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Old 05-08-2020, 07:42 PM   #1
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Yes...another Hot Water Heater thread..sorry

I have a Suburban SW6DE gas/electric water heater.

So this is the scenario:

Living in the RV off and on since August, have used the hot water heater on both Propane only and Electric only and very few times, both on at once.

It has been on electric since we moved in on April 30th with no issues.

Two nights ago I took a shower and was careful not to use too much hot water in case the DW wanted to take one next. While I was doing a final rinse it 'seemed' like there wasn't a lot of HW.

The next morning the DW mentioned there was no HW, so I turned on the switch for the gas water heater and a few minutes later she was good to go.

Today I decided to troubleshoot (This usually doesn't end well and it's continues to be true).

I got out the voltage meter and with the HW electric switch in the ON position I measured across the terminal to the heating element looking for either 12v or 120V, found neither. Turned off everything removed the white wire from the heating element and measured ~10 ohms through the element.

Removed the HW electric switch and verified it worked by measuring an open when in the off position and a short when in the closed position.

Decided to clean off the terminals to the thermostat limiting switches...believe I put everything back as I only removed one connection at a time.

Decided to give up on the electric issue and turned on the gas switch for HW heater, now I have no temporary light or any light letting me know the heater lite.

Now I have really "fixed" it.

I've checked every fuse in the fuse panel inside the house, and all the fuses in the Battery Control center box on the firewall. The "salesman" switch is on.

It doesn't appear I have 12v on the red wire on the module board next to the hot water tank.

At this point I'm not sure what else to do.

To be clear, both electric and gas on the hot water tank was working and then the electric side went out but the gas side was still working, prior to me troubleshooting.

Old_Bisquit I await your kick in my pants instructions.

Sigh...

***Update - 6:56 PM (Pacific Time) So obviously I didn't read the manual before I posted this. The gas portion is still working, it just didn't turn on because it was still hot from when I had done the dishes earlier. So, the gas side is OKAY but I 'believe' the electric side is still not working. But who knows..maybe with all my messing around it will magically come back to life. So, hold off posting anything until tomorrow when I see if the electrical side has kept the water hot all night...or not.

Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:37 PM   #2
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:26 PM   #3
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On your Suburban the 120VAC circuit is direct.....
120VAC Circuit Breaker in RV Main Power panel ----wire goes to an AC Junction Box on right side of WH Tank (looking at it from the rear). Wires connected using 'wire nuts' which can fail
Then from junction box the Hot wire (black) goes to the OEM on/Off Switch in outside compartment....then to the set of t-stats (above gas valve---left set is for the AC and right set is 12VDC for the gas)
Wire goes to top T-stat (hi temp) then thru a fuse wire to bottom t-stat (normal temp) then to element. Hi Temp T-stat has a 'manual' reset if it trips.


10ohms is right on spec for a 1440W element.


With water temp below 100*F (temp where normal temp t-stat closes for heating cycle) then you should have 120VAC from the Circuit Breaker to the On/Off Switch.
Close the switch and 120VAC should be at/thru the set of t-stats and then to element.


Got 120VAC from Circuit Breaker but not at On/Off Switch..........wire nut connection in the junction box.


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Old 05-10-2020, 12:16 AM   #4
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Thank you Old-Biscuit, that is very clear and easy to understand, greatly appreciate the help!

So, it seems to me the most likely story is it had tripped the AC breaker as when I was resetting them there was one that felt a little different so perhaps it was tripped but didnít look like it.

At any rate it all is working again.

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TriMoot View Post
Thank you Old-Biscuit, that is very clear and easy to understand, greatly appreciate the help!

So, it seems to me the most likely story is it had tripped the AC breaker as when I was resetting them there was one that felt a little different so perhaps it was tripped but didn’t look like it.

At any rate it all is working again.

Thanks!

A 'tripped' CB will just barely move off ON and can easily be mistaken fro being closed.
That is why it is best practice to turn CBs OFF then Back ON to verify they are closed.


Thanks for the update.........glad it seems to be an easy fix
Hot water good!
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