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Old 11-10-2015, 06:56 AM   #1
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Question Water Heater Propane to Electric ?

Where is the switch to change from Propane to Electric on a Suburban 10 gal water heater? I was told it was the little rocker switch inside the compartment door, but that did not work. TIA
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:08 AM   #2
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In our rig there its not a switch from one to the other, but both could be on at same time. In our case we have gas switch on the electric panel in hall way and the electric switch is above the stove in compartment with 12 volt fuses....
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:45 AM   #3
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Ref the Alpine water heater--here are a couple ideas: 1] there is the 120v switch in the outside compartment--you found; 2] make sure the 120v breaker in the bathroom is on; 3] there is also a 12v fuse in the fuse block in the bathroom--not sure that impacts 120v electric ops; and 4] the 120v electric element might be bad--common problem when owners turn-on heater/plug-in coach with no water in heater tank.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
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Works like a dream when on Propane. I wanted to test it on Electric but don't know if there is somewhere to tell it what to use.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:58 AM   #5
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OK--different question--should be a [white] water heater switch somewhere on the kitchen cabinets with a red pilot start light--assume it is on as you have hot water on propane. Simply turn it off and make sure all the electrical switches/breakers I mentioned earlier are on. With propane switch off, electric should function. With both propane and electric on--both will function but propane mode is much more "aggressive/efficient" for heating, so hard to detect that electric element is on.....
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamacre View Post
Where is the switch to change from Propane to Electric on a Suburban 10 gal water heater? I was told it was the little rocker switch inside the compartment door, but that did not work. TIA
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Works like a dream when on Propane. I wanted to test it on Electric but don't know if there is somewhere to tell it what to use.
Dreamacre
Are you sure you have a propane/electric water heater?
Some RV water heaters are "propane only".
Mel
'96 Safari, (10 gal. Suburban SW10D "propane only" WH
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:07 AM   #7
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OK--we are talking Alpine so unless an aftermarket heater has been installed--its a dual-use heater. As a last resort--turn off propane at main tank valve and see if electric mode functions.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:21 AM   #8
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If I understand - In the kitchen, there is a "Water Heater" switch with a red light. If I leave this off, then Electric will automatically come on when hooked to shore power or on Generator, as long as breaker is on in bathroom?

Any idea what "On/Off" rocker switch is inside water heater door on side of coach? I was told that with this on the On position, it would turn on the electric (but I had also turned on the kitchen switch).
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
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I'm not sure it was clear that there is a small rocker switch on the water heater that must be turned on for the electrical heating element to work. You simply remove the outside cover to find the switch in the left lower area.

Follow OS instructions to leave the main water heater switch "OFF" in the kitchen which serves to avoid the propane burner from starting. If all of your electrical breakers & switches are "ON" (other than the propane switch in the kitchen), the water should be quite warm in about an hour. In fact, when setting up at a campground site I do not turn on the propane switch for up to 2 - hours thus allowing the electrical element to heat the water. This saves on propane since you're paying for the shore power any ways.

Also, I turn off the main breaker in the bathroom electrical panel before traveling and then turn it on AFTER connecting to shore power and water. This action reduces the initial amperage draw on the transfer switch. Just remember to turn it back on once connected.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:26 AM   #10
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Thank you all!
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:17 AM   #11
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There is also the possibility that the heating element is burned out. Pretty easy to check with a meter. Mine was burned out. Got a replacement at ACE.

When I took delivery of my coach I was told to leave the switch on the water heater turned on, and turn it on and off at the circuit breaker. No need to go outside in the rain!
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