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Old 06-18-2020, 09:51 AM   #1
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What heating element?

Hey everybody, I did something really dumb and forgot to open my bypass valves before turning my water heater on. Now it's not producing any hot water and I'm pretty sure I fried the element. My issue is I'm leaving for a 2-week trip on Saturday and I can't seem to find any water heater elements locally or on Amazon that will get here in time.

Is there some way to force the water heater to use propane instead of electricity? This is a total noob question, I just got the RV last week and don't know much about it. Will the water heater work without the element?
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:54 AM   #2
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you should have a switch on the outside. Just turn it off. Make sure you do, because if the element melted and bent, it could touch the sides of the tank and cause a hot skin condition.

Once you engage the switch on the inside for the gas, it will work on gas only. at least that's how mine works.

EDIT: and read up on RV hot skin condition. test it before you accidentally harm yourself.

EDIT #2 for safety: flip off the circuit for the HW heater to be safe.
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blanksky View Post
Hey everybody, I did something really dumb and forgot to open my bypass valves before turning my water heater on. Now it's not producing any hot water and I'm pretty sure I fried the element. My issue is I'm leaving for a 2-week trip on Saturday and I can't seem to find any water heater elements locally or on Amazon that will get here in time.

Is there some way to force the water heater to use propane instead of electricity? This is a total noob question, I just got the RV last week and don't know much about it. Will the water heater work without the element?
Do you know what make and model of water heater you have?
Do you know where the switches are located for propane vs electric?
You can buy 110volt heating elements for your water heater at a Home Depot. MAKE SURE IT SAYS 110 VOLT. Theyre usually 1440 watt.

Thatís fine
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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If you have a suburban water heater, this thread may help.

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

It explains the switches and where to get an element if needed.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:21 AM   #5
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Almost all R/V water heaters work on propane.
Many work on BOTH propane and 120v!

Please tell us your make and model number of the water heater and we can better direct you.

As has been mentioned, there is a switch for the 120v side and another switch for the LP side. (the LP side also uses some 12v battery power for the controls)

Yes, you can safely turn off the burned out element and use just propane to get you through your trip but as also mentioned, I've seen those small elements at Lowe's and Home Depot.

Always... always use the lever on the T&P (temperature & pressure) valve inside the outside access door cover to verify you have water in the the water heater tank BEFORE turning on the power. (CAUTIONARY NOTE! opening the T&P valve on a HEATED tank can cause scalding hot water to flow from the valve! Be Careful!)
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