RV Electric Water Heater Switch

The RV electric water heater switch is an important component of your recreational vehicle’s plumbing system. For instance, you will need hot water for a relaxing shower after a busy outdoor adventure or to wash dishes after enjoying a meal. In this article, we focus on various aspects regarding the RV electric water heater switch. 


Should the RV electric water heater switch remain on at all times? 

The water heater switch can be compared to the standard residential water heater. There should be no harm leaving the switch on all the time. After all, you  and your passengers will be using warm water for various reasons.  However, be aware that leaving the electric water heater on constantly will influence how much energy you use. To conserve energy, especially while camping without hook-ups, consider turning off the RV electric water heater switch if not in use.  


How Do You Use an Electric Hot water Heater in an RV?

RV owners should understand the basics when it comes to the use of an RV electric water heater. Similar to the electric residential water heater, the heater is built with some safety systems to ensure the water does not get too hot and the pressure does not build up. If it is your first time encountering the RV electric water heater, take time to go through the manufacturer’s manual, where you will find helpful tips. 

If using the electric water heater for the first time, 

  • Check the water heater bypass valve to see if the water is flowing into the primary tank
  • If there is no water in the primary tank, open up the water heater bypass valve to let water flow into the tank
  • Ensure your RV is connected to a water source or pump water from the reservoir 
  • Now, turn on the hot water tap
  • Water begins flowing through the lines into the heating tank
  • Test to confirm there is hot water flowing to the sinks and the shower. 

While the procedure above might apply for most of the RV electric water heaters available on the market today, it is important you check the manufacturer’s guidelines as indicated in the user manual. If you still have trouble, contact your local RV electric water heater technician or the manufacturer. 


Common RV Water Heater Problems

If the RV electric water heater switch is not working, the first thing to check is the circuit breaker. Any electrical issue might lead to the breaker tripping, which means that you need to reset the circuit breaker for the water heater to work. 

Another issue could be the electric water heater switch has blown. A faulty or blown switch requires immediate replacement.  Make sure you buy an original RV electric water heater switch from authorized dealers. 


There is no hot water 

Similar to other electrical components, the RV electric water heater switch might malfunction at some point, causing a hot water problem. Check to see if the switch is coming on and working as it should. 

If there is still no hot water, confirm there is no interference with the plumbing system. For instance, check if the bypass valve is in the correct position; if you forgot to switch the bypass valve back, this will cause problems. 

Check for any open faucets. If more than one faucet is open at any time, cold water is likely to flow from one and hot from another. The RV hot water heaters are small and lack the capacity of having two faucets open at the same time. 


Water not hot enough

If you are not getting enough hot water, this is more of a thermostat issue. Adjusting the desired water temperature on the thermostat will solve the issue. Check the thermostat behind the access panel on the side of the tank. In winter, you need to raise the thermostat temperature as water cools through the colder pipes. 


Water is too hot

This is another thermostat-related issue, and so simply adjusting the thermostat will help to resolve the issue. During the summer, adjust the thermostat accordingly. 


Water Takes Longer to Reheat

One of the disadvantages of an electric RV water heater is double the recovery time compared to a propane-powered RV water heater. However, note that the recovery time will vary from one model to another. Therefore, if you are experiencing a delay, you may want to switch to a faster water heater. 


Water Heater Makes Strange Noise

If you notice hissing, popping, banging, or knocking noises from the water heater, this could be due to scale build-up on the heating elements. Another possible cause is sediment build-up occurring in the bottom of the water tank. 


How to Maintain the Electric Water Heater

Proper electric water heater maintenance will help you ensure the longevity of the system. The following tips and tricks will go a long way helping you the heater. 

  1. Understand what could go wrong

Electric water heaters are vulnerable to different conditions that consequently affect the longevity of your electric water heater switch. Corrosion is one of the main issues that affect the longevity of your electric water heater, so install an anode rod on the water tank to get rid of it. 

  1. Flush Out The Electric Water Heater Annually

The electric water heater needs to be flushed out annually to get rid of hard water build-up or any debris. 

To do this, pull out the anode rod using a socket wrench. Once the rod is removed, use the flushing wand to reach back to the tank, so that you can rinse out any calcified debris. 

  1. Do Not Ignore The Electric Heating Elements

As much as you should pay attention to the tank, it is a good idea to look at the electric heating elements. Note that hard water will build on the elements, causing malfunctioning. Therefore, examine the heating element for any buildups and consider a replacement if the buildup is too much. 

  1. Always Involve A Qualified Personnel

When there is an issue with the water heater, it is important you talk to a qualified expert to check the system. Do not open up the heater unless you have the required technical skills. Whether you need a replacement or it is merely troubleshooting, call qualified personnel to attend to check the system. 

An RV electric water heater switch requires proper attention to ensure sufficient hot water supply. Poor handling and lack of proper maintenance of your plumbing system could cause inconveniences. Talk to experienced personnel whenever you experience issues with the water heater.