How To Use An Electric RV Water Heater? Process Guide

This short guide will walk you through each step of turning on an electric water heater in an RV. Learn some crucial advice on How To Use An Electric RV Water Heater? to avoid damaging your water heater.

The most difficult parts of turning on an electric water heater in an RV are typically locating the on/off switch or determining whether you have a gas or electric (or both) water heater, which we’ll discuss below.

How To Use An Electric RV Water Heater 1

Camping while traveling in a mobile van is undoubtedly a wonderful experience! You can take a hot shower anytime, cook food on a stove, and sleep in a comfortable bed whenever you want! People frequently complain that they can’t figure out how to turn on their RV water heater or even where it is!

Speaking of which, the model of your RV water heater will determine how you turn it on. A switch is present in quite a few electric versions, either on the appliance or in the same room. At times, they may even be found on the same control panel as all the other switches.

However, a dual switch option will probably be present beside the water heater itself if you have a combination water heater. Keep in mind that this is not necessarily the case. Depending on the model, each water heater has a different setup and needs to be turned on.

You utilize these switches the same way you would in a conventional home’s light switch. The good news is that the electric and gas switches can be turned on at once! You will need to go outside to the water heater plate, remove it, and then manually turn on the switch by the instructions in your owner’s manual if this is the situation and the switches are genuinely missing.

How To Use An Electric RV Water Heater?

The next step is to learn how to turn on the hot water in an RV. Consider a scenario where you are in your RV and are prepared to utilize the water heater. Remember a few things to remember if you’re working with a conventional tank-style water heater.

Make sure your hot water tank is filled with water first. Make sure any bypass valves that can cut off the water supply to your tank are open before attempting to accomplish this. Next, add new water to your tank or connect your RV to city water. Open a hot water faucet and let the water flow for a little while. You will have water in your tank to heat if you do this.

The water heater should then be turned on. As previously indicated, if your heater has both an electric and a propane option, you can select to utilize them both simultaneously. If you do this, you can reduce the time it takes to warm the water in your home’s water heater. Even with both sources of heat, the tank will take at least 20 minutes to fill up with water. This wait time can rise if you chance to be in chilly weather.

You can leave your water heater on or turn it off when not in use. The fuel tank will soon empty if a propane heater is left on; it is vital to remember. Additionally, if your tank mysteriously runs out of fuel, leaving an electric heater on runs the danger of burning or frying an element.

RV Water Heaters 10 Things To Know

It’s wise to be aware of what’s happening inside your RV’s sidewall, just as you should be with almost every other aspect of your travel trailer. Here are ten crucial things you need to know about your RV’s water heater, whether you’re shopping for a new one or are simply brushing up on your knowledge of RVs.

  1. An RV’s hot water tank can be heated using three different methods: propane, electricity, or engine heat. Most people find that electricity (or gasoline with electric ignition) is the most hassle-free fuel option because there is no need to always keep a pilot light burning.
  2. Turn on the heater inside your RV, and you’ll have hot water.

However, it is more cost-effective to heat water with the engine’s heat. It’s excellent to utilize that energy since the engine will heat up while you’re driving anyway. The drawback is that if the motor is turned off for an extended period, You might get a warm water tank.

  • The size of an RV water heater tank varies. The most popular RV water heater sizes are 6 or 10 gallons; however, smaller 4-gallon and considerably larger 16-gallon models are also available. Generally speaking, you’ll need a bigger tank for your camping party. If not, you run the risk of running out before everyone has had a chance to take a shower.
  • Atwood and Suburban are the top producers of tank-based RV water heaters.
  • Compared to house water heaters, RV water heaters have substantially smaller tanks. A small home heater holds 40 or 50 gallons, whereas an RV water heater may only hold six or ten, as was previously noted. You should practice more significant conservation when using hot water in an RV. You can’t take your time in the shower! While you’re shampooing and using soap, you’ll either need to turn off the hot water rapidly, or you’ll need to be careful. If you take too long, your final rinse will be frigid.
  • Suppose you don’t go tankless! RV heaters that heat water on demand employ a heat exchanger instead of a storage tank. Girard is one outstanding manufacturer, and although they are a little more expensive than tank-based heaters, the significant advantage is that you’ll never run out of hot water.
  • Remember that not all water heating systems are the same size if you plan to replace the one in your RV. Before you begin shopping, you must measure the height, width, and depth of the opening in the sidewall. Even if you might wish to upgrade to a larger tank, you should first check to see if your RV has enough space for one before you buy. After all, a square peg cannot fit into a round hole.
  • Before locking the door, drain the water tank if your RV will be stored for a while. Winterizing the pipes is a good idea if you’re keeping them throughout the winter months to prevent complications the first time you use them after the spring thaw.

Like water left in your RV’s hot water tank can freeze, the device may suffer permanent harm. Use the bypass valve on your water heater during the colder months if it has one. The owner’s manual for your RV should have instructions on how to do this.

  • When you return to your RV after the winter, don’t forget to close the bypass valve. Before you go, you should ensure the tank is filled back up. Heating the tank without any water inside could result in significant harm.
  • Install an anode rod inside the tank to prevent corrosion caused by hard water. In this manner, the rod will be corroded rather than your tank. You should periodically check them; they are simple to install. Remove the rod and replace it when it appears to be seriously rusted. Anode rods often cost less than $20, but using one could dramatically increase the lifespan of your hot water tank. (On the other hand, RV water heaters are more expensive to replace; we’ll talk about that in a second.)
  • Check whether the hot and cold faucets to your outside shower or water line are turned off if your RV water heater is connected and functioning, but you still can’t get the water hotter than lukewarm to flow out of your faucet or shower. Leaving them on may cause the hot and cold water to mix, preventing the RV from receiving properly hot water.

How Can I Find The Switch For My RV Hot Water Heater?

Following such an introduction, many of you might start to ask how even to find the RV water heater switch. It could initially look tricky, but if you give it a shot, you’ll realize that everything is quite simple and obvious.

So, finding the switch on your recreational vehicle usually depends on two factors. The manufacturer determined your RV’s kind of water heater and the switch’s location. The majority of you currently believe what we know:

However, you can certainly test this alternative; after all, why not? Perhaps you’ll have the good fortune to be the one to guess the solution correctly such a chance. You will employ a different action plan if you cannot locate an interior switch.

Either the black water heater panel or the water heater panel must be visited. Look inside the plates by unscrewing them. There may also be a propane switch next to it in some RV models. If the DSI light on that switch is on, your propane is not ignited, which prevents it from heating your water. But both switches ought to have distinct markings.

The switch will be considerably easier to find in this situation and will undoubtedly be labeled clearly so you won’t confuse it with anything else. A further life tip is that the panel that houses the on and off controls must be labeled “water heater.”

Turn On/Off Switch For RV Water Heater

This is a problem that RV owners frequently face. Should you turn it off or leave the switch on? It is up to you to approach this situation; ultimately, it is your call. You are leaving the switch on while camping or even driving is neither harmful nor incorrect!

Since the switch is only activated when you connect to the campsite power grid, you are not consuming any electricity while driving. When the heater is not at work, you should always keep in mind to flip the switch off! You might question, “Why is that?” The inverter shouldn’t power the water heater switch because it puts out a lot of power that the switch cannot handle. As you might have guessed, turning the smartphone on its side could result in damage.

Given that the switch can accidentally be left on when the tank is empty, we advise you to take this nuance carefully.

If the fault is not caught in time, it could cause severe damage to the water heater because those components can grow rather hot. You’ll be able to prevent mishaps that way. Also, remember to turn the water heater off before putting your recreational vehicle away for the winter.

How To Maintain An RV Hot Water Tank?

Naturally, you’ll want to ensure you take good care of your RV water heater tank once you learn how to operate it properly. Every six to twelve months, an RV water heater should have maintenance performed. Luckily, doing this is not too difficult.

First, turn off the water heater and let the water inside for plenty of time to cool down. Once you’re sure it’s cool, remove the anode rod or drain stopper and let the tank completely drain, letting any silt and debris run out.

Use this chance to replace the anode rod if your tank has one instead of just a plain plastic plug. This helps keep your tank from building up. Anode rods for new RV water heaters are available on Amazon, at Camping World, and elsewhere.

Winterizing your trailer each year before the temperatures drop below freezing is another thing you should do to protect your water heater tank. Your tank won’t crack due to frozen water if you do this.

Selecting A Tankless Water Heater For An RV

You don’t like being forced to wait for the water to heat up whenever you want to shower or wash the dishes. Do you prefer a steady flow of hot water? You might benefit from an RV tankless water heater. When you experience the comfort of on-demand hot water, you’ll see why this RV upgrade is growing in popularity.

Are you trying to find the most OK tankless water heater for an RV? Well, many RV owners adore the Camplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater. Others contend that the Precision Temp RV 550 or the Girard 1GWHAF Tankless Water Heater is the most excellent tankless water heater for an RV.

After conducting your research, choose the one that best suits your needs, and then get used to taking long, hot showers even when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. When shopping for a water heater for your RV, there are several factors to consider.

This article should have assisted you in utilizing your water heater and suggested future improvements. We wish you a pleasant time camping with hot water and a cozy tiny home on wheels!

To Conclude

Are you unsure of How To Use An Electric RV Water Heater? If your gas-powered camper water heater, you may need to manually light the pilot light. In most cases, turning it on is simple: you locate your RV electric water heater switch and toggle it to “on.” For complete details, consult the owner’s manual of your RV.

Although you don’t have to be your mechanic, there are many benefits to understanding how your RV operates. Your RV’s water heater makes camping more comfortable and homelike. The above facts will keep you informed and help you avoid driving-related hassles.

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