If you take your RV out for an extended trip or a weekend getaway, the last thing you want to deal with is a faulty electric water heater. A broken RV electric water heater can make it difficult to enjoy hot showers and wash dishes while on the go. But don’t worry – there are several steps you can take to repair and troubleshoot your RV’s electric water heater. In this article, we’ll look at why an RV electric water heater might not be working, answer some frequently asked questions about the topic, and provide helpful tips for fixing it. Keep reading to learn how to get your RV’s electric water heater working again!
Table of Contents
Types of RV water heaters
Before getting into how to fix an RV electric water heater, it’s important to understand the two types of RV water heaters: tankless and storage tank models. A tankless model heats water on demand as you turn on the hot water tap. Storage tank models come with a large capacity tank that stores hot water until needed. If your RV has a tankless model, chances are you’ll need to troubleshoot the electrical system. On the other hand, if you have a storage tank model, it could be an issue with the pilot light or heating element that needs to be addressed. 
It’s not uncommon for RV owners to experience lukewarm water coming out of their electric water heater. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as faulty wiring, low power supply, or incorrect temperature settings.
If your RV electric water heater is not working, it could be due to power issues. Check your circuit breaker to make sure it has not tripped and that all the wires are connected properly. If this appears to be in order, you may need to check the power source. Make sure that there is no corrosion on the battery terminals or any other areas that could be causing a power loss. 
If the water heater still isn’t working, it could be due to a lighting issue. Make sure that the fuse has not blown or been disconnected. Additionally, check that all of the lights are turned on and that the wiring is connected properly. If you can see any exposed wires, make sure they are securely fastened and insulated. 
Resetting the Water Heater
If you have already checked all of the above issues and still no hot water, it could be time to reset the electric water heater. This is done by flipping the circuit breaker off and then back on again – this allows the system to reset itself. Additionally, check to make sure that your thermostat setting is not set too low. 
Tankless and On-Demand Temperatures
If your RV has a tankless or on-demand water heater, you may need to adjust the temperature settings. The default temperature of these appliances is often too low for comfortable bathing. You can usually increase the temperature by turning the dial and pressing reset on the front of the unit. 
Why Is My RV Water Heater Not Heating?
Pilot Light Keeps Going Out
If your RV electric water heater’s pilot light keeps going out, it could be caused by several things. The thermocouple could be faulty or the gas pressure could be too low. The pilot light may also need to be adjusted so that it is properly connected to the thermocouple and receiving a steady stream of fuel. You may need to call a qualified technician to diagnose and repair the issue. 
Faulty Electronic Ignition
An RV electric water heater with an electronic ignition sometimes fails to ignite due to a faulty control board. The issue could also be caused by a malfunctioning thermocouple or failing limit switch. In this case, you should contact a qualified technician who can inspect and repair the problem quickly. 
No Hot Water Flow
If your RV electric water heater is not producing hot water, there could be several issues with the system. The most likely culprit is a broken heating element or thermostat. You should also check for clogged filters and sediment buildup in the tank. If your RV has an electric ignition system, make sure that it is connected properly to the water heater’s power supply. If all of these issues are ruled out, then it is best to contact a qualified technician who can diagnose and repair the problem quickly. 
If your RV electric water heater is not functioning properly, it could be due to loose parts. You should inspect the system for any loose hoses, wires, or other components that could be causing issues. If necessary, replace any worn out or malfunctioning components with new ones and make sure everything is securely fastened in place. 
How To Fix an RV Water Heater Not Working On Electric?
Light The RV Water Heater Pilot
To light or relight the pilot light:
Locate and open the access panel on the outside of your RVe The Igniter is usually located on the inside of the access panel, and it looks like a spark plug. Turn the knob or switch to “ON”. Hold down the igniter button for a few seconds until the pilot light is lit. If it doesn’t light after several attempts you may need to replace your igniter or check for other problems. 
Refer to Your Water Heater Manual
Refer to the manual that came with your RV water heater. It will provide step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and repair any problems you may be having. It’s important to follow these steps exactly as they are written, as improper repairs can cause more damage or even an explosion in some cases. 
Check the Hi-Limit/E.C.O. Button
The Hi-Limit/E.C.O. button is located on the side of your electric water heater and acts as a safety switch to prevent overheating. If this switch trips, it will need to be reset manually by pressing down on the button until it clicks or pops back in place. 
Check Bypass Valves
The bypass valves are located near the bottom of your RV’s electric water heater and can cause a buildup of hot water if they become clogged or blocked. To check them, turn off your RV’s power and locate the two valves on either side of the unit. Open each valve by turning it counterclockwise until you hear water running through the pipes. If they are blocked, you will need to clean them out before your electric water heater can work properly again. 
Check the Electric Heating Element
If the RV water heater’s pilot light is lit and all of the valves are open, then it could be a problem with the electric heating element. You can check this by turning off the power to your RVe and removing the access panel on the side of the unit. Inside you will find two metal elements connected to wires. If one or both of these elements are broken, cracked, bent, or missing then they will need to be replaced. 
If all of the above steps have been followed and your electric water heater is still not heating, then it could be a problem with the thermostat. To test this, turn off the power to your RV and remove the access panel on the side of the unit. Inside you should see a round white dial with numbers indicating different temperatures.
If the dial is not indicating the correct temperature, then you will need to replace it with a new one. If you can’t find a replacement thermostat for your model of RV water heater, then you may need to take it to an authorized service center and have them install a new one for you. 
RV Water Heater Check Valve Malfunction
If your RV electric water heater still isn’t working properly, then it could be a problem with the check valve. This is located near the bottom of your RV and helps to stop the flow of hot water back into the cold water line. To test this, turn off the power to your RVe and locate the check valve on the side of the unit. Once you have located it, open it up and check to see if there is any blockage or debris that may be causing the issue. 
Track your RV maintenance
It is important to keep track of the maintenance done in your Recreational Vehicle. This ensures that there are no problems or issues that arise from a lack of regular care and inspection. If you want to ensure that your electric water heater will work effectively, then it is important to check for any signs of damage or wear and tear on the unit. This includes checking for loose connections, power surges, and water pressure. 
How do I reset my RV electric water heater?
The first step to resetting your RV electric water heater is to locate the circuit breaker for the water heater. It should be labeled clearly or you may need to refer to your owner’s manual. Once you have located it, flip the switch off and then on again. If this doesn’t work, you can also try turning off all of the power to the RV and then turning it back on. This should reset the water heater, allowing you to use it once again.
What is the most common problem with electric water heaters?
The most common problem with electric water heaters is that the heating elements can wear out over time. This causes them to become less effective, resulting in a shorter lifespan for your electric water heater. If you notice that your electric water heater isn’t providing as much hot water as it used to, then it may be due to worn-out heating elements. Replacing the heating elements can help restore your electric water heater’s performance.
Do all electric water heaters have a reset button?
No, not all electric water heaters have a reset button. Some models may require you to manually reset the unit by switching off the power and then back on again. If your model does not have a reset button, refer to your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for assistance.
How long does it take an electric water heater to reset?
It typically takes about five to ten minutes for an electric water heater to reset. If your unit does not seem to be resetting after this time, you may need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional for assistance.
How do I know if my electric water heater is bad?
If your electric water heater is not producing enough hot water or isn’t working at all, it could be an indication that the unit is faulty. You should also check for signs of wear and tear on the heating elements as well as any damage to the wiring. If any of these problems are present, then it’s likely time to replace your electric water heater.
How do I test my electric water heater?
You can perform a simple test of your electric water heater by turning it on and then checking the temperature of the water. If the water is not hot enough, then there could be an issue with the heating elements or wiring that needs to be addressed. You should also check for any loose wires or faulty parts that could be causing problems with your electric water heater.
What is the life of an electric water heater?
The typical lifespan of an electric water heater is around 8 to 12 years. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of your unit as well as how it has been maintained over its lifetime. If you’re unsure about the age of your electric water heater, you can refer to your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for more information.
Do electric water heaters need maintenance?
Yes, electric water heaters do need to be maintained on a regular basis in order to ensure that they are working properly and safely. This includes checking the temperature settings, draining and flushing the tank, checking for any signs of wear or damage, and replacing any worn-out parts. Taking these steps will help extend the lifespan of your electric water heater and ensure it remains reliable for years to come.
It’s important to note that if you’re having any issues with your electric water heater, a professional may need to be called in for further diagnosis and repair.
Useful Video: Diagnosing A Suburban RV Water Heater Not Working On Electric
It’s never fun when your RV electric water heater stops working. But with the right knowledge and a little bit of time, you should be able to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed. Whether you need to replace parts or learn how to troubleshoot different issues, this article has given you some helpful tips on getting your RV electric water heater working again. With a little elbow grease and some research, you should be able to restore your hot showers in no time.