Sunday, May 28, 2023


Your RV’s water heater can catch fire if not maintained

I want to talk about RV water heater safety and show you reasons why not to bypass the safety items. In the pictures below, the LP gas and flame are back burning in the burner chamber, and the (safety) thermal cut-off has been removed. During a water heater service, we are checking for any and all issues that can cause a problem.

I can’t begin to explain how important it is to have your service done regularly.

This could have burnt the unit to the ground! It could be at your house or your favorite campground! Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for all your appliance services.

Sediment at the bottom of the water heater can cause damage to the tank.
Damaged Suburban water heater due to lack of service.

Example of a Water Heater Service


  • Check the operation of the water heater.
  • Clean pilot, igniter, and burner assembly.
  • Clean nests, bugs, webs, and debris.
  • Drain and flush the water heater tank.
  • Test operation of pop-off valve.
  • Inspect drain plug or anode rod condition.

(Additional part charges for Atwood drain plugs or Suburban anode rod.)

Have these RV water heater maintenance tools on hand

Tools to perform RV water heater maintenance

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

  • Water heater element socket
  • Water heater tank rinser
  • You will also need an anode rod for a Suburban water heater or a drain plug tool and plug set for a Dometic/Atwood water heater.

Common replacement parts

Water heater tools

More from Dustin

Read more of Dustin’s articles here.


Dustin Simpson
Dustin Simpson
I have worn many hats in the RV industry through the years. From an RV Technician, Warranty Administrator, Parts Administrator, Parts Manager, Service Manager and now Business Owner. I have even been deemed an RV Expert by the California court system, working on behalf of the customers, dealers, and manufacturers. My repair facility has been servicing customers at the same location since 2003. What sets us apart from the dealerships is we are here to fix and maintain what you have, and not sell you a new one. Whether you own a million-dollar unit or an entry level, my message to you will be the same, it needs to be maintained.


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Bill Byerly
21 days ago

Thanks for more great info Dustin !

Bill Byerly
21 days ago
Reply to  Bill Byerly


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