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Old 04-15-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
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Suburban WH

Hey all, new guy here. I have a wildcat 323rbx with a suburban water heater. It's electric and gas. On the control panel, when I turn the gas switch on the light turns red and the gas kicks on. When I turn the electric switch on the light does not turn on and no hot water even after extended periods of time. I'm assuming element? In that case, the instruction manual is in the camper and the camper isn't here. Is there a way to narrow down the model number of the WH by the year and model of the RV? I want to order the element and have it ready when we get to the RV.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-15-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. You may want to do some basic trouble shooting before you just buy an element. Check the circuit breaker for the WH check the switch at the unit and ohm the element.

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Old 04-15-2017, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I have checked those switches. I noticed the issue the last time we left the RV. There are no tripped breakers and I checked the switch outside on the water heater.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:00 AM   #4
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Howdy Jason, this thread may help a lot.

If you have two switches inside for the water heater, you have a SWDEL model. I think they all use the same electric element irregardless of tank size.

It's explained in the link above.

Now my questions are:

1: How do you know the electric element is not working. Have you ever tried JUST turning on the electric element while the water is cold (and not turning on the propane/dsi)

2. Have you ever JUST used the electric element before and it worked? A lot of RV's are shipped without the electric element being connected behind the water heater to a 120 volt AC power source. Sometimes it's as simple as just plugging it into an outlet behind the water heater, if it's not hardwired.

3. The light you are talking about, is it the "red" DSI fault/reset ?

4. Are you plugged into a form of 120 volt AC shore power, which you must be for the electric heating element to work.

5. Are you sure you have TWO switches inside to the water heater and may not be confusing a tank heater for a water heater. Post #4 in the link will show you this?
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:11 AM   #5
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I'm not positive that it is the element but they are cheap and if it isn't the issue then I'm not out much but if it is it will only cost me $10-15 to fix with shipping. All of the research I've tried to do mention there isn't too many things that can go wrong. Just trying to narrow it down with simple things before I have to drag it to the local repair shop and wait 6 weeks(They are very slow).

1 Yes, I have tried only switching on the electric element and it has worked in the past.

2 Yes, I have used only the electric and it worked before.

3 The light is in the switch itself. The switch illuminates red. The electric and gas switches both illuminate red and there is also the red DSI for when the gas is switched on.

4 Yes, it's plugged in to AC.
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