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Old 10-03-2011, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default FF 189FBS - Newbie Owner - Need help our routine features

Greetings,

I'm a new owner of a 2007 189FBS. I love it but purchased it at auction so I was not shown the ropes.

My main concern right now is related to the water heater. Will the unit work if there is no water? Curious if there is a safety feature to protect it from burning out in the event the fresh water tank becomes empty.

Second, do I need to fill the fresh water holding tank if I have a pressurized water hose connected from a park facility?
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #2
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Yes the hot water heater will heat without water,it will burn out the unit.
I put a small piece of tape over switch(for propane to left of stove) taping it off.
When I use it i remove the tape and put it next to switch.

The electric heater has a switch on the left bottom of the access panel (Outside) make sure its off when empty or you will burn out the element.

The fresh holding tank doent need water in it for city water hookup through a hose.
I use a regulator on the hose that you can get at walmart so the inner plumbing is safe in case theres a presure build up at a campsight.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:56 AM   #3
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Hi, and welcome to the FunFinder "family"

Your water heater will indeed "fire up" empty. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER fire up your water heater empty. The propane burner will light, but, on an empty water heater tank, the "hot spot" on the tank material will weaken the tank just about the time the unit shuts down on "over temp". If you try it with the electric element, the element will "self destruct" in a matter of seconds. Always make sure that you have a full tank (water heater tank) before applying either heat source to it by running the hot water spigot, kitchen, bath, shower, etc. for a bit to make sure that the tank is full (no sputtering of air coming from the spigot).

Once the tank is full, you can't "run the tank empty", even when connected to no water source. The tank "empties" from the top, i.e., cold water supply in at the bottom, hot water out of the top, and can not empty on its own (you have to manually empty it for winterizing by pulling the anode out of the tank). If you are using the onboard fresh water tank, the pump pulls water from the tank and pushes it through the water system, including the water heater. If the fresh water tank empties, the pump only sucks air and it can't generate enough air pressure to drain the water heater tank, so, in that event, you'll know the fresh water tank is empty because water will stop flowing out of the faucets. If you are using shore water, again, if the pressure in the hose drops to nil, you can't empty the water heater tank.

You do not need to have your fresh water tank full in order to use the shore water system. There are check valves and the plumbing (pump connection) is designed such that water from the city connection bypasses the fresh water tank and services only the appliances in the trailer (spigots and water heater) without affecting the pump or fresh water tank. You can have a full freshwater tank and still use the city water connection and it won't affect the level of water in the fresh water tank. The only time the fresh water tank comes into play is when you have water in it and you turn the pump on...when connected to shore water, you leave the pump off and rely on the water pressure from shore to operate your plumbing fixtures. We don't boondock and always camp with hookups (at least water and electricity) and I don't think I've used the onboard freshwater system (tank and pump) more than twice in the four years I've pulled our 210WBS. I've never seen the point in hauling around several hundred pounds of water that I'm not going to use.

Hopefully that helps answer your questions



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Old 10-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Makes perfect sense thank you both!

A few more questions for you.

Is there a plug to the dump the fresh water tank anywhere? Right now, I've simply beening running the faucets & then dumping through the sewer hook-up Takes awhile & I was thinking there might be a quicker way to dump the fresh water.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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On our 08 ff210 there is a little valve on the tank under the trailer. It is on the drivers side behind the wheels. You gotta crawl under there to reach it.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosner
On our 08 ff210 there is a little valve on the tank under the trailer. It is on the drivers side behind the wheels. You gotta crawl under there to reach it.
Yep, whaat he said In the freshwater tank (the transluscent one), you'll find a little petcock valve with the lever on the side. Just turn the lever and it should drain the tank. The outlet is small, so, it will take a while to empty a full tank, but, that's the drill.



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Old 10-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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Ok, great located the the drain valve for the fresh water tank, thanks.

So I'm having a problem with the water heater based off previous posts.

1) When I'm plugged into a 30A outlet, I flip the water heater toggle switch and see no indicator light whatsoever. However, the eletric heating element is working. My water does come out hot although it appears to be intermittent at times. However, there is no gas being ignited. Is the water heater only programmed to run off eletric when plugged into a 30A outlet?

2) When I'm NOT plugged into a 30A outlet, I get nothing. I flip the switch and get no red indicator light whatsoever. The heating element isn't producing a spark. I tried to light manually and there appears to be no gas being emitted (both tanks ON & propane is getting to my 3-burner stove for sure). So nothing when running solely on propane. How should I troubleshoot to determine root cause?
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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The hot water tank should work on gas, even with shore power. Point of fact for those inclined: Water heater recovery can be improved by running both electric and propane heating sources simultaneously. With two "sources of heat", water heats more quickly than with one. Not twice as fast, but, faster

When you flip the water heater switch to "On" (the inside gas switch), the red light should light up until the DSI unit sparks the burner tube to "lit". Since you aren't getting the red light, even momentarily, it would indicate "no power" to the control board/switch. First thing to look at is the fuse box...should be a fuse for the water heater listed.

If that has a good fuse in place, then it starts getting more complicated. You can't light the burner manually if the igniter/igniter circuit isn't functioning...that is a safety control to keep your water heater from spewing raw LP all over the place causing an explosion hazard. Trouble shooting why the board doesn't have power will take some rooting around and some "test tools"; ie., a VOM or at the very least a 12v test light and a pretty good understanding of the wiring involved. Not really something that can be described in a Forum. The control board is mounted near the water heater (usually right next to it) and the water heater has a wiring diagram glued to it...if you are "comfortable" with wiring diagrams and have the ability to read them, they are useful, but, most people don't have the skills to do much with them and the need for a good RV repairman is usually required. But... Before calling one, one thing anyone can do is...follow all the wires. Any place you find a junction, be it a screw post, slip on, etc. examine the connection and do a "wiggle test". If you find a wire nut (the little cone shaped connectors), undo them by twisting them off, check the wires to make sure they are twisted together and screw the wire nut back on. You don't know how many times I've found a loose wire or bad wire nut connection to be source of problem.



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2 Cats; J-Lo and Ragamuffin :R

2014 Thor Tuscany 40RX DP
2011 Ram 2500 Longhorn CTD HO
2011 Keystone Cougar 318SAB (now gone)
2008 FunFinder X 210WBS (Sadly gone)
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webslave
The hot water tank should work on gas, even with shore power. Point of fact for those inclined: Water heater recovery can be improved by running both electric and propane heating sources simultaneously. With two "sources of heat", water heats more quickly than with one. Not twice as fast, but, faster

When you flip the water heater switch to "On" (the inside gas switch), the red light should light up until the DSI unit sparks the burner tube to "lit". Since you aren't getting the red light, even momentarily, it would indicate "no power" to the control board/switch. First thing to look at is the fuse box...should be a fuse for the water heater listed.

If that has a good fuse in place, then it starts getting more complicated. You can't light the burner manually if the igniter/igniter circuit isn't functioning...that is a safety control to keep your water heater from spewing raw LP all over the place causing an explosion hazard. Trouble shooting why the board doesn't have power will take some rooting around and some "test tools"; ie., a VOM or at the very least a 12v test light and a pretty good understanding of the wiring involved. Not really something that can be described in a Forum. The control board is mounted near the water heater (usually right next to it) and the water heater has a wiring diagram glued to it...if you are "comfortable" with wiring diagrams and have the ability to read them, they are useful, but, most people don't have the skills to do much with them and the need for a good RV repairman is usually required. But... Before calling one, one thing anyone can do is...follow all the wires. Any place you find a junction, be it a screw post, slip on, etc. examine the connection and do a "wiggle test". If you find a wire nut (the little cone shaped connectors), undo them by twisting them off, check the wires to make sure they are twisted together and screw the wire nut back on. You don't know how many times I've found a loose wire or bad wire nut connection to be source of problem.
Don, thanks for that. When everything is working properly, is there a way to turn on just LP gas without using electric? Just curious. Obviously if I don't turn on the LP tanks then I'm only running on electric.

So I'm pretty comfortable with wiring diagrams. I do have minor in EE and am a engineer. Fuses are all good. I was hoping early it was that easy....of course not. So I did see the control box you speak about mounted next to the hot water tank. There is a 4-wire plug & a single wire on the other side which ultimately runs power to the eletrode. Any advice on testing the wires for either power or Ohms? My guess is that the LP valve isn't being powered to open but I have no clue how to test for that. I guess the gas solenoid could also be bad.
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