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Old 06-17-2018, 11:37 AM   #1
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Hot water heater not working on electric power

I'm new to forum so bare with me. I have a 2007 Cedar Creek 5th wheel 32TK bought used last year. Hot water heater worked fine last year on both lp and electric. Arrived last week and set up, heater works on gas but not electric. Checked the plug-in above the heater and there is no power there. Took the heater plug and using an extension I plugged it into the external plug-in and it works fine. My circuit breaker is on, the switch on the outside of the heater is on and I have a vacuum/water heater switch inside which is on water heater. Is there anything else in the circuit path. I haven't checked to see if my breaker is faulty or not, that's my next move but I was hoping maybe I was forgetting something.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:42 AM   #2
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Take the receptacle apart. Mfgs use the infamous push on wire connectors that are notorious for failure. My guess you have a bad connection.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:04 PM   #3
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Did you turn the breaker off then on? Some breakers may not look like they tripped but in fact actually are.
Does the vacuum work? If so then you know the breaker is fine and have to check the outlet as mentioned before.
In cases like you have a non-contact voltage detector can tell you if the outlet is bad. The detector will also detect current along the AC electrical cable.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:49 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I've checked the receptacle 15 minutes ago and it's fine. The vacuum does work, (I didn't realise it was the same breaker) and I have a multimeter to do my testing with. I'm just wondering if there's one more switch in the circuit like a GFCI or something. Like I said it worked all of last summer and it works fine on the extension cord. Maybe I'll try popping that vacuum/water heater switch off and check it out.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:09 PM   #5
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The 120vac circut is pretty simple. Outlet, junction box, switch, hi limit switch, heating element. Start at the switch. It is the nasty little one down low on the left side. They are prone to failures. The wires are also prone to burning at the connectors.. if you have power at the switch the next step is hi limit switches. Take the rubber cover off and first look for burned out parts. Then check voltage. One pack is 12VDC the other pack is 120VAC.
BTW did you first tey resetting the hi limit switch is not tripped?
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:34 PM   #6
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I am unclear, there is power at the plug for your water heater? I am thinking the answer is no. I would be searching for all GFCI's and reseting them before I got to removing plugs etc.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:45 PM   #7
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The water heater circuit is direct feed from the breaker to the receptwcle. There will be no GFCIs.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:47 PM   #8
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If it works on an extension cord then the ECO/High Limit switch is ok. The power comes from the on/off switch on the WH to the ECO/High Limit switch then to the element.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:05 PM   #9
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I'm thinking you have a bad connection in the outlet or a bad connection where the cord is attached inside the heater, jostling the cord when you plugged it into the extension cord may have caused it to make contact.


Do you have the service manual? There is a copy in the Library section you can download. Forest River Forums - Downloads - WH_Service and Training Manual 05-18-11.pdf
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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Water heater now works.

Thank you to all who replied. I took the vacuum/water heater switch box apart and took the switch out and tested for voltage. I have 115V at both sets of terminals so I suspected maybe some varmint had chewed thru my wires between the switch and the socket. I went back outside with my meter and checked my socket above the back of the water heater and there was power. Go figure! So I must of had a bad contact at the switch. Thanks again!
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