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Old 10-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
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Water Heater Overtemp Reset?

We were camping in Northern Mi this past weekend which really gave the heating systems a good workout. Sometime during the Sat evening dinner clean up, we noticed that the Hot water from the fawcett was not as hot as in should have been.

I checked power, breakers and fuses and all checked out ok. I then try to start up the gas side of the WH and the top red LED would not come on. By this I mean, that on my unit, I have a illuminated switch that operates the gas igniter. When t is turned on the Switch will light up and a Red LED will also come on. If/when the gas lights up a 2nd LED will come on) This concerned me because I've never seen that before.

My next step was to go out to the WH (a 10 Gal Suburban) to check the thermostat resets. I did find that the right side button under the rubber cover was "sprung" out. (I leveraged this photo from Herk7769 to illustrate the rubber cover and buttons)




It did not reset. At that point, I actually got the manual out and read that the internal temp had to be below ~110F before the reset will work. (I don't recall the atwoods in our previous TT's worked that way) Anyway after a while the reset button did work and the water heated up again. All seems ok...but

Anyone have any ideas what would make it trip in the first place. I really don't think the water level in the tank dropped as we had been using it for several days.

We hope to take it out once more before the end of the season, but, we are a little nervous without understanding what might have happened.

Oct is a bad month to be without hot water around these parts.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SimchaSabre View Post
We were camping in Northern Mi this past weekend which really gave the heating systems a good workout. Sometime during the Sat evening dinner clean up, we noticed that the Hot water from the fawcett was not as hot as in should have been.

I checked power, breakers and fuses and all checked out ok. I then try to start up the gas side of the WH and the top red LED would not come on. By this I mean, that on my unit, I have a illuminated switch that operates the gas igniter. When t is turned on the Switch will light up and a Red LED will also come on. If/when the gas lights up a 2nd LED will come on) This concerned me because I've never seen that before.

My next step was to go out to the WH (a 10 Gal Suburban) to check the thermostat resets. I did find that the right side button under the rubber cover was "sprung" out. (I leveraged this photo from Herk7769 to illustrate the rubber cover and buttons)




It did not reset. At that point, I actually got the manual out and read that the internal temp had to be below ~110F before the reset will work. (I don't recall the atwoods in our previous TT's worked that way) Anyway after a while the reset button did work and the water heated up again. All seems ok...but

Anyone have any ideas what would make it trip in the first place. I really don't think the water level in the tank dropped as we had been using it for several days.

We hope to take it out once more before the end of the season, but, we are a little nervous without understanding what might have happened.

Oct is a bad month to be without hot water around these parts.
I had to change the left side thermostat/overheat trip because the thermostat would not close. The left side controls are the A/C side. Could be you DC side did not open in time and the overtemp took it out. It will become a boiler if both trips fail to open and very hot water will emit from the relief valve.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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I would watch it. If it trips again it may just be a weak thermostat and needs to be replaced. Call Suburban and ask for a new one since it is under warranty. It should not be too hard to change or you can let the dealer replace it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I would watch it. If it trips again it may just be a weak thermostat and needs to be replaced. Call Suburban and ask for a new one since it is under warranty. It should not be too hard to change or you can let the dealer replace it.
Lou,

Seems goofy but I talked to Suburban warranty folks the other day and the rep told me the thermo element board may not be covered just like the heating element is not! I submitted it with a letter for their own test and verify. Will see if they reimburse me, let ya know. It's a 2 year warranty, I was at 13 months when the thermo 120VAC failed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Lou,

Seems goofy but I talked to Suburban warranty folks the other day and the rep told me the thermo element board may not be covered just like the heating element is not! I submitted it with a letter for their own test and verify. Will see if they reimburse me, let ya know. It's a 2 year warranty, I was at 13 months when the thermo 120VAC failed.
Well, with all the "I forgot to turn it off when I drained it" element failures I certainly understand the elements not being covered - AT ALL

BUT; the thermostats?
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:19 AM   #6
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The service mgr at the dealer called me back to discuss my concerns, but, couldn't offer any thing definitive as to why it would trip under normal operating conditions. He did mention that he's seen a lot of strange appliance behavior over the years when subjected to Michigan State Park power. He will check ity out When I take the unit in forother warranty items after out next trip. (last one of the season.)

But I will contact Suburban to if they will send me a replacement thermostat. I wanted to get a spare anyway. It seemed like I needed to replace those on he Atwoods WH in previous tt's every couple of years.

Thanks all for the comments
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
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Remember there are two thermostats; one for AC and one for DC.
They appear different (though they have the same temperature setting I believe). The reset buttons are at the top and the fusible link wire is on the outside of both making me think they might have different part numbers.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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I believe they have different part #s and I hope they do.
On mine, if I turn on both LP and electric heat, once the tank is hot,
the electric will cycle off and on as needed but the LP won't fire unless
I use a lot of water.
This makes me believe the electric T-stat cycles at a slightly
higher temp than the LP T-stat. This seems to keep the tank at
a slightly higher temp so the LP side does not come on, most of
the time.
At least that's my theory!
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I believe they have different part #s and I hope they do.
On mine, if I turn on both LP and electric heat, once the tank is hot,
the electric will cycle off and on as needed but the LP won't fire unless
I use a lot of water.
This makes me believe the electric T-stat cycles at a slightly
higher temp than the LP T-stat. This seems to keep the tank at
a slightly higher temp so the LP side does not come on, most of
the time.
At least that's my theory!
Just so ya know, they are most definitely different for ac & dc. Also you can buy either in 120, 130 and 140 settings for custom change over. I leave the gas off unless needed. Even at 10 gal doesn't take long to catch up.

Lou, you're right, it should be covered, her words were "may not be covered, replaceable part" but suggested to return for eval. Suggested I return UPS next day, I used USPS parcel, .85 vs 11.00! Haven't heard anything yet, mailed last week.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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Just so ya know, they are most definitely different for ac & dc. Also you can buy either in 120, 130 and 140 settings for custom change over. I leave the gas off unless needed. Even at 10 gal doesn't take long to catch up.

Lou, you're right, it should be covered, her words were "may not be covered, replaceable part" but suggested to return for eval. Suggested I return UPS next day, I used USPS parcel, .85 vs 11.00! Haven't heard anything yet, mailed last week.
USPS is way cheaper normally, but UPS also has free tracking and take a few days versus a few weeks.
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