Have you been taking cold showers, and are you wondering how to fix the Forest River RV hot water heater not working? You have come to the right place! Not so long ago, I was having problems with my Forest River RV hot water heater not working, but later I managed to solve the problem.
Keep reading, and I will tell you why my Forest River RV hot water was not working and the solutions I used to solve that issue. But before we get there, let me tell you the brand of water heater Forest River uses.
Table of Contents
Which Water Heater Brand Is Used by Forest River?
Several Forest River companies employ water heaters from other manufacturers, even though the RVs I looked at for the Forest River branch of the corporation might have said Suburban and Dometic Atwood.
Additionally, Forest River has affiliate companies that produce trailers and RVs. Each RV manufacturer has its own manual that you may find here.
Forest River RV Hot Water Heater Not Working: Solutions Table at the Glance
Please study the table below to see a summary of common problems that could cause your Forest River RV hot water heater not to work. I have also listed the solutions that can fix the issues.
Common problems that make Forest River RV hot water heater not work
Tripping of the reset button:
Double-check the wiring
Blockage of heater orifice:
Clean the soot and dust
Issues with the pilot light:
Consider resetting the water heater
The gas valve of propane is off:
Open the gas valve
Thermocouple are faulty:
Buy new thermocouple
Fill up the propane in the tank
Cold and hot water mixing:
Winterize, then open the bypass valve
That summarized some of the problems behind your Forest River RV water heater not working.
7 Problems Associated With Forest River Hot Water Heater
Next, I will explain each problem and the solution you can use to remedy the problem in detail.
1. The Propane Level Is Low
A Forest River RV water heater can use gases, electricity, or propane. I prefer propane because propane water heater comes with many advantages, such as:
- It is cheap: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average savings when using propane vs. an electric water heater is about $174.
- It is environmentally friendly: Propane water heaters use an average of 30% less energy to operate than electric models.
When propane is low in the propane tank, the water heater in your RV will not work. Here is how you can determine if the propane level is inadequate:
- Check the gauge.
- If your RV does not have a gauge, try lighting your stovetop burner and let it run for a short time. You know there’s still propane in the tank if the burner stays lit (and the flame seems as large as it normally does). You can also try turning on your AC; if it does not work, the propane level is low because propane ignites the Air Conditioner.
You can follow this video for more instructions.
So, what should you do to prevent these problems in your propane-based water heaters?
2. Blockage of Heater Orifice, Thus Affecting the Heating Element
A pilot light is ignited by the propane gas that flows through the burners, which are opened by the orifice. Hence, propane heaters require frequent cleaning and maintenance to prevent obstruction and ensure consistent fuel flow.
But what makes it not work?
- As dust and soot settle into its microscopic openings, they become clogged.
- The obstruction prevents the propane from reaching the combustion chamber.
- Propane combustion forms water vapor and carbon dioxide, solidifying into soot on the orifice holes.
- The carbon dioxide and water vapor obstruct the passage as they accumulate on the burner side.
3. Tripping of the Reset Button
It is common practice to plug these water heaters into electric outlets for usage. You can find the red reset button next to the thermostat.
You must learn to understand the warning indication of a malfunctioning device—the reset button tripping. What causes the tripping?
- Poor or unsecured wiring is usually to blame when the button trips.
- The problem could also arise if your grounding is unstable.
- The reset button will go off if the water temperature goes too high.
Check out this video for more details.
4. Cold Water and Hot Water Mixing
There was a time when my RV water heater was not producing hot water. This was so stressful as my family, and I had to shower with cold water during the winter. I thought there was a huge problem, but it turned out that I had closed the bypass valve.
I usually close the bypass valves during the winterizing process, and I have not once forgotten to reopen the valves.
- Closing the bypass valve during winterization is crucial as it stops the water flow in the tank.
- This bypass valve closure lets you get cold water from the cold and hot side faucets.
- The closed valve prevents the hot water from exiting the heaters even if it continues to get heated.
5. The Gas Valve of Propane Is Off
If your RV water heaters aren’t working, checking the propane valves is another simple way to diagnose the problem. The purpose of the control valves is to restrict the propane flow that goes toward the burner to ignite a flame.
- These valves can malfunction occasionally, making it difficult to open and close them correctly.
- The jammed valve restricts the propane flow, which makes it difficult for a flame to ignite.
6. Issues With the Pilot Light
The pilot light in your Forest River RV is the main source of ignition for the burner, which in turn provides warm water to the RV. When my thermostat went out, the pilot light could not ignite the burner.
The issue with this part also stems from gas pressure fluctuations and broken propane valves. Because of dirtiness or damage, thermocouples are unable to spark. This might happen, for instance, if a propane valve fails and pressure builds up outdoors. What should you do in such a case?
7. Thermocouple Are Faulty
Thermocouples, which function similarly to fuses, are the main components of water heaters. When the water gets too hot, it cuts off the gas flow. Similar to sensors, these enable gas to be released into the burner upon the arrival of the pilot light, which initiates ignition.
These devices can develop malfunctions that sometimes prevent them from receiving or transmitting signals properly. If thermocouples fail, for instance, the flame won’t go out, and a hot shower won’t work.
So, what causes the faults?
- Improper installation.
- General wear and tear cause these devices to eventually break down.
- The presence of oxygen and oxidation processes, which might harm its metal components, are further contributing factors.
Still Unable to Solve Your Problem? Here’s Visual Assistance
I will share a helpful video if you cannot solve the problem. Check out this visual assistance for a better understanding:
Other common problems include:
- A problem with the electric heating element.
- Faulty thermostat. You can use this video to rectify this issue.
- Malfunctioning of the check valve.
Forest River Water Heater Replacement
Note that you can’t purchase a replacement directly from Forest River. In most cases, their dealers and approved repair shops handle replacement parts. The necessary components could become quite pricey as a result of this.
Many online marketplaces and stores, including Amazon, eBay, and others, provide RV components for Suburbans. Finding local dealers or new water heater outlets with a decent online search should be easy.
Experiences From People Who Have Used Forest Heater
There are several user experiences that I have come across, and I think you should have a look at them in case you are experiencing similar problems.
How Can I Prevent My Forest River RV Hot Water Heater From Not Working?
You can prevent your Forest River RV hot water heater from not working by following the instructions in the water heater manual. You can also regularly monitor the propane level, check the gas valve, and ensure no faulty thermostat. Also, ensure the power and electric heating elements are working in electrical models.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Forest River RV Hot Water Heater?
Fixing an RV water heater issue typically costs $50-$150 for minor issues like blown fuse or thermostat, and from $500 for major repairs.
There you have it! That is all I had on why your RV’s water heater is not working. It can be quite frustrating when the water heater is not working, and there is no hot or warm water. I have shared the common reasons why your water heater may not work.
They include tripping the reset button, blockage of the heater orifice, issues with the pilot light, faulty thermocouple, and Low propane. You have to ensure there is no problem with the power, clean the heater orifice, push the red reset button next to the thermocouple, change the faulty thermocouples, and ensure the propane levels are adequate.
Have you experienced any of the issues that I have stated? How did you resolve that issue? Please talk to me in the comment section below.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures