Best Solutions For The RV Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

The RV hot water heater may at times fail to work as required or it may just stop working! When this happens, most of us may lack the idea on how to troubleshoot it.

I have collected the list of different troubleshooting, problems, symptoms, and repairs from my experience, manufacturers, professional plumbers, RV heater forums as well as consumer complaints. This article gives you the details on RV heater repair on various RV brands.

It is keen to note that the procedure of installation, servicing, troubleshooting hot water heaters, and repairs should be done by a professional installer or individual.

Common Problems And Their Repairs


1. Pilot Outage

When the gas magnet or the thermocouple becomes weak and fail to perform properly, it is recommended you do some replacements. The U tube may as well get blocked; hence, you are required to get rid of the obstruction.

When the pilot flame becomes poor, it is recommended you clean the orifice or replace it. At the time, you may get some incorrect reading, when that happens, just adjust the gas pressure according to the product manual provided.

2. No Sparks On Electrodes

In case you realize that the electrodes are not emitting some sparks, it might be loosely attached and you are required to secure electrodes to your main burner. You can as well reposition the electrode to acquire the correct gap.

Also, it is good to clean the dirty electrons. In case the wire connections are loose, secure the connection on your circuit. If you get to know that the wire inside the heater is loose or your insulation is cracked, it is recommended you replace the electrode. If the circuit board is destroyed, it is recommended you replace it with a new one.

3. Gas Burner Fails To Ignite

At times, the gas valve may fail to open due to lack of voltage for the electric spark. Inspect carefully and replace it when needed. In case the burner is blocked, clean it up or replace it. And in case the main burner is blocked, get rid of the obstruction.

In some cases, the gas control may get out of calibration, when that happens, it is recommended you replace it. Try to align your frame spreader when it gets unaligned.

4. Insufficient Hot Water


In the case of insufficient hot water, it is recommended you get rid of the obstructions from the U tube as well as the partially blocked burner. In the case of an improper air or the main burner adjustment, adjust the burner orifice holder, burner as well as the air shutter.

The temperature selector could be out of place; it is required you reset it to the desired temperature. In case the thermostat is not working, replace it. It is also recommended you fix the flame spreader and the bypass lever in case they are not positioned correctly.

In case you experience some water dripping from the pressure as well as the temperature relief valve, worry less because the water heating in the RV cars operates in a closed system. In case the dripping happens regularly, allow the air pocket to be established.

Turn of the cold water as well as the RV water heater supply. Turn on the tap in the RV and allow the water out via your pressure relief valve until it stops dripping. Immediately the water stops dripping, get rid of the valve handle, close the tap in your RV and open the cold-water supply.

The air pocket will develop as the cold water continues to fill the tank. It is recommended you repeat the process as often as required. If this process does not help you out, then the expansion tank should be replaced with a new one.

5. Soot

The RV hot water heater may at times emit some soot, when this happens, unblock the obstructed exhaust grille, U tube or the main burner. Also, it is recommended you adjust the main burner, flame spreader, air shutter or valve alignment. Check out if the required gas supply is present.

6. Improper Ignition

In the case of an improper ignition, it is advisable you replace the cracked electrode insulation. The thermostat might have fluctuated, and it will require you to replace it. Also, tighten the loose ground wire at the gas valve and the electrodes.

How To Get Rid Of The Rotten Egg Smell From The RV Water Heater

In the case of a bad smell from the water heater, then you are experiencing a rotten egg problem. This problem is sometimes referred to as sulfur water or hydrogen sulfide. The smell occurs because of the chemical reaction that releases the sulfur and the hydrogen from the water. The smell may also occur due to the development of bacteria.


In case the RV water heater has a protective coating at the inner parts of the tank, the coating emits hydrogen from the water. The hydrogen sulfide compound is the outcome of the reaction between the released hydrogen and sulfur and results to the rotten egg odor. To get rid of the corrosion as well as tank failure, try to clean the various parts of the RV water heater regularly.


Troubleshooting the RV water heater is not hard, you are required is to get familiar with all the possible problems and how to deal them. The above problems are the common problems an RV water heater might experience and their solutions.

With the above information, you can be in a position to troubleshoot your RV water heater. However, if you find it hard to troubleshoot the water heater, it is recommended you take it to a professional to work on it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: