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Old 09-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Default No Hot Water

Just got back from 2 weeks of camping in our '06 189FBR. We tried turning on hot water heater for first time ever. No hot water (cold and hot water taps same temperature). I tried hooked up to both shore water and from the tank.

When i flip the switch on (located in kitchen) I don't hear any noise...i expected to hear the sound of a pilot light lighting. Other gas appliances are fine (fridge ran on gas and range worked). The red light also does not come on (which i believe would indicate a fault in lighting the pilot?). I checked the fuse and it appears good, but not trusting the labels I checked all my 12V fuses just to be sure, all ok.

Not entirely sure where to even start with troubleshooting. Looking in the access panel on the outside of the trailer there don't appear to be any switches/valves there that would require switching/turning to turn the thing on. No pilot light visible either.

2006 FF 189FBR | 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7L HO
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:54 AM   #2
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I had somewhat of a similar issue earlier this year. I know my water heater is silent when it kicks on. The one time we were camping trying to get hot water, I had a valve open that wasnt supposed to be and the water was just going around the water heater instead of thru it when we turned the faucet on. As far as the light goes, something sticks out in my mind that the light comes on when it fails to kick on. I know my water pump light comes on with the switch but, like I said, I think the water heater is backwards.

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Old 09-05-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Check whether your bipass valve is closed. I don't believe the heater will turn on if there is no water in the tank.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lake Winola,PA
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did you winerize it ? check the hot water tank bypass vavles
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Bypass valves is closed (turned clockwise and perpendicular to the hose), the other two valves are definitely open (they are turned counter-clockwise, and aligned straight with the hose).
2006 FF 189FBR | 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7L HO
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Location: Southwest Arizona
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The red light should come on until the igniter gets the burn going at which time it goes off. The red light indicates a failed burner condition and should be on until the burner actually lights. If, when you first flip the wall switch on, the red light does not come on, then your heater is not getting the signal to open the gas valve and spark the igniter until you have ignition. This could be as simple as a loose wire or a bad circuit board. I would first check the wires...if you look around the water heater inside (near where the valves are) you should see a little box screwed to the floor with 4 or 5 wires coming out of it and going through a grommet to the outside water heater parts (valve, igniter, thermostat). That little box houses the circuit board that controls the ignition, shut off and temperature of the water heater. Check the wires that go into the box (not likely the problem) and out of the box...the connectors are slip on at the box. The big red one on top is the igniter cable, the others are the control circuits. Those that go out of the box and through the wall most likely will have wire nuts and splices. Check the wire may be loose, take them off check the wires for looseness or corrosion and re-attach the nuts. Hopefully that will take care of the problem...if not, you are probably looking at a new circuit board. If you have a tester, you can test for 12v at the switch in the wall and at the board's voltage input connection from the switch.

Hope the above helps...

My 2 cents, your mileage may vary...

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Old 10-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the input. This is a great resource and a very polite and friendly forum. Much appreciated.

So I found the root cause of my water heater failure. The 120V side is all good of course.

I downloaded the Surburban manual and followed the decision tree diagram for troubleshooting. Turns out that I have a bad 12V thermostat. Gonna grab a new one tomorrow and upgrade to a 140V so we hopefully use less hot water. Also ran into some great YouTube video for water heater maintanence. Turns out my anode is toast also and the tank needs a serious flushing. Probably a good thing that my thermostat went out....forced me to become knowledgeable.

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