.

However, you need to understand that the propane burner side of your water heater and the electric heating element side each have their own independent thermostat which turns on/off their respective side when the water reaches a preset temp (usually around 135 degrees)

Say for example you were setting up camp and turned on ONLY the electric heating element. Well it starts trying to raise the water temp to 135 degrees. If it accomplished this, then it's thermostat turns it off and keeps it off until I think the water temp dips to around 110, then it comes back on and starts the cycle again.

Now if you turn on the inside switch to the propane, then if the water is under 130 degrees it will also light the burner and heat the water till it gets to 135 degrees, then IT"s own thermostat will shut the propane burner down.

The reason you may have never heard the propane burner come on previously is because the electric heating element had already heated the water, thus there was no need for the burner to come on since the water was already 135 degrees.

This time it did come on, due possibly to the electric heating element not working, or it hadn't had time to properly heat the water up.

-----------------------------------------

Now for the part in blue about the water not being hot according to your son. Your water heater is most likely 6 gallons, maybe 10. The first thing you will learn is to take what are called Navy Showers with such a small water heater tank. You cannot take long showers like at home with your 30 gallon or bigger tank. You want to wet yourself, then turn off the water with the button on the handheld shower wand. Now soap up and shampoo your hair. Turn the nozzle back on and rinse off. Turn off everything at the taps now (not the handheld wand)

With a small water heater tank, you don't take long showers, as this depletes the hot water faster then the electric heating element and/or propane burner can replenish it (this is what is called recovery rate). The next person getting in the shower may need to wait a little for hot water recovery depending on how much was used.

Also remember that all water going down the drain is also filling up your grey holding tank so you don't want to use no more than necessary.

--------------------------------------------------

OK, now that we have that out of the way (and you may have already been aware of it), let's get down to other things.

Are you or anyone in your immediate family handy with a multimeter?
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