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Old 12-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2017
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M.O.C. #20939
Water Heater issues while using electric

I have a 2017 Montana 3810 MS Legacy.

I've been operating my Suburban brand water heater on both electric and gas. Recently, I switched to electric only. It was working fine for a couple weeks and then all of a sudden, I didn't get hot water any longer.. I checked switches, fuses, breakers and the control panel and all were in working order.

I switched back to gas and it worked fine. It is a brand new 5th Wheel and I expect all to be in working order so I contacted a mobile RV repair company to see why the electric isnt working.

They came out, and when they tested it, it started working again making me look like an idiot. They charged me $175.00 for their troubles. I can't send the bill to the warranty place because no issues were found....

I kept it on electric after the service call three days ago, and last night, when I was getting ready to take a shower, there was no hot water...

Has anyone on here had intermittent how water while using electric only? I'm wondering if its some type of "relay" issue or something like that so I can hopefully avoid more unnecessary service calls.
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chilliwack
Posts: 1,515
M.O.C. #12935
Here is a troubleshooting guide I have referred others to in seeking issues with their Suburban hot water heaters.
You will need a volt meter that is capable of reading AC, DC and Resistance to perform the troubleshooting tests in the document.

Link: https://manuals.heartlandowners.org/...ban%20V1.3.pdf

Hope this helps in finding your problem.
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
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M.O.C. #6433
I hate those. My guess would be either a bad/loose connection or a flakey switch. About all you can do is use a voltmeter to troubleshoot when it stops working. You should be able to find where in the circuit that power is lost. All assuming you are comfortable troubleshooting 120 vac.
Bill & Patricia
& Molly (our 11 yr old Golden)
2007 3075RL
2012 F350 SRW CC LB FX4 6.7
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:24 PM   #4
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M.O.C. #5651
I had exactly that problem last summer. I first thought it was the high temp limit switch, because when I reset it the first few times it seemed to fix everything. Seems like if I turned off the outside switch, and then back it worked again for a while. Finally wouldn't work when I got home, so made an appt. to fix it. Stored unit for a month waiting to get in, and, of course, it worked again.
Finally the dealer said the actual heating coil or whatever it is called was bad and intermittent. I actually haven't tried it out yet, since it is in storage; but plan a late winter/spring short trip to see.

Tom and Gail
2013 Mountaineer 362
2012 Silverado 2500
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:45 AM   #5
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M.O.C. #13325
Here's the deal - you have to have 12v to run your heater's 120v heater. That's because the 12v not only lights the light in the switch, it also energizes a relay that's located where you probably can't get to without pulling the heater. That relay then puts 120v to the heating element. (All this from my water heater experiences this past summer!).

If the light on your switch comes on and the outside limit & rocker switches are all in the right positions, that $5 relay may not be good or not have it's connections right.
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electric, hot water, relay, suburban

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