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Old 10-22-2016, 02:40 PM   #1
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Suburban SW5DE Water Heater Problem

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to the forum, but have found a lot of useful information. I have a problem that I'm hoping someone can help me with. I have just replaced the 120V AC heating element and thermostat (both were defective). After connecting everything back up and filling the tank, the water just gets warm (not hot). It appears that when I first turn the AC on, everything works ok (i can see voltage from the switch through the thermostat and to the element). But when I go back to check a little later, the voltage stops at the lo temperature thermostat (i.e. no voltage beyond it). Since the water in the heater is still lukewarm, there should still be current going to the element. I would think this means the thermostat may be defective, but I just replaced it. Interestingly enough, the LP side seems to be doing exactly the same thing. My question - how does the thermostat get activated since it's just screwed to the water heater housing, with power applied. Is there something common between the electric and LP side? Thanks for any help.

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Old 10-22-2016, 03:02 PM   #2
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I believe the only thing common to both sides is the tank. Sounds like the therms are opening prematurely. The tank temperature (not water temp) where the therms are mounted is the control for them. They should be installed dead against the tank. Although if they weren't the water would probably be too hot and may not be the issue. If the (winterization) bypass valves were not set properly this could happen.

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Old 10-22-2016, 04:05 PM   #3
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Well - I feel pretty foolish about now. I went back out and check the winterization valves and the middle one was open (should've been closed). Problem solved. Many thanks.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for letting us know what the problem was. Even if it was the bypass valve.

It's kinda like not seeing the forest for the trees. Since you had, had problems with the element and thermostat, when the heater didn't get hot, you naturally suspected something in that arena. You weren't expecting something in a totally different area.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:17 AM   #5
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As I was reading your first post, I was thinking "it's his crossover valve", but see bubbles and you figured it out in your next post.

We keep a diagram of it here in this sticky thread, in case you ever need it for future reference.

Glad you got it solved.
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