Water heaters located in an RV operate similarly to those found in a home, just at a smaller capacity. When RV water heater troubleshooting, you’ll want to follow similar steps as if you were troubleshooting your home’s water heater. However, there are a few additional steps you’ll need to complete when troubleshooting.
The Suburban water heater is a 12 gallon unit that runs on either propane or electric. When conducting your RV water heater troubleshooting steps for this unit, you will want to locate the control panel. Look for the DCI lights on the panel. If they are lit, you will need to go outside and push the reset buttons on the water heater. If this does not fix the issue, additional RV water heater troubleshooting will be needed.
To get a better look at the water pump, take the cover off of the bottom heat element. First, you will need to verify there is 12 volt battery power and that the LP is on and supplying the unit. You can check the LP system by simply turning on the stovetop inside of the unit.
When the unit turns on will you will hear a clicking sound. If the unit clicks but there is no flame, it might mean there is a clog or blockage in the system. When RV water heater troubleshooting, check to verify the area near the water heater is cleaned out and free of debris.
The final thing to look at is the flame. You will want to have a nice blue flame that is lighter in the center and not jumping around. If you are not getting a spark, you could have a bad electrode or other board issues.
Some basic maintenance and following these troubleshooting steps will help get your water heater up and running.