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Old 06-19-2017, 06:49 AM   #1
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Hot water heater electrical fire

So, usually when we camp I just flip on the electric heat for the water heater but the wife wanted to make sure she had enough hot water so I flipped on the lp heat as well. A couple minutes later, my son and I smelled someone burning plastic. Well it wasn't someone, it was our trailer that had a mini electrical fire outside by on the water heater panel. Has anyone ever heard of this? It's still under warranty so I'll be bringing it back, but it's still a bit scary! Now, we don't have hot water for the rest of the week, however it's not too bad and nobody was hurt.

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Old 06-19-2017, 08:53 AM   #2
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That sucks. First I've heard of it happening.

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Old 06-19-2017, 08:59 AM   #3
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I do that all the time and never had an issue. Sorry for your troubles...
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:32 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear about the meltdown! Being an Atwood water heater, I believe you still have the electrical heating element at your disposal. Your electrical failure is on the 12V dc system ...... probably blew a fuswe in your 12V panel. The 120V system is on the back side of the water heater with it's own thermostat and eco.

If you are still camping and wan hot water, make sure the 12V supply to the heater has no power (pull the fuse ) and turn on the electric water heater switch on your control panel.

I had a spider web block the burner tube on mine and the flame back flashed into the area near the gas control. The gas fire caused the thermal fuse to open and shut down the gas operation. Luckily only damage was some soot on the wall and a blown fuse. The control board survived.

Good luck .......... Swampy

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Old 06-19-2017, 10:33 AM   #5
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brings to mind that Chinese guy named Ho Lee Chit
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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Swampy, all I need to do is pull the fuse on the outside of the water heater and then the electric water heater will work? That sounds too easy. Lol

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Old 06-19-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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easier,
I would pull the fuse for the water heater in the 12V distribution panel( probably located under the oven) next to the 120V AC breakers. You want to make sure the 12 V is off going to the control board on the water heater. You had enough of a short circuit to melt the wire insulation, so you don't want to put power back to that area .... it could continue melting and eventually start a fire further into the TT. The 120V heating element is a completely differentand isolated electrical system and is located inside the water heater usually accessible on the back side of the tank near the bypass valves near the top right corner of the tank.

Since the 120V system was not involved with the short, it should be intact. if the tank is full of water, try turning the electric water heater switch on and wait about a half hour to see if you have hot water. I would not engage the gas hot water switch on your panel since we don't know if that will send 12V to the melted control wiring.

Unless you have a blown electric heating element, You should have hot water in less than an hour.

Good Luck .............. Swampy (Jim Knoch)

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Old 06-19-2017, 01:26 PM   #8
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brings to mind that chinese guy named ho lee chit
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:28 PM   #9
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Are you sure that there was water in it? It won't fill up sometimes if you don't open the pressure valve up top.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:46 PM   #10
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easier,
I would pull the fuse for the water heater in the 12V distribution panel( probably located under the oven) next to the 120V AC breakers.
But control voltage for both is 12v. Pulling the fuse will probably shut down the 120v control circuit as well.
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