Several years ago when deer hunting the water heater on my motor home made a loud explosion like noise. There was no damage to the water heater or the M/H but we shut it down anyway. Later we found the refrigerator had also shut down. We had been camping for four days when this occurred. We left camp and went to the nearest town with an RV repair center. They could not (or would not) give us an idea of what was happening unless we could leave the M/H with them for a couple of days so they could evaluate the problem. We decided to just finish our camping trip and take it back to our regular service center.

The service people there said it was most likely a low battery which would create the problem for both the water heater and the fridge. We by that time had recharged the batteries in the driving back and forth to the camp sight and then the drive back home and to our RV repair center. We did not have the problem again until a few months ago.

We were parked and on shore power when the same thing happened to the water heater; there was no problems with the fridge. We were setting inside when the water heater again made the explosion; as in the first time we could not see any damage or what may have caused it.

Does anyone have an idea what may have caused this? The water heater works great with the exception of these two incidents, both of which scared the socks of me. I was content with our RV service people suggestion that it was a low battery but this time it was on (and had been for several days) 110 volt, 30 amp commercial power.

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EXPLOSION? as in KABOOM? or maybe a POP or FART like sound?did you notice any water on or around the heater?did you check to see if the pop saftey valve might have caused this?what is the temperature of the hot water at a faucet? if the water heater makes a temp over 212 degrees,it will produce steam instead of hot water and the results will cause the pop saftey to open and dump the excess pressure.the pop saftey opening with the force of overpressure behind it can and will make a banging noise.

I appreciate your reply Brian; this problem has put us at edge too many times. The more replies I get the more I feel we may resolve the problem. Our RV technician didn't seem to think it was  anything major suggesting a low battery can cause it and we had been on DC power for several days when the first incident occurred; the second though was 110-AC.  I had thought maybe there was a problem with the igniter and some of the comments suggesting lack of air sounds acceptable. The hot water heater has never put out overly hot water as we keep it just warm enough for washing up.

Hopefully I will some day be able to thank everyone foe their help and explain what finally resolved the problem - again - thank you for the help.


Sounds like your Heating a void,,, in laymens terms, creating steam above the water level,, and occasionally if you have sediment on the bottom of the boiler box,(the inerds of the water heater), and steam builds under the sediment, and releases, making a pop, and if strong enough a boom,, amplified by the boiler box. (like a bongo drum). If your water heater is a couple years old,, its wise to shut it down and drain and pull the ionode rod out and check for the crunchy critters attached to it, Also pulling out the heating rod (s) (manufactures recommend they be changed during the life time of the water heater,,sometimes once,, sometimes several times depending on the hardness of the water). Calcium deposit wreak havoc on water heaters.Rememeber to always PURGE the air out of the water heater after plugging into shore power and having the water turned on.After getting all connected, let the water run thru the hot side of the water line for a couple minutes,(do the same for the cold side,incl, bath and sink fixtures). This will purge the air out of the lines, Let the water heater cycle itself warming up,, and after about 20 minutes (depends on how quick the water heater recovers to temp), Turn water spigot on the hot side on, to help purge the Steam that has accumilated. This should help,,,, If not, you have something that needs attention. Trust me,, you do NOT want to have a BAD blow out valve on a water heater,, it will make MORE then a mini Boom.

Many thanks for the information. Anyone of these may be the problem although we only keep our water at shower temperature.  I have never purged the air though so I will start doing so and hope that stops the problem.  I pull the drain plug (w/ionode rod attached) every time I drain the heater tank; It still looks pretty good.  Sounds like purging may be the order of the day and as I have not done so in the past doing it I the future will suggest that was what is needed.

Again - thank you.


I think your fridge going out was a coincidence. My HW heater will light with a scary loud boom occasionally. It also sometimes won't run with the door closed. I don't think it's getting enough air and the propane is building up until it ignites with a BANG! If I leave the door open it doesn't do this. Sorry I don't have any more info beyond that. I've been told to check the flame tube for obstructions but haven't gotten around to it.

Thank you; I appreciate any and all suggestions I get. I am afraid I won't get my wife back in the unit if this keeps up; and without her by my side there is no reason to be on the road. Thank you Jim.




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