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Old 07-01-2019, 12:10 PM   #1
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Newbie hot water issues.

I have a 2011 Cherokee grey wolf 28bh. Before the on switch would be kept on and I would have no issues with hot weather, if I wanted a little extra time I would turn on my heater button but did not have to keep that button on. Now Iím not able to get hot water I have to turn on heater button for it to start up (ignite). I feel like the breaker is kicking off to. Any ideas?
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:21 PM   #2
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I have a 2011 Cherokee grey wolf 28bh. Before the on switch would be kept on and I would have no issues with hot weather, if I wanted a little extra time I would turn on my heater button but did not have to keep that button on. Now Iím not able to get hot water I have to turn on heater button for it to start up (ignite). I feel like the breaker is kicking off to. Any ideas?
Let's see if we can get you past the newbie stuff, including the vague details in your post.

Is your RV a 2011 year model as stated or is that a typo?

If your heater is both propane and electric heating elment powered, there are separate switches for the different modes. We don't really know which mode you are referring to, or if it's both.

We also don't know what brand/model water heater you have, as we do need those details to help...as FR use several different kinds.

Please read this thread and see if this is the brand/type you MAY have

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:27 PM   #3
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Not sure what you mean by "the on switch" and the "heater button." It would help if you posted the make and model number of the water heater (WH).

If it's a Suburban, the model # will be something like SW6DE or SW6DEL. The 6 is the size in gallons, so it might be 10 , 12 or 16 instead of 6.

If it doesn't have the "L", then you should only have one inside switch with a DSI light nearby. This switch controls the gas. When you turn it on, the DSI light should light for a few seconds while the control board tries to light the gas. If it lights, the DSI light should go out. If it doesn't light, the DSI light stays on.

You should also have a switch outside on the WH that turns on the electric heating element. It looks like this:

Click image for larger version

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Now if you have an "L" in your model number, then you should have TWO inside switches. One is for the gas and works as stated above. The other is for the electric element and turns a relay on/off that's in series with the outside switch shown above. In either case (L or no L) there is a breaker in your power center that supplies 110VAC to the WH.

If that breaker is tripping, then you've probably burnt out the electric heating element. You'll need to replace it.

If it's not working on gas either, it could be you're out of gas, or the orifice is plugged, or the igniter is not working properly. Or the WH's control board has died.

I'm attaching a manual that may help you. (Note that the arrows in the trouble shooting section on page 16 actually point "over" to page 17.)
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:17 PM   #4
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SW6 DE. It does work with gas because I just tried it. When I turn gas off then after a bit breaker trips. I don’t understand how I would have messed up heating element water has been in there the whole time I have not moved my unit. It was working fine severydays ahi. And the year of my Cherokee grey wolf is 2011. Hope that helps u more.
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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SW6 DE. It does work with gas because I just tried it. When I turn gas off then after a bit breaker trips. I don’t understand how I would have messed up heating element water has been in there the whole time I have not moved my unit. It was working fine severydays ahi. And the year of my Cherokee grey wolf is 2011. Hope that helps u more.
OK, when you say the breaker trips, I will assume you mean the circuit breaker to the water heater itself inside your RV's electrical distribution panel...... or are you talking about some other circuit breaker.

We need to know, in order to figure out if you possibly have a bad heating element, or are possibly just overloading the main circuit by having on too many things oat one time.

Can you let us know "specifically" what circuit breaker you are talking about.

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Old 07-01-2019, 03:46 PM   #6
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It is specifically to water heater. I’m turned breaker back on within a couple min it tripped again. The air conditioner was off, the only thing running was a plug I. Little fan
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:48 PM   #7
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Like I said several days ago it was not tripping any breakers and I would even have a/c on.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:07 PM   #8
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That does seem odd. Have you been using the breaker to turn the electric On/Off? It's unlikely, but possible, that the breaker has gotten "tired."

It's also possible, but unlikely, that the heating element "burnt out," but the pieces came together again, but now the element is "shorter," has less resistance, and is now pulling more amps. I've seen this happen with light bulbs (they burn brighter for awhile, but not for very long!), but not with heating elements.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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No I never messed with breaker. I would just flip it back on if it went off. Do you know if a heating element is hard to install, or if I wouldíve better off taking it in to get repaired.
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Old 07-01-2019, 07:48 PM   #10
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The element is not difficult if you're handy.

Suburban water heater electric element R&R

But I won't guarantee that the element is the problem. I'm just making guesses from miles away.

What's odd is that the breaker doesn't trip right away. That means it's seeing amperage close to or just above its rating.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:32 PM   #11
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I understand. Thank you for your input
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:40 PM   #12
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Or...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
What's odd is that the breaker doesn't trip right away. That means it's seeing amperage close to or just above its rating.
Also possible that as the element heats its resistance drops...

Larry
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:43 PM   #13
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What you need

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachavs View Post
I understand. Thank you for your input
Water heater element
https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-5209.../dp/B004RCXD0G

The wrench you will need
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Residen...X8F41XCRWRRVRK

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Old 07-03-2019, 05:58 AM   #14
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Thank you for the links. We are gonna try to switch it out today. Iíll update ya after
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:32 AM   #15
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This may seem trivial and irrelevant to those who are only going to replace a water heater element one or two times in their lifetime, but it is one of those little things that can make a big difference.

While the wrench/socket Larry has linked to is what most people (even plumbers) use and will most likely do the trick for you, you might want to spend a few cents more and buy this socket:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Profess...gateway&sr=8-3

Itís what I use a few times per week for replacing water heater elements. Some of the advantages of this socket over the other are, you can make it as long as you like with standard socket extensions and you can use whatever length wrench you want with it. You can also use it with an impact wrench for those elements that are really tough to get out. The only downsides of it are, it is fatter than the other socket and it might be tight getting into some places. The other is, it has less slack fitting onto the element nut across the flats than the other socket, so if the element nut has been mangled a lot by previous attempts at removing it (with the other type of socket), this socket may not fit without some effort, if it fits at all. However, it is designed so it will fit over nuts that are slightly mangled or rounded at the points.

There are other brands of element sockets like this one, and I have tried several over the years, but the Camco brand socket has proven to me to be the best of them all. I carry a spare on my work truck because I have lost a couple and I once split one when I was using it with an impact wrench.

Bruce
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