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Old 06-10-2016, 09:10 AM   #1
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
newport beach , California
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Water System Question for Newbie!

Hi all-
We have a 2016 Interstate and have used it several times already with no real issues...a lot of little things that have been solved by this forum, so thanks!

Our previous trips have all been connected to shore power and water so I need help understanding how using water from the fresh water tank works. So far, in order to take a hot shower I think I need to:
Turn on house battery
Turn on generator
Flip water heater by generator switch (although red light never lights?)
Turn on water pump

After shower, reverse the steps. Is that correct? Any tips on why I have trouble getting hot water indicator to light either on shore power or generator?

And really stupid, but shower is using the water I manually fill in fresh water tank, right?

Sorry for the ignorance...just want to make sure I can last a 4 day trip!

Thanks!
Molly
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:22 AM   #2
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Welcome!

Your house battery should always be on when you are traveling, only off when your unit is in storage.

Your water pump should run off the house battery, so no generator needed.

I just turn the hot water on in the kitchen sink for initial fill of hot water tank, and after that it should fill automatically thru use.

Turn your hot water heater on to heat the water...15-20 minutes is usually a great plenty...then, turn it off.

Yes, when not hooked up to city water, you use what you have manually filled in your fresh water tank.

We were all newbies once. I had the service guy at our dealership on speed dial the first couple of months.

You, however, have AirForums.


And, Protagonist will correct me if I have missed something.


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Old 06-10-2016, 09:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpnewport View Post
So far, in order to take a hot shower I think I need to:
Turn on house battery
Yes. The water pump runs on 12vDC.
Quote:
Turn on generator
No. You do not need the generator.
Quote:
Flip water heater by generator switch (although red light never lights?)
The water heater runs just fine on propane, which is the switch with the flame icon. It uses less propane than does the generator, too.
Quote:
Turn on water pump.
Yes.
Quote:
Any tips on why I have trouble getting hot water indicator to light either on shore power or generator?
The red light on the water heater control panel is a fault indicator. It's not supposed to come on if the water heater is working properly.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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While the W/H only holds six gallons, I was told that it heats the water to a higher temp. and then dilutes the output so that you actually get a greater quantity of hot water. Never looked into this any further to verify as only used shower once. Also never noticed any means to set the temp.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
While the W/H only holds six gallons, I was told that it heats the water to a higher temp. and then dilutes the output so that you actually get a greater quantity of hot water.
Yes. There is a mixer inside the water heater that mixes hot and cold water in a 2-to-1 ratio to produce 9 gallons of hot water.

It does this by heating the water to about 165°F— hot enough to scald— so that when diluted with cold water (actually "ambient temperature" water) the water that comes out is about 125°F.

There is no temperature adjustment control on the water heater that I've ever found. You can control how fast the water is heated by your selection of propane, electric, or both, but not how much the water is heated.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:49 PM   #6
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Newbie, Great questions.... I just learn something about the hot water usage.. Keep them coming.......
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
....... The red light on the water heater control panel is a fault indicator. It's not supposed to come on if the water heater is working properly.

Protagonist has it right 100% as usual. Regarding the red fault light on the water heater control panel, I've had mine come on several times over the last year. I discovered I can clear the fault by opening the exterior water heater cover and reinserting the large electrical connector on the water heater as seen in the photos below. I think the contacts are getting dirty from road dust and causing connection problem. 67,000 miles on my rig now.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1465604512.498481.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	100.1 KB
ID:	264195
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1465604536.313972.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	102.3 KB
ID:	264196


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Old 06-11-2016, 11:29 AM   #8
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fairfax station , va
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In hot water, again

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
While the W/H only holds six gallons, I was told that it heats the water to a higher temp. and then dilutes the output so that you actually get a greater quantity of hot water.
The diluted hot water is hotter than any home hot water I've ever had. I think the additional dilution at the shower valve makes the supply even greater.

Ahhh, a long Navy shower sitting on the toilet....this is luxury!

And yes, propane is the right choice if you are not on shore power.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:00 PM   #9
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well answered! this forum is a great resource!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Welcome!

Your house battery should always be on when you are traveling, only off when your unit is in storage.

Your water pump should run off the house battery, so no generator needed.

I just turn the hot water on in the kitchen sink for initial fill of hot water tank, and after that it should fill automatically thru use.

Turn your hot water heater on to heat the water...15-20 minutes is usually a great plenty...then, turn it off.

Yes, when not hooked up to city water, you use what you have manually filled in your fresh water tank.

We were all newbies once. I had the service guy at our dealership on speed dial the first couple of months.

You, however, have AirForums.


And, Protagonist will correct me if I have missed something.


Maggie

great and CLEAR answer well done!
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:07 PM   #10
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re the red light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Yes. The water pump runs on 12vDC.No. You do not need the generator.The water heater runs just fine on propane, which is the switch with the flame icon. It uses less propane than does the generator, too.Yes.The red light on the water heater control panel is a fault indicator. It's not supposed to come on if the water heater is working properly.
As you appear to be the head wizard (a noble and royal honor!) is the red light fault true on the older (t1) 2004 interstates as well. My 2004 light is on as soon as you switch it on yet the water heater sounds like it is working and I have gotten warm (not hot) water out of it after running it for a few minutes. Do I have a problem>
Thanks for all of your shared info. it has helped me a lot!
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet1 View Post
My 2004 light is on as soon as you switch it on yet the water heater sounds like it is working and I have gotten warm (not hot) water out of it after running it for a few minutes. Do I have a problem>
Thanks for all of your shared info. it has helped me a lot!
I think you do have a problem if the light comes on. Unfortunately the light doesn't have a blink code to tell you what the problem is.

Does the light come on when you run it on propane and when you run it on electricity? If so, the problem is likely the thermostat because that's one of the few heater components that's common to both modes.

Also, "running it for a few minutes" is kind of vague. It can take as much as twenty minutes for the water to fully heat in electric mode, fifteen minutes in propane mode, and just over ten minutes in dual mode. Less in the summertime because the "cold" water starts out warmer, but not by much.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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I was just looking at the Airstream Customer Support page on their web site. They have a short water heater video that might be helpful for some folks. It's done in a trailer, but the water heater system is the same except the color and location of the control panel.

https://www.airstream.com/light-water-heater/


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Old 06-11-2016, 02:10 PM   #13
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When I turn. On the ATWOOD switch for hot water, the red light within the switch comes on for only a few seconds while the burner is lighting. It then goes off and stays off until I activate the heater again ( after being turned off ). I turn it off after use, conserving propane for other things ( refrigerator, generator, heat). Hot water is 4th down the list of important NEEDS. AEW
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:25 PM   #14
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I think you AI owners have the same Atwood water heater as us trailerites. One thing (actually, so far the only thing) that turns my red light on is forgetting to turn off the heater when running on propane. If I turn in for the night with it running, the red light is always lit in the morning. I'm thinking it may have a " time out" feature.
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