RV Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Aug 22 2016

After a long day of outdoor activities, chances are good that you could use a shower. Whether you’re sweaty from hiking and boating, or you’ve got a layer of sunscreen and bugspray on you that have created a greasy funk, it’s time to get cleaned up. And a beautiful thing about owning an RV? Well, instead of basking in your filth like a tent camper or having to go use the community shower at the campgrounds, you’ve got your own personal hot shower waiting for you.

But, before you enjoy the steamy glory of a hot shower in the outdoors, it’s important to take a couple steps before you’re camping to make sure that your hot water tank is being maintained properly. Like most RV maintenance, your hot water heater requires a little love to keep on humming along.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RV WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE:

Hold it right there! Safety first.

The very first thing you need to know is how to access your water heater and perform maintenance safely. Since some RVwater heaters use LP and electricity, it’s important to make sure the power sources are off before tinkering with it. Another pro tip? Make sure the tank is cooled off before diving into maintenance. If the tank is full of hot water, you can always run the shower until it cools off.

Twice a year, flush it out.

Your water heater needs to be flushed out annually to get rid of any hard water buildup or debris. If your tank has an anode rod, pull it out using a socket wrench. Don’t get too concerned if you see a lot of build up and scale on your anode rod, that just means it’s doing it’s job and the rod is corroding instead of the tank!

Once the rod is out, use a flushing wand to reach way back into your tank and rinse out any calcified debris. It’s best just to keep on rinsing until you don’t see any particles coming out in the fresh water. Regularly flushing out the tank also prevents your water from having a bad smell that is caused from too much sulphur.

Check the electric.

While you’re attention is on your tank, it’s a good idea to take a look at the electric heating element too. Hard water can cause build up on it, so you must remove the LP gas burner tube and some electrical wiring to get it out. Once you have removed these parts, you can remove the electric heating element and examine it for any corrosion. If it’s looking like there is a lot of corrosion or buildup, you can easily buy a replacement and install it.

Keep up on the basics.

Some of the best advice when it comes to RV maintenance is just to stay on top of the little things. When dealing with your RV’s water heater, you should regularly check the exterior vent and remove any debris or mud from it to ensure that nothing ruins the air flow. Flushing out the tank, replacing corroded elements and winterizing your RV are good basic maintenance tips to keep covered. But, it’s important to  know when you might be in over your head with maintenance too. If your water heater is having problems staying lit, that could be a sign that there is trouble with the gas valve or circuits. RV technicians like the experts at Good Life RV are happy to repair these problems.

As long as you keep up with maintenance, you will be enjoying steamy showers in your RV for years to come! Now get out there and keep living the Good Life!