Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's So Hot About Water?

AAAHHHHH, the wonders of taking a hot shower. If you had a day that you were sweaty, dirty and sticky from the high humidity, you know taking that hot shower is very relaxing. In the winter I love to just stand there and soak it all in. How do we get hot water in an

Hot water heaters come in many different sizes for an RV. For this post I will use mine, which is a 10 gallon, direct ignition, propane and electric water heater. Let's take a few minutes and see how this works.

The water heater in an RV is pretty much the same as the one in your house. Water is fed into a tank, made from aluminum, and is heated by way of propane, an electric heat strip or both. When the water heater demands to heat the water an ignition of the propane will start and go off when it hits the desired temp. The desired temp is set at the manufacturer and can not be adjusted on most units. This temp is about 140 degrees, so be careful.

The operation of the electric portion is usually used in combination with the propane. By turning on a switch inside your trailer, this will help with the propane in a faster heating of the water. I normally don't use the electric heater and use only the propane. When using the electric heater it pulls too much wattage especially during the summer when the a/c is running.

The size of the eater heater will determine how much hot water you will have. Remember it is not like at your house where you may have a 40 gallon heater, in an RV they are small. You may have to adjust your shower time based on how much hot water you have. You only have a few items to take care as far as maintenance.

Here is mine without the cover. Yours should look similar. Most of what you need to do will be done outside. There is an Anode Rod that needs to be replaced about once a year. What this rod does is help protect the aluminum tank from corroding. To find where the rod is located can be a mystery. Sometimes they are located where you would drain the tank, located here at the bottom on mine.

Sometimes they can be a bear to get loose so be careful and don't break anything. If you are not sure where to find the anode rod check the internet on your model.

Lighting the propane portion of the water heater can be done in two ways. On mine all I have to do is flip a switch on the inside of my trailer. Some others you may have to light a pilot light to get it started. If you have to light yours manually follow the instruction on the cover or inside of the water heater. Once lit you can see the burner heating up your tank.

Here is the burner on mine so I can see the flame once it fires up. Do you see that pinkish wire looking thing? It is similar to a spark plug wire. This supplies the spark needed to light the propane. This is called "Direct Ignition". Having one of this type does not require a pilot light. I like this type.

Now for safety. When getting ready to travel, make sure that all pilot lights and switches are off. In some states it may be required that the propane be shut off at the tank(s). So go and enjoy that hot shower now.

Until Next Time..........................Be Safe.


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