What is the average life of a heating element

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Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
2
What is the average life expectancy of a heating element? We live in our 2019 Tiffin 36LA 7 months out of the year. We've had it for 2 years and our water is now luke warm.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,387
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Not familiar with that coach, so don't know if you have a conventional tank-style water heater or a Oasis/AquaHot unit. In general, heating units either work or they don't. That said, if you have a water heating system with two or more electric elements, one could be out and the other(s) aren't sufficient to carry the load.

Let us know what you have.

TJ
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
2
Not familiar with that coach, so don't know if you have a conventional tank-style water heater or a Oasis/AquaHot unit. In general, heating units either work or they don't. That said, if you have a water heating system with two or more electric elements, one could be out and the other(s) aren't sufficient to carry the load.

Let us know what you have.

TJ
We do not have an AquaHot. We have a conventional water heater.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
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Newmar
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RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
OK. Have you drained and flushed the tank recently? Sludge can build up in the bottom of the tank and insulate the heating element from contact with the water. Do you have a propane option? If so, does the water get hot in that mode? If not, sludge would be a likely culprit.

Now, I guess it is possible that the heating element has shorted out and only a section of it is working. With SHORE POWER DISCONNECTED AND GENERATOR BREAKER OPEN, you can check the resistance on the electric element. Disconnect the terminals on the heating element when checking.

A good element should show a small amount of resistance (up to 20 Ohms) between the two terminals. And, a check of each disconnected terminal to ground should show an open circuit. An element not meeting those criteria is most likely bad and needs to be replaced.

There is also a thermostat to control water temperature, and it is possible that it is faulty. You could try adjusting the T-stat and see if anything changes. IME, the T-stat is rarely the problem.

Certainly, my first option would be to drain and flush the tank. Be sure the power is OFF when you do this or even a good element will be destroyed if it operates without being submerged.

TJ
 
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Nov 15, 2019
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239
Location
Sarasota, FL
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1997
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Newmar
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London Aire
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2008 Jeep GC Overland
Fulltimer
No
Did this just happen? Do you have a shower head in the wet bay? If so, did you use it for something and shut it off at the head instead of at the faucet it is connected to?
Also if you have one of the new showers that can recirculate the water to keep some hot for when you turn it on, is the water turned off at the shower head instead of the mixer there?
As for the life of the element, I would say many years.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,387
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
Did this just happen? Do you have a shower head in the wet bay? If so, did you use it for something and shut it off at the head instead of at the faucet it is connected to?
Also if you have one of the new showers that can recirculate the water to keep some hot for when you turn it on, is the water turned off at the shower head instead of the mixer there?
As for the life of the element, I would say many years.
Good points, Rick!

TJ
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,387
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
@Dowdyl350, have you identified the problem? Inquiring minds are curious..

TJ
 
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