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Old 04-21-2019, 08:07 AM   #1
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Hot Water System Operation

The hot water heater system operation for my coach has always confused me and the manual is no help. Can someone tell me if I have this correct:

- The I/O switch simply enables the use of the hot water heater
- The 110 Volt switch (has a ON label beneath it), if turned on uses electricity to heat hot water
- The propane switch (not in the same hot water outline on my panel), if turned on uses propane to heat hot water

What confuses me is that I can have the propane and 110 Volt switches on at the same time. Does that mean that both propane and 110 are heating the water? And lastly, does that propane switch only apply to the hot water heater (I assume so).

Thanks in advance, I want to get this straight in my head "once and for all".
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:10 AM   #2
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Here is some information on your hot water system. Most Newmar diesel have a diesel fueled hot water system which is used for both hot water and heat the coach. When you mentioning propane you would most likely have a water heat and also a propane fired coach heat system. Newmar's usually have what is called engine assist for the hot water system which means you have your engine cooling system heating your water when you traveling down the road. You can check this by turning on hot water after traveling and you should have hot water even with system turned off.
You should have a 110 volt switch to turn on electric heater in hot water tank to assist along with propane heat to get your hot water to use in your coach. With our 1st Newmar we used propane when showering or using a lot of hot water but most of the time used 110 all the time we were connected to 50AMP.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:29 AM   #3
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According to the brochure, the 4301 came standard with a 12 gallon gas (propane)/electric water heater. With the that water heater you can use propane and electric at the same time. Using both is especially helpful when hot water has been turned off for a while and you need it quickly.

Our coach didn't have the motoraid system Tom was talking about, so some Newmar's don't have it. Wasn't even an option on our coach as I would have ordered it. Maybe because it was gas, not diesel. Our water heater was 10 gallon, with our use we could use electric all the time when we were plugged in, no need for propane.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:34 AM   #4
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Your 2006 came standard with a 12 gallon Gas/Electric water heater
Being 12 gallon it is a Suburban Brand
Suburban uses separate controls for electric and for gas system
Electric has it's own set of 120V AC T-stats
Propane has it's own set of 12V DC T-stats


Both are located under the 'Push To Rest' Cover above gas valve in outside compartment;;;;High temp t-stat is resettable if tripped


Normal Temp...Opens at 130*F/Close at 100*F for reheat cycles (Controlling t-stat)
High Temp.......Trips at 170*F if normal fails...can be rest when water temp drops below 140*F


Electric AND Propane have SAME temp settings
Electric alone..slowest recovery time ---roughly 6 gal/hr (based on initial fill temp of 70*F)
Propane alone......faster recovery time---roughly 10 gal/hr
Electric AND propane ...fastest recovery time---roughly 16 gal/hr




YES they both heat at same time and will turnon/turn off roughly at same time (+/- few degrees)
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:52 AM   #5
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"ColoradoBnd".....Some good info above. Here's how we used our unit in our 2005 Diplomat.....same as yours.

Your heater was designed to primarily heat with propane and be augmented with electricity. The propane will heat the water faster and recover faster than electric. With that said, if we had electricity available, we always turned on both, the propane and the electric heat. When the water heater is not being used, the electric element will keep it up to temp and you won't hear the propane portion come on, sounding like a jet engine.

When you shower, as soon as the water temp starts to drop, the electric element and propane heat will both kick in, helping your system to recover faster. Once the water catches up, the propane will shut off and the electric will maintain the heat.

So...…..use the two together as often as you can. I also felt safer limiting the number of times the propane burner came on, especially overnight.
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Hi ColoradoBnd,
That propane switch is for the water heater only. All the other Qs were answered very well.
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:21 PM   #7
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Ok everyone. Iíve got it now. Thanks to all!
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:39 AM   #8
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I have one final question on operation? Yesterday I was walking outside the coach and heard the propane hot water heater running. I went inside the coach and someone turned on the water heater switch. The 110V switch was not on nor was the propane switch, but yet the heater was on and running on propane.

Does the propane switch being turned off not prevent unit startup??
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:35 PM   #9
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Hot Water System Operation

Are you assuming that the red light next to the propane switch stays on when the switch is on? If so this is not the case. The next time you hear the heater running on propane you could turn the switch the other way and see if the gas stops. Seems our switch is pushed up to turn off. Just saying. Yes when our propane heater switch is off the heater does not pass gas.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hi ColoradoBnd,
I am confused by your last post. You say someone turned the water heater on, but you say the electric and gas was off. What did someone turn on? The propane switch for the heater is installed upside down from what we are used to. Push the bottom of the switch in. This turns the propane on. Push the top of the switch in and this turns the propane off. When the electric is turned on the red light will be on all the time. This shows there is current available to the water heater. The red light for the propane will come on only during the initial firing of the propane burner. Subsequent firings of the burner do not turn on the red light. If the propane switch is turned off, the next time it is turned on, the red light will, once again, turn on, for the initial burner lighting only. If the propane red light is on but you hear no burned, it means the burner tried 3 times to light and failed.
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