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Old 10-09-2014, 08:49 AM   #1
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Electric Hot Water Heater Issues

I have a 2003 National RV Dolphin 6352 that has an electric hot water switch in the bathroom. It has seemed to provide instant hot water (maybe tankless) until a few weeks ago. The light still comes on by the electric switch so there is still power there but the only hot water comes from using propane. My problem is I can not locate the electric heater element. I bought this used and am not able to get answers from previous owner. The propane heated tank does not seem to have an electrical heating element that I can find. Would there be a "tankless" element somewhere else and if so, where?

Thanks, Will

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Old 10-09-2014, 08:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to irv2.
Some electric elements you will find on the face of a heater but others you will have to find access to the back of your WH which could be on the bathroom cabinet or your kitchen cabinets.
You may not need a element but may have a poor electrical connection found in a electric box near back of heater or wires connected to element.
If you mistakenly put on electric heater without water in HW tank the element will burn out.
I would look to start for a wiring problem after making sure the circuit breaker is on in load center.
Here is some Tech info that may help.

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Old 10-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #3
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If its a tankless heater, some previous owner must have added it becasue National RV did not provide one.

The heater element on your Atwood water heater is on theback side of the tank. The switch inside just sends a signal to the heater controller to activate a relay to turn power on. Are you sure the heater has 120v power available (breaker not tripped)? In many set-ups, the light on the switch will still work without that.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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007, thanks but can not seem to find location of element. Nothing on front of unit and back of tank area is enclosed by basement wall. Can not find any wires leading to tank for an element. I hope I do not have to pull the tank out.?. - Will
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #5
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Gary, the breaker is fine and the lighted switch light goes out when breaker is tripped. I just can not seem to find location of any electrical heating element to check or replace. Thanks, Will
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:39 AM   #6
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is there wires going to the drain plug? If so that is the element as well and you can usually find replacements at places like Home Depot. The plug may be at the center of the outside lower side hidden behind some flashing or air duct piping.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:41 AM   #7
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Luckiest, no just the standard white plastic drain plug. Thanks, Will
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
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I just went through this. If you take the front cover off down low you might see a black cover with 3 screws. Under that cover is the heating element. Start their by checking continuity with a ohm meter. Also with the switch on check if you are getting 120 volts. I had a relay inside the coach that had a loose connection causing the problem. By the way if you do not own a volt ohm meter get one as it will come in handy. If all else fails go to atwood site for help.

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