Technology grows at a fast pace. That is the trouble of living in a technological world. The advances go so fast that the body of troubleshooting knowledge cannot be accumulated in the same amount of time. That leaves you with contacting the company when an upgraded heater or other device fails on you.
It may take some diagnostic skill to figure out the source for this issue. However, sometimes the problem is the thermal cut-off switch is bad or has failed on you in some way. Replacing that switch is the only option you have to remedy your situation.
To learn more about this issue with Dometic water heaters, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have as much information as possible to fix your problem water heater. Take a few minutes to see if this information helps you solve your hot water heater problems.
As we have constantly said over the years, when you have a problem with a mechanical device on your RV or trailer, start with the simple problems first. This will save you any embarrassment when the repairman plugs in the water heater or makes some other simple repair discovery.
Unfortunately, the Dometic water heater has a few parts that can go bad on you or malfunction at any time. But before you look at those possible sources, check your winterizing valve. You may have forgotten to close it and the water is bypassing the unit.
All you have to do is turn the valve to the correct position and you should have hot water. If that isn’t the solution then you need to move on to the next possibility. It helps to create a checklist of parts that can break. This list will help speed up your diagnostic time as well as your repair time.
Two possible sources for this problem will be the thermal cut-off switch previously mentioned and the second part will be the thermostat. If either part goes bad, the only real repair that can be done will be the replacement of each part.
Sometimes it may be one or the other and replacing both is always a good idea. That way you do not have to crawl into the water heater area a second time. Another problem may be the Compass Connect control panel.
Unfortunately, the technology for that device is still rather new thus it is hard to get real information from the usual reputable sources. If it is the problem your source for information will be Lippert Components only.
There may be other technicians who understand that device and how to troubleshoot it, but those people may be hard to find at the moment.
This can be one of those situations where you will be embarrassed if you take it to your repairman. Check to see if you have power running to the water heater. This can be as simple as a fuse blowing, a breaker turning off or there is no power in your batteries.
If you are running the heater on gas and it doesn’t light, there could be a propane gas line blockage somewhere. With no gas getting through to the igniter, it won’t work. That is if you hear the clicking noise when you try to turn the heater on.
If you do not hear the clicking noise and there is no lighting taking place, then there is a problem with the spark. Another source will be a bad circuit board. You find that problem if there is power to the switch but nothing else is happening. Replacement is the option here.
In this situation, there are two main sources that create this situation. The first part to look at will be the thermostat control valve. If this part is defective then it will not allow your heater to function normally.
The only repair for this part is a replacement. The second part that may be the source will be the thermocouple. When working correctly, this part senses the flame and sends the right voltage signal back to the gas valve.
When it is not working right, then the thermocouple does not send that signal and the gas valve usually shuts the gas flow off. Since the thermocouple sits directly on the flame, it will eventually burn out.
Before replacing the part, make sure the flame is clean and contacts the end of the thermocouple’s probe correctly. Replacement by a qualified technician is your only solution as special equipment is needed to test and adjust the probe, etc.
This link will take you to a website that has almost every manual imaginable. There is one for the Dometic water heater and you should be able to find the one for your specific model with ease. The drawback to this site is that you may have to pay a small fee to be able to download the manual.
Here is a direct link to one of Dometic’s gas water heater models. It should have all the information you need on its web pages. Then it is always wise to go directly to the company that made the water heater.
You may have to have your model and serial number to search Dometic’s website for the right manual but it is worth it. A simple and basic manual search for your specific Dometic water heater model will also turn up more options for you to use. This just gets you started.
If you like doing the work yourself and you are comfortable with working around wires and gas, then you should have easy access to a wiring diagram to guide your work. The different manuals should have these diagrams and if you use the links above or do a quick search, you should find a manual with that diagram.
However, if you do not want to read through a bunch of pages prior to coming to the diagram, then click on this link. It has numerous diagrams that you can download, enlarge and scan to make sure you have the right diagram for your water heater model.
All you have to do is look through the different options to make sure you have found the right one. Printing these diagrams off for easier use should not be a problem if you have a good printer on hand.
The simple problem that causes this situation would be that there may be a loose connection or multiple loose connections in your heater’s system. Double-check to make sure all connections are tight and proper.
Of course, a blown fuse is merely a symptom of the real problem unless the fuse is too light for the amps going through the system. When the fuse blows, start checking for shorts, overload of power, and in the case of the thermostat fuse, too much heat.
A blown fuse always indicates an electrical issue and it could be that one of the two parts mentioned earlier, the thermocouple and thermostat, have gone bad on you. If you do not like working around electricity, make sure to hire someone who doesn’t mind. One mistake can give you quite a shock if you are not careful.
No, and this answer would apply to the Dometic Atwood water heaters as well. Their style of water heaters is made from aluminum. This may be a better system but it is hard to say.
Suburban brand water heaters, also made for RVs and trailers, do come with an anode rod. The reason they have one is that the company’s water heaters are made from porcelain-lined steel. That difference makes the anode rod essential.
The Dometic design actually gives you one less part to worry about going wrong. A new popular option is the new tankless water heaters. These free up some weight and space for other important pieces of equipment.
Plus, they should give you fewer hassles when it comes time to repair those models. They are easier to find and you probably have more room to maneuver than you would with a traditional RV water heater.
One of the best places to get your replacement element would be through Dometic itself. This link takes you to a website called the Dometic Guy and whether or not he is associated with the company remains to be seen.
If not, you should go to the Dometic website and see what parts they have on sale through their cart and checkout system. There is a possibility that they do not sell directly to their customers so you may have to find a plan B.
There is another company you can try and they are found at this link. The second option is cheaper than the first so it is worth considering. Another basic search on your part should turn up more internet options.
Or you can take your old element to a hardware store, a big box store, or an RV dealer or parts outlet to get your replacement.
These items are readily available. Amazon has a 20 by 1 1/2 inch option that sells for under $10. It is easy to install and it comes in a pack of 3 so you can have extra just in case you need them.
There are different brands that make these screens. They are available through different parts outlets like e-trailer and so on. To get the best price you should do some comparison shopping. Most likely some of the better big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot will have a fine selection as well.
These are not specialty items so you should be fine with just about any brand you buy. Or you can try and make your own if you like working with your hands. DIY may be your best option if you are out boondocking and not too close to a city where you can pick several up.
Having extras is a good idea as well. They do not weigh a lot nor take up a lot of space.
If your model has a power switch, you will need to find that switch and turn it on before you start lighting it. Usually, this power switch is on the lower left-hand side of the unit.
Then make sure the dial is on pilot and get a match, lighter, or long mechanical lighter to provide the heat source. Once the pilot light is lit, turn the dial to the on position and that should keep the gas flowing and the pilot light lit.
You may have to press and turn the knob and then hold it for a few seconds before the pilot light will stay lit. Do not release this knob too quickly or you may have to start from the beginning once again.
The steps involved are not that complicated. You should do this when you are not in a crowded location as your neighbors may not like the idea of water draining near their RVs.
Step #1: Turn off the power to the water heater
Step #2: Let the water heater cool if it has been on for some time
Step #3: Slowly open the pressure relief valve. This will let residual pressure out of the system and make it safer to drain the heater.
Step #4: Remove the plastic drain plug and let the water drain out onto the ground. If you are doing this in a crowded location use a bucket to catch the water.
Step #5: You can return the plug to its proper place once the water is out of the heater. However, do not turn the heater on until you refill the tank. You can leave it empty when you store your RV for the winter.
One reason the reset button will trip and stop your heater from heating water is that there is a faulty thermostat. The thermostat would need to be replaced to stop this problem from continuing.
Other reasons that cause the rest button to trip are loose wiring, the temperature is set too high, there is a short in the system, and so on. You can’t reset the switch until you find and repair the source of the problem.
Once you have solved the cause of the problem, just push the button to get it to reset and work normally. It is not a difficult process and you should check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on resetting and solving simple problems.
If you do not have any problems but the reset button tripped anyways, turn the gas valve off and wait a few seconds. After that short time span, flip the valve on and the reset should be done.
Normally, the reset button is found on the upper thermostat. It should be in plain sight and all you have to do to reset it is to push the button back in. If the reset button keeps popping out, then you have a problem with the water heater.
However, the reset button does not tell you where that problem is and you may need help in finding that location. Also, the reset button may be behind the plate that covers the upper thermostat. If you do not see it right away, that is where it is.
The very first step is to take the water off the bypass system. Close the valve so that the water can enter the water tank. The next step is to choose how you will fill it. There are two options. You can use your fresh water tank or the city water.
To use the fresh water tank, you will have to engage the water pump but the city water option should flow automatically into the tank and throughout your system. To make sure it is full, turn on your hot water faucet until water starts to come out.
There will always be something going wrong with your RV. It is the nature of this world and RVs are no exception. Learning how to troubleshoot your hot water heater will help you have a better vacation since you do not have to call a repairman. Only call them when you are still on warranty or you do not know what is wrong.