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Old 06-20-2016, 10:58 AM   #1
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Question anyone replace their water heater yourself?

we purchased a new(used camper) 2012 jayflight 32tsbh and when got home to hook up and un winterize, the water heater was pouring water everywhere (should have tried it there, ya....we know. learned that lesson the hard way) we're going to pull it out tonight and inspect it but chances are it must be cracked or etc. is it fairly easy to replace on our own or would you recommend a professional. i watched a couple videos on you tube and it seems to just un hook, slide out, slide new in. if it is just cracked and all the other stuff seems in good condition i will maybe just have it welded instead. any one have experience doing this or have tried replacing it on your own.thanks!!
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:06 PM   #2
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I've played "musical water heaters" in a portable self-contained wash station I built.


Yes, replacing an RV water heater is a straight-forward process.


Only attempt if you are familiar with the safety precautions surrounding propane (flammable gas) connections and you can make reliable, leak-proof plumbing connections. Or you don't mind doing a second time after you've found your mistakes.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:39 PM   #3
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We have a 10 gallon Atwood in our Eagle. I've always thought that if something catastrophic happened to the camper, I'd salvage the water heater and install it in my new camper as most come with a 6 gallon. We love our 10 and it makes a huge difference when showering. As Mike says, it seems like a straight forward process as long as your prepared.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:45 PM   #4
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Ok,ya I'm gunna give it a go. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codielenore View Post
Ok,ya I'm gunna give it a go. Thanks
Good luck!

Carefully examine the plumbing fittings during disassembly to make sure none of them were the cause of the leak. Consider replacing them with more flexible line and or fresh gaskets/fittings while you can get at them through the hole the heater had occupied.

Get a fresh roll of sealing tape when you buy the new water heater.

Clean off all of the old, dried out sealant before applying the new stuff. A wipe with mineral spirits on both surfaces will help achieve a good, weather-tight seal.

Apply a thread sealant to the water lines. No sealants on the propane (flare) fitting.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
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Just to be clear, did you check all the connections and locate the leak first? When the unit was winterized, the heater should have been drained. If they missed that, then sure it probably cracked. But if they drained it, it is possible that the drain plug or pressure relief aren't tight, or you may just have a leak at one of the water connections.

Most RV HWT's can handle a bit of residual water left in over the winter as there is lots of room for expansion during freeze cycles.

I'd look for the easy solutions before pulling it out...
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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A few years ago with our old hybrid, we were camping at a place three and a half hours from home. I was having a shower and DW asks me, "why is there water running across the floor?" Sure enough, the bottom of the tank had rusted out. A phone call to a mobile RV repair service told us that would be too expensive, so an hour's drive to an RV parts place in a nearby city, and multiple trips to the hardware store in another town for this part or that tool -- naturally, because all of the stuff I needed to change out a water heater was at home! But I managed to get the old water heater out and the new one put in while in the campground. Ours was just the DSI model, not electric, so it was just one gas line, two water lines and three wires. It wasn't a lot of fun to do it in the field, but at least now I know how to do it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:57 PM   #8
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codielenore,

Welcome to JOF

Quote:
Originally Posted by codielenore View Post
snip..... any one have experience doing this or have tried replacing it on your own.thanks!!
I preformed an R&R on my HWH unit last week......, had to remove the HWH to access the heating element. The HWH R&R is fairly straight forward as long as you have the proper tools. Make sure to label all wires as you disconnect and/or cut them.

Reference thread w/pics: https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f3...t-37165-2.html

Bob
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:04 PM   #9
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I just bought my 19H in March, guy said it was never filled, so he refused to fill it to check for leaks (ya red flag, but live and learn). The tank was cracked 9 inches across so, I bought a new 6 gal on ebay, watched a youtube video on installing it and had it installed, working and sealed in 1.5 hours. I have zero training and just do odd household plumbing when it arises. Make sure you take a pic of electrical connections before unhooking, some of the colors do not match, and of course make sure your gas line is properly sealed.
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