Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HEC-RAS Help or Troubleshooting

Written by Chris Goodell, P.E., D. WRE | WEST Consultants
Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

I wanted to take the opportunity to throw out a few resources for finding HEC-RAS help and troubleshooting models. First off, unless you work for the Corps of Engineers, HEC can not offer technical support to you. They are happy to receive bug reports from anyone, but for help on methods, concepts, and general how-to's, they are just not equipped to handle it. You may be surpised at how small (in #s of employees) HEC really is. Anyway, when I'm looking for help, I usually consult the manuals first. Now-a-days, you can get to the manuals directly though the Help menu item in HEC-RAS. These manuals are very well written. It is quite possible that the answer to your question is already documented in the manuals. Also, check the Release Notes, and "What's New" documents on the HEC web site (

If that doesn't help, search this blog, using the search tool on the right side bar.

Still no luck? Try a forum dedicated to HEC-RAS. The Boss website has a great forum for HEC-RAS (among other software and topics). It has been around for a long time and has countless postings. Be careful though. I'm not sure how well this forum is moderated and I've seen some very bad suggestions and just completely erroneous replies.

This is partly the reason I started the HEC-RAS Bloggery Forum. Although it it very new and there's not a lot on there yet, I moderate all postings and replies. If something is posted that is not accurate, it will be corrected or removed.

Still no luck? There's always the option of getting professional consultation and technical support from an expert in the field. Of course, this is where I shamelessly plug WEST Consultants.


  1. Hello Chris,
    I've followed step by step, chapter 20 in the users manual, but the surface profile keeps coming up 0 throughout and it doesn't work. I'm deeply frustrated, would you know why this is happening?

  2. First of all, I do not profess to be well versed on HEC RAS. I'm semi-retired, work on varied civil/architectural projects and seem to become involved in one or two HEC RAS related studies per year.

    I'm currently working on a flood study for a small parcel in WI that is along a feeder stream into an inland lake. Their is a "current effective - regulatory" FEMA approved model which I've downloaded.

    My issue is that when I first open (the downloaded model WITHOUT any changes) and review the RS WS Elevations (which agree with the FEMA regulatory floodway elevations) THEN run steady flow analysis (without any changes) the RS WS elevations change (increase by about 0.80').

    I have reinstalled HEC RAS and ran the model on two other computers with the same result. My understanding (from WI DNR staff) is that they have ran this model without issue in the past.

    Is there something (simple and silly) that I'm missing??? Something to check for? I've reviewed the detailed XS outputs and there are definitely changes.

    Thanks in advance,


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.