There are still some economy RV models with water heaters that require users to physically ignite the pilot light. However, most current models utilize 6- or 10-gallon tanks with electronic ignition (AKA direct spark ignition). You won’t typically need to do too much RV water heater maintenance because there’s not a whole lot that can go wrong with it, but you can take a few routine precautions to ensure your RV’s water heater stays in tip-top shape for the long haul.
Easy methods for RV water heater maintenance
To help you take proper care of your RV’s water heater, RV maintenance and repair expert Dave Solberg introduces some important money- and stress-saving techniques. First, you should always be sure to correctly winterize your water heater whenever you expect to encounter cold weather. If the water in your 10-gallon metal tank freezes, it’ll split the tank and can do a lot of costly damage.
Dave also recommends removing all water from the tank when storing your vehicle for a long hibernation, especially if your water heater runs on electricity. In addition to this RV water heater maintenance advice, Dave discusses a couple of other tips you should follow to guarantee that your RV’s water heater is thoroughly winterized.
It’s also important to clear away any dirt or debris that might collect inside the water heater’s exterior panel, especially around the burner assembly. Ensure that the assembly is not cracked, corroded, or otherwise damaged.
The major benefit of modern direct spark ignition water heaters designed for RVs is that they only need about 10 minutes to get water up to the ideal temperature. As such, you don’t need to keep the water heater running all the time like you might’ve needed to in the past. If you keep an automatic heater running, you’ll waste a lot of fuel because the water will cool and the heater will kick back on and cycle like this ad infinitum. So all you need to do is switch it on when you intend to use hot water, and switch it off when you’re done. Energy saving and cost effective, modern water heaters have changed the game!