Camper Propane Water Heater Repair Information

Camper Propane Water Heater Repair Information
Camping can be an excellent vacation for the entire family, a couple or a group of friends. There are several ways that you and your group can go camping, but having a camper adds a little comfort to the trip while still giving you an outdoor experience. When setting up a camper, you need to do many things before the site is ready for use, including setting up the water heater and plumbing. With a water heater, issues can arise that can cause problems, and knowing a few places to check these problems can help keep repair costs down.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Check the mixing gate if the hot water heater is not heating as fast as usual. The gate can become turned slightly, which will cause less air to be allowed into the mix. With less air comes a smaller fire, and the tank will take longer to heat. Simply turn the gate back to a more open position to alleviate the problem.
Step 2
Look for the water heater bypass switch if no hot water is coming out of the system. This switch sends water straight to the faucets without going through the water heater, and results in only cold water. Just flip the switch and wait so the heater will have time to warm the water.
Step 3
Make sure someone else isn't using a faucet at the same time, if you are continuing to only get cold water. Small tanks are not able to support multiple users, and the system will allow cold water onto the hot water side to accommodate the request for water.
Step 4
Clean out the tank if there is smelly water. Tanks that sit for long periods of time can develop bacteria and algae buildup. Rinse the tank and hoses out with water and chlorine to kill the unwanted guests and then put the system back in place.
Step 5
Give the propane line time if the system doesn't light right away. If the unit has been stored, it can sometimes take a little while for the air to get out of the line. You can also check for a clog in the end of the propane line where the gas comes out into the burner. Make sure to turn off the system before checking, and if it's clogged, clean it out before you turn the gas back on.

Tips & Warnings

Remember never to store your water heater with water in the system. This can encourage bacteria and algae growth.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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