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Is Your Hot Water Not Working On 110V? If So, Read This

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Ron Dittmer

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Is Your Hot Water Not Working On 110V? If So, Read This
« on: October 22, 2009, 09:38:27 am »
My hot water heater stopped working on 110V house current.

I called the manufacture of the hot water heater, Atwood's technical support.  Per their instruction, I measured the resistance across the 110V heating element terminals.  It was supposed to measure 10.3 ohms, but mine read nothing at all, like I didn't have the two probes across it.  I ordered a new heating element from Mark's RV Parts HERE for $26.50 plus shipping, but no sales tax, shipped Priority Mail was around $6.50.

The heating element resembles this one.

Printed on the part, it says 1400w/110v.  You can easily find 1500w/110v shorter elements at any home improvement store for just under $10, but the Atwood technical support fellow didn't recommend using them because the extra 100 watts might cause an overload condition.  It is worth the peace of mind for an extra $16 to get the Atwood replacement.  Mark's also sells a generic one for $10 less but I don't know anything about it.

I think the following applies of all models of the Phoenix Cruiser.  Access to the heating element is under the kitchen sink.  Remove the screws to the finished wooden access panel.  The element is behind a black plastic electrical box that you need to remove two screws to get off and out of the way.  The space is confining, but manageable.

Sold in any home improvement centers for a few dollars is a simple wrench to remove and replace the heating element.  It looks like this.

Some are sold with a stem/handle as shown, others are not.  If the one you find doesn't, you simply use a Phillips screw driver through two holes in the back side to turn it.  The wrench is found in home improvement stores next to the hot water tank heating elements.  The size is 1-1/2".  If you have a 1-1/2" socket or a box wrench at home, that works too.  Keep in-mind that you will be working in a confined space so a long handle wrench might not work.

CAUTION:  TURN OFF 110V and 12V POWER BEFORE replacing the heating element.

AVOIDING THE SURPRISE:  Even though you have drained the hot water heater with the outside plastic plug, there is still 1/2 gallon of water inside.  Place a lot of rags under the opening to absorb the water.  There is no room in there to place a pan or other container.  Hold the old element over the hole to let the water out slowly to give time for the rags to absorb the water.  I recommend to let out only so much water, then screw the old element back in a little by hand to give you time to wring out your rags.  Then repeat the process as many times as needed.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 08:50:37 am by ron.dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 07:27:29 pm »
I think this topic was discussed loads of time before at this forum


Bob Mahon

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Re: Is Your Hot Water Not Working On 110V? If So, Read This
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 06:02:30 pm »
This topic may have been discussed many times but it's always easier to have a refresher. No one is forced to read them.

I've changed these before and have used a wet/dry vacuum from the outside to scavenge all the water in the tank before removing the heating element, as I'll do when winterizing the heater. I prefer to drain the water system rather than use the pink stuff anywhere other than the traps.
As for 1500 Watts (13.6 Amps) being a bit much; many hair dryers pull that kind of load without problem. However, it is the safe max I'd consider.
Carry on, regardless..................
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