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Old 09-29-2019, 10:59 AM   #1
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Newbie question. Mini lite 2509s. Water heater issues

My water heater works fine on propane. It is not working on electric. I turned it on the panel inside and turned it on on the actual water heater outside. I hit the reset button. It is a suburban brand. Not sure on the model. I can get it later when I get home.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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Thank you in advance.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:17 AM   #3
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If you turn on the electric switch when there is no water in the tank, the heating element will burn out in about 30 seconds
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:32 AM   #4
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I did fill the tank before I turned it on. When we did our walk through I think he turned them both on at the same time but there was water in the tank then as well. Is there a way to tell if the heating element is bad?
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Crispie0206 View Post
I did fill the tank before I turned it on. When we did our walk through I think he turned them both on at the same time but there was water in the tank then as well. Is there a way to tell if the heating element is bad?
You can use a "ohm meter" to check for an open circuit. Don't have a ohm meter (multimeter).. get one at :
https://www.harborfreight.com/7-func...ter-63759.html
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:33 PM   #6
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chances are if it works on gas and not electric, it’s your heating element, I had to replace ours because it was left on with not enuf water, but very inexpensive about $15.00,
but yes, there’s a way to test look on YouTube or chances are some one on the forum knows how, but good luck
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by clintbonnie73 View Post
You can use a "ohm meter" to check for an open circuit. Don't have a ohm meter (multimeter).. get one at :
https://www.harborfreight.com/7-func...ter-63759.html
I got 11 ohms on the eletric element.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:33 PM   #8
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Suburban sw6del is the model number.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:33 PM   #9
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I got 11 ohms on the eletric element.
Looks like the electric element is good then...
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:55 PM   #10
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I have a 2018 Rockwood 2604WS Ultra Lite travel trailer. It came with a Suburban SW6DEL water heater which is dual electric / propane. The electric element works on the 12 volt circuit.
The electric element is 110v AC, NOT 12v DC. Propane side ignition is 12v DC.
That's why the WH electric side ONLY works on shore power or generator power.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:45 PM   #11
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If you have an "L" model, the heating element is 110VAC, but it is turned on/off by a 12VDC switch inside the rig that closes a 12VDC relay at the heater to apply 110VAC to the outside switch to energize the heating element.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dannyabear View Post
If you turn on the electric switch when there is no water in the tank, the heating element will burn out in about 30 seconds
This is not necessarily true anymore, as Suburban has been using a different element in their units for a bit. FRF specifically asked Suburban about these newer elements and here is their response in post #6 of this thread, which the thread also explains the operation of the SWDE and SWDEL models.

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Crispie0206 View Post
I got 11 ohms on the eletric element.
Are you disconnecting the wires at the element, before testing the ohms directly on the element?

You have to disconnect at least one wire before testing, and disconnecting both assures you are only testing the ohms/resistance of the element itself.

10 ohms is your magic number on yours, but it could be a little higher or lower as different multimeters will show different numbers.

Another easy thing to check is to see if the circuit breaker is turned on to the water heater and if it's even plugged in behind the water heater. Many come shipped from the factory and are not plugged in to the outlet behind the water heater. Let me find you some threads on this.
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:23 AM   #14
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Some previous threads that may help you troubleshoot. The SWDE and SWDEL models are extremely similar except for that one extra inside switch and relay...so you can use the same troubleshooting things except for those two items to begin with. The first link shows the water heater power cord and it wasn't plugged in.


Water Heater not on


Water Heater Electric Heating Element Won't Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispie0206 View Post
I did fill the tank before I turned it on. When we did our walk through I think he turned them both on at the same time but there was water in the tank then as well. Is there a way to tell if the heating element is bad?

During your PDI/walk through, if the electric and propane were both turned on at the same time, you really would not know if the electric element wasn't heating, if the propane was going to. So it's possible the electric heating element has not been working since day 1.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Some previous threads that may help you troubleshoot. The SWDE and SWDEL models are extremely similar except for that one extra inside switch and relay...so you can use the same troubleshooting things except for those two items to begin with. The first link shows the water heater power cord and it wasn't plugged in.


Water Heater not on


Water Heater Electric Heating Element Won't Heat





During your PDI/walk through, if the electric and propane were both turned on at the same time, you really would not know if the electric element wasn't heating, if the propane was going to. So it's possible the electric heating element has not been working since day 1.
Yea. Being new I was overwhelmed while we were doing the walkthrough and didn't think about the fact he had them both on. I would have had him turn them on individualy if I would have known.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Crispie0206 View Post
Yea. Being new I was overwhelmed while we were doing the walkthrough and didn't think about the fact he had them both on. I would have had him turn them on individualy if I would have known.
Yes, it's very easy to be overwhelmed during a pdi. I would advise checking the ohms, as previously mentioned with the wires disconnected.

If that is good, then reconnect the wires, and then turn on the 120 volt AC power (if you feel safe in checking for voltage), and check the element for voltage using the black and white wires connected to the element.

If no 120 volt AC voltage, then you can start backtracking to see where you do and don't have voltage.

I would still check to see that the circuit breaker is on or not tripped......then find your access to the back of the water heater to see if it's plugged into an outlet there if applicable.

And just to be sure, you are connected to a form of 120 volt AC power when attempting to use the electric element? You have to have 120 volt AC for it to work.

This thread will help explain the different electric systems of your RV, and what operates off each system.

Converter or Inverter (they are different)
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:37 AM   #17
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:36 AM   #18
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I will do some more checking after work. Is that a gfci plug that its plugged into? I'm pretty sure it was plugged in but i didnt check to see if the plug needed reset. Also I will disconnect the wires and check the ohms too.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:37 AM   #19
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Yes it is plugged into shore power in my garage.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:56 AM   #20
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If the water heater has never been ACTUALY confirmed to work on AC, some things to check:

1) The 15 amp circuit breaker on the power panel manually reset. (even if it looks "on).

2) Confirm 120volts appears at the "hot" terminal of the water heater element with your meter.

3) Remove the limit switch cover and visually check for damage on the AC thermostat (on left). In this photo the connecting fusible link is broken. Check for 120 volts at the bottom terminal.

4) There is a small but not impossible chance that the water heater is not actually plugged in to the AC outlet in the camper.

5) The outlet may have failed internally. They are the type where the wire is pressed into clips and a cover is pressed on to make the connection. Should the cover pop loose, the wire may lose contact.

6) The outlet may be a GFCI or be downstream from a GFCI outlet. Make sure to test a reset all GFCI outlets.
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