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Old 03-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
Bea
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Water heater element

We bought a used 2009 29BHBS and are totally new to RV'ing. We tried it out this past weekend and had issues with the water heater working ob electric. Gas worked fine. How dj we check the element and where do I find replacements??
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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Check the rocker switch on the outside of the camper under the water heater. Cover. Lower left side, maybe behind some plumbing.

Never leave the switch on unless you are in hookups since if you run out of water you will burn up the element.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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I think the previous owner did just that. But don't no for sure. I an thinking we need to replace coils.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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the switch on the outside of the camper is saftyied to the "off" position, you need to remove a cotter key type pin from the switch and turn it to on position. that should take care of your problems. if not then you may need a new element.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danielflading
the switch on the outside of the camper is saftyied to the "off" position, you need to remove a cotter key type pin from the switch and turn it to on position. that should take care of your problems. if not then you may need a new element.
Thee is no cotter key to my knowledge, just the switch. We tried turning that to on with the tank filled and nothing happens. I am thinking possibly the previous owner left it on and burned up the element according to some things I have read on here.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:19 AM   #6
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I recall someone posting before that Home Depot sells a 120 Volt Element for a water heater. It's slightly longer but still works. If you determine that the element is the problem just take it with you. I'm sure it will be less $ than if you need one from an RV Dealer.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
Thee is no cotter key to my knowledge, just the switch. We tried turning that to on with the tank filled and nothing happens. I am thinking possibly the previous owner left it on and burned up the element according to some things I have read on here.
A couple thoughts--- you should have a circuit
breaker in your fusebox/power panel for your water heater.
This has to be ON as well as the little rocker switch that
is outside on the water heater itself.

IF both are on your next check is with a voltmeter.
Either do it yourself or have a knowledgeable friend
check that there is power to the 2 terminals on the
element itself. You may have to remove a small
protective cover to access the element connections.

The electric element is removable.
Mine screws in. It takes a huge socket but you can get
that in the plumbing dept of Home Depot or Lowes.
They are made of heavy gauge sheet metal but will do
the job. It's the same thing used to remove home
water heater elements that screw in.

Also as mentioned some here have posted that Lowes or
Home Depot have a 120 volt element that will work.
Most home water heaters are 220/240 volt but they carry
one that is 110/120 volt.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:15 AM   #8
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2 other possible problems:

1. There should be a rubber boot on the outside upper left side, with something like "push to reset". Push both of those buttons.

2. The outside rocker switch may be bad......I had that happen on my new Surveyor. Instead of driving 170 miles round trip to my dealer to get it repaired under warranty, I ordered 1 online for about $10 (plus shipping) and replaced it myself....no problems since.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:18 AM   #9
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Here is one reason you need to check for voltage AT the
element connections.

My water heater quit working a couple years ago.
I did some checking and found no voltage at the
element even though the inside breaker was on and
the outside switch was on.
I had to dig deeper and found a burned out "fusable link"
on the AC side of the water heater Thermostats.
There are a pair of them.
One for 12v and one for 120 v ac.

Look at the photo below and see the left one is
burned out.

I had a burned out element AND a burned out thermostat.
I had not turned it on while empty as far as I know.
It might have been lightning or just the heater element
shorted out when it failed and that short took out the
thermostat fuseable link at the same time.

Both are available online or at your local RV parts counter.

Maybe your circuit breaker is just off.
(Fingers firmly crossed!)
click photo for a larger view
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
2 other possible problems:

1. There should be a rubber boot on the outside upper left side, with something like "push to reset". Push both of those buttons.
The buttons Chap is talking about are the white cylindrical
thingies on the top of each Thermostat in my photo
below. (I've removed the rubber cover for the photo
and subsequent replacement.)
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