RV Maintenance: How to Maintain Your RV Water Heater

Fortuitously, RV Scorching Water Upkeep Is Comparatively Simple

I don’t learn about you, however I ADORE the flexibility to take a scorching bathe irrespective of the place I find yourself parking my RV. In fact, for this to be doable, I’ve to have a working RV water heater, that means I’ve to maintain it in tip-top form. Beneath, I’ve included the whole lot that you must know to maintain your water heater working for a lot of miles and scorching showers.

Keep away from Turning On when Empty

In the beginning, that you must know when NOT to show your water heater on. Your RV water heater completely can’t be turned on when the water heater tank is empty.

You possibly can inform if the tank is full by operating the recent facet of a faucet. If the water comes out with out spitting, the tank is full. If it’s spitting, the tank has but to refill, or there’s air within the water traces. Let it run out of the tap till a gradual stream of water comes out.

Sadly, it’s straightforward to neglect the tank is empty and flip the change to show the heater on. This might result in a broken tank, and within the case of electrical water heaters, it may imply a broken heating factor.

Our recommendation? Put a chunk of painter’s tape over the water heater change any time you empty the tank so that you don’t make this expensive mistake.

Drain Water when Not in Use

In the event you use your RV each weekend throughout the summer season season, you most likely don’t want to empty the water heater between journeys. That mentioned, those that depart their RVs sitting for months needs to be draining it when not in use.

Water that sits for greater than two weeks or so can turn into stale, smelly, and unfit for consumption—not qualities you need the water in your RV plumbing system to have.

Set up Water Heater Bypass Valve

Like the remainder of your RV, your RV water heater does require some preparation for the winter season. To make these preparations, you have to a water heater bypass valve.

Whereas some RVs already come outfitted with such a valve, others don’t. Examine to see in case your water heater has a bypass valve, and if not, you should definitely install one earlier than the chilly climate comes round.

Empty and Clear Earlier than Winter

Questioning what you could do to your water heater to arrange it for the chilly season? Fortunately, there isn’t an entire lot to the winterization of this equipment. All it’s important to do is flip off the heater, let the water cool, empty the tank completely by eradicating the plug (a socket wrench is useful), wash the heater utilizing an RV water heater rinser, and rinse the cleaner and any particles from the tank with town water provide.

As soon as that is finished, you’ll be able to change the bypass valve to bypass mode and proceed winterizing the remainder of the RV.

Clear Tank Earlier than First Journey

Earlier than the primary journey of the spring, you should definitely rewash the tank. The aforementioned RV water heater rinser product can be utilized once more, and the whole lot will be rinsed out with the strain from the water hose. In the event you wait weeks between journeys, you may need to repeat this course of earlier than each RV journey.

Clear Burner Tube in Spring

One other factor you’ll need to do earlier than the primary journey within the spring? In case your RV water heater has a gasoline mode (and most do), you’ll want to wash the burner tube. That is the tube that carries propane to the burner.

Usually, spiders prefer to make themselves at residence on this burner tube. Moreover, it might probably turn into clogged with particles. Each of this stuff lead to much less gas being delivered to the water heater, which may trigger the heater to cease working completely.

To scrub your burner tube, use compressed air to blow out particles. If a clog is especially cussed, you may attempt utilizing pipe cleaners to eliminate it.

Change Anode Rod as Wanted

RV water heaters made by Suburban are manufactured from porcelain-lined metal. Due to this, these water heaters all include anode rods to guard the liner.

How It Works

Corrosion is an electrochemical course of that occurs when ions in a steel move from one distinct space to a different when uncovered to an electrolyte medium that permits ions to move.

Part of the steel offers off electrons into the electrolyte answer, which is water with dissolved salts and minerals in it within the case of a water heater.

Because the steel continues to endure this course of, it corrodes. The a part of the steel that’s giving off destructive electrons (corroding) is named the anode, and the half that receives them is named the cathode.

To forestall this response from occurring to at least one steel (your tank), we will introduce a extra reactive steel into the state of affairs. When a extra reactive steel than iron is current, that steel will give its destructive electrons into the water first.

This prevents the steel you’re defending from corrosion. In different phrases, the extra reactive steel turns into the anode and corrodes or is sacrificed rather than the steel you’re defending.

Aluminum vs. Magnesium

As a result of the anode rod’s job is to corrode rather than the tank, it’s going to ultimately disintegrate to the purpose that it must be changed. When it comes time to interchange your anode rod, aluminum and magnesium are the 2 primary decisions.

Magnesium is essentially the most reactive of the 2 and is taken into account the very best safety to your tank normally.

Nevertheless, in case you are in areas with very arduous water, a magnesium rod could possibly be too reactive, leading to having to alter it very often (inside a yr or so). It’s for that cause that aluminum rods are most well-liked in areas with arduous water. Nevertheless, in the event you plan on utilizing an RV water softener, you’ll want to use a magnesium rod.

As a notice, aluminum anode rods may also help when sulfer-rich water is current. Water that’s excessive in sulfur smells like rotten eggs. An aluminum rod reacts with the sulfur and may also help take away the odor.

In case your water heater is the kind that has an anode rod, it is going to be a part of your drain plug. So it’s fairly straightforward to have a look at it once you drain the tank.

It is best to change your anode rod when it has been about 60-75% consumed. Typically, this occurs each 3 to five years, however we advocate checking the rod each time you winterize to make sure it’s nonetheless in fine condition.

Examine Earlier than Every Journey

Final however not least, you’ll want to visually examine your water heater throughout your walkaround earlier than each journey. Search for particles within the burner and the vent slots. You’ll additionally need to preserve an eye fixed out for leaks and any black marks brought on by an improper air and gas combination when operating a gasoline water heater.

Hopefully, the following pointers will show you how to take wonderful care of your RV water heater. By guaranteeing you preserve this equipment correctly, it’s best to be capable to get pleasure from scorching water in your home-on-wheels for years to return, that means scorching showers in the course of the desert, the center of a parking zone, or wherever else you could land.

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