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Old 07-17-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Electric/Propane hot water heater-switching modes

We own a 2005 Granite Ridge.

We have mostly dry camped in the past and have always used our hot water heater in the gas mode. We are getting ready to take an extended trip where we will be in a CG with power.

I have been going through our unit testing each appliance and can't seem to get the hot water heater to work in the electric mode. Unfortunately it is out of Propane at this time, I tried to fire it off before I realized the propane was empty and I can hear the ignition process but only in the gas mode.

I don't know what I"m doing wrong.

I have attached photos for review.
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IMG_7065.jpg   IMG_7066.jpg   IMG_7069.jpg   IMG_7070.jpg   IMG_7072.jpg  

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Old 07-17-2016, 10:50 AM   #2
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:39 PM   #3
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The electric heating element could be damaged from someone turning it on with no water in the tank.
Not the exact problem I found with the second to last RV I bought and couldn't get hot water on electric.
After checking with a volt meter for power at the element and then removing the element, I found it was rotted from hard water and had broken off in the tank--it was 10 years old. I replaced the element and left the old piece in the tank since I couldn't reach and grab it through the small hole.
It worked fine until I sold it four months ago.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:10 PM   #4
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You won't be hearing any ignition noises on electric. A different way to generate heat.

You will need to check the heating element for continuity and verify some voltages on the electric side.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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Is there a different heating element for electric as opposed to gas?
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:59 PM   #6
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Yes, the electric heating method is a resistance element screwed into the rear of the tank that heats the water with 110-volts AC. You have to have AC voltage present to the heater and the electric heating function turned on.

As others commented, they do go bad and fail to heat.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:57 AM   #7
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If it were me I wouldn't mess around. First check the fuses, check switch on the wall that the wiring has not disconnected from the switch. Next I would remove the electric heating element, get the name and model number off of the heater, and go to the parts department at your local rv dealer. Noted from picture that it is an Atwood. Odds are they will have an Atwood element in stock and it isn't all that expensive. In an hour you will be done with it as that element after 10 years is likely the culprit.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:24 AM   #8
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you have two heating elements. One is the fire, of the burning propane. You will hear this system working, as the igniter clicks, and there is a roar of the fire. The electric heating element is whisper quiet, and you will not be able to tell it is on, until the tank is warming up, and you can feel the heat radiation from the system.

Question, have you gone into your circuit breaker panel and checked the 120V breaker. It might be turned off. I turn mine off after every trip, so it cannot accidently get turned on and burnout the element, if the tank is dry.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
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Something else I just noticed. If you look at the OP's pictures the one that shows the rear of the heater also shows the valves. The winterization bypass valve is open! If they are trying to make hot water it likely won't work very well regardless.
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