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Old 02-28-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Suburban Water Heater Reset Button

I run my water heater on electric all the time. I keep tripping the reset switch. I have to hit the reset button for it to heat up the tank and then it trips a few hours later. Is the reset the high temperature limiter? Where can I buy one and what are some trouble shooting steps? Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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The RESET is a high limit resettable thermostat. It should be several degrees above the high limit of the Thermostat (which is the other device on the plate behind the rubber boot). If the Thermostat is not turning off the element before the high limit has to trip, one of the two are not working properly.

You can get the assembly at most RV Parts Stores and they are very easy to change. Just ensure that you turn off the AC Breaker for the Water Heater before working on that assembly. It would probably be best to also turn off the Gas Switch as well, to avoid an accidental short on the 12V DC line, as that Thermostat/High Limit assembly is right next to the AC assembly.

Also, ensure that you tell the Parts Department that you want the AC Assembly, as with the exception of the size of the terminals, they look alike. If I remember correctly the DC (Gas) Thermostat Assembly has larger terminal lugs to prevent being able to use it for AC Operation. The AC wires will not fit on the lugs, and the switch contacts in the Gas Assembly are not rated for 110V AC.

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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How the thermostats work.

There two completely separate and independent systems in the water heater used to heat the water. Each system uses its own thermostat/switch to control the water temperature. One is AC and one is DC.

Each thermostat uses two "metal bellows" switches to open and close to route power to the electric element or the fire control board (as appropriate).

The lower switch is the normal operation thermostat and is closed when the water is below the preset temperature and opens when the water reaches the preset temperature.

The upper switch is the "over temperature" switch and is normally closed when the water is below the over temperature setting and opens if it goes above the "Too Hot" setting. It requires you to press it back down to set it again after it "pops" like a circuit breaker.

NOTE the fusible link in the photo with the bad left (AC) thermostat. It is melted. If the water heater thermostat fails, this link might melt. In this case replacement is your only option. Make sure the replacement is the correct one (AC or DC).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suburban-RV-...item4abfec4fce

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Suburban-Wat...item4abfec4fd3
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post

If the upper switch does not close because it "senses" the water is too hot (when it is not) it can be over ridden and reset by pressing on the reset button.
Herk,

I think we are vehamently agreesing with one another with one exception.

When the upper (Over Limit) device opens, it will not automatically close when the temperature in the tank cools. At least I have never seen one automatically close, but rather must be manually reset. The reason for this is so that you will know that the Thermostat failed to function properly.

I did not mention the fuseable link (third line of defense so to speak) on the Suburban, as once it is opened as you menitoned the assembly must be replaced. This is unlike the Atwood, which has a replaceable link.

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Old 03-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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Herk,

I think we are vehamently agreesing with one another with one exception.

When the upper (Over Limit) device opens, it will not automatically close when the temperature in the tank cools. At least I have never seen one automatically close, but rather must be manually reset. The reason for this is so that you will know that the Thermostat failed to function properly.

I did not mention the fuseable link (third line of defense so to speak) on the Suburban, as once it is opened as you menitoned the assembly must be replaced. This is unlike the Atwood, which has a replaceable link.

RodeoGeorge
Yes, as I was writing that I discovered that it was ME that had an incomplete understanding of the mechanics of the thermostat "set". I am much better now, Thank You.

With your permission I would like to edit my original post (but leave your "quote" intact) and give you credit for the repair.

Lou
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help guys. I got a replacement for $24 and installed it Saturday. Here it is nice and toasted.

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Old 03-04-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Is the left one the new one?
It looks like the reset button is missing...
Could be the angle though...
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Is the left one the new one?
It looks like the reset button is missing...
Could be the angle though...
That's the burned up old one. It was so burned the reset button fell off when I took it apart. I didn't take a pic of the new one.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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$24 isn't too bad. Look what you learned!

I love a happy ending!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cre10 View Post
That's the burned up old one. It was so burned the reset button fell off when I took it apart. I didn't take a pic of the new one.
Whew! <Wipe forehead>

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Old 03-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
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$24 isn't too bad. Look what you learned!

I love a happy ending!!
and I thought they only came from massage parlors
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