Hot Water Heater Not Working - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-11-2017, 03:01 PM   #1
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: CASITA
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Hot Water Heater Not Working

I have a 2006 Casita 17 Freedom Deluxe which I purchased two years ago. I had hoped to take it out but health issues happened. Now all is good and I want to start using it. I have most all the manufacturers booklets except the water heater. That's the one system I'm having trouble with. I know it and work on propane or electric. I think the seller hit the rocker switch and forgot to make sure the tank was full of water. Where do I purchase a heating element? Since I don't know who made the tank, do I have to purchase it from Casita or any RV place? I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
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It's going to be either an Atwood or a Suburban 6 gallon heater. Elements for either one can be purchased online or at a store. You can get the model number from a placard which is located somewhere inside the access panel. Replacing them is easy. Remove element cover, disconnect two wires, use an element wrench to unscrew it, remove, then just install a new one by reversing the process. Depending on the model you may need to remove the propane burner tube to get access to the element cover. There are plenty of YouTube videos that walk you through the process.

Make sure to disconnect any power, disconnect the water supply, make sure your water pump is off, and drain the water heater before attempting to replace the element.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:01 PM   #3
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Before you buy a new electric element....

Before you run out and swop parts, does the water heater heat OK on propane? If so then most likely you have a defective element and a replacement is needed.

However, if it doesn't work on propane either then the water valves on the heater could be in the winter bypass position. If they are in the bypass position then you will not get any hot water!
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:14 PM   #4
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Why would you want to heat HOT water?

It is a WATER HEATER!!!
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:52 PM   #5
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It's not an Atwood, it's a Suburban 6 Gal. HWH, and this is the electric heating element you'd need if the one you have is actually shot. Are you sure that the element is burned up, or have you checked it yet? Also, is the check valve inside under the bench seat stuck, (it's located on back side of the unit,) which they've been known to do. A few judicious raps with a hammer or wrench on them usually gets the calcification deposits to release, but that only works if you have water pressure to push against it. I'm sure you already know this, but always make sure there is water in the HWH before energizing the electric element. Also, make sure the circuit breakers both on the converter panel and the little hidden one only accessable from the outside are both on too. If either, or both, are off you'll have no electricity to the HWH.

Suburban Mfg Water Heater Element Screw-In 1440 Watt 120 Volt
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:48 PM   #6
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Name: Jann
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Originally Posted by Love Camping View Post
I have a 2006 Casita 17 Freedom Deluxe which I purchased two years ago. I had hoped to take it out but health issues happened. Now all is good and I want to start using it. I have most all the manufacturers booklets except the water heater. That's the one system I'm having trouble with. I know it and work on propane or electric. I think the seller hit the rocker switch and forgot to make sure the tank was full of water. Where do I purchase a heating element? Since I don't know who made the tank, do I have to purchase it from Casita or any RV place? I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks
We had a problem with our 2007 hot water tank. It was working one night then not the next. When we got to checking it out we found out our power cord that stores next to the tank had gotten hung up on the wiring of the tank and pulled a white plastic connector apart. It sits on top of the tank so access it from the seat panel that makes it easy to get to the tank. You can't see it from the outside or from the access door that you can see the pipes from. This took us a lot of time to find. This means either to pull up the seat cushion or your mattress if you have it made into a full time bed. I plugged the connector back together and it works perfectly. Now we are very careful pulling out the cord. Bad design on Casita's part. My brother-in-law with his 2008 Casita had a broken heat element but when water was in it the electric would shut at the campground post. So it was shorting in the tank. Make sure you are getting water into the tank. The bypass knob that is hidden behind the pipe could be set for bypass.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:12 PM   #7
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Name: Gordon
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Originally Posted by Love Camping View Post
I have a 2006 Casita 17 Freedom Deluxe which I purchased two years ago. I had hoped to take it out but health issues happened. Now all is good and I want to start using it. I have most all the manufacturers booklets except the water heater. That's the one system I'm having trouble with. ...
I bought my camper (with a water heater) a little over two years ago and I have NEVER used the water heater. Previously I had a pop-up camper that had no water heater. You don't need a water heater to go camping, and now that your health allows it.. I say just go!

Of course we will help you get it working, but you might just find that you don't even care about it. A tea kettle on the stove works fine for heating water for dish-washing or the morning freshen-up. Most campground showers are a better option than trying to shower in a small fiberglass camper, even if they are less than pristine. Just remember your shower shoes!

Time is slipping away... just get out there!
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:06 PM   #8
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If it was in bypass the breaker under the outside cover maybe tripped
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