RV Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

It can be quite troublesome when RV hot water heater issues arise, especially if you are traveling during the cooler months. We have some suggestions for common problems and troubleshooting so you can have a stress-free travel adventure.

Little or No Hot Water

There are a few things you can try if you are experiencing a lack of hot water:

• Check that the temperature is turned up high enough for your preference.
• Make sure thermostat is positioned against tank and working properly.
• Make sure the bypass lever and flame spreader are properly positioned.
• Remove any obstructions that may be blocking the burner.
• Make sure the hot water heater has not been bypassed.

Burner Won’t Ignite

This can be an issue with gas hot water heaters. Here are a few suggestions:

• Try cleaning the orifice. In some cases, replacing the orifice may be the best solution.
• Make sure the main burner is not blocked.
• Check the electrode, solenoid valve or circuit board for possible failure.
• Check to make sure the gas valve is opening and all surrounding wires are secured.

No Pilot Light

Several reasons could prevent the pilot from lighting. Here are some of the most common causes:

• Low levels of propane.
• Air in the gas lines.
• Controls may be weak and need to be replaced.
• Debris blocking the U tube.

Leaking Water Tank

Over time, it is not uncommon for tanks to develop leaks due to things like rust and erosion. When you notice leaks coming from the tank itself, it is time to replace the entire hot water heater.

Odor Coming from Faucets

If you smell a foul-smelling odor when you turn on the faucets, the water has probably set in the tank too long. It often has a rotten egg smell and is quite unpleasant, but it can easily be removed.

Turn on the faucets and allow the water to run until you no longer smell the stench. You will want to keep an eye on your grey water level, so not to overflow the tank during this process. Once the lines are clear, you will want to drain the water tank, as this water will have the same repulsive odor. Refill with fresh, clean water and you will be good to go.

Hot water heater issues are a common occurrence among RV owners; always use careful precautions when trying to diagnose your problem.

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