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Imperial: my water tank..pressure relief valve..vent..purging…

Customer Question
I had filled my water...
I had filled my water tank on my 1997 HR Imperial while leaving the pressure relief valve open to vent the air as I've done many times. When the water came out of the valve, I closed it off and finished purging the water system. Later, I was running the generator and had the electric side of the water heater running but decided to start the gas side, too, as I've done many times. The gas came on for a second but then I heard a loud pop.

Now, I have no gas fired side. I also do not have any shore power. My RV park power protector kicks in for about 15 seconds then the circuit breaker kicks it out and resets. Then it cycles again and again. I have no inverter power but I do have power if supplied by the generator. Also the back half of the coach does not get battery power but the front half does.

Any ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
6/10/2010
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 14,663
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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Hi: Thanks for coming to Just Answer with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX perhaps I can assist you with this. From what you described it sounds like the water heater AC element shorted out and is causing this to keep kicking out. Turn the water heater off on the AC mode and see what happens. Do you have a VOM meter to take some readings if needed? This is a big help for this kind of thing. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Thanks for the reply. The water heater works when the generator is supplying power to it. So it would seem that the AC mode is working. The gas does not come on. Gas is still available to the stove and to the fridge.

 

No shore power can come in though.

RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
O.K...........I missed that part............long day. I would check the ATS which is the transfer switch. This is what transfers power from the genset to the shore cord and back. It may be burned on the shore cord side or shorted out. You will need a VOM meter to do this. The water heater may be a side issue here. Lets get the power issue resolved first. You can purchase a VOM meter at most automotive stores, hardware stores or Radio Shack for about $15. I prefer the digital readout versions as I think they are easier for most people to read. I will be here all day tomorrow. I am in Florida and just about ready to sign off for today. 14 hours is a long day. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks. I will check it out. I just need to know where the ATS is located. Any idea? I do have a VOM meter.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
It is usually mounted on the rear of the power center or very close by. About 8 inches square and has a cover that you can take off. The shore cords comes into it on one side and the feed from the genset on the same side and then the feed to the power center comes out the other side. The relays are marked. You can take a reading on each one and sometimes see the burned contacts or burned coils. A new one is about $250 or so depending on the brand. Some are less. With a VOM you can track down the feed problem and why it won't power up on the shore cord. Don't overlook the surge protector either. It may have gone south. Once that issue is resolved we can look at the water heater. Check the fuses. One in the power center and one on the control board and a thermal fuse on the lead to the control board if this is an Atwood unit. I will watch for your post in the morning...........R.J.
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RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
What did you find when you checked this? R.J.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

I couldn't find the ATS as you described. It may be on the other side of the coach where the power comes in. Unfortunately, it is against the side of the house where the coach is parked. I'll pull it out this evening so that I can get to it. One thing that I did find is that after plugging in the shore power I am only getting 25 volts out of the inverter/converter. On my VOM, I used both the 50 volt and 250 volt scales and each showed 25 volts. It could be that the surge protector is only allowing 25 volts through or the inverter/converter has a blown circuit. I checked the outlet that the extension cord is plugged into; it's putting out 110v. But I can't get to the surge protector until this evening.

(Work just keeps getting in the way and I don't get home until after 7PM.) The electric side of the water heater does not work on the shore power but does work on generator power.

RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
I think you are on the right track.........let me know what you find when you get to the ATS switch.......R.J.
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RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
How are you making out on this? Please let me know if you need more help with it. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I found the ATS. Nothing wrong. Found that the shore power problem was due to a poor connection when I plugged it in. Corrected. Original problem is still there. No 12v current to the water heater gas valve and no 12v info showing up on the LED lights frim the inverter/converter panel. I also don't have 12v to the lights in the back bedroom or to lights that are battery powered only. There is an in-line fuse block on a wire from the batteries but after putting an ohm meter on it, the fuse shows as good. could the board on the water heater cause the other problems? And how can I test to see if the board is blown out or not?
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 8 years ago
With the power plugged in take a DC voltage reading on the batteries. They should read about 13.7 VDC give or take a tenth. If they don't, take a reading at the converter. Is yours a combo unit? If you have it there and not the batteries then you are looking for a breakers that has tripped on the battery side. Take a reading out of each fuse on the power center to see what the reading is. Eliminate all those as a possible cause. Doubtful that the water heater would cause any others to not work. Any shop can test the control board for you. What is the make and model of your water heater? Some have the LP and AC both controlled by the board and some only have the LP controlled by the board. Get back to me with this and we will go from there. R.J.
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