2015 Casita SD17 hotwater pump screeching - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-11-2015, 11:32 AM   #15
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
Posts: 1,047
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whoot,
If I can offer you some info here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoot View Post
The squealing sound has stopped. It stopped when I cut the water pressure from the city, and then turned it back on again. I have no idea what was going on, but I think there might have been some air-pockets somewhere in the water heater. Yep, it sounds like your pump may have been "air-bound" and venting it does make a difference, as you found out. I think I need to better understand how to re-pressurize the water system. I believe I am supposed to open the sink valves first, until the sputtering stops, then open the shower, and the toilet last. Everybody has their own set up and purging procedure, so there really isn't only one way to do it. If you will be using the HWH, then one of the easiest ways, (and mostly to assure you do have adequate water in the HWH reservoir prior to energizing the heating element,) is to lift the lever on the brass T&P relief valve near the top of the outside face of the unit until a steady stream of water comes out. This is the easiest way to vent that tank, rather than using the sink faucets to do it. Of course, you will still need to open your faucets as well to vent out the water lines, but you'll find it goes a lot quicker if you purge the HWH first.

I have been using the electric water heater for the last 3 months. I leave it on all the time, since the switch is outside. I go through about 1 tank of hot water per day. I have no idea what this means for the "anode". From what I have read, the "anode" will eventually stop working, and I will have to get a new one. The anode, or more appropriately, the "sacrificial anode" is there to protect the metal components of your HWH. Any time that you have an electrical current or dissimilar metals involved in a wet environment, you risk interaction and corrosion between those different metals, not unlike in a battery. The anode will eventually decompose over time as a way of sacrificing themselves instead of allowing the metal of the HWH to rot and corrode away. In other words they protect the system at their own peril. Eventually they will lose their ability to perform this vital function, and will need to be replaced occasionally. You can prolong the life of your anode by removing it between uses if you won't need to use the hot water heater for more than a few days interval. If you use it all the time, fine - leave it in. If you have periods of it not being used for a week or longer, then removing it and setting it aside will allow the tank to drain, and will not unduly corrode your anode. No water - no corrosion. Thread it back in again when you need it and fill the tank again as decribed above. NOTE: remember to turn off the power to the HWH element and pop the T&P valve to release any pressure before you attempt to remove the anode. Also, if the anode is 50% eaten away, (or more,) it's time to replace it. I have 2 full LP tanks, I could use those to heat the water. I haven't used any LP for anything in the last 3 months.

My understanding of the water heater, is that I should have *either* the electric or gas heat on, and not both. Not sure if you are aware, but you can use either electric, propane or both, simultaneously. Using both will heat your HWH faster if you are in a hurry, and it won't damage anything to do so. So I always make sure they are both off, before I turn one of them on. When I was having the screeching sound, the gas was off, and electric was on. My water pump controlled by the sink-switch has always been off. The sound I heard must have been some kind of leak. There is a little water on the floor around the water pump, but not like the major leak I had 2 weeks ago. Check all your water lines and compression fittings to be sure they are tight and not cracked. There shouldn't be any leaking water. I'd check carefully for where the leak is coming from. It is important to fix this because if left to continue leaking, eventually you will wind up with a rotted floor.

If I am going to burnout my anode, maybe I should switch to gas, and just turn it on 20 minutes before I need hot water. The heating element and the anode are two separate components. The heating element will burn up if energized without water in the HWH reservoir in about 1 minute if not totally submerged in water around it. You won't burn out your anode, as there is no power to it. They do not burn out, they just eventually corrode away, as designed. It is a passive system. It makes no difference to the anode whether you run the HWH on gas or electric. Especially as I head in to the NJ winter.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:58 AM   #16
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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And when you reach that point when you really get tired of having to go outside to turn the water heater on and off, you may find this useful. Not having to go outside in the rain and cold to turn it on...priceless! LOL
Here's a mod I did a long while back that I posted on another forum.


Adding an interior control switch is a pretty simple conversion to make...

Instructions for Installing a Remote HWH 120 vac Switch, for turning the electrical element in the HWH on/off from inside the trailer).
You need:

A 3 terminal single pole pilot light switch (it has 2 brass screw and 1 silver screw terminals.) Leviton makes one with a switch on top and a red pilot light on the bottom that fits a single electrical rectangular box (see pic below). You can find them at any "big box" store.

* A rectangular single electrical box, specifically designated "for use in old, or existing construction". This model will have a swing-out wing on each side with a screw in each to draw the box up tight to the backside of the bulkhead for mounting.

* A saw, or other cutting device necessary to cut a hole to mount the box, (again, wherever you choose to locate it.) I personally prefer using a Roto-Zip for this, but a drill for pilot holes and a jigsaw with a fine blade will work. If you use a jigsaw, applying some masking tape around the outside edge will help protect the fiberglass or wood from damage caused by the vibration when cutting.

* 12/3 w/Ground Romex wire, which will have a Black, White and a Red insulated wire, as well as a bare ground conductor. Allow yourself enough wire to adequately reach your intended location, (wherever you decide to locate it inside your trailer,) and enough extra to carefully route it around the perimeter of any cabinets. I would recommend following and attaching it with zip-ties to the existing wiring bundle running through the trailer to the extent possible. I mounted my switch under the leg area of the side dinette table on the front of the rear bench. (If you choose to mount it there also, then about 6 feet of wire should be sufficient for your installation.)

To begin;

Unplug your trailer's shore power cord. Then remove the converter's cover plate to expose the 120 vac circuit breakers. Locate the breaker which controls the HWH (should be marked on the cover plate) and remove the black wire from the top terminal screw on this breaker. Pull this wire out of the terminal, but keep it handy.
.
1.) Using the BLACK wire of the three insulated wires in the new Romex cable, attach it to the HWH breaker terminal screw in the trailer's converter panel, and connect the other end to one of the gold colored screws on the new switch. (It doesn't matter which one, as long as it is one of the gold screws.)

2.) The RED wire is connected to the other gold screw on the switch, and is then wired back to the original black wire that was removed from the breaker terminal, (you remember the one that you removed from the breaker...yes, that one.) So, one wire will be black and the other will be red at this connection, but this is not a problem, nor code violation. Twist them together well with electrician's pliers, then wire nut and seal it real good with electrical tape.

The switch itself needs to have a neutral wire in order for the pilot light to come on when the HWH element is energized.

3.) Use the WHITE wire for that purpose, and it goes on the silver screw on the switch. The other end of the white wire goes to an empty screw on the neutral bus in the main converter panel below the breakers. Be sure it is attached to the neutral bus, not the ground bus (Yes, they are not one and the same.)

To differentiate the two:
* You will see a large white insulated wire attached to a big screw terminal that has a copper bus bar with several screw terminals on it as well. This is the neutral bus.
* The other copper bar with terminal screws is the ground bus, and usually has a large green or bare wire attached to it along with several ground wires.

4.) Connect the BARE ground wire to the ground screw on the new switch and the other end to the ground bus in the converter panel.

When you are done hooking all these connections up, replace the converter's cover plate and install the new switch cover plate. Then turn your converter panel circuit breaker on again, (and don't forget to leave the outside switch located on the HWH itself in the ON position at all times to make it work from inside, because power still goes through this switch on the HWH itself. Its nice to not have to go outside to turn it on or off each time you want hot water.)

Finally, make sure that your new switch is in the OFF position before re-establishing your shore power connection to prevent burning up the heating element (unless you are absolutely sure your HWH is full of water.)

Remember, you now control the electrical side of your HWH solely from this new switch!

Hope this helps. Write if you have any questions.

Greg
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:35 PM   #17
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Greg, I think you're giving Whoot a bit of false info with the anode. There is no reason for someone to remove one for a short non use period. That won't do a thing to it's lifespan. Pulling them out for the off/non use season I can see but even that is really only good to see how it's wearing. I worked 30 years with a water utility, we have quite a few 5 million gal metal storage tanks with anodes in them 24/7/365 and the anodes lasted 10-15 years. These little 6 gal heaters must be pretty good or I've been lucky as I've never had one go bad . BTW, as you use the shore power for yours, how long does it take to heat a tank up from cold?
I only use LP and it takes 10-15 minutes.
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:39 PM   #18
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I only take my anode out to drain the water heater and I replace it immediately. That way I know where I put it.
With no water in the tank, there is no wear on the anode.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:23 PM   #19
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Greg, I think you're giving Whoot a bit of false info with the anode. There is no reason for someone to remove one for a short non use period. That won't do a thing to it's lifespan. Pulling them out for the off/non use season I can see but even that is really only good to see how it's wearing. I worked 30 years with a water utility, we have quite a few 5 million gal metal storage tanks with anodes in them 24/7/365 and the anodes lasted 10-15 years. These little 6 gal heaters must be pretty good or I've been lucky as I've never had one go bad . BTW, as you use the shore power for yours, how long does it take to heat a tank up from cold?
I only use LP and it takes 10-15 minutes.
Well Dave,

I dunno about "false" info. I may remove my anode rod a little more often than most perhaps, but I still stand by it, for my own trailer anyways. I did sort of "qualify" it by saying periods of more than a week, but I realize that some folks don't pull them except maybe once a year. To me, draining the water at least removes any possibility of electrolysis and further erosion of my anode. Electrolysis is often a bit greater in these little water heaters than large municipal water tanks. I suspect a lot of it has to do with stray currents and dissolved minerals in the water. With your background, I'm sure you'd agree that mineral content varies considerably, depending where your water comes from and how its processed. Wasn't trying to imply that it needs to be pulled if you're not using it for a short duration, but only if it's not going to be used for a long while, such as winter lay-up and such.

On shore power only, my tank heats up in about 20 minutes.

Greg
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:14 PM   #20
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
Posts: 553
The anode is made of a sacrificial metal that is there to protect your water tank.
They don't "burn out" they get eaten up by the chemicals in the water.

I second reading up on your trailer's different systems.

Joe
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