How To Drain Water Heater In Rv?

How to Drain RV Water Heater?Quick Guide

Having a recreational vehicle (also known as RV) is a great thing!With its help, you can travel anytime you feel like, and this convenient house on the wheels allows you to go wherever you want – how far you are heading depends only on how much free time you have.However, quite many owners of RVs often face certain complications that come with maintaining their recreational vehicles.In particular, they wonder how it is possible to keep the RV’s water heater running properly and how to clean it so that you don’t break or damage anything.This is why we decided to dedicate today’s article to this subject matter!Today you are going to learn about many useful things regarding your RV.

  • For example, we will tell you how to drain the hot water heater in your RV and how to clean it as well.
  • In addition, we will do our best to explain why this cleaning and draining is needed at all.
  • In addition, you will learn how to flush your water heater in the RV correctly.

How to Drain an RV Water Heater?

There are a variety of reasons why you might wish to drain the water heater in your RV.For example, you might need to do this in order to winterize your recreational vehicle or if you need to swiftly diagnose a problem that has arisen with the water system.You may also need to empty the water heater if you are storing your RV for an extended length of time – for example, if you are not planning on using it during the winter months.However, once it is realized that draining is required, a large number of recreational vehicle owners have the same problem.What is the best way to empty the water heater in my RV?Furthermore, this is an excellent question given that knowing how to properly drain the water system and the water heater will help to avoid the water from becoming stale and perhaps freezing during the winter months.

  • As a consequence, you will considerably increase the lifespan of the water heater in your RV!
  • As a result, if you want specific instructions on how to drain the water heater in your RV, we have developed a step-by-step guide for your convenience.
  • But first, even before you begin, we recommend that you review a few steps that must be completed before you may proceed.
  1. To begin, turn off the propane gas supply to the water heater in your RV. If your recreational vehicle is equipped with an electric mode, you must also ensure that the electricity is switched off before proceeding. This step must always be completed before you begin to drain the water heater and the water system. Next, you must turn off the water supply to the trailer
  2. this may be accomplished by turning off the water valve. It will also require shutting down your water pump’s water supply lines. Additional steps must be taken to reduce the water pressure. You may accomplish this by turning on both the hot and cold water faucets
  3. after that, simply let the water in your RV water heater tank to cool before draining it.

And only after you have done all of these processes will you be able to proceed with emptying your RV water heater. We will go through the entire procedure in depth below, and we will provide you with step-by-step instructions. You will be certain that you will not make any mistakes if you do this.

Remove the Drain Plug First

This is the first step that you need to complete.First and foremost, you must determine the location of your water heater.Typically, it will be located in an outside compartment of your trailer, unless otherwise specified.The water heater drain plug should be located at the bottom left-hand corner of the water heater.A tool may be required to remove the drain plug from a Dometic RV water heater.But proceed with caution!

  • Breaking off or rounding the edges is a simple process when removing it.
  • In order to be prepared in case something occurs while you are traveling, we recommend that you always keep a spare drain plug on hand.

Open Pressure Relief Valve

After you have finished removing the plug, you may go on to the next stage in the process.After removing the plug and allowing the water to drain, you can release the pressure relief valve to relieve the pressure.It is usually found at the very top of the device, near the power outlet.As soon as you observe that the water is no longer running out of the drain hole, it is safe to assume that you have completely emptied your RV water tank.However, there is one important consideration to bear in mind when doing this step: the drain stopper is typically positioned higher than the bottom of the tank itself.It results in the accumulation of silt and minerals, which eventually block the system.

  • For this reason, you should consider cleansing the water heater tank of your RV at least once or twice a year to ensure that it remains clear of buildups.
  • Cleaning an RV Water Heater the Proper Way is important.
  • Referred to as: How to Correctly Dewinterize a House to Keep All of the Systems Working

Flush the Water Heater

First and foremost, we would like to point you that this step is mostly optional.When it comes to including it in your water heater draining method, though, here’s what you need to know.Activate the water heater rinser in your RV by connecting it to a water hose and turning on the water.In order to flush out all of the junk from the water tank, you must first put the tool into the water heater drain and then open the valve on the tool to release the debris.Continue flushing for at least a few minutes, or until you notice that the water that is coming out is clear and free of debris.Fortunately, as you can see, emptying your RV water heater is not a particularly difficult process.

  • If you carefully follow the directions provided, you will be able to complete the task by yourself, without the need for assistance, even if this is your first time draining the water system of your recreational vehicle.
  • Related: 10 Techniques How Can I Prevent My RV’s Water Hose From Frozen?

How Do I Flush My Suburban RV’s Water Heater?

As you are well aware, flushing the water heater is one of the suggested tasks that should be completed throughout the water heater draining process to ensure proper operation.Although this step is optional and will have no negative consequences if skipped, we nevertheless encourage that you follow through with it.You can extend the life of your water heater by cleaning it often and ensuring that it is clean and clear of dirt or accumulation.This will also help the water heater to operate more efficiently and effectively.So, whether you’re doing it as part of your yearly maintenance or your RV is rather old and its water heater may have been cleaned the last time a decade ago, here’s what you need do to ensure that the operation is completed correctly.

Drain Your Water Heater First

  • Draining the water heater in your RV is the first thing you should do. To accomplish this, simply follow these easy steps: Examine to see if your water heater bypass is in the ″normal″ setting.
  • Turn off the city water and the water pump to ensure that the water heater remains empty while you are emptying it
  • and
  • Make sure that all of the gas and/or electrical elements in the water heater are turned off. As soon as the water is emptied, it will prevent them from catching fire.
  • After that, remove the water heater’s access cover from the outside.
  • Make sure that the pressure release valve is open.
  • Removing the drain cap with an 11/16″ socket and allowing all of the water to flow out are the next steps.

After you have completed this step, you may continue on to the following step, which is to cleanse your RV water heater to remove any debris and/or buildup that may have accumulated through the years of use.

Flush Your RV Water Heater

  • To flush your RV water heater, carefully follow the steps outlined below: Flushing the tank for a few minutes at a time with a specific water heater rinser and a standard garden hose should be sufficient.
  • Install a plastic drain stopper with a 1 1/18″ socket and a ratchet
  • Then, disconnect the inlet hose from the water pump and connect it to the water pump’s inlet using a vinyl hose.
  • Put the vinyl hose in a bottle of vinegar and shake it up.
  • Start the water pump by pressing the button. It should begin sucking in vinegar immediately. This procedure should be repeated for all six gallons of vinegar. Your water heater should be around half filled at this stage.
  • Shut off the water pump and disconnect the hose, reconnecting the water input pipe to the water pump after that.
  • Turn on the municipal water to allow it to fill the remaining space in the water heater tank. As soon as it is full and water begins to flow out of the pressure release valve, shut it off.
  • Turn on the water heater bypass valve once again to prevent vinegar water from entering the remainder of the system.
  • Turn on the heating element and leave it on all night to keep the house warm. It will help to expedite the cleaning procedure.
  • Turn off the city water and heating components the next morning. Make the same adjustment for the water pump.
  • Remove the plastic drain plug from the pressure relief valve and open the pressure relief valve.
  • Using a rinse wand, thoroughly rinse the drain after draining the water and vinegar combination.
  • Pipe tape the end of the new anode rod in place.
  • Turn on the city water and the normal mode on your water heater bypass to restore regular operation.
  • Close the pressure relief valve and turn on all of the faucets when the tank is completely filled and you can see water pouring out of it. Continue to run them until all of the air has been sucked out of the system.

It may appear as like you will be spending a significant amount of time on this, but at the absolute least, it will allow you to do the task correctly and avoid causing any harm to the water system of your recreational vehicle.

Why Do You Have to Drain Your RV Water Heater?

  • Water heater draining should be done at the conclusion of each season and whenever your RV is going to be stored for more than two weeks, as a general rule. The water will get stale or even tainted if left untreated for an extended period of time. This will not only cause a terrible sulfur smell, but it may also be harmful if ingested as a result. In order to avoid this, we highly advise you to consider servicing your RV water heater on a regular basis and draining it as directed: At regular intervals, at least once a year
  • on a regular basis
  • When preparing to store the RV for the winter or when there is a chance of freezing temperatures

How to Clean Your RV Water Heater Correctly?

  • Aside from routine draining and flushing, your RV water heater will also require cleaning on a regular basis. Keep it clean and it will last longer, and it will be more efficient, which means you will save money and time by not having to spend it fixing or replacing it as frequently. Fortunately, the cleaning procedure is not overly difficult! Before you begin, switch off the electricity to your water heater to allow it to cool down. Once the temperature has reached a comfortable level, cut off any water pouring into the RV tanks.
  • Open the water heater access door on the outside of your trailer at this point. As soon as this is completed, raise the lever on the pressure relief valve to release any remaining pressure in the water heater.
  • Clear the burner tube and chamber of any remaining material by blowing it out with an air compressor
  • Water heater should be drained and properly cleaned.
  • It is possible to reconnect the plug once the heater has been entirely drained.
  • The final step is to clean your RV water heater with any all-purpose cleanser and an old clean towel.

All of these ideas and advice will assist you in maintaining and keeping your RV water heater clean and properly maintained in a reasonably simple and cost-effective manner, hence extending the life of your water heater.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How often do I have to drain my RV water heater?

It should be done at the conclusion of every season or if it has been in storage for more than two weeks.

⭐ Does the low point drain empty my rV water heater?

It is dependent on the architecture of the plumbing system in your recreational vehicle (RV). Some water heater types allow you to empty the water heater through a low-point drain, while others do not allow you to do so. The easiest approach to determine whether or not the low point will deplete your water heater is to put it to the test.

How to Drain an RV Water Heater

Image courtesy of, courtesy of Greg Pickens.There are a variety of reasons why you might want to empty your RV water heater.This is normal maintenance that should be carried out at least once a year, if not more frequently.Winterizing the RV, troubleshooting, and removing the RV from a winterized state are some of the other reasons for stopping.It is a straightforward activity that does not require much time to do.After you have completely drained the water heater, you may want to try flushing it before refilling it with fresh water.

  • After using RV antifreeze in your water system throughout the winter, you must cleanse the tank before replacing it with fresh water.

Step 1

Turn off the water heater, the LP gas, and the water pump if applicable. If you are connected to the city water system, turn off the water supply. If you are removing the RV from winterization, disconnect the hot water bypass and revert to a conventional arrangement to conserve energy.

Step 2

Fill the RV with hot water and let it run until it becomes chilly. A safe and usable temperature for the water within the water heater must be maintained at all times. To access the water heater, go to the outside of the RV and remove the panel that covers it.

Step 3

  • Open the pressure valve on the water heater’s top, which is located on the back of the unit. To remove the drain plug from the bottom of the water heater, use an adjustable wrench to loosen it. Typically, this plug is made of plastic. When it comes to Suburban brand water heaters, the plug is made of anodized rod as well. Remove the drain stopper or rod from the drain. The water supply will begin to run out. Wait until the hot water heater is completely depleted of its supply of hot water. When the tank is completely empty, remove the plug and replace it with a new anodized rod. Close the pressure release valve if it is not already closed. Using a garden hose, thoroughly rinse the area to remove any debris that may have escaped from the RV water heater. Close the panel door on the left. References ″Trailer Life’s RV Repair & Maintenance Manual, Fourth Edition
  • ″ Bob Livingston
  • 2002
  • How to flush an RV hot water heater
  • How to flush an RV hot water heater

Tips It is recommended that you turn on your city water and flush the water heater for several minutes before replacing the drain plug. This will help to extend the life of your water heater since it will wash out more dirt and scale.

  • What You’ll Need to Get Started Connection to the city’s water supply
  • 1 hex key with an adjustable nut
  • 1 garden hose (optional)
  • (For use with Suburban hit water heaters) 1 replacement anodized rod
See also:  How Long Does A Lifesource Water Filter Last?

Warnings The water in the water heater is under pressure and may be quite hot at the time of use. Draining the RV water heater should be done with caution and after the water has cooled to a safe temperature.

Biography of the Author Lynda Altman began writing professionally in 2001, with a focus on genealogy, homeschooling, gardening, animals, and crafts as her primary subjects.In addition to ″Family Chronicle Magazine,″ her writing has also appeared in the ″Chihuahua Magazine.″ The marketing from Mercy College, as well as a black belt in taekwondo, master gardener certification, a certificate in graphic arts, and a diploma in genealogy, are all among Altman’s accomplishments.

How to Drain an RV Water Heater (Quick Step-by-Step Guide)

Draining your RV water heater will come in handy whether you’re winterizing your RV, diagnosing a problem, or just storing your RV for an extended amount of time.Draining your water heater (and water system, in general) on a regular basis is essential to keep the water from becoming stale and perhaps freezing in the winter, therefore increasing the life of the heater.As a result, we’ve put together a fast step-by-step instruction on how to drain the water heater in your RV.Plus, some crucial pointers to keep in mind to avoid causing damage to your heater in the process!

Do You Have to Drain an RV Water Heater?

  • At the conclusion of each season and if your RV water heater is going to be stored for more than two weeks, it’s critical to drain the tank. If you leave the water out for any longer than that, it may become stale and/or polluted, which will give off a sulfur smell and may even be harmful if swallowed. An examination of the Dometic WH-6GEA RV Water Heater’s owner’s handbook reveals that it should be drained in the following ways: At regular intervals (at least once a year)
  • on a regular basis
  • Ideally, you should do this before storing your RV for the winter or whenever there is a chance of freezing.

You should become comfortable with the procedure, so spend some time learning it! Fortunately, as you can see in our step-by-step analysis, it’s not that difficult, which takes us to…

How to Drain an RV Water Heater Step-by-Step

We spoke about how important it is to drain your RV water heater, and actually the entire water system, in order to avoid problems with stale and tainted water. Related: How to Drain the Fresh Water Tank of Your RV But, before we can achieve that, we must first complete the following three tasks:

  1. Make sure you turn off the propane gas feed to your hot water heater. Check to see that the power has been switched off on your RV water heater if it has an electric mode before draining the water from the tank. I prefer to go a step further and switch off the breaker for the water heater as well as the power to the house. If an electric water heater is turned on when there is no water in the tank, the electric heating element will be quickly depleted.
  2. Shut off the water supply to the RV, including the water pump, and alleviate the water pressure in the system by opening both the cold and hot water faucets.
  3. Allowing the water in the water heater tank to cool before emptying it is recommended.

Once these have been completed, we may begin emptying the water heater system. IMPORTANT: For detailed instructions on how to empty your tank, always consult your water heater’s owner’s handbook.

Step 1: Remove the Drain Plug

Your water heater, which is normally located in an exterior compartment of your RV, should be identified.The drain plug for the water heater should be located in the bottom left-hand corner.Remove the plug from your water heater in a manner appropriate for the model you have.Using a Dometic (Atwood) RV Water Heater to Drain It Dometic RV water heaters (formerly known as Atwood water heaters) are commonly equipped with a 1/2′′ nylon drain plug that can be removed with a screwdriver.If the plug is removed with care, it is quite easy to round or break the corners.Make sure you have a backup drain stopper on available in case something like this happens while you’re on the road.

  • Draining the water heater of a Suburban recreational vehicle When it comes to draining a suburban water heater, the anode rod must be removed, which is commonly accomplished with a 1-1/16th inch socket.
  • When used in a Suburban water heater, an anode rod protects the steel tank from corrosion by sacrificing itself before the tank begins to corrode itself.
  • When you drain your tank, check to see that the heater anode rod is in good working order.
  • Replace it with a new rod after it has been exhausted to around 75% of its original capacity.

Step 2: Open Pressure Relief Valve

Once the plug has been removed and the water has begun to drain, you may release the pressure relief valve, which is situated on the top of the unit, to assist with the draining process.When the water stops pouring out of the drain hole, you have virtually drained your water tank of all its contents.Keep in mind that the drain plug in a tank is higher than the bottom of the tank, which might result in minerals and silt gathering and blocking the drain stop over time.As a result, we recommend that you clean your water heater tank at least once or twice a year.

Step 3: Flush the Water Heater (Optional)

Connect a water hose to the tank rinser of an RV water heater and turn on the water supply.The tool should be inserted into the water heater drain and its valve should be opened in order to flush any dirt from the tank’s bottom.Continue flushing for several minutes, or until the water coming out is clean and clear, depending on how much time you have.If you need more information on winterizing your rig, see our article on how to winterize a camper for more information.


How Often Should I Drain My RV Water Heater?

Your RV water heater should be drained at the end of every season, whenever it’s going to be stored for more than two weeks, or if there’s a chance it’ll freeze.

Does the Low Point Drain Empty the Water Heater?

It all relies on how your recreational vehicle’s plumbing system is constructed.Some water heater manufacturers and types enable you to empty the water heater through a low-point drain, while others do not.The easiest approach to determine whether or not the low point will deplete your water heater is to put it to the test.Just keep in mind that you’ll still need to remove the drain valve or plug if you wish to winterize your system, flush your hot water heater, and/or inspect your anode rod (if necessary) while doing so.Related: Should I leave my RV’s water heater running all of the time to save energy?(Important) Camper FAQs is made possible by donations from readers.

  • It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission.
  • Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases.

How to drain an RV water heater! A must do! – RVs of America

What everyone should know about their recreational vehicle’s water heater!Especially for first-time RVers!Maintaining your safety on the road while keeping your water running clean and fresh is essential.Since we’ve been in business for a long time, water heaters have been one of the most common items we’ve had to repair every year in the spring.(They are read one by one) If you don’t want to be one of the rookies who makes the major yet easy error of changing your water heater and ends up spending hundreds of dollars on a new one, you’ll want to read the remainder of this article.Our objective is to keep you close to rushing water rather than submerged in it.

  • In order to park RVs next to rivers, the rivers must not be running into the RVs themselves.
  • I want to highlight how important it is to empty your water heater on a regular basis.
  • Unless you plan on letting the RV sit for more than two weeks before your next vacation, I would recommend emptying it every time you are through camping.
  • I’d also empty your fresh water tanks if you have any of them.
  • If you let the water to stay in the hot water heater tank or the fresh water tank for an extended period of time, it will begin to smell awfully!
  • Because of the hot water, the hot water heater tank will begin to smell particularly foul, and it will begin to smell like sulfur.
  1. It’s a scent that everyone who has ever visited a hot spring is familiar with!
  2. Additionally, if you develop a good practice of draining your tanks before the fall season arrives, it will be as simple as one, two, and three to drain and winterize your RV when the time comes.
  3. This is a tragic, but real, tale of something that occurred to one of our clients.
  4. Last year, this individual went out and purchased an RV from a local dealer.
  5. He utilized his trailer for some enjoyable camping trips during the summer, but not us.
  6. Unfortunately, he was not informed that he needed to dump his water tanks or even winterize his unit.

He made the decision to connect up his recreational vehicle and prepare it for camping this spring.When he connected the water, he saw that there were some leaks.He brought it to us so that we could look at it for him before he took it home.

We discovered that practically every tank he had in his recreational vehicle was leaking!Even his water pipes were leaking, according to him.To cut a long tale short, he is now ready to return to the woods this summer for another camping trip.The downside is that it all came at a cost, and after spending more than $8,000.00 to have it all leak free, he will now always remember to drain and winterize his recreational vehicle.

You should avoid having to learn the same lesson and should either winterize your unit or take it to a local dealer to get checked out.Check out the following website for a list of some area dealers: In order to spare yourself some serious troubles and money, make it a practice to drain your tanks on a regular basis.Below is a photograph of a water heater taken from the outside with the lid off.I’m going to teach you how to empty your water heater in a video at the very bottom of this blog post.Take a look at the photo below to see the water heater that we had to remove from the RV and repair.Additionally, as previously said, you will want to empty the fresh water tank as well as the water pipes.

There is normally a valve under the RV somewhere that you will need to open in order to get the water flowing again.Sometimes they are controlled by a simple valve system that you can operate.Some of the time, there is a cap that has to be unscrewed.Occasionally, if you’re lucky, you’ll come across a sign on the outside of the building that reads ″low point drains,″ as you can see in the photo below.

Sometimes all you have to do is climb beneath your RV and check around.You can get an idea of what you are searching for by taking a look at the photographs below: Keep in mind that not all recreational vehicles are the similar, and the values to open may be located higher up in a compartment or even inside beneath certain cupboards.The majority of the time, they are located close to your freshwater tank or water pump.

  1. Please watch the video below to learn how to empty your water heater and avoid having to replace it in the future.
  2. I hope you find it useful and that you will return for additional tips and techniques.
  3. I hope you found this information useful.
  4. If you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to contact us using our website’s contact page.

I’ve included a link to it below: Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you have a good day!Onward and upward with the camp…

Should I Leave My RV Water Heater On? 7 Things to Know

Having cold water delivered to you in an RV shower is never a pleasant experience for anybody.That is exactly what your RV’s water heater is designed to do.Nevertheless, should you switch it off or leave it on throughout the day?Moreover, does a water heater in an RV operate in the same manner as one in a home?It is perfectly safe to leave your RV water heater turned on all of the time, just like you would at home.Keep an eye on the water heater to make sure that it is constantly full of water.

  • Additionally, ensure that it is switched off before moving your RV.
  • There are advantages and disadvantages to both leaving it on and turning it off.
  • Knowing how to manage the water tank in a recreational vehicle or camper is critical, as it is with any other piece of equipment.
  • Misuse and carelessness may result in costly blunders, since water heaters can be quite expensive to repair if they are not maintained properly.
  • Consequently, while you have the option of leaving it running, consider all of the information provided below about what to expect if you do.

4 Things to Know About Running RV Water Heaters

1. Hot Water Tanks Can’t Run Empty

If your tank runs out of fuel while the engine is still running, it will very certainly wreck it. The components are designed to be utilized in water, and when the water tank is completely depleted, it might cause them to burn. When you switch off the hot water tank in your RV, make sure you turn on the heater as well as the water supply to the RV.

2. Turn Propane Hot Water Tanks Off Before Travel

You should always switch off your gas hot water tank before traveling, just as you would with your propane refrigerator. Some states make it unlawful to use propane appliances while driving on the highway. This is especially true in places like tunnels and petrol stations. Make certain that you are familiar with the regulations and the hazards.

3. Turn Electric RV Water Heaters Off Before Travel

There are two possible explanations for this, depending on your configuration:

  1. Using your RV water heater on its battery will deplete your battery’s power.
  2. If you forget to turn off your water before leaving, you can find yourself in a predicament where the tank is full but the water is turned off. This might cause your components to burn out.

4. Misconceptions

It is vital to note that a commercial water heater is not the same size as a home water heater when the water heater is left on throughout the day.This implies that you should not expect to be able to take long showers just because you have left the water running all day and have hot water ready to go when you get home.In fact, it is not uncommon for campers to run out of hot water in the middle of a shampoo session and have to wait for the water to re-heat.There isn’t an unlimited supply of hot water in the storage tank.However, because of its compact size, it will heat up much more quickly than a typical domestic heater.If you are using a tankless water heater (such as this Gasland one available on Amazon), you will get hot water for as long as your propane supply lasts, of course.

3 Energy Sources for RV Water Heaters

In most cases, propane, electricity, or even engine heat exchangers are used to heat the water in an RV hot water heater.

Keeping Your RV Heater On: 3 Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to leaving your hot water tank on. Generally, it’s safe to keep the water heater running in your camper but being aware of the ramifications of the option you make is most essential.

1. Pro: Warm Water Ready To Go

If you leave your water heater turned on, you’ll be certain to have hot water whenever you need it.If the RV water heater is turned off, it will take some time to heat up, making last-minute shower decisions impossible if the heater is switched off.In the same way that you wouldn’t switch off your water heater at home because you would have to wait for the water to heat up again, most people don’t turn off their water heater in their camper since they operate in the same way.

See also:  What Makes A Water Heater Explode?

2. Pro: Convenience

The ease of not having to remember to switch it on every time you do need to use it is also a consideration.Having to double-check that everything is in working order every time you switch on your computer may be a real nuisance, especially if various people are turning it on and off at different times.It is more complicated than it needs to be since you don’t know and you have to check to see whether the bypass is turned on after it has been turned off.If you leave it running throughout your trip, it will require a bit less attention and consideration.To constantly check if it’s turned on before using it might be inconvenient, especially when many people are turning it on and off at the same time.

3. Con: Energy Use / Financial

According to the size of your water heater and how it operates, you may use more energy than you would if you simply turned it on and off.Furthermore, if you use more energy, it will cost you more money.Some folks don’t mind doing a little preparation ahead of time and finishing it up 30 minutes before it’s needed.A distinct scenario is if your water heater is being heated by the engine (via an engine heat exchange).It is possible to heat water while traveling and then have a tank of water ready to use when you arrive at your final destination.However, if you are consuming propane or electricity – and are just sometimes using your hot water – it may be more cost effective to turn it off the rest of the time.

  • Despite the fact that the expenses of operation are not as high as those of a home heater, they can mount up.
  • This is particularly true in the case of propane heaters.
  • Alternatively, if you heat using electricity generated by a generator.
  • These items have the potential to cause individuals to turn their computers off at times.

Using Your RV Water Heater

Operating a water heater in an RV is comparable to operating a water heater in a home, with the exception of the fact that it is significantly smaller, as previously indicated. Having said that, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to prevent making costly blunders when it comes to replacing it.

4 Water Heater Basics

  1. In most cases, the water heater in a recreational vehicle is fueled by propane, with the exception of some models that are powered by electricity or have the option of being powered by either.
  2. The majority of the sizes are between a six and a ten-gallon water heater. You should be aware of this since it eliminates the pointless concern about when you will run out of anything.
  3. For unique exclusions related to your water heater in comparison to others, refer to the manufacturer’s directions and guide………….. However, in general, you will check the bypass valve on your water heater before using it to ensure that it is open and allowing water to travel through.
  4. Allow the water to flow into the primary tank as it should. Ensure that your RV is connected to a nearby water outlet in order for the onboard pump to pump the water. As soon as the water has passed through your lines, it will begin to make its way into your heating tank. Once the water has reached the fill line of your freshwater tank, you may turn off the water.

Now that your water heater has been installed, it is ready to be utilized.


  • The most essential thing to remember when it comes to water heater maintenance is to keep it clean. While it is not difficult to keep it in good condition, it is more difficult to repair and replace. Consider the following methods and recommendations, as well as the ramifications of failing to follow them, in order to avoid paying more than is necessary for upkeep. Servicing is done on an annual basis. Whenever you take your RV in for a service visit, make sure the water heater is checked to ensure it is operating correctly as well. In order to combat the corrosion that a water heater is inevitably subjected to over time, they may consider installing an anode rod.
  • Even little erosion that goes unnoticed over time can lead to major issues, and doing a maintenance check will help prevent this.
  • Draining the water and cleaning the area When cleaning the RV’s water tank, it is critical to drain all of the water from the tank and the pump. If sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank, it might create erosion and the danger of frying if the tank runs out of water
  • stagnant/dirty water is not suitable for cooking, bathing, or any of the other desirable purposes

When filling your tank, it’s a good idea to verify the quality of the water.Here’s how to refill your freshwater tank while you’re on the road.Winterization It is vital to drain the water in preparation for winter while the pool is not in use.You should drain your tank for the winter since it is likely that the water may freeze and shatter the tank as well as the piping that connects it.More information on how to put antifreeze to your RV camper may be found here.Also included is a 16-step checklist for winterizing your RV.

Final Thoughts

  • The majority of RVers keep their water heater running throughout the day. It is far more convenient and requires significantly less effort. Others, on the other hand, choose to turn it off in order to save money on their camping vacation. In addition, they want to lessen their environmental effect. Some RVers believe that it is just beneficial to take a break. In the end, though, it is customary to leave your water heater running throughout the day. What are you going to do? Is it your intention to leave your RV water heater on all day or only when you require it? About the Author
  • Recent Posts
  • Contact Information

Should I Leave My RV Water Heater On All the Time Or Just When It’s Needed?

A frequently asked issue we receive from RVers is whether or not they should leave their RV hot water heater turned on all of the time when traveling. In the event that you, like many others, have ever considered this subject, you are most likely concerned about one of three things:

  1. Is it safe to leave my RV’s hot water heater on on all of the time?
  2. Are there any financial consequences to leaving my RV’s hot water heater running all of the time?
  3. Will leaving my RV’s hot water heater on on all of the time cause damage to my equipment?

Our goal is to assist you in determining the answers to these three questions so that you may make an informed, safe, and cost-effective decision when traveling in your recreational vehicle.

Is Leaving My RV Hot Water Heater On All the Time Safe? 

There are two types of hot water heaters to consider when determining if it is safe to leave your RV hot water heater on all of the time. The first is propane, and the second is electric, so we must differentiate between the two.

Propane Powered RV Water Heaters

Despite the fact that there is a broad variety of viewpoints on the subject, our recommendation is to always switch off your propane tank while driving by car.Because of the stress and movement associated with RV transportation, appliances such as the refrigerator, hot water heater, and stove shift as the vehicle travels.These movements place additional strain on the wires that go between the propane tank and the appliances.What exactly is the problem?Over time, the lines in your propane tank may become loose or break, enabling the gas stored in your tank to escape.It just takes a little spark to ignite highly flammable propane gas, which can result in an explosion or fire in the event of an accident, depending on the circumstances.

  • If your RV hot water heater is fueled by propane, the straightforward and safe response is that you should not leave it on all of the time.
  • Though leaving the propane tank running all day may be more convenient, the convenience does not outweigh the possibility for calamity if something goes wrong.

Electric Powered RV Water Heaters

The same as in your house, it is safe to leave your electric-powered RV water heater turned on all of the time, whether you are stationary or on the go. There are other drawbacks, such as the expense and environmental effect of gasoline use – but safety should not be a worry in this situation.

Will Leaving My RV Hot Water Heater On All the Time Cost Me More Money? 

The second major concern about leaving your RV’s hot water running all of the time is the financial implications.If you keep your hot water heater running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will cost you more money in fuel charges than if you switch it on and off just when you are using it.However, owing to the modest capacity of the RV water heater (which is normally between 6-10 gallons), the additional expenditures associated with leaving the heater running 24 hours a day are not prohibitively expensive.Whether you are using a propane or generator-powered RV hot water heater, leaving it on all of the time will result in increased gas/electricity use and, thus, greater fuel expenses.If you are staying in an RV park that has the ability to connect to shore power, the RV park will cover the cost of your energy, reducing your financial obligation.It may be more cost effective to leave your RV hot water heater on 24/7 rather than turning it on and off on a regular basis if you discover that you are utilizing hot water on a continuous basis throughout the day.

  • However, this is not always the case.
  • *Tip for the Day* One cost-saving option to consider is shutting off your RV hot water heater after you finish doing the dishes at night and then turning it back on as soon as you get up in the morning to save money.
  • It is possible to conserve 11 hours of energy if you complete your meal at 8PM and get up at 7AM.
  • This will result in you having to wait for a hot shower for up to 30 minutes in the morning, but it will save you money in the long run.

Will Leaving My RV Hot Water Heater On All the Time Wear Down My Equipment?

As opposed to turning on and off your RV hot water heater on a regular basis, leaving it on all of the time should not cause any more wear and tear to your unit.Because the RV water heater contains no ″moving components,″ leaving it on should not result in any deterioration of the device beyond the average 10-year lifespan of the unit.The most important thing to remember about your RV water heater is to keep it in good working order.RV water heaters require virtually minimal maintenance when used properly, with the exception of semi-annual maintenance.Following these easy procedures can assist you in extending the life of your RV water heater and avoiding the need for expensive repairs or replacements: If you purchase a product through one of the links on this page, BeginRV may get a small compensation.

  1. Maintain a full water tank when traveling: Before turning on your hot water heater, always check to see that there is enough water in the tank to do so. The heating element will burn out if there isn’t enough water in the tank to carry the heat away from the heating element.
  2. Annually, the anode rod should be installed and/or replaced as follows: Many recreational vehicle hot water heaters are equipped with an anode rod that is meant to sacrifice itself in order to avoid eroding of a steel water tank. If you don’t already have one, you can pick up a high-quality pair of anode rods for less than $20, which can help you extend the life of your RV water heater. If you do have an anode rod, it is recommended that you change it every a year to maintain the longevity of your tank.
  3. Every six months, drain and flush your RV’s hot water tank: Over time, debris and other unpleasant ″crud″ will accumulate on the bottom of the RV hot water tank’s interior. When the bottom of your heater tank becomes contaminated to the point where it comes into contact with the heating element, the heating element will overheat and burn out.

Every six months, it is advised that you wash out and flush your hot water tank to eliminate any debris that has accumulated over the course of the year.When it comes to flushing out your RV hot water tank, RVHabit provides an excellent step-by-step instruction and video.It is possible to hire a professional to undertake this flushing out operation, but for less than $30, you may complete these chores yourself.The Camco Water Heater Tank Rinser is a low-cost and very simple solution for cleaning out your water heater’s storage tank.When combined with the Camco Hot Water Tank Bypass Kit, you will be able to efficiently maintain your water heater over the winter season.

Pros and Cons of Leaving Your RV Hot Water Heater on All the Time

When it comes to whether or not you should leave your RV hot water heater running all of the time, here’s what you should know: Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider in order to make your decision a little easier:

Pros of Leaving RV Hot Water Heater On All the Time

  • Supply of hot water on short notice
  • With an RV, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
  • The cost is not significantly more than the cost of turning on and off.
  • There is less chance of the heating element burning out.

Cons of Leaving RV Hot Water Heater On All the Time

  • It is necessary to remember to turn off the propane hot water tank when traveling or accessing gas stations
  • Increased gasoline prices
  • increased fuel use is detrimental to the environment

Final Thoughts on Leaving Your RV Water Heater On

There are two schools of thinking on the subject of leaving your RV hot water heater on all of the time — and neither is incorrect.Keep in mind that keeping your RV hot water heater turned on all of the time should not pose a larger safety concern or cause any degradation to your system as long as you remember to turn off your propane tank when driving.The costs and environmental effect of having a continual supply of RV hot water are the two major drawbacks of this practice.While it is unlikely that you would pay significant additional expenditures by leaving your fuel source on 24 hours a day, it is possible.While the modest amount of additional fuel required by continuously operating your water heater will not have a negative impact on the environment, it is important to note that it will.However, when you consider the cumulative impact of hundreds of thousands of RVers, you may begin to have second thoughts about wasting gasoline.

  • As RVers, we must consider the influence that our actions will have on future generations!
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to visit by and learn something today.
  • In the comments section below, please share any thoughts or questions you may have.
  • Traveling is simple.
  • Did you find this article to be informative?
  • Check out ″How to Identify and Respond to a Propane Leak in a Safe and Effective Manner.″
See also:  How Many Years Water Heater Last?

How to Drain an RV Fresh Water Tank (Step-by-Step)

Are you having difficulties draining the fresh water tank in your RV? Don’t be concerned; we’ve got you covered! In this step-by-step instruction, you’ll discover how to quickly and efficiently drain the fresh water tank of an RV. Plus, helpful hints (as well as cautionary tales) to guide you along the road. Let’s get this party started!

How to Drain a Fresh Water Tank on an RV

Draining the fresh water tank of your recreational vehicle is a pretty straightforward procedure.However, there are several critical procedures that must be followed in order to complete the task successfully, which we detail below.Before we begin, you’ll need to identify your fresh water tank drain valve as well as the low point drain valves (if you don’t already know where they are).However, the exact location will vary depending on your RV.They are normally found below your RV below or around the fresh water holding tank.If you are unable to locate your drain valve, refer to your RV’s owner’s handbook for assistance in locating it.

  • For links to the owner’s manuals for some of the most prominent RV and 5th wheel manufacturers, see the FAQ section below.

How to Dump a Fresh Water Tank & Lines Step-by-Step

  1. Before you empty the fresh water system, make sure the hot water heater is turned off.
  2. Wait for the water in both the fresh water system and the heater holding tank to drop down to room temperature before continuing..
  3. Start by turning on all of the faucets, including the outside shower if you have one
  4. Set the bypass setting on the RV water heater, if appropriate, to prevent water from entering the heater tank.
  5. Allow the water to drain out of the fresh water tank by opening the dump valve.
  6. Open the low-point drain cap or valve if it is not already open. A separate one should be provided for each of the hot and cold water lines.
  7. Fill the toilet with water until it stops running
  8. On-demand activation of the fresh water pump is required to remove any residual water from the freshwater pipes.
  9. Remove the water heater drain plug and allow the water to completely drain out of the system before replacing it. Some helpful hints may be found in our tutorial on how to drain an RV water heater.

The following are general guidelines for emptying your fresh water system. Please read them carefully. Please refer to your camper’s owner’s handbook for precise information on how to operate your camper.


Where Is the Fresh Water Tank Drain?

  • The fresh water tank drain position is often found on the underside of your RV, just beneath your freshwater tank, and will be connected to a pipe or hose. This, however, will vary depending on the make and model. You should consult your RV’s owner’s handbook to determine the precise placement of your drain valve. If you are unable to locate your owner’s manual, you may need to contact the manufacturer in order to obtain a copy. Owner manuals for some of the most prominent RV manufacturers are provided here, along with links to their websites. Owner’s manuals for Jayco, Forest River, Grand Design, Keystone, Winnebago, Thor, and Airstream RVs are all available online.

Remember that the information on how to drain your fresh water tank is normally included in the plumbing system part of the handbook.

Should I Leave Water in My RV Fresh Water Tank?

It is recommended that you drain your fresh water tank if you want to winterize or store your RV for an extended length of time.Why?Eventually, the water in your freshwater tank will become polluted and unsafe to use in the kitchen or as a source of nutrition.Although it is not necessary to drain the fresh water tank and the waste tanks before traveling, it is a good idea to do so (or keep the tanks nearly empty).It will add weight to your RV, causing wear and tear as well as increasing your fuel usage if you travel with full tanks.What if I told you…

  • The addition of 30 gallons of water to your fresh water tank will result in an additional 250 pounds of weight for your recreational vehicle!
  • When you get at your location, you can always refill the RV’s water tank with new drinking water.

How Long Can You Leave Fresh Water in RV Tank?

According to general guidelines, you should only store fresh water in your RV tank for around two weeks at a time.However, there are a variety of factors that might influence how long your potable water will remain potable.Please refer to our in-depth advice on how long you should keep fresh water in your RV tank for some crucial facts and best practices on this subject.Camper FAQs is made possible by donations from readers.It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission.Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases.

How Much Propane Does an RV Water Heater Use? (Free Calculator)

When RV camping, hot water is one of the amenities that may be brought along with you.If, on the other hand, you rely on propane to fuel your water heater, you will need to make the necessary preparations.The question is, though, how much gas does an RV water heater consume.No matter if you’re looking to make sure you have enough propane for your vacation or just want to figure out how much your water heater will cost to run, we’ve got you covered.So let’s have a look at how to rapidly estimate the propane use of your water heater.In addition, you can use our free propane consumption calculator to make more informed decisions about your future excursions!

  • Let’s get this party started!

How Much Propane Does an RV Water Heater Use?

You get the picture.The amount of propane your RV water heater consumes will vary depending on the size of your hot water tank, its BTU rating, how often and for how long you shower, how hot your showers are, how much hot water you use for cooking, the temperature your water heater is set at…you get the picture.As you can see, it’s a difficult question to provide a definitive response to accurately.However, with a little arithmetic, we can come up with a reasonable approximation.Let’s look at a concrete illustration: A camper or travel trailer equipped with a 6-gallon Suburban RV water heater rated at 10,000 BTUs will consume around 20 pounds of propane in approximately 42 hours of continuous usage, according to the manufacturer.

  • While it may appear to be a significant amount of propane consumed in a short period of time, it is crucial to remember that your RV’s water heater does not operate continually.
  • When it comes to heating the water in the tank, it only utilizes propane when it is necessary to do so, which takes roughly 10-15 minutes.
  • So, theoretically, you could run an RV hot water heater on a 20-pound tank for more than a month if you had the correct conditions in place.
  • Important: Depending on your RV, your water heater is most likely simply one of numerous propane-powered appliances that you have.
  • To estimate the propane consumption of all your appliances (RV refrigerator, stove/oven, heater, air conditioner, grill, and so on), refer to our guide on How Long Does Propane Last in an RV?
  • As a result of the preceding example, we may obtain approximate answers to a number of often asked queries by campers about propane consumption and their water heaters.

How Long Will an RV Water Heater Run on Propane?

The 6-gallon Suburban water heater described above, together with the assumption that the heater works for an anticipated hour every day, would need 42 days to completely deplete a common 20-pound propane tank!There’s no need to be concerned if your water heater has a different BTU rating or if your propane tank is a different capacity.Using the following calculation, we can simply determine how long your RV water heater will be operational:

  1. Propane gallons multiplied by 91,502 equals tank BTUs
  2. tank BTUs divided by total appliance BTU consumption equals number of hours before running out of propane
  3. tank BTUs divided by total appliance BTU usage equals number of hours before running out of propane

For example, a fully charged 20 pound tank contains 4.6 gallons.We would multiply 4.6 by 91,502 to obtain the figure 420,909.After that, divide the result by the entire BTU consumption of our water heater, which in this case is 8,000 BTUs.The solution is 420,909 divided by 8,000, which is 52.6 percent.We can operate an RV propane water heater for 52.6 hours straight before running out of fuel, according to this calculation.

How Much Propane Does an RV Water Heater Use per Day?

Using our 6-gallon Suburban water heater example above, and assuming that your water heater runs for an hour on average every day, your water heater would consume 0.11 gallons of propane every day.Simply put, we took the number of gallons left in the tank (a 20-pound propane tank = 4.6-gallon propane tank) and divided that amount by the number of days it would take to burn up a full 20-pound propane tank to determine our daily use.4.6 gallons of propane in the tank divided by 42 days is 0.11 gallons of propane.

How Long Will a 30 LB Propane Tank Last for Water Heating?

In our initial 6-gallon Suburban water heater example, assuming that your water heater works on average one hour every day, it would take 64 days to deplete a normal 30-pound propane tank!It is important to note that all of these computations are only estimates.The only way to know for certain how long your propane tank will survive is to put it through its paces in the field.If you have two propane tanks, you can complete this task quickly and safely.By doing so, you can see how long it takes to go through a single tank while still having a backup tank available in case the first one runs out.

RV Propane Usage Calculator

  • With our calculator and table below, you can quickly figure out how much propane your RV water heater uses. Chart of RV Propane Tank Dimensions BTUs per gallon of propane used: You may also use this calculator to estimate the propane gas consumption of other appliances in your household. If you’d want to learn more about how other RV appliances use propane, have a look at the following resources: What is the average amount of propane used by an RV refrigerator?
  • How Much Propane Does a Travel Trailer Furnace Consume?

Does an RV Water Heater Use a Lot of Propane?

RV water heaters require only a little amount of gas to keep the water warm in your camper or trailer.Due to the fact that they do not operate continually, they only utilize propane when it is necessary to turn on and heat the water (which will depend on how much hot water you use).If the consumption of propane is a serious problem, you may convert your water heater to electric mode (if applicable) and utilize the power provided by your campsite to heat your water as well as your water heater.Overall, though, RV water heaters consume relatively little propane, which is why many campers prefer to have their hot water heater turned on all of the time when traveling.Related: Should I leave my RV’s water heater running all of the time to save energy?Camper FAQs is made possible by donations from readers.

  • It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission.
  • Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases.

RV Propane Tanks Guide – Everything You Need to Know About Propane in Your RV

When preparing for an RV road trip, having a thorough grasp of RV propane tanks and how they operate is one of the most critical things you can do to ensure that you are well prepared for your journey ahead.When it comes to RVing amenities, propane is essential for many of them, like cooking, having hot water, and powering your heater.RV propane tanks are available in a number of sizes and configurations.Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing a propane tank for your recreational vehicle.

Types of RV Propane Tanks

There are two types of propane tanks: an ASME tank and a DOT cylinder tank. ASME tanks are the more common.

What is an ASME RV Propane Tank?

Typically, RVs are equipped with an ASME tank, which is referred to as built-in RV propane tanks.These tanks are not detachable and are permanently attached to the outside of your RV’s chassis.ASME RV propane tanks are available in a variety of sizes and storage capacities.Since they are installed horizontally in the RV, ASME tanks are often known to as horizontal propane tanks in the RV.One feature of ASME tanks that is particularly useful is that they are equipped with a gauge that indicates how much propane is left in the tank.In rare situations, you may be able to upgrade to a bigger ASME tank; however, this should only be done by a professional, and you must take into mind the amount of room available in your RV for a larger tank before proceeding.

ASME RV Propane Tank Sizes

The size of your ASME RV tank will vary according on your needs.For example, Class C motorhomes, which are smaller in size, might carry a single 20-pound ASME tank.A bigger Class A motorhome propane tank, on the other hand, might accommodate up to 80-100 pounds of propane.This is a huge propane tank for an RV.The size of a propane tank in a motorhome varies.If you are renting a motorhome, make sure to inquire about the tank capacity with the outfitter.

  • They should be on their way to telling you about the various sizes of propane tanks.

What is a DOT Cylinder Tank?

A DOT cylinder tank is typically found on towed recreational vehicles (RVs), such as travel trailers.They are not permanently attached to your RV and may be removed when it is time to fill them with fresh gas.Portable RV propane tanks (DOT cylinder tanks) are also known as portable RV propane tanks since they can be easily removed from your RV and refilled.They can also be used in conjunction with portable camper barbecues.

RV Propane Tank Sizes

The weight of a cylinder of RV propane ranges from 5 pounds to 200 pounds depending on the size.A 200-pound propane tank would obviously be too large to transport in an RV, so we will concentrate on the various sizes of propane tanks that are suitable for camping trips instead.The two most popular propane tank sizes for portable campers are 20 pounds (5 gallons) and 33 pounds (8 gallons) (7 gallons).

20 Pound RV Propane Tank

Obviously, the 20-pound propane tank has a smaller propane capacity, but these tanks are readily accessible everywhere you look.In most cases, you may swap them at your local hardware shop or even certain supermarket stores.There are a variety of locations that provide tank exchange services, in which you can turn in your empty tank for a full tank.Check out the prices on 20-pound propane tanks on Amazon right now!…Its drawback is that because it carries less propane, you have to carry less propane with you when RVing, which means you have to switch your tank more frequently.Because they are smaller, they weigh less and make it simpler to transport three or four tanks at a once.

  • When it comes to filling your RV propane tanks, this is the most handy tank size to use.

33 Pound RV Propane Tank

Despite the fact that a 33-pound RV propane tank has a greater capacity, these tanks are far less commonly seen.As an alternative to substituting a tank, such as the 20-pound tank, you may choose to keep this tank and have it re-filled.Because it stores more, you will need to refill it less frequently; nevertheless, depending on where you are, refilling it may not be as convenient as exchanging it.Prices for 33-pound propane tanks may be found on Amazon by clicking here.These tanks are significantly heavier as a result of their increased size.Normally, you’ll have two of these tanks on hand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.