It is alright to leave the RV water heater on all the time like a normal water heater, however, make sure it always has water in the water heater. Economically it may be better to turn it on when you need it but either way, it is okay.

In many cases, the hot water can run on propane or electric. Some campers run it all the time so that if they want to shower or clean up they may do it without any planning. This does not shorten the life of the hot water heater or damage the system.

This will use the propane or the campground’s electricity and cost yourself or the campground money. The tanks in the trailers are insulated and keep the water hot for some time. So will be available for hand washing or instances where only warm water is required.

If you require hot water for showering and cleaning then press the hot water switch and it should take a few minutes to heat the tank. So it does not hurt anything to have it on all the time, but environmentally and economically it is better to only turn it on when you require it.

How To Turn On An Electric Water Heater In RV?

When setting up a water heater in an RV fill it up with enough water so that it works efficiently.

If the water heater is not winterized or bypassed, it fills to the right amount when connected to a water source.

Caution: do not turn on the hot water heater until it is filled with water. This will damage it.

When not connected to a water source, the pump will do the same thing but remember that the heater is filled before you turn it on.

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The Steps To Turn On The RV Water Heater Is To –

  • Attach the RV water supply to a hookup.

  • Ensure water filter is installed and open valve connection.

  • Add water if needed for the fresh water tank.

  • Check the panel of the water heater to be sure it is connected.

  • Make sure the water heater is off.

  • Once you turn on the water pump, turn on a faucet for hot water.

  • If water is flowing through the facet, you are good to go!

Why Is The Hot Water Heater Running All The Time?

Your water heater has insufficient insulation – If it is not properly insulated, it will not be able to maintain the water temperature. Your most reliable water heater may have sediment build-up – With time sediment builds up at the bottom of the water heater.

RV Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs.

This is due to sulfur in water mixing with electro-galvanic action from hydrogen in water. It does not mean there are eggs stuffed down in the drain.

To get rid of this problem, you may stop the water supply and drain the water heater. After that reinstall the plug for the drain.

Take away the pressure-temperature relief valve and try mixing in a solution into water. You will need to put this solution many times, cycling it in about 4 times.

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The Solution To Mix:

White Vinegar and Water– most tanks are 10-gallon tanks so mix 6 gallons of vinegar with 4 gallons of water.

After adding this in, drain the water and flush it to get rid of it. After flushing with freshwater, put the drain plug and pressure-temperature valve back. Then fill the tank with freshwater again.

When you flush and drain many times, it can get rid of the bacteria that cause this smell.

So If you want to avoid these smells, drain and flush your water heater frequently. When the water sits in the tank with the sulfur, the two mix and results in this bad rotten egg-like smell.

RV Water Heater Bypass Valve Replacement /Installation.

You may or may not have a hot water heater bypass valve. This bypass valve prevents any freezing of the valves so that your water heater does not freeze during winter.

One way to identify if you have a bypass valve or not is by looking at your water heater and note if there is a pipe connected between the hot and the cold pipes. If it is connected, then you have a bypass valve. If not, you can install one.

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If you have a three-valve system, be sure that the valves are perpendicular then turn the bypass valve parallel to them. The bypass will prevent freezes between inside the tank.

If you have a two-valve system, put the two valves parallel which allows the bypass work correctly.

How long does it take an RV Water Heater to heat? RV water heaters take 20 minutes to heat up the water. It depends on how many gallons of water is in it, if there are 10 gallons it may take a long time to heat up.

Also Read: Which Water Filter Pitcher Removes The Most Contaminants?