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Old 08-29-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
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Water heater not working (SOLVED)

Searched on water heater and saw this forum . We are about 4 hrs from dealer and about to head out on week trip to Maine and water heater has started to act up. We generally use electric, which has stopped working. I have reset breaker etc without luck. Used propane one day and then it stopped. I thought maybe because it was a very windy day. We travelled one day and the propane came on last night, however this am propane is not working ( stove etc has propane) any ideas or suggestions?

Any ideas on water heater appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #2
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The Propane and VAC parts of the water heater are TWO completely different systems). The only common denominator is the water in the boiler itself.

So, I would be looking at the water over heating and opening the high limit switches on each thermostat.

Remove the outside cover over the water heater and push in on the two rubber circles and see if the limit switch bellows reset. If they are "set" you might need to remove the rubber cover and examine the thermostats themselves for damage (like the burned out fusible link in the left (VAC) thermostat).
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thank you Herk very much for quick reply. I checked as per your instructions, reset seemed ( see attached). Still no electric. On the propane it was sparking but not lite. Si I decided to open second lp tank, and it fired up. I usually only keep one tank open, so when it goes red I know to switch and fill. Wondering even thought indicator was green if first tank is getting low so as ok flow to stove, but not water heater? Won't be surprising as have been running on that lp tank for a while. Test a few more times before conclusive, can live with lp heater until fall dealer visit.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ns-sabre
Thank you Herk very much for quick reply. I checked as per your instructions, reset seemed ( see attached). Still no electric. On the propane it was sparking but not lite. Si I decided to open second lp tank, and it fired up. I usually only keep one tank open, so when it goes red I know to switch and fill. Wondering even thought indicator was green if first tank is getting low so as ok flow to stove, but not water heater? Won't be surprising as have been running on that lp tank for a while. Test a few more times before conclusive, can live with lp heater until fall dealer visit.


Sorry, forgot pic
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #5
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As a update the propane continues to generally work, generally as once or twice the dsi lite has come on and I had to rest switch. Maybe this is common on propane side as I have typically used electric. In regards to opening second tank i recall I had to do this in cold weather in the spring for heater. Heater actually would not work one time when one tank was empty.a little troublesome as its means always having to keep both tanks fairly full to insure heat or hot water. Will have dealer check regulator in fall service.
As for the electric have checked best i can, including meter at element( no ac , but breaker is not tripped). Will run on propane until i get to dealer. Thanks again Herk.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ns-sabre View Post
As a update the propane continues to generally work, generally as once or twice the dsi lite has come on and I had to rest switch. Maybe this is common on propane side as I have typically used electric. In regards to opening second tank i recall I had to do this in cold weather in the spring for heater. Heater actually would not work one time when one tank was empty.a little troublesome as its means always having to keep both tanks fairly full to insure heat or hot water. Will have dealer check regulator in fall service.
As for the electric have checked best i can, including meter at element( no ac , but breaker is not tripped). Will run on propane until i get to dealer. Thanks again Herk.
If the buttons do not "set" when you push them in then they are most likely "OK" and you VAC heater element is most likely burned out and needs replacing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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I am having a problem as well,only on the vac side,I checked for current at the recepticle in the trailer,it,s o.k,current going through the left side of hi temp thermostat,but no current at element,there is a module on top of the water heater with looks like printed circuits in it,stuck for an answer here!
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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Has the water heater ever been on AC power with no water in it...it will fry the element in a few seconds. It's not expensive or hard to change out.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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To check a bad element
You can disconnect the two wires going to the heating element and use an ohm meter "one probe to each screw" to check if element is "open"
If it is open element is trash can material.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #10
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I checked the element registers 10.6 ohms,I think between 10 and 16 ohms it is o.k,been on the road for 2 weeks now with out any problems until this morning,It works on gas fine though!
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Did you press the reset button? Make sure you do both.
You may be checking the wrong one.

One is DC and the other is AC.

The AC side of the water heater is pretty simple and the control board has nothing at all to do with AC water heat.

Take the plastic cover off and look to see if the connecting wire (fusible link) is present. If not the high limit assembly must be replaced. (left one is burned out - right one is OK in last photo).
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:31 PM   #12
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In the last picture of Herk's post (post #2) shows a burnt out fuseable link on the LH relay. Have you checked yours?

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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the reset buttons are in and the fuseable links are intact!
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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As you can see from the diagram, very simple system.

OK, here is a thought.

The thermostat assembly is in 3 parts but if any of the 3 is bad it won't work and needs to be replaced.

Top part: HIGH LIMIT switch - Normally closed and pops open when over heated shutting off power to the element. Can be rest by pressing in on the rubber covered button allowing current to leave the bellows switch via the fusible link wire.

Middle Part: The Fusible wire - When it is overloaded the link wire will melt and open the circuit turning off the power to the element.

Bottom Part: - The LOW LIMIT switch - Normally OPEN when water is hot and closes when water is cold (to allow the heater to come on). THIS switch does NOT have a reset. If this switch is bad the entire thermostat must be replaced.

(You can try tapping it with a screwdriver handle to see if it can be unstuck and close properly.) I would be ordering a new thermostat in any case. If it unsticks; it will eventually fail again.

Suburban 232306 RV Water Heater Thermostat

PS easy to change; make sure the circuit breaker is tripped open before you start.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #15
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I took off the hi temp sensors and discovered the bakelite melted behind the fuseable link,going to replace it,let you all know how I make out...thank,s all!
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:03 PM   #16
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Thank,s Herk,going to order one now from Amazon,28.50 delivered here to Horseshoe Cove in Bradenton...Tom
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #17
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Let us know how it goes!
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #18
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Will do,Thank,s Herk!
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:18 PM   #19
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As an aside, the propane will still work just fine!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:03 PM   #20
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Received and installed the new thermostat and all seems well,thanks again guys!
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