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Old 04-30-2012, 07:28 AM   #15
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Hi guys...

It was a productive weekend. I was able to hook up to city water and test my plumbing capabilities. Everything is a success, no leaks. I was able to pick up a few things at camping world. She's getting nice looking each weekend.
I do have a question though. There is a switch on the wall that says "water pump". It must be on for the water heater switch to be active. My question is if I'm hooked up to water at a CG, and have no water in my tank, will this matter? Will the pressure in the line prevent the pump from coming on? It makes sense that it would, but still wondering.
Also, the previous owner stated that they upgraded the water heater so that you don't have to light the pilot by hand. Cool deal, but it looks like they may have used the wires going to the water pump to do this as the pump is not hooked up. I used a tester and found that the wires going into the water heater switch have 12V when the water pump switch is on. Can I tap into those to wire the water pump back up or might there be too much of a draw from the pump? I don't know if this is the original heater, but I attached a pic. An Electric conversion may be in order too.



KJ
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwjjohnson View Post
I do have a question though. There is a switch on the wall that says "water pump". It must be on for the water heater switch to be active.
I doubt that it came that way from the factory. In my 2001 Sprinter, the water heater and water pump were not connected. The water heater would run on gas regardless of whether the water pump was on. It doesn't make sense that the water pump would have to be on before the water heater would work. You almost always have "city" water pressure connected to the RV when parked, so the only time you use the water pump is when you're boondocking or when on the road and not in a campground.

Quote:
My question is if I'm hooked up to water at a CG, and have no water in my tank, will this matter? Will the pressure in the line prevent the pump from coming on? It makes sense that it would, but still wondering.
In mine the switch for the water pump was near the kitchen sink. You never turned that switch on unless you wanted the pump to work - such as for flushing the pottie when on the road. When hooked to city water, you don't want that pump on.

However, as long as the plumbing system has adequate pressure, the pump should not come on, even if the switch is turned on. So I guess you could turn on the water pump switch with no problem after you were connected to city water. But if for some reason the pressure in the plumbing fell low enough to turn on the pump, you'd burn up the pump if there were no water in the fresh water tank.

So if your water pump switch must be on for the water heater switch to be active, then I'd rewire it so they were independent. Or else be certain you always have at least an eighth of a tank or so of fresh water.

Quote:
Also, the previous owner stated that they upgraded the water heater so that you don't have to light the pilot by hand. Cool deal, but it looks like they may have used the wires going to the water pump to do this as the pump is not hooked up.
So that's why you have to have the water pump switch turned on before the water heater will work. Shade tree mechanic mod.

Quote:
I used a tester and found that the wires going into the water heater switch have 12V when the water pump switch is on. Can I tap into those to wire the water pump back up or might there be too much of a draw from the pump?
You can probably do that. The hot wire is probably big enough to run the igniter on the water heater, the gas control switch and thermostat on the water heater, as well as the water pump. But I'd just rewire the whole thing to use a seperate 12-volt source for the heater and the pump. Then you could run the water heater without the pump having to be on.

Quote:
An Electric conversion may be in order too.
If you mean a gas+12-volt DC water heater, that's great. My new trailer has that, and it works great. The water heater will work with either gas or 12-volt DC or both. You use both only when you need fast recovery. Use electric when on the road, to keep the water hot for when you get to a rest stop. Use gas when you need more hot water than the electric can produce, or for fast recovery when Darling Wife used all the hot water for her bath.

Note that the switch that turns on the gas/electric water heater has two seperate buttons, one for electric and one for gas. So that means you need two seperate 12-volt hot wires going to that switch.

Plus the hot wire from the converter/fuse box to the electric part of the gas/electrifc water heater must be a heavy jobbie to carry the juice required for the heating element without the hot wire getting too hot.

If you mean 12-volt only, with no gas, do they even make those? If they do, you wouldn't want one. Very slow recovery, and too easy to run down the RV battery(ies) when not either on the road or plugged into 120-volt AC "shore power". And you still have the problem of providing a big hot wire to power the heating element.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #17
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Thanks Smokey... That make all kinds is sense. The switch for the water pump is by the sink as you suggested. I have a problem with people modding stuff and half-a$$ing it. I mean, how hard would it have been to run new power for the igniter? So now I get to try to figure out what power I need where to make it right. I'm guessing I need a 12V source going to the heater switch that is always hot, then I can pull the wires that are currently servicing the switch and run them straight to the pump. Where would be the best place to find the 12V that's always on? Oh, and my electric upgrade, I was thinking of something like adding a Hott Rod or something of that effect. Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:34 AM   #18
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The other side of the water pump switch should be hot at all times, just move the wire for the water heater to the other terminal. Also check the back of the tank. The atwood heaters had all the connections for electric on the rear. It is possible it has the electric in it, just never hooked up.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #19
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Will do, thanks! When you say "electric in the rear", do you mean for heat or just for the gas valve?

KJ
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:07 AM   #20
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If your water has the electric (120 volt heater) all the connections and t'stat for that are mounted on the rear of the tank. Then there would be no need for the hot rod.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:43 AM   #21
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Gotcha. I'll look, I seriously doubt it has electric already, but I can hope.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #22
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I have a capacity question... This trailer has storage over the kitchen table... the front of that storage let's down to make an upper bunk over the bed that the kitchen table makes. Looks good in theory. However, I'm wondering if that top bunk would hold a full sized adult. I have this fear of coming down and squishing the person on the bottom bunk. Bottom line is how much weight should that top bunk hold? Any Ideas?
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:23 AM   #23
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I wouldn't go over 150 #'s on that bunk.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:07 AM   #24
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Great. Thanks Camper! I couldn't find anything online or any warning labels or anything. You guys seem to know all the details on things like this.

KJ
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