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Old 09-22-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
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flagstaff water heater

Just purchased a 2004 Flagstaff 23 ft and used for first time this weekend, used electric waterheat first then wanted to try out gas water heat so I switched off breaker and the switch in outside box and gas worked fine then when I went back to electric couldn't get any hot water and suggestions what might be wrong.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
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I do not know much about your unit so would you tell me why you needed to throw the breaker and the switch?

In my unit all I need to do is select gas or elec on the command center.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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Was there HW beforehand? If not, the heater water circuit is still in "bypass mode".
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Could it be that the water was hot enough that the unit didn't need to engage? It takes very little time for the propane to heat the water to shutoff temp.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pender98 View Post
Just purchased a 2004 Flagstaff 23 ft and used for first time this weekend, used electric waterheat first then wanted to try out gas water heat so I switched off breaker and the switch in outside box and gas worked fine then when I went back to electric couldn't get any hot water and suggestions what might be wrong.
Assuming you have a Suburban brand water heater:If the electric heating element was working correct, did you make sure to turn the breaker and the outside switch BOTH back to their on positions. Sometimes the outside switch can get reversed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
I do not know much about your unit so would you tell me why you needed to throw the breaker and the switch?

In my unit all I need to do is select gas or elec on the command center.
Ford, many of the Suburban brand water heater equipped RV's do not have both switches for electric and gas on the inside of the RV (although some do). They have a switch on the inside that controls the Direct Spark Igniter/Propane side, but an outside accessed switch for the elctric heating element. This explains it better:

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

Some people instead of using the outside electric heating element switch to turn it on/off instead use the breaker inside the RV to turn off the power supply to the electric heating element (thus leaving the outside switch in the on position). The OP did both, which is really overkill, since you have to make sure to turn both back on to use the electric heating element.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
Was there HW beforehand? If not, the heater water circuit is still in "bypass mode".
This happens a lot, as Vince points to a likely culprit. It also takes longer to heat water with the electric element than on propane.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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Wow

I like my set up better...

Thanks wmtire.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post

I like my set up better...
Everybody does.

That is one mod that many people make, in adding an inside switch to be able to turn the electric heating element on/off if their RV is not already equipped with such.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ight-9008.html

But we are straying off-topic and need to see if we can solve the OP's question.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:33 AM   #8
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I did have hot water on electric I ran it all out before switching to gas and the gas heated just fine so I cut that off ran all water out and switched by to electric and never got hot water again from electric side.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:05 AM   #9
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This is difficult to trouble shoot from afar but here I go anyway....
I'm guessing but check these things-

Be sure the circuit breaker is on and not in the center "tripped" position.
The outside rocker switch is 9 years old and these are notorious for
going bad. Try flipping the rocker switch off and on firmly several times.
If you get the electric heating element on you should be able to hear it
"sing" as it's heating. Some say it sounds like whales in the distance I think
it just sounds like a pan of water heating on a stove.

IF you get no sound and no hot water you'll have to get a meter and
do some testing. Since we don't know your level of experience with
120v AC and test meters we're hesitant to offer too much more.

Do you know your way around a multi meter??
Do you own a multi meter?

It's possible the 9 year old electric element has burned out.
It's possible the over heat limit has tripped as well.
I'll see if I can find a photo and post that in a few minutes....
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pender98 View Post
I did have hot water on electric I ran it all out before switching to gas and the gas heated just fine so I cut that off ran all water out and switched by to electric and never got hot water again from electric side.
OK, when you say you ran all water out...do you mean you used up all the hot water until you started receiving cold water thru the pipes (like by taking a long shower).....or did you drain the water out of the heater.

The reason I ask, is if for some reason you turn on the electric heating element with no water in the heater, the element will burn itself out in a matter of mere seconds......thus will have to be replaced.

You also have a resettable hi-limit temp switch. If you look at the outside of the water heater, there is some little black rubber covers nearer the top half of the heater. You can just push the switches to reset them thru the rubber covers. You can give this a try to make sure they haven't tripped.

You did make sure to turn the breaker inside the trailer back on as well as making sure the little black switch on the outside of the heater is in the on position?

EDIT: Dan was posting excellent advice as I was typing.....thus my recommendations have already been covered in his.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #11
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This is a photo of the outside workings of a gas/electric water heater.
Notice the square black rubber cover partially visible in the top center
of the photo?? It says push to reset in 2 places.
There are over heat thermostats behind there.
Push both firmly. If you have a tripped over heat t-stat it might reset
and start working.

If this fails it's definitely time for a meter and some deeper trouble shooting.

Let us know what you find and we'll try to talk you thru this.

Good luck- BE CAREFUL!!
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pender98 View Post
I did have hot water on electric I ran it all out before switching to gas and the gas heated just fine so I cut that off ran all water out and switched by to electric and never got hot water again from electric side.
Just for clarity, when you stated you ran it on just electric first......did you happen to turn on the switch inside the camper?

I'm asking this because the inside switch controls the gas Direct Spark Ignitor only. If you have both the gas DSI and electric heating element on at the same time, either side only comes on according to it's separate thermostat calling for it to come on. They both can be used at the same time.

You water could have already have been heated by the gas, and then the thermostat shut it off cause the water was heated to it's temp. You may have thought the electric heating element was what heated it, but it didn't. (it could have been bad the whole time). When you turned off the heating element, you did see the gas operate as it should, but when you turned the gas off, the electric heating element didn't work (and may not have initially)
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