Water heater weirdness! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-11-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
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.My wife and I stayed at Watoga State Park in WV last week. As we had electric hookups and a showerhouse with dishwashing facilities just across from us, I never bothered to fire up my gas water heater (I disconnected the electric option soon after I got it). As I always like to make sure everything's working before I head back home, I decided to fire up the gas to heat a tankful of water to see if everything was working. The furnace started fine and went straight into heating mode. However...we never got any hot water! There was water in the tank, the thermostat was turned to "high" (and I moved it to several settings to see if I could get it to heat), but no hot water!

Any idea what's going on?
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Old 10-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #2
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is your water heater bypass still closed from winterizing?
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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is your water heater bypass still closed from winterizing?
Nope. That was the first thing I checked.

One thing that was out of the ordinary that I didn't notice until after I'd turned off the gas and was getting ready to leave to head to the dump station was that the greywater handle was pulled out rather than pushed in and must have been that way the entire time we were at our campsite. Could that have caused the problem?
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:23 AM   #4
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bob
I had the exact same problem on a stick built trailer we had and after changing bypass valves and checking filters etc.it turned out to be the outside hot and cold shower valves where open from winterization (but the shower head itself was shut off) the hot water would go to this outside shower and mix with the cold water.... I shut the hot and cold outside shower valves and all was fine......... took me two weeks to figure that out .....just for the heck of it check to see that your bathroom hot/cold knobs are off.
Joe
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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Hooked it up to city water today, turned on the gas, lit the hot water heater...got a little warm water...and that was it.

Looks like I'm going to have to take it to a Suburban water heater repair center. It just so happens that the guy who services my trailer anyway is one of only six Suburban-approved centers in NC.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
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Bob, I assume that you have a pilot-type heater (not Direct Spark Ignition). You can see the pilot flame when you light it, and the main burner is a dramatically larger flame. It sounds like the main burner is not coming on, even though the water needs heating, right? The pilot flame alone will heat the water slightly.

If the main burner is not coming on, with the control valve in the "on" position, then the thermostatic control, or the control valve itself, seems to be the problem.

I have the American Appliance RV-6 manual which came with my Boler; American Appliance was later bought by Suburban, so I believe that my water heater is an earlier version of what is now called a Suburban SW-6P. Send me an e-mail or PM with your e-mail address if you would like me to send a PDF scan of it.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:32 PM   #7
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Bob,
The Casita owner's manual covers this problem. There is a one-way valve (I think) at the water heater that sticks. You have to go in through the access port under the bed and tap on the valve to free it. I don't have my manual handy so I can't be specific.

If you need, I can get the manual tomorrow and get the info. Let me know.

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Old 10-15-2007, 04:09 PM   #8
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Bob, I assume that you have a pilot-type heater (not Direct Spark Ignition). You can see the pilot flame when you light it, and the main burner is a dramatically larger flame. It sounds like the main burner is not coming on, even though the water needs heating, right? The pilot flame alone will heat the water slightly.

If the main burner is not coming on, with the control valve in the "on" position, then the thermostatic control, or the control valve itself, seems to be the problem.

I have the American Appliance RV-6 manual which came with my Boler; American Appliance was later bought by Suburban, so I believe that my water heater is an earlier version of what is now called a Suburban SW-6P. Send me an e-mail or PM with your e-mail address if you would like me to send a PDF scan of it.
Nope. The main burner comes on fine and blows like nobody's business. The way it always does. It acts just like it did in the past. Blower comes on, heats the water, then goes to pilot when the water is hot. Only there's no hot water!
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:11 PM   #9
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Bob,
The Casita owner's manual covers this problem. There is a one-way valve (I think) at the water heater that sticks. You have to go in through the access port under the bed and tap on the valve to free it. I don't have my manual handy so I can't be specific.

If you need, I can get the manual tomorrow and get the info. Let me know.

Marv
I have the Casita owner's manual, but could find nothing about the problem. If you could, just let me know what page it's on. I have a 2002 model.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
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Nope. The main burner comes on fine and blows like nobody's business. The way it always does. It acts just like it did in the past. Blower comes on, heats the water, then goes to pilot when the water is hot. Only there's no hot water!
Ah, then it sounds like Marv is on the right track... you have hot water, it just isn't getting to the faucet.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:08 PM   #11
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You said: The furnace started fine and went straight into heating mode. Then you said: Blower comes on

My question is:
Are you lighting the Furnace or the water heater?
I have not seen a water heater in a camper that has a blower on it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:44 PM   #12
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You said: The furnace started fine and went straight into heating mode. Then you said: Blower comes on

My question is:
Are you lighting the Furnace or the water heater?
I have not seen a water heater in a camper that has a blower on it.
Water heater. Our furnace uses electronic ignition. I have to manually light the gas water heater. As soon as it comes on, it goes into full blast until the water is heated, thereafter just going to pilot until more water needs to be heated.
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:00 PM   #13
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Hey Bob, I found it. Casita Forum has the latest version of the Casita owners manual available in .pdf. No doubt this version is later than yours or mine. The owner has asked for it not to be copied to other sites so you will have to go there to see it. (As a Casita owner, you should be a member if you are not already, lots of good info there.) The stuff you want is on page 10, instructions and pictures, no less.

Good luck!

Marv

Note to Admin: It looks like my Casita manual is the next-to-latest version. Would you like a .pdf of it for the document center here? It's better than nothin!
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:19 AM   #14
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It worked!

As soon as I lightly tapped on the upper valve I heard the water begin to flow (after I'd lit the water heater and allowed the tank to heat up). Turned on both the kitchen sink and bathroom sink and got very hot water in both.

Thanks everyone!
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