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Old 06-07-2016, 07:57 AM   #1
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Suburban Hot Water Heater

When using the electric mode, I can only get warm water. I get plenty of hot water when using propane. What's the most likely cause, heating element or thermostat?
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:39 AM   #2
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Same problem here.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:42 AM   #3
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When is the last time you drained and cleaned the sentiment in the heater ! It seems to have power, so i would drain the heater, flush out all the sentiment, replace the element and anode rod, maybe a $30 job, parts Amazon.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:40 AM   #4
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X2 on drain and flush it. The element is going to work or it's not so probably a pile of ooey gooey jelly will come out. it's kinda gross. Once you see it you will drain it way more often.

Remove the anode rod to drain it. If yours looks like a wire on the end of a plug it should have been replaced along time ago.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...lacement/42180
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:57 AM   #5
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Big 10-4 on that , but Amazon if you want to save money, on both the element and anode rod. do both !!!!!

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Old 06-07-2016, 11:02 AM   #6
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Agree with what has been said. Element may have tons of crud which will greatly reduce its ability to heat water which will also make it run all the time. Drain, flush, check element and anode rod with the expectation of replacing both.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:12 AM   #8
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10-4 wildtoad ! But i must say, don't expect, just plan on doing it ! You have it apart, parts arnt not expensive . Don't hold stock ! Amazon !
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:57 PM   #9
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I don't know if we have the same water heater, but on mine, there are two breakers under rubber that could trip. To reset, one would just push them back in . If you have something liek that, try making sure both breakers are not tripped first.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post
I don't know if we have the same water heater, but on mine, there are two breakers under rubber that could trip. To reset, one would just push them back in . If you have something liek that, try making sure both breakers are not tripped first.
Yes you have a Suburban also.... (Atwood doesn't use those)
IF those are tripped..........no heating cause those are the ECO (Energy Cut Off----high temp t-stats). They trip when Normal t-stat has failed to open and have to be manually reset before the electric or propane can reheat water.

Left side is 120V AC for the electric element
Right side is for the 12V DC for propane




OP.........

Warm water while using electric could be a gunked up element
Could be normal t-stat failing.....loose/corroded contacts on wire terminals
Could be bad 120V AC connections on element
Could be bad connections on the ON/OFF switch......outside compartment exposed to elements.

Good rinse/flush is place to start
Then trace 120V AC ----at On/OFF Switch to set of t-stats to element
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:35 PM   #11
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I drained the heater and replaced the anode rod in April as part of my de-winterizing. I'll replace the element first and see what happens.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:01 PM   #12
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Mine is brand new so unlikely to be anode or element. I'll check those breakers, thanks.
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