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Old 08-30-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
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Suburban Water Heater problem

Not a question but a copy of a posting that I made on the other owners group website regarding a problem my dealer found with the water heater. There are another couple of owners that have had the same problem so it isn't unique. Thought that it may be of interest here as well.

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I thought that I would report the findings on the HW heater problem that was solved by our dealer.

It turned out that the 120V thermostat was history but that's not only what he found.

The wire running to the 120V thermostat rubbed against the sharp metal edge under that black cover and it exposed the copper causing a short. Not sure if the thermostat failed because of this or not, there was some voltage to ground that may have given me some heating. It's interesting in that the breaker/fuses did not shut it down.

Our dealer's fix (in addition to the replacement Tstat) was to shrink wrap 2 layers of tubing over the replacement wire just in case.

This is the second Redwood he's seen with the problem so it's not unique and it's worthy of looking under that black rubber cover. Who knows, an advisory may be coming out.

I did smell an occasional "plastic burning" smell but I couldn't track it down.

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Old 08-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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Yikes! Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:14 PM   #3
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"The wire running to the 120V thermostat rubbed against the sharp metal edge under that black cover and it exposed the copper causing a short."

Om my water heater (Suburban 12 gal) the black cover is plastic and I was able to grind the flanged edge to relieve the area pressing against the black wires. Fixed the wear areas in the wires with liquid electrical tape. Thanks to Al for this head's up.

Terry
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Great thanks for sharing!!

This is just what this forum is great for.

Sharing things that is easy to fix now but can lead to worse things if not looked after.

Thanks for your tip!!

Did you find any pics/photos - even if it is clear where it is.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Snowbirds View Post
"The wire running to the 120V thermostat rubbed against the sharp metal edge under that black cover and it exposed the copper causing a short."

Om my water heater (Suburban 12 gal) the black cover is plastic and I was able to grind the flanged edge to relieve the area pressing against the black wires. Fixed the wear areas in the wires with liquid electrical tape. Thanks to Al for this head's up.

Terry
Can anyone get a picture of what you are talking about. Just went to storage and checked mine and I have 2 plastic covers on mine but neither has a wire running through or under it. I have a 2013 31SL.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:54 PM   #6
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I've attached a picture of my water heater. The black plastic cover shown has a script on it "press to reset", the thermostats are under the cover. If you go in, disconnect the 12V and 110V.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almcc View Post
I've attached a picture of my water heater. The black plastic cover shown has a script on it "press to reset", the thermostats are under the cover. If you go in, disconnect the 12V and 110V.
So, the wires we are talking about are under that Press/Reset Cover? For some reason I thought they were wires that could be seen running through or into the cover.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
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Affirmative, the wires are behind the black cover on the reset.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot for your post, same thing here but now fixed!

Thanks for your message! Same problem here. Our 38RL is 6 month old and the sharp edge is on its way in to the cable but due to your post we were able to avoid problems!

As you can see on my two pics another 6 month might have caused bad problems.

The only GOOD NEWS is that what causes the indent is actually the black (hard) plastic cover, not the sharp edge of metal. The cover is 0,6 inches and the metal 0,5 inches. But that does not mean that the cable can not get in contact with the metal when the plastic cover is gone.

I have contacted the manufacturer to make them aware of the problem.

I will keep you posted when I know more.

This forum is a real asset.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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This is great info!

Kind of what really makes a forum a necessity for an owner of these things!
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom ant View Post
This is great info!

Kind of what really makes a forum a necessity for an owner of these things!
I agree!! This info may save some rigs or certainly some costs down the road.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:58 PM   #12
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Just fixed my wires. Mine were pinched by the black plastic cover which has that deep inset which surrounds the buttons. I cut notches out of the top and bottom of the inset to allow the wires to move freely. The cover really put quite a good size dent in the bottom wires, and the top were ok. Thank goodness we don't move very often. I think it would have only been a matter of time before it caused a problem, and who would look behind a protective cover?
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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I'm going to look at mine and fix it this weekend - looking at the close up picture, is there any reason why with the proper pliers the flanges around the opening couldn't be bent back against the outer shell ? Looks like that might give more clearance and also prevent a sharp edge.

As I said, haven't looked at mine yet, just asking.
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