Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Have these RV water heater maintenance tools on hand

The task of replacing an RV water heater element may seem difficult, but most RV owners can make this repair themselves. Having the right RV water heater maintenance tools on hand will not only help save time but also save money on repair costs.

Is your RV water heater slow to heat? Does it seem like you run out of hot water quickly? Does it not heat up at all? There’s a good chance that your heating element is not working properly. Please see your appliance owner’s manual for instructions on how to safely remove and replace your heating element.

Tools to perform RV water heater maintenance

These tools will come in handy while performing your regular water heater maintenance:

Water heater element socket Suburban
Water heater tank rinser
Water heater anode rod for Suburban

Flushing the hot water unit involves draining it, which will remove sediment buildup in the tank. This is something that should be done about twice a year to help with the scale of the heating element as well. This is why it’s so important that you have the right water heater tools on hand.



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Jim Johnson
16 days ago

In my case, it was the 120v thermostat that was failing, not the electric element. LP heated water was hot, electric heated water was very warm, but not hot. The thermostat on a Suburban water heater is both inexpensive and fairly easy to replace. One hint… I found a little bit of oxidation between the thermostat and the tank wall. I used emory paper to clean the rust and then wiped a little WD-40 over the contact area before mounting the new thermostat. WD-40 was invented as a water repellant for rockets; lubrication is a side benefit. It should help keep future rust away.

16 days ago

You need to do several surveys.

1- how often do you drain and rinse your water heater?

2- have you ever had to change your water heater heating element?

I have had my motorhome for 6 years (purchased it used from private party) and have never changed the heating element. I do drain and rinse once a year when I winterize the motorhome.

16 days ago

Keeping the element free of calcium buildup is key. A 50/50 mixture of white vinegar to water does wonders on removing scale in your hot water heater and plumbing fixtures. I mix it up in a plastic tote and use the water pump to get it into the water system. Turn on the water heater for about a day and then drain back into the tote for disposal (it will kill grass) amazing how much calcium comes out. After draining rinse the system out thoroughly.

Jim Johnson
16 days ago
Reply to  Joe

The vinegar solution helps with another problem… killing bacteria (often found in non-chlorinated well water) that is not harmful, but can cause your hot water to smell. The magnesium in Suburban tank anode rods will often deal with the issue, but Atwood/Dometic tanks don’t have anode rods.

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