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Old 01-20-2015, 09:44 PM   #1
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Water heater has no power

Hello, Im new to the forum and being an rv owner. I have a 2006 26bhs. My water heater has no power to the "romex" cable going into the black box that houses the relay and heating element. I checked the breakers and there is no breaker that is labeled "water heater". I checked them all with a volt meter and all breakers have power coming out when turned on and seem to work properly when switched to off. my question is what breaker controls it and is it possible the romex wire is broken some where? all the connections in the breaker box appear to be good but no power back there. is there a way to tell where the wire is routed in case it is broken and needs replacing? i hear the relay click and the red rocker switch lights up so i think that part is working
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:13 AM   #2
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There may be a switch on the front of the Suburban water heater (outside access) and see if its on (see photo). Otherwise, the 120VAC breaker is normally on the same breaker as the converter.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
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I have a different water heater than the one in the picture. Thanks for the info on the breaker though. I will have to check if there are two separate wires going to that converter breaker. My biggest problem is with all the breakers on I still have no power to the romex wire going into the water heater. Thats what makes me wonder if the wire is broken because even if the switch on the water heater is off it should have power back there so that if that switch was on it will work. Thanks for your help
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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roger that.. you have an Atwood then. There should be a switch on the back of the WH (see photo). In the Jayco site.. it does not give me a description of your WH as to which one you have (just for reference). If you hear the relay click, then it sounds like you are getting power to the relay board on the back of the heater.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
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I checked the back of the WH and according to the location in the picture there is no switch. Just the relay, the trigger wires for the relay and the romex 110v wire, and the heating element. Yes the relay clicks when I turn on the switch on the tank gauge control panel, but if I'm not mistaking the tank gauge panel is 12 volts and uses 12v to trigger the relay which makes a contact to send 110v to the WH from the romex wire.

The breaker for the converter only has one wire going to it which I traced and is in fact the converter. So I am lost as to what breaker controls the WH and its hard to trace a wire I cant find and has no power. Again thank you for your help as I am obviously having a hard time with this. It may be easier to run a new wire back there and be done. My only worry is that the existing wire may have a break in it and I don't want to leave a potentially hot wire with a break in it inside the camper. If I knew which breaker controlled it I could simply disconnect it and run a new one
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:14 PM   #6
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You could feed it temporarily with an extension cord to verify the heater is working properly.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #7
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Seems odd that the WH would not have a breaker. Is it possible it was upgraded from gas to gas/electric by a previous owner? Can you get behind the breaker panel to check for unconnected wires? You've verified 0Volts at the romex - is that the romex entering the relay? If you measure 0V going to the heating element could be a bad relay. Check the wiring for a short to ground also.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
You could feed it temporarily with an extension cord to verify the heater is working properly.
That's not a bad idea. It would verify that the WH works (or not), but I still would like to locate the existing wire at the breaker box and disconnect it because if its hooked up and is "hot" with a break in it, it could be potentially dangerous and burn down the camper if a short were to occur. I realize that's what a breaker is for and it should trip if that were to occur but I'd rather not take that chance
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHorse1 View Post
Seems odd that the WH would not have a breaker. Is it possible it was upgraded from gas to gas/electric by a previous owner? Can you get behind the breaker panel to check for unconnected wires? You've verified 0Volts at the romex - is that the romex entering the relay? If you measure 0V going to the heating element could be a bad relay. Check the wiring for a short to ground also.
Yes zero volts at the romex going into the relay. It could be possible that it was converted like you were saying as Im not the original owner. I tried to pull out the breaker panel to check for a wire that's not hooked up but it seems there isn't enough slack in the wiring to get it out. I will have to try again because this seems to be my only hope in locating that wire
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:28 PM   #10
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The only thing that leads me to believe it wasn't converted is the tank control panel where the switches are has a switch for electric and lp... But I guess its possible they changed that too
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