Why Is My Camper Hot Water Heater Not Working?

8 Reasons Your Hot Water Heater is Not Working & How to Fix

It is not uncommon for people to use their hot water heater on a daily basis, as opposed to other equipment such as dishwashers and washing machines.Using this equipment, you can wash dishes, shower, do laundry, and wash your hands in warm water, all of which are common everyday duties.As a result of the high volume of water that your family uses on a daily basis, it is not uncommon for difficulties to arise.

  • Tank-style hot water heaters, on the other hand, are designed with a bare minimum of parts to ensure long-term reliability.
  • Even if a problem with your hot water heater requires the services of a professional, you may be capable of repairing it yourself.
  • Our experts have put together a list of common problems with hot water heaters, as well as instructions on how to remedy them.

Water Heater Problems & Solutions

Loose or Damaged In-Line Valve

In contrast to a water leak in the bottom of your water tank, a water leak on the top of your system may be quickly and simply resolved.A faulty in-line valve is one of the most prevalent causes of water tank leaks.Water flow may be activated or deactivated using this handle, which is placed at the top of the water tank and is designed to do so.

  • In order to resolve this issue, you will need to tighten the nut that keeps the ball or in-line valve in place.
  • If the leak gets more serious after the fitting has been tightened, you will need to visit your local hardware shop to purchase a new in-line valve for your water heater, which will cost you around $30.

Damaged Pressure Relief Valve

The majority of water heaters are fitted with a pressure relief valve, which is designed to release pressure from the water tank if the pressure inside the tank becomes excessive.If the valve on the top of your water heater begins to leak, we recommend that you replace it either online or at a local store as soon as possible.A pressure relief valve is easily removed and replaced, and the procedure is straightforward.

  • Find out more about what size heat pump to buy in this article.

No Warm Water

If you have an electric water heater in your house, the most common reason of a lack of warm water is a faulty heating element, which may be repaired or replaced.Your water heater is equipped with two heating elements, each of which is responsible for heating the incoming water in the water tank to a comfortable temperature.After a heating element begins to fail, you will have little to no hot water to use for showering, cleaning, or doing laundry once the problem is identified.

  • On the other hand, there are a range of issues that might prevent the generation of warm water from a gas water heater from functioning properly.
  • An out-of-service pilot light or a defective gas valve are also possible causes of this problem.
  • A thermocouple that has failed in your home may potentially be responsible for a shortage of hot water in your home.
  • With the purchase of replacement components, each of these components may be quickly and simply replaced.
  • It is recommended that if your hot water heater is not functioning properly that you either purchase replacement components or call a certified plumber for assistance with water heater repair.

Low Supply of Hot Water

Do you find yourself running out of hot water on a regular basis?Having a fractured dip tube may have resulted in this problem.Designed to move cold water to the base of your water tank so that it may be heated, this tube is a need.

  • A fracture or hole in the dip tube may begin to appear when the incoming supply of cold water is discharged towards the top or center of your tank.
  • Consequently, the cold water stored on the tank’s top will be distributed to the faucets and showers around your home.
  • You will only be able to resolve this hot water heater problem by replacing the dip tube in your system.
  • Because the procedure of installing a new dip tube is complicated, we recommend that you get assistance from a professional expert.
  • Excess sediment accumulation in your water tank may also be a contributing factor to a lack of warm water supply.
  1. The minerals in water, such as magnesium and calcium, will begin to accumulate at or near the bottom of the water heater’s tank as it approaches the middle of its life cycle.
  2. As the minerals continue to increase in size, the amount of space available in the water tank for storing hot water will diminish.
  3. In order to remedy this issue, you should cleanse your water heater to eliminate the surplus minerals.

Water is Too Warm or Cold

It is possible to modify the temperature of your shower water if the water seems too hot or too cold in your shower by adjusting the settings on your thermostat.Increasing the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit may allow you to save money on your power costs in the long run.In the event that you are concerned about burning or skin irritation, this is an appropriate temperature to employ.

  • Is this temperature a little too chilly for you?
  • You may also lower the temperature of your shower to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to make it more enjoyable to shower.
  • Changing the temperature of your hot water heater does not cause it to operate, and this is an indication that your thermostat has failed.
  • Find a competent plumbing or heating contractor in your region as soon as possible to repair or replace your outdated thermostat.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is not usually the result of a faulty water heater, as previously stated.The flow of water will be regulated before it reaches the skins in our kitchen or bathroom if you reside in an older home with smaller water pipes.The only method to completely address this hot water heater problem is to install new 34 inch water pipes in your system’s distribution system.

  • Calcium deposits in water pipes are another sort of issue that can have a detrimental influence on your water pressure.
  • Water lines will get narrower in diameter when magnesium and calcium begin to build in them as a result of the formation of these minerals.
  • Water from your water heater will be unable to reach your sinks or appliances in a time-efficient manner as a result of this.
  • Because the procedure of replacing water pipes entails the removal of drywall, a typical homeowner who does not possess a plumbing license will not be able to resolve the hot water heater problem described above.
  • More information may be found at: 3 Different Types of Furnace Vents and How They Work

Discolored Water

The water that comes out of your sink in your home should be crystal clear.Do you have water that is discolored in your residence?If you see this, it indicates that the water tank or the anode rod of your water heater is deteriorating.

  • Fortunately, if this problem is discovered in its early stages, it may be resolved.
  • You should contact a competent plumber in your neighbourhood if your hot water heater is not functioning properly.
  • A qualified plumbing or HVAC specialist will be able to simply remove and replace the anode rod in your system with minimal effort on your part.
  • Small fractures may appear on the inside of your water tank as rust begins to spread throughout the interior.
  • Water will seep through the cracks in your house’s floors and furnishings as a result of this.
  1. Unfortunately, most forms of water tank leaks are irreversible and cannot be repaired.
  2. A fresh new system, which will be specifically designed to suit this hot water heater problem, will be necessary.
  3. It is preferable to notify early indicators of corrosion to a specialist in order to guarantee that they are corrected and save money.

Takes a Long Time to Produce Warm Water

Once your water tank is completely depleted, it should not take more than a couple of minutes to refill it with warm water again.If it takes an hour or more for you to obtain warm water from your water heater, this is an indication that the burner orifice has been polluted.A poor supply of hot water, on the other hand, may be resolved by boosting the gas pressure in your water heater.

  • In order to acquire immediate assistance with this hot water heater problem, call a professional technician in your region for aid with cleaning a burner orifice or regulating gas pressure.
  • Give our staff a call at (484) 206-8594 or schedule an appointment on our website if you are experiencing problems with a faulty gas valve, damaged heating components, or fractured dip tube.
  • The residences in your community can benefit from the services provided by our team of highly qualified professionals that provide water heater repair and installation.
  • Repair and installation services are available for water softeners, sewage lines, central air conditioning systems, furnaces, and water lines, among other things.
  • For all sorts of HVAC and plumbing projects, WM Henderson provides up-front pricing.
  1. Our staff does not bill by the hour, but rather by the project.
  2. In addition, we promise your 100% pleasure with any assignment we perform on your behalf.
  3. More information may be found at: 5 Consequences of Having a Clogged Furnace Air Filter

5 Common RV Water Heater Problems and how to solve them

The most recent update was made on November 23, 2020.When traveling in an RV, it is inevitable that difficulties may develop in one form or another.RV water heaters are one of the most often encountered issues.

  • This article will discuss some of the most typical problems that RV water heaters encounter, as well as some troubleshooting techniques.
  • The following are a few of the most often reported RV water heater issues for various types of travel trailers and recreational vehicles.

Common Problem 1: Water Will Not Heat Up

There might be a variety of factors contributing to the water not heating up in the RV.Sometimes all it takes is a simple change of a valve on the water heater itself to solve the problem.This type of valve is referred to as a bypass valve.

  • This valve controls whether or not the water flowing into the water heater will enter the water heater itself and begin to heat.
  • This is how it is configured for a procedure known as weatherization.
  • During the warmer months, a bypass valve will keep other liquids such as antifreeze from leaking into the water heater and inflicting unneeded harm to the system.
  • It is recommended that the valve be in the open position during the winter or when heating is required, and closed when not in use (i.e.
  • when the RV is in storage, or it is determined that hot water wont be necessary for a particular trip.) If this is the case, you now know to close the valve and to keep this in mind the next time.
  1. Another issue to consider is whether or not you have a tankless RV water heater, as opposed to one that has a storage tank.
  2. Whether it is fueled by electricity or by natural gas.
  3. Those who have a tank-style water heater that is fueled by gas should pay close attention to the pilot area, where they can see the flame that is started and generating heat for the water heater.

In the flame, it should be blue in color with yellowish points on the ends.If the flame is yellow, it is possible that there is debris trapped inside the tube, which you would need to remove before continuing.A tankless water heater that is fueled by gas should be inspected to determine if there are any broken parts within the water heater’s casing before using it.Check your owner’s handbook for instructions on how to cleanse the gas and water pipes to remove any debris that may have accumulated.Look for any corroded or broken operating parts that need to be replaced.

Checking the Thermostat

It is necessary to utilize thermostats in order to regulate a certain temperature that may be set for the simultaneous heating and cooling of the water that travels through the RV’s water heater.Because thermostats are one of the most common causes of insufficient water heating or no hot water at all, it is suggested that you do this initial check first.If the thermostat is not working properly, the control circuit board will not be able to complete the process of turning on the heat for the heater as intended.

  • By wriggling the wires between the thermostat sensors and the control circuit board, you can determine whether or not the thermostat is problematic.
  • If the light on the control circuit board blinks on and off, you know you have a malfunctioning thermostat.
  • When inspecting the cables, look for Emergency Cut Off or E.C.O connections, which are also known as E.C.O connectors.
  • Check the connectors for loose terminals or filthy terminals, as well as to make sure they are not damaged or malfunctioning.
  • If the terminals that link to the sensors are loose, you may need to compress them with a tool to ensure that they are a tight fit.
  1. If the E.C.O terminals at the ends of the wires appear to be worn or troublesome, it may be necessary to replace them, too.
  2. Using an electrical cleaner, you may clean the terminals if they are clogged or unclean.
  3. Immediately following the inspection of the emergency cut off connections, inspect the thermal cut off fuse.

Utilize a tool to ensure that the fuse is connected properly.The fuse does not need to be replaced as long as the meter records the presence of a fuse.Attention should be directed towards the thermostat sensors.Purchase some sensors from either the dealer who sold you the RV or a second-hand repair business that specializes in RVs.It is essential that you be aware of the make and model of your RV, as well as the make and model of your water heater, in order to ensure that you have the correct parts.Since you are already in the process of fixing your thermostat, it isn’t a terrible idea to replace the sensors at this point.

That way, if another problem emerges, you will know that it is most likely not related to the thermostat or any sensors associated with it.Once you’ve obtained the necessary components, you may begin replacing the old sensors with the new ones.Consult your owner’s handbook or conduct some research on the internet to find out exactly how to accomplish this.After you’ve double-checked everything, switch on the hot water in the RV and make sure the thermostat is operational.Also keep in mind that there are a variety of various RV water heater types and variants available.

  1. As a result, the specific tests, troubleshooting, and replacements will vary from one to the next.
  2. Make sure to specify the strategy that will be used to solve the problem so that you can carry out your plan of action without difficulty (Note: adjust maintenance checks for electric powered and gas powered water heaters)

Common Problem 2: Water Has A Pungent Odor

When the water in your RV starts to smell nasty, it might be because an anode within the heater has rusted and has to be replaced.This is something you should look into.The anode gathers bacteria that has made its way into the water heating system and has the potential to accumulate over time.

  • All of the bacteria that has accumulated is a sort of sulfide, which is what is responsible for the awful odor.
  • To counteract this, remove the anode and examine it to see whether it can be cleaned or whether it has to be replaced entirely.
  • Follow up by flushing the water heater and the tubing with water that has previously been placed in it to remove any calcium and other buildup that has become loose that may have happened.
  • There are a variety of methods that are effective in removing the buildup that has accumulated inside the water heater system.
  • The first is hydrogen peroxide, and the second is vinegar.
  1. Pour these liquids into your water heater system, or if you have discovered another liquid solution to utilize, pour those into your water heater system and allow them to sit for a time so that the liquids may begin to eat away at and loosen up the calcified regions in your system.
  2. Remove any remaining liquids and loose debris from the water heater system and flush it with clean distilled water or water that is readily available once it has been cleaned.
  3. Continue to do so until you are satisfied that there is no more loose debris or buildup inside the system, then stop.
See also:  What Is Better Tankless Or Standard Water Heater?

Replacing any items that have been removed will leave you clean and ready to go!

Common Problem 3: Soot Build Up

Soot accumulation is a concern regardless of whether it is a common one or a rare one.You could argue that soot buildup is not a serious issue and that it is typical for soot to accumulate while a gas-powered heater is in use.We disagree.

  • However, this is not totally correct.
  • Smog buildup might indicate that there are loose or misaligned parts in your RV’s water heater, which could indicate a problem with the water heater.
  • Things like loose wiring or broken insulation on those cables are examples of what I’m talking about.
  • It is possible that failing to pay attention to these specific occasions can result in an unintended fire.
  • If the functioning elements of the water heater are misaligned and the problem is not addressed immediately, a subsequent failure of the water heater system is almost certain to occur.
  1. Soot buildup on the main burner can be caused by blockages in the burner.
  2. In this situation, it is possible that the primary burner is not properly oriented, and soot buildup may be the least of your concerns in the long term.
  3. The primary burner is misaligned and not burning what it is meant to be burning.

What is it actually burning is a mystery.To put it another way, consider of soot buildup as a sort of warning or check light, alerting you to the fact that you need to conduct some regular maintenance on your water heater.A clogged U tube, also known as the burner tube, appears in the majority of remedies for issues with a water heater on a consistent basis.It, too, might be a contributing factor to soot buildup in the vicinity of the water heater.Soot buildup on the air shutter for the main burner might indicate that the shutter itself is not correctly set, which would indicate that the shutter itself is not properly adjusted.While a faulty air shutter may appear to be a minor inconvenience, keep in mind that every component of the RV’s water heater system is working together to fulfill the duty for which it was built and installed.

As a result, if one element of the system is out of sync, it will produce a ripple effect throughout the entire system.

Common Problem 4: Pilot Not Lighting

Referring back to problem number one, it is possible that this is the apparent cause of your water not heating up.Here are a few conditions to keep an eye out for if you want to go more into this issue.If you have an obstruction in the U tube (burner tube), there is an aperture in the tube that will allow you to insert a tiny wire brush and clear away any impediment that may be in the way.

  • Alternatively, if you have some compressed air and a nozzle, you may spray pressurized air into the tube to clean it out.
  • The thermocouple is weak; it might be rusted, or it could simply need to be replaced.
  • Uneven air pressure adjustment These are a some of the items that might be interfering with the operation of your pilot.

Common Problem 5: Erratic Main Burner Flame

This is referred to as an intermittent flame, or simply the fact that the flame comes on and off periodically.While there might be a variety of factors contributing to this, the most typical is a blockage of some form.Whatever the source, whether it is in the burner tube or in the main burner itself.

  • You should also be aware of the location of the gas supply pipe.
  • This item may have been twisted and should be replaced as soon as possible before future usage.
  • Clear away any obstructions, just like you did with the prior solutions.
  • Make use of the tools essential to complete the task, and remember that if you are unsure of what to do, switch off the system and get assistance from a technician.
  • Maintaining equipment on a regular basis will very certainly prevent the most, if not all, of these issues.
  1. It is impossible for maintenance to take place if the property owner does not put in place a plan.
  2. It is totally your responsibility to ensure that your magnificent RV or Travel Trailer is kept in good condition.

Doing the maintenance

Take into consideration the fact that these are concise descriptions of difficulties and answers to frequent situations.Maintaining your vehicle properly and thoroughly should be done two weeks before departure, one week and a day before departure, and the day before departure before departing for your vacation.This gives you enough time to gather pieces and address any issues that may have arisen without your knowledge or consent.

  • Because of the excitement, it’s easy to forget, but performing an RV water heater maintenance check ahead of time will save you a lot of difficulty and, even more importantly, money!
  • Always remember to bring the owner’s handbook for your RV as well as any mechanical functioning components with you on your vacation.
  • If you are not confident in your ability to do these inspections, schedule time before your travel to have your RV inspected by a licensed technician in the trade.
  • They will go over the system checks with you and make sure that the car or trailer is ready for the journey ahead of you.
  • In addition, request that the technician demonstrate some frequent difficulties that may arise when driving the RV or trailer, and request that he or she demonstrate how to counter these problems with appropriate remedies.
  1. A mechanic would be more than pleased to offer you with the information and graphics that you requested.
  2. You will feel lot more at ease knowing that you can provide a nice environment for you, your family, and friends while on your trip.
  3. Here’s one more bit of guidance.

When you or a professional performs a pre-trip maintenance check, you may be able to purchase spare parts to have on hand in case it becomes essential to replace certain components during the voyage.Once again, it will save you time and money by eliminating towing costs and storage expenses for your RV while it is being kept in a yard someplace.Following this advice will almost certainly result in a seamless transition from home to vacation destination and back home again, while remaining safe, comfortable, and sound on the journey.

13 Common Water Heater Problems (Tricks to Fix)

Modern water heaters are meant to last for a long period of time.The majority of them come with lengthy warranties, and you hope to be able to use them without issue for many years in the future.The combination of heat, water, and all of the many components that make them function, however, will always result in issues.

  • Many problems with your heater are not life-threatening, and the key to repairing them is accurately diagnosing what is wrong with it.
  • Here are our top 13 water heater problems – along with some advise on how to address them – to aid you in your diagnostic process.

Before you start

There are many different types of water heaters available, including ones that run on gas and those that run on electricity.You should use extreme caution while working with an electric water heater since they are high-voltage equipment.Before you begin working on the heater’s electrical components, be certain that the power has been switched off – this involves turning off the breaker for your heater at the service panel – before you begin.

  • Another precaution you should take is to use a voltage tester to check all of the wires before you start working with them.
  • It is possible that failure to do so will result in significant harm or perhaps death.

1. No hot water

In the event that you are experiencing no hot water, there are various probable causes, and you must work through each of them carefully in order to eliminate each one – and this will also depend on whether you have an electric or a gas-powered heater.In the most obvious case, an electric heater is unable to function because no electricity is being supplied to the heater.Begin by looking for tripped circuit breakers and resetting them if they are still in place.

  • If this has happened, there is a simple solution: simply switch the computer off and on again.
  • It is possible that you may need to replace the fuse if it has blown.
  • The next step is to verify that the high-temperature cutoff is operational.
  • Open the panel and hit the red ″reset″ button to restart the system.
  • Check to see whether the water is now able to warm up.
  1. You might also have a heating element or components that are malfunctioning, which is another option.
  2. These should be tested and replaced if necessary.
  3. If, after testing each of them, you are still unable to identify the source of your lack of hot water, it may be necessary to seek expert assistance.

Ensure that the gas valve is open if you are using a gas space heater or heater.If this is not the case, you may be experiencing difficulties with the pilot or the burner.Check out numbers 10, 11, and 12 below to discover how to deal with these problems.To learn more about how to troubleshoot an electric water heater in greater depth, please watch the video below:

2. Not enough hot water or water not hot enough

When it comes to not having enough hot water, the explanation for this will vary depending on the sort of water heater you have.The problem with your heater if it has a tank might be as simple as the tank being insufficiently large for your purposes.If your tank is too small for the amount of people who will be showering, for example, you may run out of hot water before everyone has done their showering.

  • If this is the case, you should consider investing in a new water heater that can accommodate your requirements.
  • If your heater previously provided enough hot water for everyone but has abruptly stopped or is no longer capable of heating the water enough, the problem is most likely due to a faulty heating element.
  • Examine them and replace them if required.
  • Another fast cure is to check the thermostat — you may just need to raise the temperature by a few degrees.
  • Also keep in mind that, during the winter, you may need to raise the thermostat setting since the groundwater you are heating comes at a lower temperature than in the summer.
  1. If you have a tankless heater, you may be trying to run more fixtures than the unit’s power can handle.
  2. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to see how many fixtures the unit can handle.
  3. You might be experiencing difficulties because your heater is not strong enough for your needs.

Tankless heaters must also work harder in the winter, so if you are experiencing this issue during the colder months, it is possible that this is the cause of your problem.Upgrades to a more powerful unit may be necessary in your situation.

3. Water too hot

That the thermostat has been set too high is almost probably the cause of the problem, but it is a simple problem to fix.Simply reduce the temperature on your thermostat and you should be set to go.The temperature pressure valve should be checked if this does not solve the problem; if it is malfunctioning, the heater will not shut off when it reaches the proper temperature.

  • This is a potentially dangerous condition, and you will need to replace the valve as soon as you possibly can.

4. Water takes too long to heat

Among the possible causes of water taking a long time to heat are malfunctioning heating elements, silt buildup on the components, and a malfunctioning thermostat, among others. Ensure that you check each of these items in turn and replace them as necessary. If you have a gas-powered model, the problem might be due to the burner – see12 for more details.

5. Low water pressure

Low water pressure is frequently caused by a lack of sufficient width in the pipes.Pipes in older homes are typically 12 inches in diameter, but pipes in newer homes are often 3 inches in diameter.If you live in an older house and are experiencing low water pressure, it is possible that the problem may not stem from the boiler at all.

  • Instead, you may need to consider installing bigger pipes in your home to remedy the problem at hand.

6. Leaks

Leaks can occur as a consequence of loose connections, in which case you will need to tighten them using a wrench to prevent further damage. They can also emanate from valves, which can be changed if necessary. If the leak originates from the tank, the situation is more serious since the tank may be rusted. Corrosion will cause your tank to fail completely, and you will have to replace it.

7. Dirty water

If the color of your water begins to change to a nasty rust, you are most likely dealing with corrosion within your tank. The only way to fix this is to replace the tank entirely. However, it is possible that the problem is caused by a failing anode rod; thus, before replacing the tank, flush the tank and replace the anode rod to see whether this resolves the issue.

8. Smelly water

If your water has a foul odor, it is possible that bacteria in your heater is to blame.This is especially prevalent if your water is obtained from a well, as it is in most cases.Flushing your tank may be beneficial, or you may try boiling the water to the highest temperature possible to eliminate all of the bacteria.

  • It may be necessary to wipe it out with chlorine bleach if this does not work.
  • The stench of rotten eggs in your water might be caused by a malfunctioning anode rod, in which case you should replace it immediately.

9. Tank makes noises

It is possible for water heaters to create noise for a variety of reasons.As the water heats up, rumbling, popping, and banging sounds are produced by a build-up of scale in the tank and on the heating components.This is the most prevalent cause of the noises.

  • If this is the case, emptying and descaling the tank may be necessary.
  • To avoid this problem from arising in the first place, you should totally flush the tank out every few months to keep it clean.
  • Depending on how serious the situation grows, you may be forced to replace the tank entirely.
  • Because of the usual expansion and contraction caused by heat, water heaters and pipes might create noise from time to time.
  • This is completely safe, but there isn’t much you can do to prevent the noise.

10. Pilot doesn’t light

There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing problems with your pilot light.If it won’t light in the first place, it might be because the pilot light orifice or tube is blocked – or it could simply be that the pilot light needs to be replaced.Another possibility is that the thermocouple is defective or has come away from its socket.

  • It is also possible that there is air in the gas line or that the gas valve is malfunctioning.
See also:  What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need

11. Pilot lights and then goes out

If the light comes on but then goes out, the reasons for this might be the same. It is possible that the thermocouple has to be replaced, that you have a defective gas valve, or that the vent has been clogged.

12. Burner goes out

This is most likely a similar issue to the one that was causing the pilot light to malfunction. It might be caused by a clogged orifice, a fault with the thermocouple, or a clogged orifice and vent.

13. No hot water for bathtub

Even if you have no difficulty utilizing your shower or operating a dishwasher or washing machine, you may be experiencing difficulties getting hot water to run a bath.The issue might stem from your heater’s design.If you have a tankless heater, this is most likely the source of the problem.

  • Tankless water heaters heat water as it runs through them, providing you with an endless supply of hot water on demand at all times.
  • However, if the water passes through the system too rapidly, it will not have enough time to heat up properly.
  • Showers and other uses do not necessitate such a big volume of water, thus the water will be heated to the temperature you anticipate it to be.
  • The water flow required to operate a bath, on the other hand, is significantly higher, and your tankless heater may simply not be able to keep up with it.
  • If this is the case, you will need to look into other options for heating your bath, since your tankless unit will not be able to provide you with the hot water that you require.

Identify the problem early

Often, the most essential thing you can do is recognize an issue as soon as possible and take efforts to resolve it as soon as possible. If you ignore the situation, it will only worsen and will almost certainly result in you having to pay more money in the future. And now that you’ve read this guide, you should have a solid sense of where to begin your search.

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting & How To Fix It

RV water heater troubleshooting is a pretty straightforward process if you understand how the equipment operates at its most basic level.A book could be written to detail everything that may go wrong with an RV water heater, but this item will provide a quick review of water heater functioning and the most common and easily resolved issues.After all, camping without access to running water isn’t much fun.

  • By being familiar with the fundamentals of RV water heaters ahead of time, you may be able to avoid the hassle of having to break camp and travel to an RV repair shop.
  • Although it is not impossible to survive without warm water, it might be quite difficult if you haven’t prepared for it ahead of time.
  • Taking a cold shower is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, especially on those already chilly summer mornings,″ according to the majority.
  • RV Care’s Art explains.
  • Disclaimer: Working with propane and electricity may be extremely hazardous to your health.
  1. If you are not familiar with the proper methods of working with these two types of energy, take your RV to a service facility.

Types of RV water heaters

  • This post will focus on the most popular types of water heaters used in recreational vehicles, which consist of a tank that is predominantly heated by the combustion of propane gas as its primary source of heat. Some models will additionally have an electric element that may be used in place of or in conjunction with the propane to heat water more quickly than the propane alone. Manual Gas Valve: As the name implies, the manual gas valve that regulates the flow of propane is operated by the user. Located on the exterior of the RV, this valve makes use of a standing pilot light that must be lighted from the outside of the RV in order to function properly.
  • The DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) kind of water heater is the most popular type of water heater found in RVs nowadays. These types allow the user to turn on the propane burner on the water heater from the interior of the RV by just flipping a switch. For further information on how DSI works, please see this page.
  • In addition to the submerged electric element mentioned above, RV water heaters can be provided with an electric element that can be used to heat the water within the tank.

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting

  • Before you can begin attempting to repair your RV water heater, you must first discover why it is not functioning as it was intended. To begin, make certain that the problem is not caused by a lack of supplies. Here is a list of the things you will need to look for: The input of the water heater is being supplied with pressurized freshwater. The most straightforward way to check this is to open the pressure relief valve, which is situated towards the top of the water heater. If water is leaking, it does not indicate a problem with the supply. When opening the valve, proceed with caution since scorching might occur if hot water is present.
  • Propane: Check to see that your propane cylinders are operational and that all other appliances are functioning properly. After that, try to fire the water heater and check for any evidence of propane escaping via the gas valve by looking or smelling around. The next step is to ″crack″ open the gas line where it enters the gas valve to check for propane fleeing the gas line by smell, sound, or soapy water poured on the fitting if you are not sure whether you have propane flowing to the water heater (and there are no nearby ignition sources present). When you’re finished, tighten the fitting and check for leaks with soapy water poured directly onto the fitting. Click here to find out what might happen if you leave a gas line open for an extended period of time.
  • 12 Volts Direct Current (also known as battery power): If you have a DSI water heater, you will need to make sure that when the water heater switch is switched on inside the RV, a full 12 volts DC is delivered to the water heater to ensure that it operates properly. A wiring diagram may be found in the owner’s handbook for the water heater.
  • 120 Volts alternating current (also known as shore power): If your water heater is equipped with an electric element, check to see that the switch(s) that controls the electric element is switched on and that 120 volts is present by using a volt Ohm meter in a safe environment.

RV Water Heater Repairs

If you were unable to identify a water supply problem using the techniques outlined above, the following are the most typical problems encountered by RV water heaters, as well as suggestions for how to resolve them.

Manual Valve Water Heaters

Problem: Pilot won’t stay lit

Check that the thermocouple is clear of soot, that it is centered in the flame of the pilot light, and that it is screwed into the control valve securely.B) Disassemble and clean the pilot burner, pilot orifice, and pilot tubing (if applicable).Only use compressed air to clean an orifice because drill bits and other sharp objects might cause the aperture to become larger than necessary.

  • You may learn more about how to test a thermocouple using a volt-Ohm meter by visiting this page.
  • If the two actions listed above do not resolve the issue, you most likely have a faulty thermocouple or control valve on your hands.
  • Gas valves cannot be repaired or replaced.
  • It is never recommended to try to repair something.

Problem: Pilot stays on, but main burner won’t light

Ensure that the valve is switched to the ″On″ position in step one. B) Inspect the aperture for clogs and, if necessary, clean it. C) The pilot is activated, but no gas is released from the valve when the valve is switched to the ″On″ position. The valve is most certainly in need of replacement.

DSI water heaters

Problem: Won’t ignite (Nothing happens when the switch is turned on inside the RV)

Check to see that 12 volts is being delivered to the control board.The thermostat or high limit switch, both of which have a reset button, can be used to interrupt voltage.A) Three things should happen when 12 volts is applied to the board (assuming the board is correctly grounded): 1) The board will start discharging high voltage to the igniter as soon as it is turned on.

  • 2) The gas valve will be supplied with 12 volts by the board.
  • 3) If a flame is detected, the board will continue to supply 12 volts to the gas valve until the flame is extinguished.
  • If there is no flame detected, the board will turn off the electricity to the gas valve.
  • If problems with items 1 and/or 2 do not occur, check the fuse in the circuit board, if one is provided.
  • If the fuse is in excellent working order, the board is most likely damaged and has to be repaired or replaced.
  1. The majority of RV repair shops are equipped with a circuit board tester that can test all three functions of the circuit board.

Problem: Sparks appear at the igniter, but won’t ignite

A) There is no gas coming from the valve – check that 12 volts are reaching the valve and that it is grounded.It is possible that the valve is stuck if 12 volts are available; otherwise, the valve will most likely need to be replaced.If 12 volts are present, softly tap the valve as it may be jammed.

  • B) The valve opens, but there is no gas to the burner.
  • Make sure there are no impediments in the orifice.

Problem: Ignites, but won’t stay burning

A) Inspect the wire connections for the igniter, since the signal indicating the presence of a flame may not be reaching the control board. B) Check to see that the igniter is centered and that it can ″feel″ the fire. If necessary, make the necessary adjustments. C) Remove any soot or rust from the igniter’s surface.

Both manual and DSI water heaters

Problem: Main burner “roars” excessively, causes soot around the exhaust port, or has a yellow flame

A) Check to see that the burner tube is free of impediments such as spider webs, wasp nests, and so on. Clean as often as necessary. B) The air-to-gas combination is not proper. Adjust the air flow according to the manufacturer’s recommendations until the flame is a bright blue hue..

Electric Element

Problem: There is no hot water when operating the water heater solely on electric

A) Verify that the element is receiving 120 volts alternating current.The thermostat or high limit switch, both of which have a reset button, can be used to interrupt voltage.The element’s resistance should be checked using a volt-Ohm meter after the power has been turned off and the cables have been detached from the element.

  • The right resistance value may be discovered in the owner’s handbook of the device.
  • If there is no resistance, the element is faulty and must be replaced immediately.
  • Take note that while using an electric water heater, you must ensure that the electric element is completely submerged in water.
  • Otherwise, the element will rapidly burn out.
  • Check out this informative video that explains the major components of RV water heaters, what they perform, where they are situated, how to maintain them, and some other RV water heater troubleshooting hints.
  1. Water heater troubleshooting in an RV may be accomplished quickly and easily with a little prior knowledge and a few simple instruments.
  2. Hopefully, the information you’ve gained will assist you in being more prepared going forward.

Track your RV maintenance

Make use of an internet application such as Maintain My RV to keep track of all of your RV’s maintenance requirements. The ability to maintain all of your maintenance records and documentation in one place, as well as receiving timely alerts via email when maintenance is needed, can help you prevent a costly repair or major accident in the future, among other benefits.

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It’s the desire to travel, the freedom of being on the open road.It is not the goal that is important, but rather the trip.It is on a journey around the world.

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Step 2: Step 2: Make a plan for your ideal RV vacation.Step 3: Take pleasure in the wonderful recollections!Follow Dave’s RV travels as he explores the American West in quest of forgotten and unusual locations to visit.For Dave, home is wherever you park your car, and the more isolated the location, the better!

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Made Easy

The fact that you can only get cold water when you attempt to wash off the dirt from a hard day’s play may quickly ruin a wonderful vacation.If the water heater in your recreational vehicle is not operating correctly, nothing can ruin a vacation faster.This is made much more aggravating if you are new to the mobile vehicle lifestyle and have no prior experience with RV water heater troubleshooting procedures or an understanding of how your hot water system operates.

  • RV water heater troubleshooting does not have to be tough, regardless of your degree of mechanical expertise.
  • You may even take pleasure in the gratification of a hot shower while also knowing that you identified what was causing your RV water heater to malfunction in the first place with the aid of this expert-taught, step-by-step video.
  • Best of all, you won’t have to worry about driving your RV to a repair and waiting days to hear back on your decision.
  • You may complete the task in your driveway, and most likely for a lower cost!
  • The entire process is discussed in detail and is simple to comprehend, from ensuring that your system has the fuel and power it requires to ensuring that all connections and components are in correct operating order.
  1. This video will explain how the water heater system on an Atwood RV is supposed to operate in just a few short minutes of your valuable time, and then proceed to assist you in diagnosing your problem in a safe and efficient manner.
See also:  How To Filter Dirty Water In The Wild?

How to Diagnose Your Water Heater’s Issue

RV maintenance and repair specialist Dave Solberg leads you through a brief inspection and explanation of each component in order to assist you in getting your water heater system back up and working like new.First and foremost, you should ensure that gas is being delivered to your appliances through the proper channels.To begin, turn on the stovetop burner and watch for a constant flow of water with a firm flame.

  • Using a voltage meter, check the input to the heater, which should be at least 10.5 volts to ensure that it is working properly.
  • After confirming that this is the case and that you are receiving sufficient voltage, you will use a test light to work your way backward from the thermostat to the coil.
  • In this video, Dave discusses what you should do if the thermostat is not receiving electricity (e.g.
  • replacing a broken fusible link).
  • Consider the following scenario: you turn on your computer but do not hear a click.
  1. This most likely indicates that the coil has been damaged and must be fixed or replaced.
  2. If you hear a click but do not see a flame, it is possible that you have a clogged orifice or a faulty valve.
  3. These are readily cleaned and/or replaced if necessary.

Last but not least, switch off the LP system and look for a spark to complete the RV water heater troubleshooting method.If you don’t receive a spark, it’s possible that your system has a bent electrode or carbon grounding.Once again, a simple repair and a quick solution.Okay, but what happens if you go through each of these procedures and are still unable to determine what is wrong?Please send us a note or send us an email with your problem!We’ll be pleased to talk it through with you and come up with the best solution possible.

How RV Repair Club Makes Maintenance Simple

Using this clear and simple video and conversation, you can quickly decide which replacement component or repair work will be required to restore complete operation to your water heater.To quickly discover the information you want, pause and restart this RV water heater troubleshooting video at critical moments, or go back and forward in it.During your system examination, you may even use your smart phone or tablet to view this instructional movie so that you can quickly distinguish between the numerous components, wires, and connections while referring to the screen at each step of the way.

  • You could also look through the RV Repair Club archives to find other troubleshooting ideas for your water heater and other important components of your vehicle.
  • All bases are covered, and new films are released regularly to answer all of your RV maintenance and repair issues, such as in-depth guides to understanding your RV plumbing and water systems, which are available on our YouTube channel.
  • Furthermore, unlike some lower-quality RV water heater repair films, you will not be subjected to irritating advertising or efforts at comedy when all you really want is a hot shower.
  • Prepare to troubleshoot the hot water system in your recreational vehicle right now!

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide

Hey!This website is financed by its readers, and we receive compensation if you make a purchase from a store after clicking on a link on our website.Throughout this post, we’ll go over the most effective ways to manage and troubleshoot your hot water system, as well as its associated hot water heater.

  • You may not be concerned about some of these issues because your hot water is heated by solar energy systems, such as water bags that hang outside and heat the water naturally.
  • However, if you are like the majority of RVers who rely on electric or propane to heat their water, you may be interested in some of the things to keep an eye out for when using your RV’s water heater.

I’m not getting any hot water, what should I do?

The fact that you are not getting any hot water can be caused by a variety of circumstances, but the two most significant ones to evaluate first are whether you are receiving a cold water supply when the faucet is switched on or whether you are not receiving any water at all when the faucet is opened.Take a deep breath and remember that both issues are generally readily identified.Providing you are receiving a water supply to your cold water valves, you may rule out your water pump if you are not connected to a continuous pressured water source, such as those found in most campsites that provide you with drinking water.

  • if your water heater tank is completely full and the system is pressured or charged, but you are still receiving cold water via your hot water valves, the first thing to check is whether or not your water heater is receiving water supply to operate.
  • It’s possible that if you’ve been following my writings, you recall a prior column on winterizing an RV, in which I discussed the right method for bypassing your water supply to the water heater.
  • In light of these considerations, the first thing I would do is check the water supply to my hot water heater.
  • The blue cold-water line valve, as well as the red line that feeds your hot water, are both in the closed position as shown in this picture.
  • Another thing that you can notice is that the bypass line that connects the two of them has a valve that is open.
  1. When you arrange your water system in this manner, you are bypassing the water heater, which means that any hot water faucet in your system will not function.
  2. Water flow via RV’s supply system should be configured in the manner depicted above for optimal performance.
  3. When looking at this shot, you can see that the bypass line’s inline valve is closed, but the cold-water supply line and the hot-water supply line are both completely open.

If your water heater is not adjusted in this manner, you will not be able to obtain hot water.Tips: Inline valves, such as the ones seen in these two photographs, are valves that have handles, and when the handle is ″in-line″ with the pipe or hose, the valve is open.

The valves are right, the water is running…and still no cold water. Now what?

If you’re getting a steady flow of water via your hot water taps but still don’t have any hot water, the next step is to check the power supply to your water heater for a problem.Check to see if your water heater is receiving the electrical power it requires to work correctly.The importance of this is especially vital if your water heater is electric, but it may be just as critical for propane types as well.

  • For example, an electric water heater requires an electrical charge in order to run and heat the components required to keep your water hot when you need it.
  • The same can be said about propane systems, with the exception that they rely on the electrical system of your RV to give a charge to an ignitor that ignites a propane system when the temperature of the water goes below a predetermined threshold.
  • This is why each kind of system contains an ignitor, which is responsible for activating your water heater, and why a complete check of the ignitor should be performed.
  • If you discover that your water heater’s ignitor is inefficient during its inspection, you should replace it as soon as possible.

My water is hot, but I hear this loud roaring sound when I want to use it. What’s that?

In this case, you have an issue with propane-heated water that has to be addressed as quickly as possible.As a precaution, I would advise you to minimize the usage of your water heater until the problem has been identified and fixed.When your propane burners make a loud noise while they are operating, it is most likely because they are operating at too low a pressure for the situation.

  • Or to put it another way, the supply of oxygen outweighs the supply of propellant, and there isn’t the required balance of gases to keep your system operating at peak performance.
  • While I don’t advocate that people who aren’t skilled in the heating and cooling sector perform maintenance on gas equipment, regulating the airflow to your propane heater is often a straightforward procedure.
  • One fundamental criterion to remember is that your flame should be the color of blue to begin with.
  • Your flame will be predominantly yellow or orange if there is too much or too little oxygen in the air.
  • What looks to be a sleeve on the fresh air intake pipe is indeed what you’re looking at in the photo above, and that’s precisely what it is.
  1. An very small set screw may be found just to the right of the vents that regulate the correct air flow to the burner.
  2. By loosening this screw, you may move the sleeve to the right or left, which will increase or decrease the amount of fresh air supplied to the burner, therefore adjusting the correct flame for your particular burner.
  3. Recall that an excessive amount of oxygen will cause your flame to roar and turn blue with yellow and orange highlights, whereas an insufficient amount of oxygen will cause your flame to be primarily yellow.

If the latter occurs, your mixture is excessively rich, and your burner will create an excessive amount of solid waste, which is referred to as sooting, as a result.Sooting is readily identified since there will be a buildup of black soot above the exhaust port on the exterior of your RV, which is where the access panel to your water heater is situated, which will indicate that it is occurring.

I sometimes see water dripping from my water heater access panel. What causes that?

All water heaters, whether for residential use or recreational vehicles, are provided with a release valve.When water is heated, it begins to expand and create steam, which causes pressure to build up.While pressure relief valves are intended to reduce this pressure automatically, it is not uncommon to witness them ″leaking″ when they are in proper operating order.

  • This, on the other hand, is a symptom that you have the temperature of your water heater set too high.
  • It is recommended that you lower the temperature settings on your water heater to resolve the issue.
  • It is recommended that you replace the valve as soon as possible if it continues to leak.
  • This should resolve your problem completely.

My hot water supply flow is slow, is that normal?

A common reason for low pressure is the consequence of a large number of valves or faucets being turned on at the same time.While boondocking, it is very important to have enough water pressure to open faucets because your water pump will not be able to provide it.Using only one water faucet at a time would be my recommendation in this situation.

  • If the problem persists, adding a water pump that provides additional pressure, such as the one seen below may be in order.
  • Published on March 4, 2022 / Affiliate links included / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API

My water has a foul odor, what can I do about that?

  • The presence of foul odors in your water system is typically produced by stale or old water in your tanks, or in rare situations, by the fact that you have overfilled your water tanks. It has happened to me on several occasions while traveling around this nation that I have filled my freshwater tanks with water that I have felt tasted strange. This is not unusual because different sections of the nation have distinct geological water tables that contain different components, all of which will affect the taste of the water in the long run. To begin with, I would recommend that you install a decent water filter in your system. You should, however, try cleansing out your water system if the unpleasant odor or taste continues to bother you. My earlier post on sanitizing your water system discussed how to correctly do so and why it is vital to maintain your water system clean and properly sanitized. You should read that article for more information on how to clean your water system properly. Published on March 4, 2022 / Affiliate links included / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API Thank you, as usual, for taking the time to read my columns. Best of luck on your travels, and I hope to see you out on the open road again soon. Are you having problems with other components of your RV? Also, have a look at these resources. Also, make sure to read our whole post on how to set up your RV plumbing. RV electrical system troubleshooting
  • RV air conditioning system troubleshooting
  • RV maintenance manual in its entirety
  • and

RV Shower Getting Cold? RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

If your RV’s water heater fails unexpectedly, you might be in for a nasty surprise on your hands.There’s nothing more frustrating than getting into the shower and realizing that there is no hot water!There are a few frequent causes of water heater problems to be aware of.

  • Every one of them will be discussed in detail, so you can become a specialist at RV water heater troubleshooting in no time!

Is Your RV Water Heater Not Heating Water?

Of course, when it comes to RV water heater troubleshooting, the most typical problem you’ll run across is cold water that isn’t being heated properly.There might be a number of factors contributing to your water not heating up.If your propane supply valve is not turned on, one possibility is that it is.

  • Another possibility is that a fuse in the electrical system blew.
  • If you accidentally shut off your propane and forgot to switch it back on (for example, after de-winterizing your RV for the season), the solution is straightforward – simply turn on the propane again!
  • Additionally, if you blow a fuse, replace it immediately and you should have hot water in no time at all.
  • If you bypassed your water heater during winterizing your RV and then failed to turn the supply valve back to the ″normal″ or ″open″ position, this might be another reason why your water is not heating.
  • Unless you remember to re-open the valve throughout the de-winterization procedure, your water will be extremely hot…
  1. However, none of it will make it out of the tank of the water heater!

RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

After discovering that your RV’s water isn’t heating up, you may take the following sensible actions to remedy the situation (we’ll start with the most basic solutions and work our way up from there):

Refer to Your Water Heater Manual

You knew we were going to tell you this, didn’t you? “Refer to your owner’s manual” is ALWAYS step1 for any troubleshooting problem, so we had to include it here. If you don’t have the manual for your specific water heater, you should be able to find it online. It will have troubleshooting tips specific to your make and model of RV water heater. Pro Tip: we highly recommend downloading electronic/PDF copies of all the manuals for your RV’s equipment and appliances… because you may have trouble when you’re remote enough that you don’t have internet access. Trust us. You’ll thank us later.? Not all water heaters are the same, and what works for one may not work for another. That’s why having your water heater manual handy is so helpful. You’ll see where each part is located, and that will make the process of checking and possibly replacing parts much more straightforward. Go ahead and find yours… we’ll wait.

Check Bypass Valves


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