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Old 06-03-2014, 10:30 AM   #1
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Water heater leaking

Hopefully the knowledge of the forum can help out with another problem that has reared its ugly head. My wife notified me the other day that there was water leaking from where the water heater was. Currently I am out of the country for D-Day participation and wont get but until the following week so we discussed it and she called a mobile RV repair place. She later let me know that the repair tech said it was the water heater and it needed to be replaced so my question is there a rhyme or reason as to why this would have failed already? The unit is still covered under warranty but to pull the trailer and haul it to CW and the cost for a hotel room etc. probably would out weigh the cost of the unit so where would be a good place to buy one and would swapping to an Atwood be a better solution (12 gallon)? Thanks.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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These heaters are pretty durable. They don't like to be frozen but being from Las Vegas that doesn't seem to be the problem.

Other than the tank being split everything else can be tightened, replaced and repaired.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:10 PM   #3
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When I first picked mine up the heater leaked at the fittings on the backside. I had to cut an access panel under the sink to reach the connections. Can't imagine the tank just failing. Is the leak inside on the floor or outside? You already know these fittings can work loose while moving the coach. But I think you've been down there for awhile. These things suck when you're not there to fix them. Just got my coach back after nearly 7 months at CW. Replaced or repaired 3 slides plus additional items. Its a Dutchmen.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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72

First thank you for remembering and serving. My father-inlaw was there on D-Day.

Out of curiousity, did the tech actually diagnose the problem in person, or was it over the phone?
My old Airstream had the original hot water heater in it and it was still going strong after 30 years.

In order for the tank to fail, it would have to be a manufacturing defect.

I'm agree with Sawpilot on the fittings, if they are shark bite fittings they can pop if they weren't seated properly.

If the water heater is still covered by the manufacturers warranty, you should be able to have it repaired/replaced at any authorized dealer.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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Here is a local shop and mobil service in Las Vegas they are very nice I have gotten parts from them.

RV Parts - RV Repair Parts Online at Discounted and Affordable Prices
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:12 AM   #6
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Does the water heater leak when it is hot as well as when it is cold? Try turning it off and let it cool down - run some cold water through it. I had an issue with the temp & pressure relief valve leaking and spraying water all over the place. Sometimes a piece of dirt will get under the seat. Try clicking the relief valve to try and clear any dirt.
Incidentally, I re-piped my T&P valve so that any water discharge will be directed to the bottom of the water heater cabinet - not all over the controls. 3/4" galvanized pipe does the trick.
If it is leaking badly or constantly, remember that you can bypass the water heater (as if winterizing the unit) so that it doesn't cause damage to flooring etc.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the support folks! Well I got back home last night and tore into the problem this morning. yes it was the water heater and the problem was a rust hole through the bottom of the tank. I managed to get it out however I broke the cold water inlet and the fittings are the compression style (if that the right term) right at the connector so I'm not sure how to fix that, any suggestions?
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72mach View Post
Thanks for all the support folks! Well I got back home last night and tore into the problem this morning. yes it was the water heater and the problem was a rust hole through the bottom of the tank. I managed to get it out however I broke the cold water inlet and the fittings are the compression style (if that the right term) right at the connector so I'm not sure how to fix that, any suggestions?
A steel tank? I thought they were all aluminum tanks these days.

Give us a photo of the broken fitting and we'll see what we can come up with.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #9
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A steel tank? I thought they were all aluminum tanks these days.

Give us a photo of the broken fitting and we'll see what we can come up with.

CW actually had an elbow fitting like what was on it however it didn't require the pex 'ring' to hold it together. It used a compression fitting the screwed onto the elbow connector. I'll try and post up a pic of the WH, I might try and use JB weld to do a temp fix as CW wanted over 600 bucks for a new one (Suburban SW12DEL)
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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You could have the hole brazed also. JB will work well on a good clean surface.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Check out
Suburban SW12DE Direct Spark and Electric Water Heater 12 Gallon RV | eBay
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
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If it's steel, have a patch welded on. Thought they were aluminum too. Guess we all have that to look forward to now.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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Suburban says they have a three year warranty. Have you checked that end of your problem as your rig is a 2012?
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #14
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If it's steel, have a patch welded on. Thought they were aluminum too. Guess we all have that to look forward to now.
As Suburban water heaters are porcelain-lined, welding will do more damage then good.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:23 PM   #15
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Specs say it's porcelain lined so I guess extreme heat is out of the question. But that begs the question regarding the rust through.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:30 PM   #16
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Specs say it's porcelain lined so I guess extreme heat is out of the question. But that begs the question regarding the rust through.
Agree and only two years old. I have the OEM in my eleven year old Teton with no problems. Just now had to change out the anode rod after all these years.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:34 PM   #17
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Even the aluminum tanks that have frozen can be welded and JB'd back together.

This steel tank thing (Suburban) might be a good thing to check before purchase.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #18
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Atwood tanks have the aluminum tank & don't need the anode rod like Suburban do. Have had both bands in RV's over the years. Never had a problem with any leaking.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:46 PM   #19
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The Atwood in my V3800 has an anode, it's part of the main drain.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The Atwood in my V3800 has an anode, it's part of the main drain.
Interesting.............check out their info
Electronic Ignition Water Heaters - Atwood Mobile
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