Question about Suburban Gas and Electric Water Heater, 12 Gallon SW12DE

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Hear no clicking when I turn on switch inside my unit, suburban water heater model sw12de. Could igniter be out?

I am trying to get my hot water heater to turn on, using the propane, when I turn the switch on inside the RV there is no clicking noise coming from the hot water heater. Also the red light next to the inside switch does not come on. I have propane flow because I can light the stove.

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Don Keystone

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Could be your igniter or possibly your control board. The red light not being on indicates you most likely have an electrical issue. Check your breaker as well. If you nee any parts this site will have them all

Posted on Mar 01, 2018


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Brad Brown

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SOURCE: How do I check my hot water heater

Do you have a meter? You can use it to see if you have power and if there is a problem with the thermostat. If not then it would be best to have it looked at by someone at an RV center.

Posted on Jun 06, 2014


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I'm temporarily staying in our RV while our house is re-furbished. The water heater is only working intermittently. Can anybody help me?

RV water heaters are mounted against an outside wall. Go outside and look for a removable cover that has a mesh vent installed.
Open this cover and the water heater should be inside.

If the water heater is propane your propane tank may be low of fuel. Also very cold weather may not let the propane produce adequate vapor to fuel the water heater. A low level of propane can make this problem worse.

If the water heater is electric, you may have too large a wattage draw from other appliances, when the water heater is trying to heat. Turn off items such as hair blowers, AC, and Microwave when the water heater is on. If a generator is providing the electricity it may not have enough output. If shore power is providing the electricity you need at least 30 AMPs.

Apr 20, 2016 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

Keystone manuals rv

You would need to buy a propane hot water heater. Unfortunately you can not convert an electric hot water hearter to propane.

I didn't want to use either an electric or gas hot water heater so I invested in a solar hot water heater for my home. Best thing that I ever did as far as saving money. Once it is paid off then the benefits are lower utility bills.

Good luck,


Jul 15, 2014 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

How do I check my hot water heater

Do you have a meter? You can use it to see if you have power and if there is a problem with the thermostat. If not then it would be best to have it looked at by someone at an RV center.

Jun 05, 2014 | Suburban RV Hot Water Heaters 10 Gallon...

1 Answer

Last year we had all the siding on our tv, trailer, replaced due to hail damage. When we finally got our trailer back from the rv repair shop we have had nothing but problems with our Atwood hot water tank...

Immediate danger!
You have a gas leak.
Propane is heavier than air and will settle on the floor.
The floor can be covered and ignite and you will not smell it while standing or sitting or laying in bed.
Absolutely open the door and leave trailer. Turn off the gas to the heater if the shut-off is outside.
Possibly you have a bad gas control valve. This should be repaired professionally.

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at

Aug 08, 2012 | Water Heaters

2 Answers

I have an Atwood G6A-BE model )or possibly G6A-B8) hot water heater. When I throw the starter swith on from inside the RV nothing happens at all. No spark. Nothing. Their is a light next to the switch that...

First of all, regarding propane side not lighting. Try shutting switch off, and go outside and remove the connection(s) from the circuit board, and re-install them a few times to see if it's just a bad connection (corrosion) that will correct itself by removing and re-installing the connector(s). If they appear dirty, use an eraser on end of a pencil to clean the contacts on the circuit board, and perhaps some WD-40 or electrical cleaner on connector, and try it to see if that helps. Keep in mind that the propane part needs 12 volts DC (battery or converter) in order to work. The light at the switch tells me you did have it at one time anyway. Try shutting it off and retry, as well as check for any fuses that may have blown.
One the electric side, I'm going to guess it's a "hot rod" or similar. Obviously you need the circuit breaker on that powers that. (hydro) You should also find a thermostat, probably by looking at rear of tank from inside RV, that will probably have a red reset button in the middle of it. Be sure to shut breaker off before you go poking around that thermostat, so you don't get a shock, seeing how we have no idea exactly who or how it was installed. If you determine that the hydro is getting to the hot rod, but still no hot water, then the element, or rod itself has probably burned out. Personally I'm not a fan of those, but if it serves the purpose, that's up to you. Just be sure to pay attention to any plugs and wiring in the circuit, and watch for signs of them getting too hot, such as discolored connectors, or melting wires or even signs of overheating if it's just plugged in to a receptacle.

Feb 16, 2011 | RTO Atwood Water Heater - 6 Gal LP

1 Answer

I have a Atwood 10 gallon electric/ propane water heater on the Hornet travel trailer I purchased used. There are two switches on the wall, one is an on/off switch that lights up and the oither is just an...

The two switches control the water heater either in the gas or electric mode. The switch with the lights would be for the gas operation, and the switch without lights would be for the electric mode. Prior to operating either switch, make sure the water tank is full of water. Turn your hot water tap on, if water comes out, tank is full. Connect trailer to 110 Volt source, turn circuit breakers on, Place switch without lights to on position. If water does not heat in 45 minutes, Install new heat proble. The gas mode should be repaired by someone that is familiar with that system. Atwood can provide you with a local service center.

Oct 10, 2010 | RTO Atwood DSI-RV Water Heater-6 Gallon

1 Answer

I own a 31' trailer which has an ATWOOD G6A-8E RV Water Heater, 6 Gal electronic ignition, 2 yrs ago the pressure relief valve would open up and empty the hot water tank completely, it did this several...

Most electronic ignition models only show the red light if there is a problem, (did not ignite) for one reason or another. To start with, make sure your propane is on, and you have a good flame at stove top burner, just to be sure the water heater is getting propane, and all air is bled from the line, which may cause water heater to go into check. (red light) If it does, shut switch off, and retry. Let me know what happens. As far as pressure relief opening and emptying the water heater, and your sure it's not a faulty pressure relief valve, then there's 2 things to start with checking. 1st, does the water seem extremely hot, thus a possible faulty thermostat &/or ECO . Secondly, if the incoming water pressure is too high, that will also cause it to leak bad. Try installing a pressure regulator (usually 40 psi.) at your hose connection. Let me know what you find.

May 25, 2010 | RTO Atwood Water Heater - 6 Gal LP

1 Answer

I have a G6A-7E electronic ignite water heater.

Make sure propane is on and getting to your stove burners ok, first, then try switching it back on. If it fails to ignite, shut switch off and try a couple of times, if still no ignition, get back to me.

May 24, 2010 | RTO Atwood Water Heater - 6 Gal LP

3 Answers

Hot Water Heater in 1991 Pace Arrow RV is not working

If you look on the outside of the RV, you will find the vent for the water heater behind and access door. There usually is a drain plug and valve located as well. Generally they will be tucked away under the kitchen sink area with internal access as well. You will need to find where the valve that shuts the water off to the unit is and turn it on. Most times the water heater is either electric or propane. But sometimes they are only propane. Once your find the access door, you will know where the water heater is. You can also contact Fleetwood who makes the Pace Arrow to see if they have any information on your unit. Usually your unit info or trim number will be located on a little plaque right by the entrance to the RV. You will need this when you contact them. Hope this helps.

Mar 31, 2009 | Water Heaters

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