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Old 06-04-2024, 09:19 AM   #1
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Water heater redux - not working

A couple of years ago I started having water heater issues on the propane side. Researched and replaced the temp sensors. Seemed to work for a season or two. This year our first trip the propane side again would not stay lit (I get the DSI fault.) No problem as we don't have any boondocking scheduled so I hsed the electrical element to heat and all was good.

This past weekend the electrical element would not heat. The switch light did come on when electric selected.

I was wondering if anyone has a hint on where to start? I've seen references to "the board" before so since neither heat source works I'm thinking that might be it. Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-04-2024, 11:43 AM   #2
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Without a multimeter, you are only guessing...and so would we be guessing. If you replaced the sensors without using thermal paste, that may be your problem due to failed readings, however, I would start with turning on the electric switch and testing for voltage at the heating element. If there's voltage but no hot water, the element needs replaced.

If no voltage, the the board may be cooked. I say 'may' since the board usually only controls the ignitor circuit for the burner when the gas switch is on and lit. You don't say which type of unit you're dealing with, but there are manuals online that will give you a troubleshooting diagnostic procedure to follow....with your multimeter.

If you find you need a board...then the 'board' can be replaced with a Dinosaur board that has been better at keeping heaters on track than the OEM. I, and others here have mentioned that we carry a spare, just because.
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Old 06-04-2024, 02:16 PM   #3
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Here are a couple of videos from MY RV Works that may give an idea or two where the problem(s) may be. Darren is methodical in his explanations and diagnostics.



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Old 06-17-2024, 05:05 PM   #4
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Finally got a clamp ammeter to do some tests as described in the YT video.


Went out this morning to do so and ever time I turned on the electrical element the breaker tripped. So I decided to do some de-construction and removed the cover of the water heater as well as the relay box (cover removed by me.) Some Amish person should be ashamed for starters. Then I got the camera in close into the relay box wiring. Not sure what I'm even seeing but it's pretty obvious that here is the problem. Have to do some wire tracing at this point. I'll make better pics tomorrow too.
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:24 AM   #5
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My 2 month old Dometic water heater died over the weekend. Turns out it was the thermal cutoff fuse. From looking at it I couldn't see anything wrong but the water heater would not work on electric or gas even though the inside control switches would light up. Changed out for a new thermal cutoff and it fired right up.
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Old 06-18-2024, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Skip View Post
My 2 month old Dometic water heater died over the weekend. Turns out it was the thermal cutoff fuse. From looking at it I couldn't see anything wrong but the water heater would not work on electric or gas even though the inside control switches would light up. Changed out for a new thermal cutoff and it fired right up.
thanks; I've checked that.
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Old 06-19-2024, 06:11 PM   #7
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new photo

new photo
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Old 06-20-2024, 06:42 AM   #8
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Gee, you think it might be a wiring problem? Good thing the breaker is working!
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Old 06-20-2024, 07:10 AM   #9
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It's still hard to see much from your new picture. If it has worked in the past, it's hard to imagine a wiring problem unless something has shorted out in there. Please keep us updated on your finding.
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Old 06-21-2024, 07:49 PM   #10
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It's still hard to see much from your new picture. If it has worked in the past, it's hard to imagine a wiring problem unless something has shorted out in there. Please keep us updated on your finding.

it shorted; no doubt. Completely melted one twist on connector and fused the other together. Maybe this pic is a little clearer:
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