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Old 01-08-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
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No 120v power to hot water tank outlet

2003 Monaco Cayman,
camping with 50 amp power and one day the hot water tank did not heat. switched to 12v propane and the tank warmed up. checked the 120 volt circuit breaker and it did not trip. pulled circuit panel off to check on power to that breaker and there was no power getting to that breaker. Not sure what to do, all other 120 volt power is working including all GFIC outlets. I'm using the Intellitec EMS 50 system.

Please help.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:54 PM   #2
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If you took the cover off the power panel, where did you not get a current reading? The circuit breaker is mounted to a buss bar that distributes power to the whole row of circuit breakers. If the power isn't coming out of the CB, then the CB is probably bad. If power isn't going into the CB, then the power panel is bad or the CB needs to be reseated so it contacts the buss bar.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:04 PM   #3
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Finn is right on.....GET A VOLT METER


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Old 01-09-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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No 120v power to hot water tank outlet

Hi have you checked with a meter to see if you have 120 volts at the hot water tank, I had one of these fail the 120 volt thermostat or it could be the element it looked like this mine was as Suburban water heater. Mel
Have you posted this twice.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:21 AM   #5
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The hot water tank 120 volt receptacle is turned on and off by a 12v switch and relay behind the breaker panel
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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Hi AbClipper, thanks for your input, yes since I'm a newby I did post twice!! I put a circuit tester on the 120v outlet for the hot water tank and no power there. I think this maybe a relay problem.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:00 AM   #7
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Hi BFlinn, thanks for your input. I did not use a volt meter but did make a continuity check on the 20 amp circuit breaker and I do have continuity through that breaker. I'm thinking it could be the relay that is holding up power to the circuit breaker?
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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Hi Pipe, is there any way to reset the relay or does it have to be replaced? if it is to be replaced do I have to replace the whole circuit board?
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:18 AM   #9
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There is a reset on the back of the hot water heater board, check to see if you have power there.

What make of water heater?
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:20 AM   #10
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I'm a firm believer in K.I.S.S. (Keep it short and simple) I wonder why you have a 12 v circuit controlling a 120 v outlet? The only thing that comes to mind, especially when you've mentioned it is a 12v relay with a circuit board, it that this relay must be controlled by switches from more than one location. If that function is not that important, the 12 v relay and circuit board could be replaced by a 120 v light switch. If you want to get fancy, put in a light switch that lights up when powered. Often the electric element in an RV water heater is protected from being accidentally turned on when the tank is empty by putting a 120 v switch in the water heater compartment that can be turned off when the tank is drained for winterizing. When the drain plug is reinstalled, the switch is turned on to return control to an inside switch.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:29 AM   #11
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There is an on off switch in the area of the heater it is a simple toggle. If all three switches ( one on EMS, one in compartment near heater and breaker ) are not on then there will be no 120 volt heating. Also the heater is plugged into a 120 volt duplex outlet in the compartment check that it ts plugged in and the duplex has power.

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Old 01-09-2015, 03:11 PM   #12
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First things first:
  • What kind of water heater do you have? (Brand and model number.)
  • Do you have an energy management system, like an Intellitec EMS panel?
  • First you mentioned checking power at the breaker, then you mentioned checking at the outlet. Which is it?
  • Are there ANY other AC powered loads that don't work? (could be part of a bigger problem.)

If you have an Atwood water heater, there is no 12 V relay in the line feeding that outlet -- it has power all the time (except for the point in the next paragraph.) The relay is on the back of the water heater itself. With an Atwood heater, if you don't have power at the outlet behind the heater, it is NOT a problem with the heater, or the switches or low voltage wiring that controls it, whether those switches or controls are on the heater or mounted remotely inside at your main control panel. It is a problem with the outlet or the power feeding it. Nothing more. (I don't know how Suburban water heaters work: I assume it is the same, but I can't say.)

Now, if you have an Intellitec EMS, this is a device that can switch off certain loads to save power and prevent you from overloading a 30 or 20 amp campground pedestal. The water heater is one of those loads that can be turned off by the system. Do you have one of these systems? It can be identified by the name Intellitec on the main AC circuit breaker panel, and you will also have a remote control panel that indicates 20/30/50/generator power source on the left, with a numerical Amps readout in the center, and a column of LEDs on the right. If you have this panel, are all of the LEDs on the right turned on? If not, you may have an issue with the Intellitec panel and it needs to be reset. If you are on anything other than 50 amp power, are the Amps digits lit up and changing, or are they stuck on one value (another indicator of it needing to be reset.)

It's not clear from your description: Did you turn the water heater breaker off and then on again? Sometimes when they trip, it's not immediately obvious, and just pushing them to the on position may not reset it. To be sure, turn it off, then on again.

We will likely have more troubleshooting tips, but please try this first, and answer these questions. What we do next will depend on these answers. (And it's far too much typing and reading to lay out all of the contingencies up front.)
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:29 PM   #13
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Wow you guys are good! thanks for your patients I guess i assume too much.

Okay Shapeshifter, the is not any problem with the water heater itself. it works just fine in 120volt or 12volt propane. The problem is the 120 outlet that the hot water heater plugs into. that outlet is dead, as an alternative in the meantime i plugged the hot water heater into a different outlet.

While camping I was plugged into 50 amp pole. I do have the EMS 50 system and all lights lit up just fine showing I have full power. I worked backwards from the outlet that did not work to the EMS panel to see if the toggle switch was working and it looked fine, then I went to the back circuit breaker for the water tank. snapped many times off and on. then I took the cover of the breaker panel off to check on power to the circuit breaker. all other breakers and power works just fine. I did not have a volt meter but checked the continuity of the 20 amp circuit breaker and I have continuity when the breaker is on. and no continuity when the breaker is off, which tells me the circuit breaker is fine.

One other issue that I did have is I had an electric fire place that was plugged into the GFIC outlet and after awhile the power to the GFIC outlet went out. the GFIC did not trip however and I had to go out to the inverter and reset the Line 1 breaker that tripped. (i'm just wondering if this caused the EMS system to shut down the load on the water tank outlet?). is there a way to reset the EMS system if that is what is the problem? I have tried to attached a photo of the EMS system that I have but it is from an earlier camping time where I was on 30 amp so please don't get hooked on the 7 amps that it is displaying.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:08 AM   #14
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The hot water relay is actuated by 12v signal and there is a fuse in the 12v domestic fuse panel.......check that fuse first......it powers the switch

In a 2003 Cayman should be a Suburban water heater.......I believe
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