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Old 08-23-2018, 01:40 AM   #1
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Preventing hot water electric element burn out

Our new VIBE came with a ‘courtesy from the dealer’ burnt out heating element for the hot water heater (we watched this happen during PDI). After I installed a replacement heating element we added this red tag with small d-ring to our camping kit to remind us to switch the unit off after we turned it on the prevent future burn outs.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:47 AM   #2
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Excellent idea. I want to co-y it. Do you use a checklist, too?

Now that I am older, I find a checklist helps.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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On my mental checklist, that is the first thing turned off before teardown and the last turn on after set up.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
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These little flags are great I also put one on the awning knobs any time I tighten one to remind me to loosen it prior to retracting the awning.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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On my mental checklist, that is the first thing turned off before teardown and the last turn on after set up.
X2, I also, before turning on HWH, turn on the hot water in bathroom and let run for several minutes, just to be sure HWH tank is full.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:19 PM   #6
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Great idea.
Perhaps you should complete the look by adding some of these as well.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:55 PM   #7
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Excellent, also reminder could be put on steering wheel for heater, antenna, etc.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:23 PM   #8
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What am I not getting? I like the idea but the problem is the switch on the inside being turned on / left on with no water in the tank. I fill the tank up in the spring and leave it full until winterizing. So long as there is water in the tank I can't burn the element, can I?
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:53 PM   #9
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What if while sitting your low point drain leaked, now your tank is empty. Not that hard to turn off and on when you know for certain its full. Open pressure relief for a second, water comes out, turn on.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:15 PM   #10
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I am sure we all learnt the hard way after we burnt out the electric element for the hot water tank. I have not forgotten since. Only took that once to realize and remember.

I place a sticky note now on the control panel to remind me to turn it off when disconnecting.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:20 PM   #11
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Elements in water heater

Easy to prevent burn out of element- run the apparatus on propane.


Seriously, however- use a checklist for all critical operations, and even when you think you have water in it- pull the T&P valve - it will confirm the unit is full.


Cheers


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Old 08-23-2018, 04:25 PM   #12
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What am I not getting? I like the idea but the problem is the switch on the inside being turned on / left on with no water in the tank. I fill the tank up in the spring and leave it full until winterizing. So long as there is water in the tank I can't burn the element, can I?
It's likely the OP has a Suburban water heater that has a switch on the heater itself.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ore-36197.html
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:31 PM   #13
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Luckily our Roo has Electric and Gas switches just inside the door that light up bright blue when on. Before turning either on at new campsite we always turn on the hot water a faucet to make sure water is coming from the HW tank.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9JCA View Post
What am I not getting? I like the idea but the problem is the switch on the inside being turned on / left on with no water in the tank. I fill the tank up in the spring and leave it full until winterizing. So long as there is water in the tank I can't burn the element, can I?
If you have a Suburban WH, the inside switch is for the propane side only. There is no element to burn out, only for the electric side.
The electric side switch is accessed from outside, through the WH hatch door. It's a black rocker switch. Turning it on, with no water in the WH, will fry the element.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:04 PM   #15
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Very interesting that Suburban heating elements burn out instantly and Atwood, now Dometic, take longer to fail with no water in the tank, I wonder the difference. Is aluminum a better conductor of heat than steel? Is that the reason for the slower failure of Atwood heating elements? Never mind, Atwood heaters can be operated from inside the coach. That cannot be the reason.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:51 PM   #16
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You are correct some rigs have gas switch inside and the electric switch outside. Many a person didn't realize or remember WH electric switch is outside, sometimes almost hidden from view.
Only takes empty or low water level and power on to the element to burn it out.
Breaker can be turned off when winterizing to be certain even a forgotten switch or someone turning on switch doesn't energize the element.

I like the check list idea.
But a checklist is only good if it's followed in order, everytime.
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:57 PM   #17
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I took some small aluminum tags and put Velcro on one side and Velcro on other. They are on various locations and placed on Velcro strip by slide switch if they are used. Antenna(s), HW heater, propane, couple others.Cant remember the others....hmmmm guess that explains the reason I do this.....
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
Great idea.

Perhaps you should complete the look by adding some of these as well.


Totally awesome!
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
It's likely the OP has a Suburban water heater that has a switch on the heater itself.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ore-36197.html


Yes, kind of goofy. Much preferred the gas/electric switch on the inside of the coach but it’s not wired that way.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:42 AM   #20
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Hello all,



I have learned so much from this forum, it is close to a blessing, so first, thank you.


As I mellow out in my old age (70) and work at becoming one with nature and the universe, unfortunately I still find a few things that annoy me.


-the comment "not necessarily"
- the term " irregardless"
-at this point in time"
-a hot CUP of coffee vs a cup of hot coffee
AND.............wait for it...


.hot WATER heater...if the water is already hot, why the heater


Camping for PEACE Larry
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