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Old 12-03-2022, 02:23 PM   #1
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Water heaters

Have a 2021 FR WILDWOOD X-LITE 19DBXL trailer and taking out for first this weekend and I remember something that we had to do before starting the water heater and I can’t remember. I believe it was we to make there was water in the heater or something like that. Could I get little help. Thank you and Happy Holidays

Mony
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:46 PM   #2
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Don't run it without water -- most particularly on 120 volts, which will very likely burn out the heating element at once.
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Old 12-03-2022, 03:10 PM   #3
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If you're unsure there's water in the heater turn the water heater circuit breaker Off until you are and don't activate the propane option (usually an interior switch). There's a seemingly endless variation of water heater bypass valves on various campers so check yours are set to allow water into and out of the water heater.

The electrical heating element for these water heaters is a "high demand" part and stocked by every RV dealer in North America so burning one out is a minor expense.

-- Chuck
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Old 12-03-2022, 03:12 PM   #4
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Reverse the bypass valves and...

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Originally Posted by Flyfishde View Post
Have a 2021 FR WILDWOOD X-LITE 19DBXL trailer and taking out for first this weekend and I remember something that we had to do before starting the water heater and I can’t remember. I believe it was we to make there was water in the heater or something like that. Could I get little help. Thank you and Happy Holidays

Mony
There may be several things...
First of all, when the unit was winterized, the water heater was drained. You may have to put the drain plug back in. On Suburban water heaters, the plug is also an "anode rod." Its weight makes it tricky to start. Be sure not to cross-thread it. Winding some Teflon tape onto the threads before starting the plug is not necessary, but makes it easier to get a leak-free seal. Note that the plug is tapered; it will not go all the way in. Just get it tight--there will still be threads visible.

Second, the valves for bypassing the water heater may still be set in the bypass position. They are on the back side of the water heater. Look for the heater on the outside and figure out the corresponding position inside. It may be behind a cabinet, drawer, or removable panel. It could have one, two, or three valves. Make sure valve handles on the inlet and outlet are pointing in the direction of the inlet and outlet and that the handle of any valve across the inlet and outlet is pointing across the bypass pipe.

Before lighting the heater, connect water and run it through all cold taps. Then turn on a hot tap. If it runs for 3-5 minutes just producing air and a few spurts of water before getting good flow, you have filled the water tank and are good to go.

You can also confirm that the tank is full by briefly opening the over-temperature/over-pressure safety valve on the outside, top of the water heater tank. This is not recommended, as sometimes these valves will drip afterwards.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
<snip>

Before lighting the heater, connect water and run it through all cold taps. Then turn on a hot tap. If it runs for 3-5 minutes just producing air and a few spurts of water before getting good flow, you have filled the water tank and are good to go.

You can also confirm that the tank is full by briefly opening the over-temperature/over-pressure safety valve on the outside, top of the water heater tank. This is not recommended, as sometimes these valves will drip afterwards.

Just want to point out that IF the water heater is bypassed, you will get water out of both the hot taps and cold taps. You really need to trip the temp\pressure valve to check if there is water in the water heater until you learn your rig and valve configuration.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cruzrtwdgt View Post
Just want to point out that IF the water heater is bypassed, you will get water out of both the hot taps and cold taps. You really need to trip the temp\pressure valve to check if there is water in the water heater until you learn your rig and valve configuration.
Agreed.
And contrary to reports that it isn't recommended to check if the tank is full via the T&P valve... check out the 3:19 mark in this video from Suburban.

https://youtu.be/OJFJjIgNV74

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Old 12-05-2022, 09:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
The electrical heating element for these water heaters is a "high demand" part and stocked by every RV dealer in North America so burning one out is a minor expense.

-- Chuck
As well as Lowe's, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, pretty much any plumbing store...

$11 at The Home Depot. Don't spend any extra to get it from an RV dealer.
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