Water Heater Not Working?


Well-known member
I have a 2015 Bighorn 3010RE- Just getting it going for some guests and I can't get the water heater to work. The strange thing is that the anode rod was pretty warm to touch but I'm not flowing hot water on Propane or electric. The ignighter won't even try to start on propane. I opened the pressure relief valve and got some pressure but no water came out. Propane is good and all other appliance using it work. I regularly flush the system as well as drain and flush the tank before winter. Wondering if this could be an air pocket issue?? Any suggestions would be appreciated-Guests arrive tonight!!!!! I can run the hot water but just comes out cold and seems like all air is purged.


Staff member
Since you opened the pressure relief valve and didn't get any water it sounds like you need to revisit your winterizing bypass valves . You should have seen water.



Well-known member
Did you HEAR your water heater LP burner trying to light (clicking noise) or the burner running (mild roaring noise)?
Did you try to reset the overtemperature rubber switches on the water heater outside face? See manuals on this page:
I agree with Dave that you should have water flow through the water heater. Do hot water faucets have flow?
Next set up the water heater to heat on electric and measure the voltages to the heater element and the temperature regulation and overtemperature prevention thermostats. On my w/h there are 4 of these thermostats, 2 12vdc ones in series, and 2 120 volt AC ones in series. Finally, blow out the LP gas heating section with compressed air.
Finally, you could have a complete disconnect of the wiring to the water heater inside the UDC compartment. Electric works on 120 VAC, propane is controlled by 12 VDC. A frequently reported problem (I had it) is that the trailer wiring for the 120 volts to the water heater is too short, and pulls apart from its wire nut connection inside the little wiring connection box atop the heater tank on the inside.

To let us help you better, please state the BRAND and MODEL of appliance (water heater) when initially posting so we can give you the correct info for your situation. I have a Suburban 12 gallon RV water heater.


Well-known member
I seem to be having to replace the little on/off switch mounted on the water heater every year or so. The conne tor on the switch melts and the switch fails.

But that doesn't explain why it doesn't work on propane either.


Well-known member
A point to be aware of is if you turn your electric heater on without water in the tank you will burn out the heater element immediately. As for the LP side if you don't heat the clicking of the igniter then it could be electrical or control problem there. If you hear the clicking of the igniter, then you should shortly hear the gas valve open. If still not lighting after valve opens, 1) see if you can smell gas, 2) use air to blow out any crud build up as Bill suggested. But first make sure the tank is full of water. Even running an empty tank on gas can cause damage to the tank.