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Old 07-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

I need to refresh my brain with the start-up instructions.....I have a new (this year) 17B trailer with the dual hot water tank (electric and propane). I've gone camping a few times and have used almost everything my trailer has except the hot water tank. I'm planning on trying it out next time out. Can someone post a list of the steps I need to take in order to start up my electric hot water? and if possible another list of steps for starting up the propane hot water? I think I have figured it out but I would like someone to confirm the steps so I am not missing something. I've done a search on the forum but I have not found it...although I am most certain it probably is already listed somewhere...please post the link if you know of one. Of course, I was told when I picked up my trailer, but that was a few months ago...
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

First....make sure there is water in your water heater (Alf will elaborate on why that is important). Just turn your hot water faucet on until there is no air, only water. Of course, you'll either have to be connected to water or have your fresh water tank full and your water pump to the on position.
Second....for electric (and you must be plugged into power source or generator), just turn the switch on your water heater (accessed from the outside panel) to the on (electric) position. It does the rest, and will heat each time you are plugged in. Just make sure it is in the off position when you drain your hot water heater at the end of the season.
Third....for gas, make sure the electric switch is off on the heater, turn on the gas tank, and press the on switch in the camper (lighting the red light). It will cut off after a few seconds, indicating the pilot is lit. After that, it's automatic too.
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File Type: jpg waterheater2.jpg (44.0 KB, 34 views)
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:08 PM   #3
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

The electric switch is buried within the heater. Here are two pictures that may help in finding the electric switch, which is in the lower left hand corner. And as Hokie said, be sure there is water in the tank before you turn on the electric heater. Otherwise the heating element will burn out.

Edit. Sorry, hit the limit on picture size so that overall view of the heater is not shown.

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Old 07-26-2011, 05:39 AM   #4
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

Hi: nadia...Yes I'll admit to a senior moment...when operating the hot water heater on electricity!!! MAKE SURE THERE'S WATER IN IT B/4 PRESSING THE SWITCH!!! Nice thing is that a new element was less than 20 bucks installed. WHEW!!!
The operating instructions are covered in the owners manuals both trailer and water heater.
As HokieEscape wrote all the steps... my addition would be to make sure the bypass valves allow the water to flow into the hot water tank. That is where I slipped up... thinking it was full and yes... burning out the element. Alf
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

Someone just this week told me that you could add a "hot rod" to your gas only hot water heater and make it a dual fuel deal! Any one done that? Interesting!
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:52 AM   #6
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

Thank-you everybody for your replies. It is appreciated! So, from what I read here is the list of "things to remember"....

Electric Hot water

1) Fill fresh water tank with water (there are two connections outside on my trailer...one for direct hook-up and one goes into water tank)...
2) Turn hot water taps on inside trailer to get rid of air in lines (cold water will be coming out of hot water taps at this point)...if using water from the tank, turn pump on too.
First question....if I am hooked up to the water supply that goes directly into my trailer and up to the sink...does water from that connection go into the water tank too?
3) Turn on switch outside for the water heater (once the tank is filled )
Second question...I need to remember to flip the switch to "on" on the breaker panel too, right? (it is off right now)
4) Wait and enjoy hot water!
Third & fourth questions....should I turn the switch for the element off outside on the water heater everytime I unplug from electricity or is the element 'smart' and just knows when the electricity is disconnected...I won't be damaging it by leaving it on and unplugging my trailer from electricity? I also have to remember to keep water in the hot water tank at all times if it is on otherwise I'll burn out the element, right? In all the years of owning a trailer (older Bolers), this is the first one that has a hot water tank, I spoiled myself!!
Fifth & sixth questions...inside by the water tank heater, there are some pipes with valves on them...do I need to turn those valves? Are these the bypass valves Alf speaks of? I really should have been paying more attention when "Dave" (I think that's his name) was explaing this to me at my orientation....I was just so darn excited about picking up my trailer!

I have read the info that came with the trailer about the water tank and heater and I watched the video on this site about the new trailer too...I just couldn't figure out if I was missing something.

Gas water heater...

1) basically same as above except instead of turning on the element, I flip the switch on inside the trailer, light goes on and then goes off when the flame is lit.

Thanks for all your help!

Nadia
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

First question - Yes, the hot water goes through the heater (or the bypass if switched this way) with either type of supply.

Second question - Yes, the breaker must be on. You can leave it on if you are switching at the heater. Some use the breaker as a switch and this will work but breakers are not designed to be used as switches especially if getting lots of use. This is why I added an additional switch inside.

Third & Fourth questions - It is a good habit in my mind to always turn it off. It is better to not have it on when you wished you did, rather than have in on when you wished it wasn't (empty heater tank). There will be no damage by leaving it on, just the risk of it being plugged in and empty next time. And yes, always have the tank full when heating.

Fifth & Sixth questions - Those are the bypass valves. it will look something like this I think.

When the valve handles are pointed inline with each other the heater is being bypassed. When they are inline to the feed and outflow from the heater the water is going through the heater. In this picture the tank is being bypassed.

You are bang on with your thoughts on the gas heat.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

My wife wouldn't understand the word "inline" when she looks at the water heater....so if anyone else doesn't, try this:
The water flows in the direction of the "pointer" (the valve switch you are moving). In the picture Jim has above, the "pointer" is pointing up on the bottom and down on the top, meaning the water is going to flow around the "U", bypassing the heater. When you turn the "pointer" horizontally, or "inline" with the pipes going into, and out of, the heater...the water is flowing into and out of the heater as well. Alf has already stated the effect on the heater if this step is skipped : - ( Good luck Nadia. Something quite satisfying about enjoying a good hot shower in the middle of the woods!
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:37 AM   #9
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

Hi: HokieEscape... Thanks for the clarification on the valves Dan!!! The only problem I find about using C/G showers is no Culligan Man... At home he softens the water for us, but Like Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, & Betty Crocker... there's no room for him in the trailer either!!! Alf
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:38 AM   #10
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Re: Step by step hot water tank instructions help....

Dan, I sure hope you checked with the wife before you posted.
She may just know more than you think.
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