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Old 07-20-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
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Unhappy Please help...I made a newbie mistake...

So I bought my first travel trailer about 4 weeks ago. My wife and I have always loved camping. We have 2 small children, which made the idea of a travel trailer that much more exciting.

We bought a 2005 Jayco Jayfeather 27BH. In our first 4 weeks, we've already taken it out 3 times, and LOVE it! When we picked it up from the dealership, they gave us a good walk-through and 'orientation' about how to operate it/hook it up, etc. It was fairly overwhelming, because it was all new to me. I remember one of the important things he told me was to MAKE SURE I didn't turn the electric water heater button on if I had no water hooked up.

Well...last week, as I was getting everything ready to leave the campsite, I disconnected the water supply....emptied all of my tanks, then walked inside the camper to see that the electric water heater button was still on...(had been for probably 4-5 minutes. I hooked it up again this weekend to test it and see if I screwed anything up, and low and behold, I must have because I hooked the water up, turned the water heater on, gave it 90 minutes or so, and had no hot water...


What did I do? And how big of a repair is it....?

Thanks for any help/info...
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:12 AM   #2
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If the hot water tank was empty with the electric element on, the electric element overheated. Probably melted and/or internally opened.


If I am not mistaken, the element can be replaced.
If it was in my hands, I'd gain access to the back of the water heater and run a continuity test on the element. Then check for 120VAC delivered to the element. Then change the element, fuse or controller that got blown out.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #3
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Did you drain the water heater? If not, leaving it on is no big deal, especially only for a few minutes. But that doesn't explain why the water heater isn't working.

Have you tried running it on propane?
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
If the hot water tank was empty with the electric element on, the electric element overheated. Probably melted and/or internally opened.


If I am not mistaken, the element can be replaced.
If it was in my hands, I'd gain access to the back of the water heater and run a continuity test on the element. Then check for 120VAC delivered to the element. Then change the element, fuse or controller that got blown out.
I am HOPING that is what happened (that I burned up the element). If that's all that the damage consists of, I have seen a few YouTube videos showing how to replace the element, and it looks fairly simple...


DocBrown- Not yet. That thought crossed my mind. That may be a good alternative for the time being.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:02 AM   #5
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My 2yr old son withing the first few minutes of us being home flipped ours on for a second or two before I could shut it off, luckily it still works. I then went and shut the breaker off, no more tempting red switches for the destroyer of nice things.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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I would guess it was just an element. If so, not really that expensive, and relatively easy to fix. Some Google searches will probably get that figured out.

Check all of the breakers/fuses, make sure that is OK. Then I would try replacing the element.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #7
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Testing the element should be pretty easy. Remove it and check for continuity with a multimeter.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #8
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Does emptying your holding tank empty the hot water heater? I wouldn't think so because there is a separate drain. ?????????
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:01 PM   #9
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Does emptying your holding tank empty the hot water heater? I wouldn't think so because there is a separate drain. ?????????
Yup separate drains for each tank.

Fresh water, grey water, black water, hot water, low point drains for the fresh water lines.

Some RV's with extra waste tanks have additional drains!
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:57 PM   #10
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Slow down on replacing the element

My bride has done this twice to me in our old TT's. The heater has a "breaker" (my term is not right but stems from lack of knowledge in the proper term) that is designed to prevent over heating. It will be a wire with a pink plastic tube around the sensor. In all likelyhood all you need to do is replace that. You can buy it at most if not all RV parts suppliers. They go frequently enough that they are sold in two packs, I always travelled with a spare on board.
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