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Old 06-05-2014, 06:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by youroo View Post
It is possible to have water at (Hot?) outlets while the (Tank is empty! It is possible to have (Water) in the (Tank) but NO flow thru the tank! A empty tank will not hurt the (Anode)! The (Bypass Valves) must be oriented correctly for proper Flow. There are many Pics. in Search of this! Youroo!!
I know op said anode, but I think he meant elec. heating element. Noob error.

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Old 06-05-2014, 06:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Turning on the hot water Tap may be a false indication that there's water in the tank.
Here's a pic.

I open this while filling tank to bleed air and make sure it's full.


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It looks like you've gotten a lot of good advice from experienced members here.

+4. If the bypass valve (which ties the cold water line into the hot water line) has been set for winter mode, or is WILL get water out of the tap when turning the hot water tap on....but it's coming from the cold water line and not the heater tank. This is a false indication of there being water in the heater itself.

Also, if you do turn on the electrical heating ELEMENT, when there is no water inside the heater, it will burn itself out. I think you confused the term and said anode. The anode rod is a different animal, and is a rod that goes inside Suburban brand water heaters, that keeps the tank from rusting out.

Once you gain experience and know for sure all about the bypass valves and such, you probably can just turn on the hot water tap to see if water comes out as an indication of there being water inside the heater. BUT the only 100% sure way, and safe practice technique, is to do as Turbs pointed out.

I do need to add, that you must be hooked up to either a city water supply, or have a pump pressurized system in order for water to come out of the pressure relief valve as KyDan pointed out.. If you just walked out to your camper and opened the pressure relief, with no form of pressure going to the water heater, you probably wouldn't get much water to come out, even if the heater tank is full. The pressure relief valve is at the TOP of the tank, so without pressure, gravity will work against you.... and not push water out the valve.

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Old 06-05-2014, 06:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
The only true way is to open the relief valve on the water heater.
The bypass valve handle has been known to turn but the actual valve inside doesn't.


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I use the PR valve as well would not want to replace any elements right now.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone! Sorry for the wrong terminology! I'll use the PR valve when hooked up to make sure it's full before I run it. It took me awhile to find the bypass valve last night. Finally found it between the front bunk and sofa, behind the water heater, but also behind a false wall that had 3 screws. You guys have been great!
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:33 PM   #15
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Another option is to run it on propane until your sure you've got hot water, then turn on the electric.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:04 PM   #17
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This thread:

Electric to gas water heaters?

has a lot of discussion about the water heater controls and valves on the outside of the trailer. You will want to open the overpressure valve and leave it open until the water heater fills up. It's faster this way, and more certain, that opening a faucet inside the trailer, plus you don't fill up your galley/grey tanks.

Here's a pic of a typical water heater:
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #18
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Just a hint on your 233S. The easiest way I've found to get to the water heater valves is to roll the sofa back over & put the leg down. You can then lift up on the sofa bottom & it will lift up. Three ways to get into that storage compartment, outside, inside & by lifting the sofa bottom. You can then see down & reach the HW valves easily.
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Another option is to run it on propane until your sure you've got hot water, then turn on the electric.
Trying to run on propane with an empty water heater might save your AC element, but could ruin your thermostats.

Best to pop the pressure relief valve to make sure it has water in it.

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:37 PM   #20
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Also running the HW tank on propane with no water inside can cause some damage to the tank. I am the second owner of the TT and had to replace the water heater last week (water leaking into trailer). Upon further inspection I noticed that the tank was not welded properly around the PR valve and must have been leaking since day one (minor leak and not noticed inside TT). The water was trapped between the steel tank and the foam insulation. Plus the foam was burnt and burn marks on the bottom of the tank. Looked as if the tank was turned on with no water in it.

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