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Old 05-10-2011, 08:46 AM   #1
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Water heater electric turns on when propane is selected

Hi All,

During our first trip out with our new 29BHS (dry camping), we came across an issue where the electric side of the water heater is trying to turn on even though only the propane switch is turned on.

I figured this out when starting our Honda 2000 watt gen and the gen would immediately go into overload. I started turning things off one by one and re-starting the gen until I kicked off the electric water heater at the circuit breaker. Then the gen ran just fine.

I made sure the switch to the electric side is turned off up on the panel next to the propane switch. (the dealer said to check this and was wondering if the electric switch is turned on but the light in the switch is burned out).

Any ideas as to why this would be happening. If it is easy to fix I will fix it myself and not bother towing the rig to the dealer to fix this.

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:52 AM   #2
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So did you get positive confirmation that the propane burner was firing up? They didnt wire the switch backwards (elec to propane and propane to elec) did they?

If not that, then I would guess it is a bad circuit board or relay. If you are under warranty, I would not mess with it and drop by the dealer to have them fix it.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
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yes, after shutting the electric side off at the circuit breaker, the gas side runs just fine. The water heater gets very hot! Yes, it's still under warranty, we just bought it in Feb of 2011.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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Yep! They do get hot! That is normal. There is a thermal cutoff on the water heater that actually controls when the element is on, so even if the relay was stuck on - it should not overheat.

I would get it back to the dealer and have them mess with it. If you want to play with it yourself and you are very comfortable with electricity - here is what I would check --

1. Turn off 120 v power to the water heater and make sure all switches are off
2. Remove the edge connector from the circuit board and check to make sure it is clean
3. Reconnect the edge connector and with a multimeter, check to see if you have 12 volts on the yellow wire. That is the wire that goes to the relay. If it is hot and the electric switch is off, you may have a bad circuit board.
4. If not, connect to 120 v and carefully check the voltage at the element. If you have 120v there, but nothing on the yellow wire, you have a bad relay.

But again, since it is under warranty if you screw something up - they wont cover it.

Hope that helps!
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:46 AM   #5
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I would take it back to the dealer. Then they can't say you messed it up. One of the reasons we buy new trailers is to not have to fix things.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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Yes, I dropped it off at the dealer yesterday afternoon.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:20 AM   #7
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When you pick it up, tell us what they said was wrong. Always good to hear the outcome in case another member has a similar issue. thx!
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