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Old 11-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Amateur Sunliners Need Help Please...Water Heater and Tank Indicator Panel Problems

Hi everyone, this is my first post. We have a Sunline Solaris T-264 SR 2005. We took it out this weekend after a year of it not being used and came up with a few problems. We've only had it a few years so we are pretty new to the camping world. The indicator tank panel that is above the stove wouldn't even light up. It has lit up in the past but now nothing. Tried pushing all the buttons, checked the fuses can't figure out what the problem is. The other issue we had is the water heater. When we tried to switch over from gas to electric nothing happens. The switchover button is located on this indicator panel as well. Doesn't work at all, even on electric. No pilot light is lit. We did take a look at the circuit board panel and it looks somewhat melted. I'm sure this would need to be replaced but really not sure what else it could be. Could I just replace the panel or do I need to replace the entire system. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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Hi Bdennison

Welcome to Sunline Owners Club!! Glad you found up.

Sorry to hear about your tank monitor and the HW heater, we will see what we can do to help.

Need some more info. Since yours is a 2005, odds are high you have the 3 button tank monitor that looks like this. Correct?


When you say pushed all the buttons, Did the battery indicator at least light up? You said all and that "batt" one is not tied to any of the tanks under the camper. If that one does not work this points to a board problem of lack of power getting to the board issue.

You said the circuit broad panel looks somewhat melted, Which one? the one on the tank panel or the outside the camper inside the HW heater?

When you flip on the red rocker switch for the HW heater, (gas or electric) does the red light inside the switch come on? (Make sure water is in the heater before turning on the electric switch or make sure the 120VAC circuit breaker in the converter panel is off for the HW heater.)

If you flip on the water pump, does the red light in the rocker switch turn on and does the pump run?

You may have 2 separate problems (HW heater and the tank panel) or a common problem starting at the tank panel.

Is there someone that is electrically handy and has a volt/ohm meter available to help trouble shoot? We can point out where to go hunting however this will be an electrical troubleshooting mission.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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Response

John-
Thank you so much for your response. Your picture is exactly what our panel looks like. The battery light indicator did not light up at all. The circuit panel that looked melted was in the water heater panel outside the trailer. Here's a picture of it. My husband is pretty electrically handy, he just has no idea where to start. If you have some suggestions on where to go hunting, I'm sure we can do some troubleshooting. Thanks again for the help!
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File Type: jpg hot water heater.jpg (94.0 KB, 16 views)
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:03 AM   #4
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Do any of you 12V inside lights work when unpluged from shore power? That's the first thing I would check
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:24 AM   #5
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Hi again,

OK we have some more to go on, answer Jim's question on the lights inside the camper and tell us on the HW heater, did the red rocker switch light up on the tank panel when you tried to turn it on?

Did both the electric and the propane rocker switches light up when you tried them?

Did you use the water pump on the campout and did the red rocker light switch light up?

When the HW heater was turned on gas mode, did you hear any clicks or clunks from the heater? The noises it makes tells us a lot about how it was or was not starting.

Answers to those questions will help us point your hubby where to start the hunt.

At this point, this still can be one common problem or 2 totally separate ones or both. The HW heaters often have times when corrosion on some of the connections preventing them from working, however we have to confirm the heater has power going to it from the tank panel red rockers switches first.

Be back later tonight to type more

John
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:30 AM   #6
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Also, the picture of your HW heater control board does not look burnt from the pic as I can see it. Which is not that great to see what I'm looking for. They mold the plastic on the outside to waterproof the PC board and it looks like very smooth melted plastic as the expoxy flows smoooth then hardens. But it is very smooth. If it is all rough, bubbled and blistered, then yes it got real hot and may be burnt up. I did not see that in the pic. We will keep this in mind as we troubleshoot through this.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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BDennison,

Welcome to the SOC!

We had the same problem with the panel in our '02 2363, altho' from JohnB's pix the panel is not the same one that you have. Our local RV repair guy took the panel off the wall and started pulling out the wiring. A fair ways in, Sunline had put a fuse on the wiring to this panel and that fuse was blown. (Husband had looked at the wiring too, just not far enough in.) Both the repair guy and husband sorta' wondered why Sunline put a fuse on the panel wiring - maybe someone here has an answer - but that's what they found. Replacing the fuse solved the problem at that point. So, that might be something to check for too. (The last time we were out camping the panel was not working again so husband will be checking out the fuse again.)
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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I'd be finding out what's causing fuses to blow.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabes View Post
BDennison,

Welcome to the SOC!

We had the same problem with the panel in our '02 2363, altho' from JohnB's pix the panel is not the same one that you have. Our local RV repair guy took the panel off the wall and started pulling out the wiring. A fair ways in, Sunline had put a fuse on the wiring to this panel and that fuse was blown. (Husband had looked at the wiring too, just not far enough in.) Both the repair guy and husband sorta' wondered why Sunline put a fuse on the panel wiring - maybe someone here has an answer - but that's what they found. Replacing the fuse solved the problem at that point. So, that might be something to check for too. (The last time we were out camping the panel was not working again so husband will be checking out the fuse again.)
Lisa, this is good info! Thank you for posting.

I'm assuming the fuse is burried in the wall? yes/no?

As to the why, I would "suspect" it is to save the unit from a massive burnout. Odds are high the tank panel is fed from a 15 amp fuse and there is no way that tiny wire on the tank panel can handle 15 amps. The wire will become the fuse. This is a standard saftey feature to down size the amperage avaible when going into such a small amperage device.

The new learning is, a fuse is burried in the wall..... I do not recall ever seeing this in a manual or even talked about on SOC. May have missed a post or 2 but not many. And I had mine pulled out at least 8 to 12 inches troubleshooting a fresh tank full problem. There is a pile of wire stuffed in there.

Now to your problem of blowing the fuse... This will be a bit of a search and destroy mission elimininating what it is not. Will type more tonight
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm assuming the fuse is burried in the wall? yes/no?
Yes, and if I recall correctly, placed on the wire b/c they pulled the fuse out of the wall thru the panel hole. At this point, I'm getting in over my head w/ the electrical discussion so Matthew will have to take it from here. (In these situations, I just hand him the tools, once he explains to me what they are. )

Quote:
I'd be finding out what's causing fuses to blow.
Jim, that's what Matthew wants to do but we keep running into the old "not enough time" syndrome - we're just going to have to set time aside to look at this. He was thinking it would be a winter project.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Lisa, this is good info! Thank you for posting.

The new learning is, a fuse is burried in the wall..... I do not recall ever seeing this in a manual or even talked about on SOC. May have missed a post or 2 but not many. And I had mine pulled out at least 8 to 12 inches troubleshooting a fresh tank full problem. There is a pile of wire stuffed in there.
Yep! After 2 days of trying to figure out where I lost power to my tank panel I found an inline fuse down inside my wall.(did that myself. I grounded a power wire with pliers. oops! )
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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Husband here...

The inline fuse which is installed in the wiring behind the monitor panel is a 1A blade fuse. I couldn't imagine what had made our original fuse blow, as the monitor panel worked fine when the P.O. showed us the trailer. I've since hypothesized that the factory fuse may have blown subsequent to our purchase of the trailer, when we had our local RV guy install our Iota converter. I think this because it was only after the RV guy installed our new converter, we discovered that the panel was not working correctly; when we contacted him to let him know about this, it was then that he made a 'house call' and found the hidden fuse as described by DW, above.

But, what would have caused the replacement fuse to blow since that time?
Last month we removed the CATV jack and the 12VDC adaptor which Sunline had mounted in one single-gang plate over the kitchen counter beside a window. We don't have TV at home, and couldn't envision watching TV in the state parks which we favor, so we decided to do away with the CATV jack and 12VDC adaptor outlet and replace them with a blank plate. When I did this, I did note an arc as I removed the orange (presumedly, positive) wire from the junction on the reverse side of the factory plate. Seeing as how the fuse for the monitor panel was inline with an orange wire, and seeing as how I had--possibly--shorted an orange wire when I disconnected the CATV set-up...I assume that it's likely the monitor panel and the CATV rig are fed by the same 12VDC circuit.

Hope this info helps someone out there.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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Let start with the easier problem, maybe. The tank panel.

The tank monitor panel may be powered by 2 different areas and or fused separately from 1 source. The tank monitor part and separately the water pump and the HW heater switch part. We do not have confirmation if the red rocker switch lit up or not but I will assume as of right now they are separated from load sharing from the what now appears to be a 1 amp fuse.

The 1st thing to check since even the battery indicator does not work is the power to the control board. To pop the cover off, place a thin screw driver in the notch and gently twist. It will come off. This in my 2 button panel where your is a 3 however the process is the same just your notch is on top.


Once the cover is off, take the screws out that hold the white unit to the wall. Gently pull the wires out. It seems if you pull more… there is a blade fuse feeding the unit. I must have been a foot or so short of the fuse when I had mine out.


If checking/changing the fuse does not work, report back.


Now to the HW heater. Go to the breaker box and flip off the 120 VAC circuit breaker for the HW heater. This only kills the 120 VAC to the element. All the 12 VDC still works. We do not know if you have water in the heater or not and this will prevent you from burning out the element if you flip on the electric red rocker switch and the heater starts to work.


The control board on the HW heater gets it’s power from the red rocker switches on the tank panel.

Page 7 of this PDF has a wiring diagram that looks like the sticker on your year (2005) hot water heater. Open the heater cover outside you will see it.
http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/waterheaters/MPD%2093050%20PS%204.9.09.pdf

While you have the tank panel off, check for 12 volts at upstream side of the gas or electric red rocker switches. The down stream side of those rocker switch goes to the HW heater control board and they are part of the plug that plugs into the black control board on the heater. If you have 12 volts proceed on. If not that is problem 1.


Out at the HW heater, pull the multi wire connector off the control board. Look at the contacts, they get gummed up and often times do not work due to corrosion. Clean them up. By that wiring diagram the white wire on the connector is the electric portion of the board coming being fed from the electric red rocker switch on the tank panel. The orange wire on the plug comes from the LP gas red rocker switch. Check for 12 VDC on the white and red wires when the red rocker switch is on inside. If you have 12 volts, you know power is at the control board and you now have cleaned up the contacts.



Next are the safeties. In the middle of the heater is a foam cover that covers up 2 thermal disk switches, A “T stat” , an “Eco” and then there is a thermal fuse stuffed in the push on blade connectors. It is in a clear looking tube.

The ECO is the emergency cut off switch for the gas valve. It the gas gets too hot it shuts it down. That one never gives too much trouble however the T stat and the thermal fuse do. Very gently pull off the wires on the T stat, the thermal fuse and the brown wire feeding the clear tube thermal fuse. Those wires get gummed up and do not make contact. Clean them up. And put them back together. Heads up, the push on blade connectors pull hard. Be carefull.

Now trouble shoot the heater in gas mode as you can hear it trying to work. Leave the LP gas valve at the tank OFF for right now. Have DW turn on the red rocker switch to LP gas. Within a few seconds you should hear a clunk of the gas valve turning on followed by click, click ,click of the igniter. And heads up, LP gas may still be in the lines and it might take off and run for a bit. If it clunks and clicks your good.

If you hear no clunk and clicks then most all times it is corrosion on the PC board connector or the thermal fuse and T stat. Go back again and test for 12 volts at each connector. The brown wire feeding the thermal fuse, coming out of the thermal fuse, coming out of the T stat. You can do the ECO as well, just the unit would still of tried to ignite even if no clunk on the gas valve.

Some times the thermal fuse gets blown. OR the crimped on end connection does not make contact. You have to buy a new one if it blows out. A continiuty check will confirm using an ohm meter. The T stat and the thermal fuse are in a series loop in the safety circuit. If the loop is not made, the heater will not work on LP gas or electric.

Assuming you find the issue with corrosion, go to the auto parts store and ask for a small tube of dielectric grease. Put that on all the push on terminals to stop corrosion for the future. Permatex 81150 Dielectric Tune-Up Grease, .33 oz Tube : Amazon.com : Automotive

Let us know how it goes. Most problems with the heater are corrosion on the contacts.

Hope this helps.

John
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