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Old 05-09-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
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Electric Water Heater Element Replacement

How do I change the electric water heater element in my Wildwood without messing up the gas set up? new at this if you can't tell. Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
would be nice to know make model and year of camper.
as well as make and model of hw heater.
to serve u better
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:59 AM   #3
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It is a 2011 wildwood 29 BHBS with a 6 gallon gas/electric DSI water heater. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Turn off the propane and the electric, (unplug trailer). Run enough water through a Hot faucet that it runs cold. (you don't want hot water coming out and burning you when you remove the element). Now turn off the water supply, and bleed any pressure off. Also shut the propane off at the bottles. Open the outside cover, and remove the burner tube. 1 screw and where it connects to gas valve. Behind the tube is a round/black plastic cover held in with three screws. Remove the cover, and this will expose the electric element. Remove the two wires from the electric element, don't worry about color or location, doesn't matter, as these are AC power wires. Now with a special water heater element socket, unscrew the element, (turn to the left). When the element is almost out, stand back, as water will drain from water heater.

Elements and special wrench available at big box hardware stores. Wrench is not much, and elements are $12.00 or so. Good Luck, and make sure that the water heater is full of water before turning on electric. Don't check inside, open the "pop-off" valve outside and make sure you get water, and a steady stream.

Many folks have bleed the lines inside thinking their water heater was full, when in reality, it was in winter by-pass mode and completely empty. Thus when they applied power to the electric element, it immediately burned in two.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Thanks! This is very helpful!! .... special thanks for the quick response to my question!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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Forgot to add, once the element is replaced, turn on the water and bleed, and check for leaks. Then connect wiring to the element, then install the cover, and then the burner tube. The element is sealed with an "O" ring, and seldom gives any trouble about sealing, but it doesn't hurt to check.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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As windrider said you can get the special socket and element at places
like Lowes and Home Depot BUT you have to be sure you get a
120 V element and NOT a 240 v element.

Even your local RV parts desk will have the element! (gasp!!)

Good Luck!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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You also want to make sure you get 1500 watts or less, as that is all your wiring will stand, and 120 volts.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:39 AM   #9
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Just wanted to add that my element was burnt up, and when I went to replace it, a bunch of calcium deposits with other crap was also in there. I wish I had taken a better picture at first, but just wanted to throw it out there. I have a Shasta 28bhs 2012. I washed out the tank before putting a new one in. Thinking that it was like a bunch of sludge and probably getting too hot since the regular water couldn't flow around the element.
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