Leisureline Caravans Ltd Information Release
December 2nd 2019
Subject: Suburban Water Heaters
The Majority of Water Heaters used in Motorhomes and Caravans in NZ have been Suburban Water Heaters and over the years many thousands of these would be in service internationally as well as in Australia and New Zealand.
Leisureline Caravans have used the Suburban Water Heater for many years, in the Leisureline, Southern Star and Zephyr Builds, along with other NZ Manufacturers of Motorhomes and Caravans.
Recently Work Safe New Zealand’s counterpart for gas in South Australia has identified a fault in a type of gas water heater in which carbon monoxide was found to be entering a motorhome’s cabin. A recall of these water heaters is being considered Australia. These water heaters are also being supplied into the New Zealand market. From 25 September 2019, the Australian Gas Association (AGA) suspended its certification (AGA 4624) on this range. New Zealand gas appliance importers (including caravan importers) may not supply gas appliances unless they have valid certification. WorkSafe has alerted the Product Safety group in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment of the hazard and a possible recall from New Zealand suppliers.
Under certain conditions, these water heaters can generate elevated levels of carbon monoxide (CO) which, in some instances, may spill into the caravan, motor home or camper trailer. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that can adversely affect a person’s health when inhaled.
Carbon monoxide can be lethal at high concentrations. For more information on carbon monoxide, visit website: worksafe.govt.nz
APPLIANCE MODELS AFFECTED SERIAL NUMBERS AFFECTED Suburban RV water heaters (certified under AGA 4624) – SW6DEA – SW4DEA – SW6DEA – SW6PA – SW6DA – SW4DA – SW6DECA (Dual Fuel) – From 181315552 to 193002648 – Also 8183311827 and 8190201139 Notes: 1. These were manufactured from 4 April 2018 to 1 August 2019. 2. Some serial numbers will end in a ‘D’.
The safety issues only apply while the appliance is operating on gas. If your suburban water heater can heat water from an electrical supply as well as from LPG, it is safe to continue operating the appliance from electricity only. Our advice immediately stop using the appliance and do not allow anyone else to use this appliance. Identify whether the water heater is one of the affected models, by checking if the serial number falls within the ranges listed in the table above. This can be done by checking the appliance data plates found under the front cover plate of the hot water heater (see instructions below). If you are unable to do this, your caravan service agent or a licensed gasfitter should be able to assist.
Advice from Worksafe NZ
If the water heater has its own isolation valve, the valve to this appliance must be turned off until the appliance and installation has been rectified. This valve (if fitted) may be found in the cabin of the RV close to the gas inlet to the appliance.
Further safety notices or recall notices may be issued by the New Zealand importer of the appliance as to what actions are required to rectify the safety issues.