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gene
gene, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 1100
Experience:  28 yrs exp in the industry
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I have a suburban sw10de water heater in my rv. I am quite

Customer Question

I have a suburban sw10de water heater in my rv. I am quite sure the element is burnt out. I have it on without water in it. I have a switch by my sink, with a red light, to turn it on. The problem is, no mater which way the switch is, or if I un-hook a black wire on the switch, the element still has power coming to it.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  urelectrician replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. 1) You should never have an electric hot water heater powered with no water inside of it. A good way to prematurely burn out the element if it is not all ready burnt:) 2) Is the H2O heater a 120 or a 240 volt model? 3) Do you have a multi-meter than can measure both AC voltage as well as perform a continuity test or a resistance test? The multi-meter can be used to confirm if the switch is working and if the element has an open.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Did a ohms check on element. I read it should have 11 ohms. It read .1... Believe it is bad. ... I do have 115 volts to element , even with switch turned off.
It is 110, not 220
Yes I know it should not of had power to it with no water. There is a second switch outside on water heater. Switch inside was off. Plugged motor home in to charge batteries. I didn't know, or know how that switch got on. My question is, how can it have 115 volts to element with switches off?
Expert:  urelectrician replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the replies. 1) An ohm reading of "1" means that the element contains an open and is defective. Element needs to be replaced. 2) Turn the breaker to the OFF position and temporarily disconnect 1 of the wires on the switch. Then measure the hot and neutral at the water heater wires and see if there is still a constant 120 volts present. Reply back and let me know what you find.........Thanks.........Kevin:)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Did almost like that. Unplugged whole motor home from 110 volt cord. Now dead. Unhooked one wire at a time and checked at element. plugged motorhome back in. Still had 115 volts.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Did almost like that. Unplugged whole motor home from 110 volt cord. Now dead. Unhooked one wire at a time from the switch and checked at element. plugged motorhome back in. Still had 115 volts.
Expert:  urelectrician replied 6 months ago.
The motor home has a battery backup inverter system, Thus the reason when unplugged from shore power, there is still 120 volts present because of the inverter.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
turned off
Expert:  urelectrician replied 6 months ago.
1) That is very interesting as to how the H2O heater still has 120 volts on it when the shore power is un-plugged and the inverter system is in the OFF position? I will opt out of the question and perhaps another expert can better assist you. No need to reply back to me, you will be notified once another expert picks up the question.
Expert:  Mike_G2010 replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. There should be a nameplate on the heater with voltage and wattage listings. Please let me know what it is. To have the reading, I suspect it is 240V. It should have a 2 pole switch but not all installation are correct.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you mike but it is 110 and I think I need an RV person. I am dropping this and trying to get a rv person. Thanks
Expert:  Mike_G2010 replied 6 months ago.
You're welcome - good luck.