Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-05-2021, 01:33 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
Sw6de water heater question

New owner of a 1999 Forest River Georgetown with a Suburban SW6DE water heater. I know that the heating element needs replaced so I was trying to run it by propane. Propane is on, I flip the water heater switch with the reset button to on, red light comes on, pilot light comes on and burner comes on as I can see it on the outside. About 10 minutes later, it all goes off and my reset light doesn’t come on. I turn it off and back on and it still doesn’t come back on. Could someone give me advice on what the problem could be? I have tried this twice. The first time it all went off and the next day I could switch it on again and it all happened again. New RV owner and just trying to figure this all out. Thanks.
Maford423 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 03:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
bubbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,653
Sounds kind of normal operation if the water is hot enough.
bubbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 03:48 PM   #3
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 34,550
Once the water heats up, then the thermostat will turn the burner off until the next time the water temp drops enough to be need to be reheated. Is the water getting hot? If so, then it's probably normal. If you turn the actual switch off, you are turning off the water heaters direct spark ignitor.

If the water is not getting hot, Are you sure your winterization valves are correct?

Please read this link that explains the operation of the SW6DE water heater in detail:

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ore-36197.html


P.S. This model of water heater has Direct Spark Ignition (aka DSI) and will not have a "pilot light". This is explained also in the link above
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I want to go to Bora-Bora, but I’m too Pora-Pora.
wmtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 03:57 PM   #4
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 34,550
Although the winterization/bypass valves are discussed in the previous link about the water heater, this thread has a lot more details on that:


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...st-103381.html


You definitely want to make sure the valves are set correct, as part of your water heater education.


Let us know.
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I want to go to Bora-Bora, but I’m too Pora-Pora.
wmtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 06:22 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
I have the bypass correct for normal use. The water is not getting even lukewarm before it goes off. I know there is water in the tank because I checked it with the pressure release. So does this mean the thermostat is bad?
Maford423 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 07:12 AM   #6
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 34,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maford423 View Post
I have the bypass correct for normal use. The water is not getting even lukewarm before it goes off. I know there is water in the tank because I checked it with the pressure release. So does this mean the thermostat is bad?

It "could" be a thermostat, but I hate to just throw parts at it without knowing for sure.


You have two thermostat assemblies for the SWDE Suburban. They are on the face of the water heater, underneath a black rubber cover that usually has the word reset on them. The left assembly controls the electric heating element and the right assembly controls the DSI/Propane. The are bolted in and sit up against the tank wall to sense the heat/temperature. It's possible as old as your RV is, they may be rust on the tank wall...and you may could unbolt the thermostat assemblies to make sure they are making good contact with the tank wall to sense the temperature correct.


You will also note that each thermostat assembly consists of actually two thermostats. One is your normal thermostat that cuts power off at around 130 degrees and another thermostat called an ECO (Emergency Cut Off)/hi-limit that cuts power off at IIRC around 165-170 degrees. This ECO is a backup should the 130 degree thermostat fail, and is also resettable should it trip. That is the button you push underneath the rubber cover.


Rubber cover over thermostat assemblies with ECO resets:






Below: Pic with cover removed to show the two thermostat assemblies. The one on the left (black wires) controls the 120 volt AC electric heating element and the one on the right (red wires) controls the 12 volt DC DSI/Propane. With all power sources turned off to the RV, you can unbolt the center bolt to remove the thermostat to see if it is making good contact with the tank wall.







I would still like to see a pic of your winterization valves behind the water heater if you can.


If for some reason, you do replace the a thermostat assembly, they are two different part numbers depending on if its the left or right assembly. One doesn't work for the other. You have to get the correct assembly per heating source.
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I want to go to Bora-Bora, but I’m too Pora-Pora.
wmtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 07:50 AM   #7
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 19,278
Could also be the control board. I've seen two that acted just as you described and after checking all the circuitry (as wmtire described) it was the board. But again, don't throw parts at it, run through the diagnostic process and eliminate things that are working ok.
__________________
2022 Cedar Creek 345IK 5th Wheel•Solar & Inverter•2024 Ford F-Series SCREW•7.3L•4x4•Factory Puck•B&W Companion•TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater•Sinemate 3500w Gen.
F&AM Lodge 358 Somerset, PA - JAFFA Shrine - Altoona, PA

Days Camped '19=118 '20=116 '21=123 '22=134 '23=118 '24=90
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 03:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: British Columbia Canada
Posts: 556
Find the control (circuit) board, it is usually very close to the water heater tank. Remove it if you can and take the board out of the plastic box and first off smell it for any burnt smell and visually inspect it for burn marks. Some RV parts stores are very obliging when it comes to doing a diagnostic test on the board.
__________________
2017 FR3 28 DS
cariboo camper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 03:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1,062
out door shower knobs are on.shower head in closed position. DID YOU PURGE AIR FROM HOT SIDE OF FAUCETS AS WATER FILLED TANK. LET PUMP RUN OPEN FAUCET SLIGHTLY , FULL STREAM OF WATER ,,,,CLOSE FAUCET .PUMP SHOULD QUIT RUNNING. PURGE COLD SIDE ALSO BOTH FARTHEST FROM PUMP. TURN ON WATER HEATER. WAIT CHECK.FOR hOT Water.
Thomas ho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 04:42 PM   #10
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 19,278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas ho View Post
out door shower knobs are on.shower head in closed position. DID YOU PURGE AIR FROM HOT SIDE OF FAUCETS AS WATER FILLED TANK. LET PUMP RUN OPEN FAUCET SLIGHTLY , FULL STREAM OF WATER ,,,,CLOSE FAUCET .PUMP SHOULD QUIT RUNNING. PURGE COLD SIDE ALSO BOTH FARTHEST FROM PUMP. TURN ON WATER HEATER. WAIT CHECK.FOR hOT Water.
The OP said in post #5 that water is coming out the T&P valve. There is water in the tank and they say it doesn't get even lukewarm before the burner shuts off. I'm assuming that is the temperature of the water coming out the T&P.
__________________
2022 Cedar Creek 345IK 5th Wheel•Solar & Inverter•2024 Ford F-Series SCREW•7.3L•4x4•Factory Puck•B&W Companion•TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater•Sinemate 3500w Gen.
F&AM Lodge 358 Somerset, PA - JAFFA Shrine - Altoona, PA

Days Camped '19=118 '20=116 '21=123 '22=134 '23=118 '24=90
5picker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 04:56 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maford423 View Post
New owner of a 1999 Forest River Georgetown with a Suburban SW6DE water heater. I know that the heating element needs replaced so I was trying to run it by propane. Propane is on, I flip the water heater switch with the reset button to on, red light comes on, pilot light comes on and burner comes on as I can see it on the outside. About 10 minutes later, it all goes off and my reset light doesn’t come on. I turn it off and back on and it still doesn’t come back on. Could someone give me advice on what the problem could be? I have tried this twice. The first time it all went off and the next day I could switch it on again and it all happened again. New RV owner and just trying to figure this all out. Thanks.
I am sure you checked your propane tank to make sure it has adequate fuel and the valve is open completely but just wanted to mention it, just incase.
dave1650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 05:35 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it as I am a newbie to all this. I posted pictures of the hot water tank valves, the control board and the thermostat. Nothing looks wrong to me from these pictures but if you notice something, please let me know. I am also trying to replace the electric heating element to try and get that working but the old one is stuck. Using that special tool is not working.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	683221FE-BABB-4602-833B-EF73CC03CFC4.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	261.9 KB
ID:	262338   Click image for larger version

Name:	012B6274-50C8-452E-A68B-36D8C26A1B04.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	296.0 KB
ID:	262339   Click image for larger version

Name:	2572D712-5611-4B98-ABA0-0265DD5B829F.jpg
Views:	783
Size:	426.6 KB
ID:	262340  
Maford423 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 05:38 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
BillyBass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brownsville
Posts: 1,166
is it possible that you a cobweb in the tube and its not letting enough gas get thru and its shutting down
__________________
2019 Flagstaff 26 RBWS
2015 GMC Sierra 1500
2019 camp 17 nites. Bill,Alley and are two kids Sierra,Ivy. 2020 camp 9 nites
BillyBass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 05:41 PM   #14
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 34,550
See how that tank wall is rusty in the pic of the thermostats? I would suggest removing the thermostats and cleaning the rust best you can from where the thermostats make contact. Sometimes that rust can cause the thermostat to not sense the tank wall temperature correctly and prematurely shut the power down as I explained in post #6 above.







P.S. Your winterization valves do look to be in the correct positions.


One more question. Does this RV have an outdoor shower?
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

I want to go to Bora-Bora, but I’m too Pora-Pora.
wmtire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2021, 07:19 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 82
Everything mentioned needs checked. You might also take your cover off and see if it keeps fired up. The extra air may keep it running. If so, could be the Cobb webs as mentioned or the burner tube. If you decide on the burner tube, be careful. The hole the gas goes thru is very fragile.
Philandterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2021, 10:10 AM   #16
D W
Senior Member
 
D W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: ALASKA (World's Biggest Campground)
Posts: 7,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philandterry View Post
Everything mentioned needs checked....
X2. Here is a manual:
__________________
'07 K3500 Silverado LT Crew Duramax (LBZ)
2016 Salem 27RKSS
1984 CHEV SCOTTSDALE K20 2GCGK24J0E1XXXXXX (Chevrolet Legends-Class of 2019)
"...exhaust fluid? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust fluid"
D W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 06:42 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 4
I did already clean out the burner tube as it did have some dirt and stuff in it which didn’t help and no I do not have an outside shower. I will try to take the thermostat out and clean up the rust area. Thanks for the advice. Any suggestions on getting the heating element to come out?
Maford423 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2021, 10:04 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maford423 View Post
I did already clean out the burner tube as it did have some dirt and stuff in it which didn’t help and no I do not have an outside shower. I will try to take the thermostat out and clean up the rust area. Thanks for the advice. Any suggestions on getting the heating element to come out?

If you do a search with Google there are videos that explain changing the element that are very good. That would be a lot easier then trying to explain it.
dave1650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, question, water, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 AM.