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Old 05-25-2009, 11:50 AM   #1
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Suburban Hot water heater

I have a new Surveyor 291 and the hot water heater doesn't heat very well. On propane it gets only to 110 degrees, on electricity only 100 degrees. When I use some of the hot water, I don't hear the gas come on to reheat the water in the tank. I have to wait awhile and turn it off and back on to get it to cycle. Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
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I think the lawyers made them lower the water temps.
It sucks.
You can buy a hotter thermostat but it's only 10 deg hotter and
it costs around $30.
If you're handy with tools you can use an adjustable
thermostat from a home water heater that cost $8 from Home Depot.
http://tinyurl.com/p34wu6

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Old 05-25-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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This is interesting to read because we have the opposite problem, our hot water is extremely hot. Does this indicate a problem and should I be concerened about the water lines and stuff like that. I have already burned myself couple of times.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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You and Skogler should trade thermostats.

All I can say is if I was unhappy with my water temp I'd replace the thermostat
with one for a home water heater at a cost of a few bucks and less than an hour
labor and then adjust it to what I wanted.
I admit that I have not done this but I did just recently change my thermostat because
it was burned out by a shorted heater rod or lightning strike.
The Suburban T-stat is smaller than the home version replacement but I think it
would work. It just has to be in physical contact with the water tank
and then connect 2 wires.

Of course if you want both the LP gas and the electric heat to be adjustable, you'd
need to replace both because the LP and electric heat are separate
systems with separate power sources.
Yes it's a hassle but doable IMO.
YMMV.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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On or Surveyor, and on our previous Trailmanor, the hot water temperature was really hot. I think that is so that you can stretch a 6 gallon tank by mixing with plenty of cold water. The missus and I can take back to back showers without loosing hot water, especially if we have both the electric element and propane running at the same time to help speed up the reheating.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #6
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Well, I guess this must be normal. We never have to use the gas when we are hooked up to power. I was mostly worried about this not being normal (water too hot).
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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two things for the OP.

1.) Is your trailer new? If not, you might want to see if there is a lot of mineral buildup inside the waterheater. this can cause big issues.

2.) if 1 is not the case, you should get it looked at. failure to cycle indicates you have a problem... i.e. it ain't normal.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skogler View Post
I have a new Surveyor 291 and the hot water heater doesn't heat very well. On propane it gets only to 110 degrees, on electricity only 100 degrees. When I use some of the hot water, I don't hear the gas come on to reheat the water in the tank. I have to wait awhile and turn it off and back on to get it to cycle. Any ideas?

Thanks
On newer RV water heaters there is two temperature switches located side by side that sense the water temperature from contact with the exterior skin of the tank. They are permenantly set and cannot be changed. The main switch is set for 140 degrees, the 2nd is set for around 180 degrees and is a fail safe. If both should fail then the presure relief valve lets go at 220 degrees. See the picture below for the switches


110 degrees is not enough. You can check the switches with a pot of water on the stove a volt/ohm meter and a thermometer. Attach the volt meter to the contacts on the switch and set it to the continuity setting. Place the switch in the pot of water and note the temperature at which the switch opens. If it is faulty they should replace it under warranty.

You can buy switches set at different temperatures and they are a more or less generic switch which can be found from many sources other than just RV parts dealers.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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We just bought our trailer and I have not had the water heater on since the walk-thru last Saturday but when I turn on the hot water tap it is still very very hot. Could the tank possibly keep it hot for that many days. I doubt it. I am wondering if somehow the water heater is continuing to heat even though we have it switched off.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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elainel,

If the TT is off and the gas is turned off and you are not plugged into power and the water is hot then you have a problem.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #11
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We are plugged in here at home for now. So maybe we are heating with electricity. Our old trailer did not do this. Can I just swith the breaker off when we are plugged in and we don't need hot water?
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:46 PM   #12
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I had a switch that turned it on/off in the TT. It looked like a light switch and was located under the cabnet over the sink. In the MH it is on the control panel with all the other switches.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #13
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We do have the switch that is inside on the kitchen cabinet turned to off so that is why I am baffled by this. I don't hear it running when I am in there but am wondering if we have a bad switch or something that we need to get checked out.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:23 PM   #14
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There is a switch inside the outside cover for the water heater, that can be switched off when plugged in to AC power. HOWEVER; most folks on here just switch the water heater breaker off on the converter breakers, and that turns it off on AC. Gas has a separate circuit, controlled by a rocker switch on the wall somewhere, that lights up red when activated. Battery powers this, and it has an auto lighting feature that fires the gas up, when gas valve is open. Happy Camping! Randy
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #15
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Great info I will share this with my husband. We bought it used but it was in such great shape. Looked new so we are wondering what things we will find wrong. The hose to one of the propane tanks started leaking yesterday so I hope we get all the prblems fixed before we leave.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #16
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Well thanks to all of you for informing us of where to turn off our water heater electrically. Neither the dealer nor the service dept. where we bought it, had any idea where the switch to turn off the elect. option was on our trailer until I asked you all and sure enough, we found it in the panel on the outside. Now the switch is off and all is good. Thanks so much.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elainel View Post
Well thanks to all of you for informing us of where to turn off our water heater electrically. Neither the dealer nor the service dept. where we bought it, had any idea where the switch to turn off the elect.
Wow, that's sad. Hope you don't need a lot of service help from your "service" department!
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:05 PM   #18
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Tell me about it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:15 PM   #19
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What switch?

My Sunline 280SR was 2 years old before we realized that you had to slide the mattress back, contort your arm and reach into a hole to get at the back of the water heater.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:25 AM   #20
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water heater ques.

Hi all, On my surveyor 294 the water heater comes on when I have the trailer pluged in to 110. I was under the impression that I needed to turn the heater on manually. Is the water heater switch only for turning on the propane burner? I turned off the breaker to water heater until I know exactly how it should be working. thanks
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