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Old 09-21-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Default Hot water heater not working

Just returned to Denver after a week trip up to Yellowstone. Had a great trip and the recently purchased used Fun Finder did great. Only a couple of minor problems one major one. The main problem is that the hot water heater does not put out much hot water. I was unable to test it before the trip. On the hottest setting, it puts out about a gallon of hot water, then runs cold. Needless to say, this is not enough to take a shower. I suspect it is a burner problem. Burners run, but I suspect they are not running enough to heat the water in the tank. Any thoughts on what may be going on here. Dan
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
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I don't think it is a burner issue... You say you get 1 gallon of hot water; it is a six gallon tank and you can't heat just 1 gallon and not the other 5. I don't imagine it is the thermostat either, for the same reasons. The burner and thermostat would either heat all of the water to the same temperature of "hot", in which case you could get 6 gallons of hot to lukewarm water, or if they failed you wouldn't get anything but cold. Can't see a scenario where if either one or both failed that you would get 1 gallon of "hot" and then get cold.

What you might want to look at first is the winterizing valves and then the backflow valve (if your unit has one). If the winterizing bypass valve is left open, you could get an initial rush of hot water (the tank is under some pressure from the heating process) and then once that "boost" pressure is bled off the water will take the path of least resistance which would be the crossover pipe that would then be cold at the hot spigot. It is possible that the backflow valve has failed, if you have one, and it is allowing ~1 gallon through itself before faulting over to no flow and blocking the outflow of the water heater. The only problm with that scenario is that there would have to be a crossover valve open that didn't get turned off when you dewinterized this spring. Otherwise you might get 1 gallon and the valve fails, but, you would then not get any water at all out of the hotwater spigot.

Backflow valves are located on the hot water exit of the water heater...usually brass and are not repairable. Not too expensive to replace if that is your issue. Not all units have a backflow valve, however, so if you have 3 valves for your winterizing, you probably don't have one...if you only have 2 valves (cold water inlet and bypass pipes), then you probably do.

First place to look would be your winterizing valves. Then you backflow valve. Last, and IMHO, least likely would be the burner or thermostat or controller board. Again though for one of those three to be bad, you would either get no hotwater or 6 gallons of lukewarm water, but, not 1 gallon of hot and then cold.



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Old 09-23-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Mine came with a COLD water heater to make cold water hot.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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Thanks Webslave for you valuable input. Also thanks to Eagle, but sorry we are not all as smart as you are. Deal with it. Webslave, I took it today to a very good propane man and he checked out all the propane, burner and other parts just fine. The burner ran on high for 20 minutes before it cut off, and still only a half gallon of hot water before it came out cold. He suggested I take to a RV place, which I did. They said it sounded like a value was open that should be closed. I had a drawing I did of the five valves and lines running from the fresh tank to the hot water heater and beyond. I showed it to the guy at the RV place, and he immediately identified that a crossover valve was open when it should be closed. I closed this valve and will test it tomorrow, assuming we dont have the same hurricane force winds we had today. Pretty hard to light the pilot when the wind is blowing 50 mph sustained all day long. He also gave me the position of the valves during normal use and during winterizing. The previous owner was useless in his knowledge of the numerous valves, etc, and the correct posititon of them. It looks like the previous owner had the crossover valve open when it should have been closed.The owners manual was also totally useless, not only in this issue but in every problem I had with the camper. The owners manual is probably the single most useless piece of literature I have on the camper.Too bad Cruiser cant do a better job with the owners manual but guess that is a subject for another topic. So maybe it will have solved the problem, but I wont know until I can check it out and post an update. Webslave I think your input was great and matches what the guy at the RV shop told me, so I feel pretty confident it will solve the problem. Too bad the owners manual doesnt help out with basic issues for a new owner to help solve such problems, but that is the way it is I guess. Dan
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
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Denver R

Here is a thumbs up you water heater problem is solved.

I have to agree the owners manual could be improved greatly. At the least, it's a start unlike the new cell phones that come without any manual.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, "User Guides" or "Owners Manuals" are seldom worth the time to look at. They are generic at best and most are just plain useless. The days of getting model specific manuals and even plumbing, electrical or framing plans are gone.

There are some "generic" books around and I've posted some plumbing diagrams here in another thread or two, but, even those, while useful, are not model specific. By and large, there isn't a whole lot of difference in RVs; they all have, basically, the same equipment by the same manufacturers and they have to be hooked up in a fairly common sequence, but, all of that only comes from experience.

That brings up the great value of these types of forums. There are a lot of forums out there, but, even those come with caveats. Some of them have become downright rude to novices, some are populated with folks that don't know anything, but, like to see their nonsense in print. Some like this forum are populated by folks that are perfectly willing to help you figure things out. Most of the RV systems are pretty basic, but, can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Fortunately, some of us, have stuck around with it long enough to have "been around the block" with a lot of the frequently encountered problems, and we've survived! Don't be afraid to ask your questions...none of us are "born RVers" (despite some apparent egos to the contrary) and we, all of us, started sometime, somewhere with very little knowledge, besides being able to spell RV (and I wonder about that for some ).

This is one of those "better" forums; they even let me stick around even though I no longer own a FunFinder (wish they made 5th wheels). Ask your questions, they don't even have to be a "problem"; maybe you are just curious about why something is the way it is or how it operates. Someone here will be happy to lend a hand and I hope you enjoy RVing as much as we do!



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Old 09-25-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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Great news. Hot water problem solved by closing the crossover valve. Too bad the owners manual couldnt provide more help, but as stated, this really shows the importance of the forums and this web site. Thanks guys for the help. Dan
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver Raider
Great news. Hot water problem solved by closing the crossover valve. Too bad the owners manual couldnt provide more help, but as stated, this really shows the importance of the forums and this web site. Thanks guys for the help. Dan
It happened to me after my first winter so you are not alone.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #9
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Default lol!

silly....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle
Mine came with a COLD water heater to make cold water hot.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooneybeem
silly....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle
Mine came with a COLD water heater to make cold water hot.
Not silly. There is no need for a HOT water heater. If that water is already hot, why heat it?

You need a water heater to heat COLD water...it's reality.
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