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Old 06-11-2018, 07:47 AM   #1
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Suburban Water Heater SW6DE

WH works well in gas mode. No hot water in electric only mode. Already replaced heating element, confirmed switch operation, thermostat operation, valve position and 120 V to heating element but still no hot water. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:04 AM   #2
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WH works well in gas mode. No hot water in electric only mode. Already replaced heating element, confirmed switch operation, thermostat operation, valve position and 120 V to heating element but still no hot water. Any suggestions?
There are reset buttons under the rubber pad on the back of the water heater. I think the one on the right is 120v. It could be tripped or burnt out.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:06 AM   #3
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This is very strange. If you have a good heating element ( just replaced heating element) and you have 120V to the element ( confirmed 120V to heating element). you should have hot water. Can't be winterizing valves as you say it works on propane. Do you have 120V on one side of element or both sides of element?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:09 AM   #4
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This is very strange. If you have a good heating element ( just replaced heating element) and you have 120V to the element ( confirmed 120V to heating element). you should have hot water. Can't be winterizing valves as you say it works on propane. Do you have 120V on one side of element or both sides of element?
The reset buttons are after the heating element. Even if power is good at the element, if the reset button is tripped or burnt out, it will not heat.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:10 AM   #5
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Both sides. Also checked continuity. It is fine.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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If you have 120V on both sides of the element, then the next place to look is the over temp button mentioned by Old Coot. Push both if you feel one click when pushed, you should be OK.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:13 AM   #7
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Reset buttons have been pushed. Don't know how to check if they are burnt out though.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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Both sides. Also checked continuity. It is fine.
Remove the 2 screws holding the rubber cover in place and inspect the rh reset. If you don't want to do this, then you'll just have to live with propane heat only.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:15 AM   #9
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Flybob, both have been pushed in. Still nothing.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:18 AM   #10
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Flybob, both have been pushed in. Still nothing.
Then the 120v one is burnt out. Camping stores have them and they are relatively cheap, but you have to LOOK at it.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:19 AM   #11
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Actually the thermostats and eco resettable thermostat are before the element. Let me get to a computer and update this. You don't check an element via voltage but by ohms.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:19 AM   #12
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How do I check the reset switch with a multimeter?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #13
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Ohms rad about 10
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:22 AM   #14
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Do you have the reset button cover off?
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:29 AM   #15
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OK, Looking at this schematic for a Suburban water heater:

The black hot line goes from the distribution panel, to the electric element switch, to the hi-limit/ECO resettable thermostat, to the regular thermostat, then to the element.

If you have 120 volts at the black line of the element, then your ECO and regular thermostat are allowing power to that point.

You check a resistance heating element by resistance (or OHMs). It has to have a certain resistance to heat up. You can get voltage and/or some continuity thru it even being burned up (depends on how it fails), but it has to have 10 OHMS of resistance to correctly heat.

Turn off all electric power to the water heater. Disconnect both wires from the heating element. Set your multimeter to measure resistance/OHMS, and see if you are getting 10 (or very close to it) OHMS at the element. Make sure it's 10 and not a default 1 if using a digital multimeter.

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Old 06-11-2018, 08:33 AM   #16
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OK, Looking at this schematic for a Suburban water heater:

The black hot line goes from the distribution panel, to the electric element switch, to the ECO resettable thermostat, to the regular thermostat, then to the element.

If you have 120 volts at the black line of the element, then your ECO and regular thermostat are allowing power to that point.

You check a resistance heating element by resistance (or OHMs). It has to have a certain resistance to heat up. You can get voltage and/or some continuity thru it even being burned up (depends on how it fails), but it has to have 10 OHMS of resistance to correctly heat.

Turn off all electric power to the water heater. Disconnect both wires from the heating element. Set your multimeter to measure resistance/OHMS, and see if you are getting 10 OHMS at the element.

We still don't know if the reset buttons are exposed or not. I'll butt out.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:35 AM   #17
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Suburban WH

Thanks wmtire. The element is new and I have 10 ohms.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:48 AM   #18
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How exactly did you check for 120 volts at the element?

Have you put it all back together now, and installed the cover back over the element?
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:24 PM   #19
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Circuit braker?
Also, there is a circuit board at the rear of the tank. Mine is accessible under the sink. It came unplugged one time.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:31 PM   #20
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If you follow the schematic wmtire posted and check voltage... and you have voltage on BOTH sides of the element... you need to follow the white wire (neutral) back to the electrical junction box (at the water tank) and check the connections there.

Also, check the outlet where the water heater plugs into.

Use a lamp or drill or something to check the outlet. It is possible the neutral wire has come off the back of the outlet. They are inexpensive (read cheap) outlets that the wires just push into the back of them.
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