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Old 10-02-2019, 08:55 PM   #1
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Suburban water heater meltdown

I know this is bad form, but I would like to reach out to a couple of good folks in this group- a double post, sorry.


The Suburban SW6D water heater in our MH failed today. Opening the access panel shows the thermostats and wires to the gas control valve burned to a crisp and melted. This is a gas only model, no 120Volt.

I can do the service work easy enough, but would like to know what likely caused the problem in the first place. IMO- maybe a bad wire connection, a thermostat that failed to open, other ideas. Has anyone seen a similar problem?

Clearly need a new thermostat set and gas valve, but what about the control board? Any reason to think the entire unit is bad?

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Old 10-02-2019, 09:22 PM   #2
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Fred, first let me list my qualifications to give advice on this: None. But my uneducated opinion is replace it. Not sure I would trust it especially with it being at least 12 years old. If you have access to or can run a power wire and your electrical panel will handle it I would go with a gas/electric model. Of course you will need an on/off switch for the electric side which may complicate things. We have rarely used the gas side and have never run out of hot water even with back to back showers. I usually run the gas side once a season just to make sure it is working okay.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:40 AM   #3
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Fred, First of all, I agree with Jim. Suggest complete replacement. I've worked on the Atwoods and done complete disassembly and rebuilds. Seems like you repair something and in a few weeks you develop another issue due to the pieces being "disturbed" on the rebuild. With the cost of pieces (including the circuit board) it's just not worth it. Been there - done that, especially on the older unit.

That being said, I've not seen a Suburban Water Heater in an Excel. Keep us posted what's happening on it. I've not seen a gas only model either. Just sayin' It thought on your model the Atwood 10 gal Gas/Electric were the ones they installed at the factory.

By the pic, I can't really tell you the root cause.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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See resposnse to flame blowback in your OTHER post

Suburban SW6D water heater failure



Cause/effect and resolution




Sale on NEW SW6D ends tomorrow!
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:53 PM   #5
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Fred, I promise you O-B is as sharp as they come on these things.....but still never seen a Suburban WH in an Excel. Suburban furnace yes....but not in a 2007 model. They didn't do the Suburban furnace until 2010.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:20 AM   #6
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Tom understand but the Suburban is in our MH not the Excel, have both. Just new I could get quality help here.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:23 AM   #7
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Oh OK. What kinda MoHo? Please add it to your sig. Inquiring minds would like to know!!!!
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockintom View Post
Fred, First of all, I agree with Jim. Suggest complete replacement. I've worked on the Atwoods and done complete disassembly and rebuilds. Seems like you repair something and in a few weeks you develop another issue due to the pieces being "disturbed" on the rebuild. With the cost of pieces (including the circuit board) it's just not worth it. Been there - done that, especially on the older unit.

That being said, I've not seen a Suburban Water Heater in an Excel. Keep us posted what's happening on it. I've not seen a gas only model either. Just sayin' It thought on your model the Atwood 10 gal Gas/Electric were the ones they installed at the factory.

By the pic, I can't really tell you the root cause.
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Originally Posted by rockintom View Post
Oh OK. What kinda MoHo? Please add it to your sig. Inquiring minds would like to know!!!!

Tom,
Signature line shows a 2015 Mini Winnie 22R which does use a Suburban WH
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #9
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I see it now O-B. I didn't read far enough along. Fred will forgive me cause we are brothers from a different mother!!!!!

I had a hard time financing 1 RV....much less 2! Ha. I do know a guy that has 3 late model higher end 5th wheels. An Excel and 2 Mobile Suites. I couldn't afford the storage and insurance on them!!!
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:08 PM   #10
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Tom you forgiven, hey I've overlooked details at least once before.

After the Alaska trip last summer we decided to get a second much smaller RV to go places where the Excel + truck proved too long. I had a second parking space inside of a fence as required by our HoA. But it could only take up to 26'-4". That limited out options. Wife wanted a small MH, so guess what we got. Parking both RVs in that space requires each rig to be within 2" width wise of the exact spot. Length is set by a bumper board.

If it makes you fell better we bought both rigs used at Kay's RV down in Morarity, NM, just down the road from home. Now the service is another thing we all understand. But I do it all.

Oh on the water heater, I replaced the control board this morning and all is happy. On to the east coast!
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for responding and forgiving! I know Ms. Kay and she's a great gal. Glad you got it all fixed up and rolling again. Until something else breaks!!!!! Part of the RV world! Safe travels and have fun!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:17 PM   #12
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If the problem had arisen when at home, I'd replaced the heater with a gas/electric version. Opposed the gas only we have now. I could get the parts in Salina, but not a new heater. Thus I just repaired it.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:53 PM   #13
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Root cause......
Those mud dabbers



Amazing how much torch effect can come back out of the air inlet at the burner



Just remember to keep those added bug screens clear
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:25 PM   #14
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One more problem down, waiting for the next.

Now I've rebuilt the water heaters on both the Excel & Minnie this year.
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