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Old 07-31-2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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Water Heater AC resolved, and no, I am not smarter than a 5th grader......

Well, I gotta admit I forgot. When the DW told me that the water was cold and the heater was not working, I imagined the worse. I started poking around, asking questions, and even crawled underneath the MH and took the panel off the WH cabinet and took things apart. I tested here and there with a meter, but when nothing was really obivoius I assumed that the electrical part, the relay was bad.

Mind you I didn't get to really remove any parts as I was in a RV park and working under the MH on a creeper. I was kinda pushing my luck that no one would come by and scold me.

Well, after not finding any real solid evidence, I put things back together and decided to wait till I get to Winnebago in Forest City. But I had the LP turned off and never turned it back on for over a day and a half. Then the DW took a shower, and the water was hot. Really hot. Then I took a shower. Still hot. What gives?

A check of the amp meter in the hall shows that something is pulling about 12 amps, and the AC is not on (which it has been pretty steady due to the humidity). So guess what? The AC heater element is either working agian, or was never really not working. How is this possible?

The switch for the WH has never had an "off" position marked on it. It is a lighted rocker swithch that says "water" on the top, and "HTR 110V" on the bottom. Never paid too much attention to it, when the light was on the AC heater element was on, and when the light was off, so was the heat element.

Never paid much attention to it, until it didn't work. Then neither one of us could remember which way made the light come on. So at least for now, the AC heater is working. Really well as a matter of fact. The lighted toggle switch still doesn't light up, but when it is in the "up" position, we get hot water .

I did put a label on the switch now that says "on" in the top position. I don't know if tugging or pulling on all the wires jarred something back to life, or if we were just duped by a $2 lighted switch.

I guess we will wait and see.........

Sarge
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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Well, I gotta admit I forgot. When the DW told me that the water was cold and the heater was not working, I imagined the worse. I started poking around, asking questions, and even crawled underneath the MH and took the panel off the WH cabinet and took things apart. I tested here and there with a meter, but when nothing was really obivoius I assumed that the electrical part, the relay was bad.

Mind you I didn't get to really remove any parts as I was in a RV park and working under the MH on a creeper. I was kinda pushing my luck that no one would come by and scold me.

Well, after not finding any real solid evidence, I put things back together and decided to wait till I get to Winnebago in Forest City. But I had the LP turned off and never turned it back on for over a day and a half. Then the DW took a shower, and the water was hot. Really hot. Then I took a shower. Still hot. What gives?

A check of the amp meter in the hall shows that something is pulling about 12 amps, and the AC is not on (which it has been pretty steady due to the humidity). So guess what? The AC heater element is either working agian, or was never really not working. How is this possible?

The switch for the WH has never had an "off" position marked on it. It is a lighted rocker swithch that says "water" on the top, and "HTR 110V" on the bottom. Never paid too much attention to it, when the light was on the AC heater element was on, and when the light was off, so was the heat element.

Never paid much attention to it, until it didn't work. Then neither one of us could remember which way made the light come on. So at least for now, the AC heater is working. Really well as a matter of fact. The lighted toggle switch still doesn't light up, but when it is in the "up" position, we get hot water .

I did put a label on the switch now that says "on" in the top position. I don't know if tugging or pulling on all the wires jarred something back to life, or if we were just duped by a $2 lighted switch.

I guess we will wait and see.........

Sarge
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:18 AM   #3
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SargeW,

I had the same problem om my Newmar. I just dropped the power, remove the switch cover and reversed the switch so that UP was ON and Down was OFF. I had to o this on couple of other electrical devices.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:37 AM   #4
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Thanks Dale, it just makes me feel like such a dufus.......
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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Shucks! And I was hoping you would install one of those killer solid state relays and tell my how easy it was to get it in there..
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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Sarge,

I did post that to make you feel like a "dufus". You would be surprise how many switches I have had to reverse like that.. RV and Houses.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:40 AM   #7
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Well I'll tell ya Jeff, it wasn't a total loss. I learned a lot by taking the panel off and poking around in there. I think I will order one of those relays and have it on board. When I looked at the documentation that came with the WH from Atwood, it shows a switch that would have been on the back of the WH by the heating element. My WH must have been a product update that didn't make the printing .

The relay was so inexpensive that having one around is probably not a bad idea.........

Sarge
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:27 PM   #8
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Atwood Water Heater AC issue

SargeW,

I've been looking at all your posts regarding your problem with the 110 V AC on your ATwood water heater - last summer. My reason for doing so is that I have got the same problem just now.

We have a 34 foot 2008 National RV SeaBreeze with the 10 gallon LP gas and 110 V AC heater element - I believe the water heater is the same model as yours.

By reviewing all the threads I wanted to find out what you have done to get the problem solved. I especially got a lot of information from this last post.

On your last post you mentioned that you think that just the light on the 110 V AC switch might have burned out because your water heater works on AC now - with the switch 'on.'

I have just turned our switch to the 'on' position in hopes that this might be our problem as well. The other day my DW told me that the light had gone out and that meant we weren't going to have hot water from the AC heater element. I believed her and just fired up the propane side.

I have already had a problem with another switch made by the same manufacturer. The switch had obviously failed in the 'on' position because it would not even move. I had to 'break' the switch to turn off the electrical draw! I replaced the switch and no problems since.

I called the mfgr tech support line and they told me that their switches 'seldom, if ever fail.' They said that my problem was probably due to poor installation. I can't say if they were wrong or right on that switch. However I think that you are talking about the same type of switch. It is a lighted rocker switch that lights up when it is in the 'on' poistion. These are used all over our coach and they are from the same manufacturer - SIGMA. It just may be that once in a while their switches do fail after all.

I noticed that OEMTECH seemed to be having the same problem. So I'm wondering if the 'light burning out' is something that happens more often than I thought. Hmm, keeps your brain working doesn't it?

RA415
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:57 AM   #9
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If connections made to any device are not tight, especially on higher amperage loads, arcing will result and burning of the device connection point and wiring will result. Make certain that the electrical connections are tight and you usually will never have an issue. The light in a switch will eventually burn out and that is to be expected. A heating element can burn out but mine is 10 years old, stays on 24/7 and is still good.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #10
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Problem resolved - burned out switch light

Just a little follow-up on my 110 V AC water heater problem. I followed SargeW's actions and last night we had hot water using the 110 V AC electric side of our water heater. Of courseall we did was just flip the switch to the 'on' position and left it on.

As you can read above our coach is only about out a year old and we do a lot of dry camping. When we have used the 110 side of the water heater before, the red light that shows that the heater element has always been lighted.

I also examined the rear of the problem switch and found that all connections were tight - no arching marks, etc.

I'm happy that our heater is now working OK. I'm frustrated that on a new coach I've now had two of these lighted switches go out in less than a year. I didn't see any installation damage to the rear of the switch. Our coach has about 7 of these 'lighted' switches. Now I'm wondering if more of these switches will go out as well?


I know that I can get replacement switches. However, it is frustrating that we might have to replace even more of these switches.

RA415
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:54 PM   #11
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A single pole switch is usually mounted so up is on and down is off.If you turn it over it will say ffo and no.
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