Executing an RV hot water heater troubleshooting can be tricky, considering the numerous issues that can cause its malfunction. Luckily there are ways to depend on, including DIY approaches, to help you rectify before it results in other mechanical problems.
We shall go through 8 water heater issues, analyzing each to identify the best solution. Read on to also discover what to consider when buying RV heaters and the maintenance tips for the system. Let’s get started!
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How Can You Access Hot Water in Your RV?
Vehicle water heaters run on propane gas, while some use an electric heating element. Usually, either fuel can work efficiently, but the combo is better.
Your ability to consistently get hot water depends on the following:
- Whether the RV has a water heater tank.
- The state of the hydraulic system and its respective fuel (propane or diesel).
Having all systems running ensures you get your tank’s worth of supply. However, mishaps arising from the system’s wear and tear can cause technical errors. Therefore, always monitor your water heater closely, similar to going for a vehicle to service.
How Long Does Hot Water Last in an RV
The longevity of RV hot water is dependent on various factors, which include:
- The capacity of the water tanks.
- Hot water is mostly used for showering or washing dishes in chilly evenings or seasons.
The size of the tank does play a more significant role. A related factor is the rate at which respective gadgets like showerheads work. A normal showerhead type will release between 1.5 to 3 liters in a minute. Therefore, you can always calculate how long the remaining water capacity can serve you.
RV Hot Water Economy Tips
Like any other system, there are loopholes to ensure you enjoy quality showers at home.
- Getting a shower gadget with a relief valve. When water heater bypass valves, you save water in between wash-ups. The simple tech helps avoid unnecessary cold showers due to insufficient pressure.
- Also, use warm water when the tank capacity is small.
This video show’s you the heater’s dynamics and related malfunctions.
RV Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting Guide: 8 Common Problems and Their Solutions
As mentioned, different factors affect your heater, primarily because of the mechanical system’s failure. Below is a complete review of these issues and the RV water heater troubleshooting tips. Let’s dive into the details!
1. Getting Lukewarm Water
You’ll be frustrated if you get lower temperatures than anticipated, especially during the cold season typically because:
- Hot and cold water mix outside the storage.
- A small hot water tank size.
2. Power-Related Problems
Power failures are common if your heater uses propane, electricity, or a combination. If you’re having a power issue, here are some troubleshooting tactics you can use:
3. Lighting Malfunctions
The ignition system can also cause issues with RV hot water heaters. This is primarily due to compromised ignition or a faulty flame, leading to inconsistent power supply. Below are different ways you can solve your RV water heater power malfunctions:
4. Resetting the Water Heater
Various factors lead to a switch in respective RV water heater settings. Depending on your tank or tankless type, the ECO and hot water might switch due to the following:
- A change in water pressure because of less water.
- An automatic switch can be caused by overheating.
5. Tankless Water Heaters or On-Demand Temperatures
Tankless heaters are similar to mini boiler mechanics, with their proper functionality depending on:
- The available volume of water flow.
- Rate of your usage.
Additionally, on-demand temperatures are easy to attain but may require opening the hot water faucet to allow the heater to switch on a certain volume. This will save the propane when the gallon flow reduces below the required limit.
Also, click here to see a full troubleshooting guide.
6. Burner Element Clogged with Dust & Debris
Dust and debris are common in many systems. Despite a tankless heater having a cover, dust may still penetrate.
7. A Compromised Thermostat
A faulty thermostat can be tricky, resulting in inconsistent cold water heating. Your RV is most likely having this issue if you get hot water momentarily, then the system immediately reverts to cold water. Here are some possible solutions for dealing with a compromised thermostat.
8. Thermocouple Preventing Pilot from Staying Lit
Old model Rv water heaters have their share of mishaps, a thermocouple failure being one of the main problems. Older varieties use a standing pilot light to maintain on-demand water temperature and can shut off unexpectedly.
The first option can be switching the propane tank. Try other water troubleshooting tips, like eliminating the dust clog and allowing the pilot heating element to work efficiently.
Factors to Consider when Buying the Best Hot Water Heater for a Motorhome
Most individuals will only consider the price of a water heater when in the market for one. Here are features to consider when looking for the best water heater.
1. The Size of Your RV’s Hot Water Heater Tank
You should ensure the brand is compatible with the space inside your Motorhome. This is because some varieties are only suitable outside your RV.
2. Fuel Source for the RV Water Heaters
Motorhomes can use gas and electric water heater, which requires analyzing how you can conveniently refill /charge your RV water heater.
3. The Maximum Water Capacity
Evaluate the amount of hot water you’ll require regularly to select an appropriate size. A bigger model will cost more, but it’s a time saver if you have numerous users or need a large hot water supply.
Maintenance Tips for a Hot Tankless Water Heater
As mentioned, a tankless heater requires special maintenance mechanisms. Check out some of the tips you can use to correct tankless hot water heater issues.
1. Check your Thermostat
Confirm the thermostat wiring system is securely connected. It is key to replace any damaged components, especially the burns on the gadget. Also, get expert help to execute the process, which ensures any other related malfunctions are worked on.
2. Inspect the Heating Element
Another crucial troubleshooting tip is regularly ensuring the heating element is clean:
- The tech can collect dust and debris over time.
- Additionally, inspect the Rv’s water heater anode rod if your preferred brand has one.
3. Analyzing the Water Lines
Finally, check for clogging or leakages in the heater’s water lines. A great preventive measure includes flushing out any sediments using a vinegar solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the RV water heater not working?
RV water heaters might not work if there are issues with the thermostat, thermocouple, power shortages, and other electric water heater malfunctions.
What is the common problem with hot water heaters?
The common problem is water leaks and inconsistent power, which limits the heating to lukewarm.
Where is the reset button on the RV water heater?
The reset button is mainly a red button that is located near the thermostat underneath a detachable metal plate.
Why is my water heater not getting hot?
Getting hot water while there’s a tripped circuit breaker or a faulty fuse will result in lukewarm or cold water output.
What voltage is an RV water heater?
Rv’s water heater battery is a 12-volt variety.
That’s all we had regarding the major hot water problems, which can be a bother when planning a trip with your RV. Some of the issues discussed are common, resulting from natural factors like dust, while others, like thermostats and fuse malfunctions, require extra caution.
You can utilize the discussed troubleshooting techniques for faster solutions. Remember to consult an expert if you encounter a bigger issue or need clarification with the problem source.
So, have you faced any of the mentioned heating malfunctions? Comment below with the answer, and tell us the solution you used.
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