RV Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

Premium Video Preview: Log in or become a member to get full access.
Duration: 6:39

Membership Options

Premium

Sign up for premium membership and get access to our best RV repair and maintenance videos. Learn new RV repair techniques and tips from friendly RV experts. Anytime. Anywhere.
Monthly $7.00
Annually $54.00

Gold

Upgrade to GOLD membership and get unlimited access to our entire library of premium RV repair and maintenance videos, receive discounts on DVDs, video downloads, and classes in the shop. In addition, you’ll receive nine video downloads, two full-length classes, downloadable guides, access to GOLD member LIVE events, and so much more!
Annually $105.00

Water heaters located in an RV operate similar to those found in a home. They are just a smaller capacity. Which is why when RV water heater troubleshooting you will want to follow similar steps as if you were troubleshooting your home’s water heater. However, there are just a few additional steps you will 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 and 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 issues, 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. You will first need to verify there is 12 volt battery power and to make sure the LP is on and supplying unit. You can check the LP system by simply turning on 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 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.