Getting in the shower and realizing there is no hot water is easily one of the most annoying situations that can happen to you while camping. However, it’s one thing to realize you’ve forgotten to turn the water heater on and a completely other thing when you don’t know why your RV doesn’t have a hot water flow.
There could be a number of reasons behind this happening and we’re here to list a few of those reasons along with steps on how to fix them.
RV Has No Hot Water Flow
1. No Hot Water At All
The first thing you need to check if your RV has no hot water flow at all is if the bypass valve has been turned on. This valve is important because it allows you to bypass the hot water tank when winterizing your RV. It’s possible that you’ve forgotten to switch this valve back on the last time you winterized your RV.
If this is the case, simply turning the valve off of the bypass water heater option will fix your issue for you. The valve should be located on the outside of your RV and labeled Water Heater Bypass. However, if you can’t seem to find it, it possible that your RV doesn’t have this valve, and there’s something else going on.
It’s also possible that there is a leak or a clogged hose somewhere from the water heater to your faucets or your shower. If this is the case, addressing it on your own can be kind of hard, so it’s better to call in someone who’s knowledgeable about this stuff. Your water heater leaking itself could also be the reason behind you not having hot water. You can check if this is the case by looking under your RV for any water puddles.
2. The Hot Water Flow Is Slow
If you have hot water but the flow is slowed down, it’s probably because of the build-up on the inside of your faucets. This happens quite often and it’s usually because of hard water. The mineral deposits onto your faucet screen making it harder for the water to flow through it. This is super easy to fix.
All you need to do is take off your faucet screen or aerators and soak them in some apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve the mineral deposits allowing the water to flow normally once you install it back onto your faucet.
3. You’re Getting Water But It’s Lukewarm
If the water you’re getting from the faucet is lukewarm, it’s possible that there is a valve that you forgot to close. It’s very easy to check this. First, you need to locate your hot water tank. You’ll see a pipe that leads the water from the tank to your faucets. You’ll see that it’s connected to another pipe. That other pipe is for your cold water. On the connection between the pipes, there should be a valve.
If this valve isn’t closed, your hot water and cold water are getting mixed and that’s why you’re getting lukewarm water. So, in order to fix this, all you need to do is close that valve. Now your hot water and cold water will be separated, and you’ll be able to adjust the temperature to your liking.
4. You’re Getting Water But It’s Cold
If this is the case, there is probably something wrong with your propane burner. It could be that your propane burner isn’t getting enough air – or maybe it’s getting too much air. If there is too much air mixing with your propane, the burner will make loud noises. But if it’s not getting enough air, you’ll notice soot building up around the exhaust area.
Another way to check if your propane burner isn’t getting enough air is to look at the flame. If there isn’t enough air mixing with the propane, you’ll notice that the flame is weak and yellow. Ideally, your flame should be blue with yellow tips.
If there isn’t any flame and your propane won’t light, it’s possible that your burner nozzle is clogged. The smell of propane attracts spiders, which is why it’s not rare to find them building webs in the nozzle, blocking it in the process.
So, make sure to clean the burner nozzle and, while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to clean the exhaust too since it can cause similar problems.
If you have an electric water heater and it’s not lighting, we suggest that you check it for corrosion or any loose wires.
5. Check The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
This is another valve that could be causing problems similar to ones you’re facing. It’s installed in RVs as a safety feature. Its job is to lower the pressure inside the hot water tank if the pressure reaches 124 to 150 PSI or if the temperature gets to 210 degrees. If it doesn’t work properly, you’re at a risk of your hot water tank exploding.
If it’s not working as it should, you’ll notice water dripping from this valve. However, it’s perfectly normal for water to be dripping while your tank is getting heated, so make sure to check the valve when your heater is turned off.
If your temperature and pressure relief valve is indeed faulty, you’ll need to replace the air inside your tank. To do this, you’ll have to turn off the water heater and wait for the water to cool down. Now, turn off the water in your RV and open a faucet. That way, you are releasing pressure from the tank.
Once you’ve done this, open the temperature and pressure relief valve and drain the water from your tank. Once the water is drained, close the pressure relief valve and the faucet. Now all that’s left to do is turn the water back on and wait for the tank to refill.
The Last Word
Hopefully, you’ve managed to fix your hot water issue using these troubleshooting methods and if not, we suggest taking your RV to a RV repair shop. They are most certainly equipped with both knowledge and tools to help you fix whatever is causing these problems.