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Old 05-07-2016, 01:45 AM   #1
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Water heater and microwave issue

Hello everybody, I am in the process of dewinterizing our Dutchmen Aerolite 185E. The water heater will not function in either electric or gas mode (appropriate switches "on" on the panel). Also, the microwave has no power. The trailer is hooked up to electricity and all breakers are on. No fuses are blown.

Turns out the water heater and microwave are both are on the same shared (bipole) circuit breaker (15A). Figuring this was the common denominator, I replaced the circuit breaker. No joy.

I tried placing a known good shared bipole circuit breaker (A/C and radio) into the pole where the heater/microwave breaker was. It worked fine. I also tried placing the heater/microwave breaker onto spare poles. No joy.

I took a look at wiring to see if maybe rats or mice took a nibble over the winter, but everything looks fine and undisturbed.

Does anybody have any suggestions what may be causing the microwave and water heater to not work? I am at the end of my electrical expertise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-07-2016, 02:38 AM   #2
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Is the circuit GFCI protected? If so it may be tripped, look at where they are plugged into and see if there is a GFCI receptacle.

Cheers
Daryl B.
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:04 AM   #3
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Mike,

The GFCI receptacle is usually on the side of the vanity, push the reset button and you should be good.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:37 PM   #4
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Daryl and Jim,
Thanks for the quick response. I solved the microwave problem... I did a good job winterizing the trailer last fall that I actually unplugged it. That problem is now solved.

I'll check the GFCI by the bathroom vanity (only GFCI in the entire trailer, I believe) to get the water heater back on line.

Thanks again for your advice and suggestions,
Mike
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:13 PM   #5
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Your welcome, Mike.

I remember the days of the GFCI breakers and everything near water was run off of a breaker in the distribution panel. My old '86 Airstream had a breaker in the panel.

Now with the GFCI receptacle, everything downstream from the receptacle should be wired off of the receptacle, so your outside power and kitchen counter receptacles shouldn't be powered when the GFCI receptacle tripped.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:32 PM   #6
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Thanks, everybody, but sorry to report the GFCI is NOT the problem. I actually reset it three times. No luck. The water heater still does not work in either gas or electric modes.

It is an Atwood 6 gallon water heater, model number GC6AA-10E.

I am out of ideas on this problem. Any suggestions you may have would be very helpful.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjoz1893 View Post
Thanks, everybody, but sorry to report the GFCI is NOT the problem. I actually reset it three times. No luck. The water heater still does not work in either gas or electric modes.

It is an Atwood 6 gallon water heater, model number GC6AA-10E.

I am out of ideas on this problem. Any suggestions you may have would be very helpful.

Thanks again,
Mike
Mike,

Try taking the receptacle out and verify the connections are good. Dutchmens track record for making good electrical connections leaves alot to be desired. It could be a bad GFCI receptacle.

My money would be on a bad connection.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:45 PM   #8
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Verify that the water heater has a 12V connection to the battery with a multimeter? I have no idea how these things are wired up, but a 12V connection to the battery is usually critical for RV appliances. Even when in 120V AC electric mode because the control boards operate on 12V DC.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
Verify that the water heater has a 12V connection to the battery with a multimeter? I have no idea how these things are wired up, but a 12V connection to the battery is usually critical for RV appliances. Even when in 120V AC electric mode because the control boards operate on 12V DC.
Good point, it doesn't take much corrosion to affect the ground.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mjoz1893 View Post

Turns out the water heater and microwave are both are on the same shared (bipole) circuit breaker (15A). Figuring this was the common denominator, I replaced the circuit breaker. No joy.

I tried placing a known good shared bipole circuit breaker (A/C and radio) into the pole where the heater/microwave breaker was. It worked fine. I also tried placing the heater/microwave breaker onto spare poles. No joy.



Thanks,
Mike
I went back to your OP and I think you answered the question, unless I am missreading, when you swapped out the breaker you had power to the microwave and water heater.
That would indicate a bad breaker.

Try replacing that breaker again, if it gives you power to the effected receptacles, you know you have solved your problem.

Sometimes we over think things and make them more complicated than they really are. Then we start the scatter gun approach to trouble shooting a problem.

If it is a bad breaker, take the old one into HD or Lowes, if they have a replacement it'll be half the price on an "RV" breaker from a dealer.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:03 AM   #10
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How about that switch under the exterior cover of the water heater? Did it get turned off by chance?
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:32 AM   #11
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Problem solved! The culprit was the circuit board on the water heater. Circuit board replaced, and now I have hot water in both gas and electric modes. Dewinterization of the trailer is complete and now the camping season can begin! Thanks to everybody who provided suggestions. I appreciate the quick responses.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:05 PM   #12
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Glad to hear this, aren't electronics fun. Maybe we need old days, straight propane all you had to do then was blow out cobwebs
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:59 PM   #13
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Glad to hear this, aren't electronics fun. Maybe we need old days, straight propane all you had to do then was blow out cobwebs
Yeah but...... those expensive control boards don't have to ruin the day.

12 volts to open the gas valve is all that is needed. Thermostat will be out of the equation but not a great problem and after the thermocouple warms up the gas valve is held open and the 12 volts can be pulled.

I operated an old Dometic that way for years. I used to use the propane torch to light it off but later on I built an ignition circuit to spark off the gas.

Of course the bells and whistles weren't there but the beer was cold.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:29 AM   #14
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Thanks, everybody. I took the trailer out last night for a check ride to make sure everything is working ok before we start the camping season. The water heater puts out hot water now (almost too hot). But now it makes a high-pitched whining sound, in both gas and electric mode. Any ideas what this sound may be? It sounds like when your ears are ringing.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:59 AM   #15
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Mike,

Have a look at the pressure relief valve, they can create a high pitch whine if they aren't seated properly. Just give the valve a quick flip and see if that helps. Don't hold the valve open too long or you will loose the air space.
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:49 PM   #16
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Not enough headspace. Let the water cool down, turn off water pump and city water. Relieve pressure on the system by opening a water faucet. Then open the relief valve, when the water stops dribbling close it and repressurize the system. I have to do mine a few times a year.

Aaron
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Old 05-14-2016, 05:09 PM   #17
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Not enough headspace. Let the water cool down, turn off water pump and city water. Relieve pressure on the system by opening a water faucet. Then open the relief valve, when the water stops dribbling close it and repressurize the system. I have to do mine a few times a year.

Aaron
I keep forgetting about that part of the equation.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:57 AM   #18
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Hot water heater

We found out that the wires in the back were burnt.
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