The water heater in an RV is small, usually holding only 6 to 10 gallons. Like a water heater for domestic use, the water in the tank is heated first before traveling to the hot water faucet. Most water heaters, propane gas to heat the water, but there are also units with an electrical element that works with 120 volts AC. RV water heaters are quite simple to operate.
- Check to make sure there is not much freshwater available in your RV’s storage tank. Never turn on a water heater with enough water, it could damage the appliance.
- Two Open the bypass water heater valve, if present, to allow fresh water to fill the hot water tank.
- When running a water heater for the first time, open the hot water tap in the sink and let the unheated water from the hot water pipe flow until it no longer spits. This removes the air bubbles from the line.
- Start the water heater by changing it to the position where it is equipped with an automatic direct spark ignition system. This system uses an electric spark to turn on the water heater. If there is a DSI system present, you will have to turn on the pilot manually by following the instructions of your water heater.
- Let the water warm. Plan when showering or using hot water by activating the water heater 10 to 15 minutes before you need it. Many RVers turn off their water heater when they do not need it to save on propane gas. It is also safe to leave this system contained in.
- In this situation, the heater will turn on automatically so that the water is heated to a certain temperature, so it is always ready for use.
- Turn on the water heater to shut off the DSI systems or turn off the pilot of manual systems before traveling. Water can remain in the water heater in transit and only needs to be drained for winter or long-term storage of the RV.