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Old 04-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Hot water tank now not working on electric or propane

In an earlier post I detailed out how the hot water tank was not working on the electric mode, but was working on propane. Well as of today it doesn't work on either- does anyone have any idea if there is something in common between the two - propane & electric" that could have gone wrong??
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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is this coming out of winter hibernation? perhaps something got inside?
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:28 AM   #3
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No we've been using the hot water for the past 7 weeks, this happened all of a sudden.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
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I thought you said the 110V electric switch was bad. You may have 2 related (or not) problems.

Is the main 12V power switch on?

Check the 12V water heater fuse.

Check the wiring (12V and 110v) for mice, chafing, disconnects, ...

On propane does the light come on at all? Come on then go off? Come on and stay on? Do you hear the igniter clicking?
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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Have you pressed the reset button?
It's the one that looks like a rubber plug ( on the right ).
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Have you pressed the reset button?
It's the one that looks like a rubber plug ( on the right ).
Check this before my suggestions!!

I *think* both buttons are reset - one for electric and one for gas.

The thermostats *may* not be contacting the tank, allowing the water to get too hot and the high limit (reset) to go off.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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Could well be. I don't have the electric so button on left does nothing.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #8
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If none of those suggestions work...another possibility is that the electric element has burned out which prevents the heater from heating on gas or electric. You will need to ohm the heating element to know that.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by daveandsandyclink View Post
If none of those suggestions work...another possibility is that the electric element has burned out which prevents the heater from heating on gas or electric. You will need to ohm the heating element to know that.
I do not believe this is correct. The 110V and propane heating systems are completely separate and not connected in any way.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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I am not completely sure that's correct Doug but I believe that my 2003 Suburban gas/electric hot water heater did not work from an experience when I mistakenly burned out the electric element. It was wired in series with the heater's propane valve. It's only a suggestion to consider and only takes a few minutes to confirm.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveandsandyclink View Post
I am not completely sure that's correct Doug but I believe that my 2003 Suburban gas/electric hot water heater did not work from an experience when I mistakenly burned out the electric element. It was wired in series with the heater's propane valve. It's only a suggestion to consider and only takes a few minutes to confirm.
I would be VERY surprised. The propane valve is 12V DC. The electric heating element is 120V AC. See figure 6 in http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/subsw.pdf
The thermostat and limit switches are NOT shared due to the differing voltages and currents involved (see page 18 of the same document.)
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:58 AM   #12
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Your right Doug...it's got to be something common to the entire system. Thanks for the electronic document. I haven't seen him reply. Maybe it's fixed. I nothing else have it looked at by a RV technician.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:37 AM   #13
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Update:
Had the RV Tech come by and look at the hot water tank-
One of the first things he did was check the "circuit board" he said sometimes they get dirty he used an eraser to buff up the four little electronic panels - voila- the propane worked after that.
One problem that he did see was that the circuit board was directly on the floor beside the hot water tank, where it appeared to be affected a bit by water ( maybe dripping during winterization etc.) he said they are usually up off the floor - they actually come with a piece of foam on the bottom - ours was just screwed directly on the floor - probably not the best place.
The electrical he checked all the electrical ohms/ amps etc. We asked him about the reset buttons- he said they really are not a reset, they don't do much. The right side( where the rest buttons are) is the 12v and the left side is the 120v. He said because we had hot water on electric then it went to Luke warm, it was likely the thermostat, which it was- replaced the and now the electric is working as well.
I'm not 100% sure but it seems like the main thing that propane and electric have in common is the " circuit" board.
Hope that helps a bit.
We're just glad it's fixed, the fact that they both stopped working one after the other was just a fluke I guess.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #14
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Glad to hear it is doubly fixed. The circuit board is only for the gas - it controls the igniter and gas valve. See the diagrams in the manual I referenced. I think you had 2 unrelated failures - 110V thermostat and dirty/wet circuit board contacts.

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Old 04-21-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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Sounds right,
Thanks
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:30 AM   #16
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Any idea what he meant by saying "they're not really reset buttons".
When my buddy had a problem with his 19 water heater, Reace told him to press the reset. He did and it worked.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #17
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Any idea what he meant by saying "they're not really reset buttons".
When my buddy had a problem with his 19 water heater, Reace told him to press the reset. He did and it worked.
They should really be called "temperature circuit breakers" (aka high-limit switches) - they trip if the water gets too hot. If things are working right they should never trip. If they do need to be reset it is usually because the thermostat failed or is not touching the tank. And they will need to be reset until the thermostat problem is fixed.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #18
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My water pump went out last summer, leaking into the compartment. In replacing it I noticed the circuit board on the floor also, although at the time I didn't realize it was a circuit board. Fortunately, none of the water that leaked got into it, but I made it a point to raise it up off the floor anyway. Reace told me later that that fix has been done.
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