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Old 07-23-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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modify a hot water heater?

Got a new ultra lite TT, and I realize the hot water heater is gas only and has to be lite from outside. I plan on living in it for the winter in southern IN. I want to figure out if there is some way to add DSI to the heater and put in a switch to lite it from inside. Generally, manufacturer make few models and then engineer modifications to create different levels of their products. Hoping this was the case with RV hot water heaters

I was wondering if I could just order the parts and modify the unit myself. Has anyone attempted is? Or are you reading this, thinking I'm nut?

I know i have the option of replacing the entire unit, but being new, I'd like to wait on that for a few years at least, if that is my only route.

Also, if I have to live with it the way it is, does anyone have an idea of the propane consumption is of the polite. In other words, I'm trying to decide if I should leave it running 24/7 or if I need to shut it off, and only lite it in the evening for a few hours?
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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I think by the time you price all the parts:
Control board, propane solenoids, igniter, limit switches, etc, etc.
You will find a complete unit will come out cheaper, and easier.
Been a long time since I had a manual light H/W heater, but if memory serves, they have very little in common with their automatic counterparts.
And a new H/W would give you the 110v option.
In winter you will have to leave the pilot light on to avoid freezing, & JMHO.shutting the pilot off would really save very little propane.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Might see if i can get the engineering print and see what the engineers at work can make of it. If you're right and the main compents are different, then im stuck.

The CG spigot is heated and ill be using a heated hose. Plus ill leave an electric heater on. And If i leave a slow dip in the sink that should stop freezing water? Or will it freeze at the tank anyways. S. Indiana is different weather than northern. They'll have snow when we have mud.
But if polit use is minimal then have hw all the time would be nice.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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By a Hott Rod kit, It is a electric element add on for water heaters, Retails for $142 for the 6 gall tank. Takes about an hour to install. Then you can have hot water all the time and not need the LP
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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That's the news i needed! Many and much thanks!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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*note* Installing a Hott Rod can take an hour. Could take a lot longer depending on how neat you want it and how correctly you want it done.
You need to run 120V wiring, preferably to it's own breaker. And then you have to watch how many amps you draw on 30A because it will pull 10-15A by itself.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #7
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Just ordered from camping world for $86 sale price. Hopefully the directions cover the process throughly.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
*note* Installing a Hott Rod can take an hour. Could take a lot longer depending on how neat you want it and how correctly you want it done.
You need to run 120V wiring, preferably to it's own breaker. And then you have to watch how many amps you draw on 30A because it will pull 10-15A by itself.
Information from Hott Rod website:

Designed to operate on 110V AC (240V available outside USA) which can be provided through hook up or RV generator. Universal 6 gallon kits are rated at 450 watts and draw about 4 amps. Universal 10 gallon kits are rated 675 watts and these draw about 6 amps. Initial heat up times will vary with conditions. Full temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit should be reached within 45 to 90 min.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lynnmor View Post
Information from Hott Rod website:

Designed to operate on 110V AC (240V available outside USA) which can be provided through hook up or RV generator. Universal 6 gallon kits are rated at 450 watts and draw about 4 amps. Universal 10 gallon kits are rated 675 watts and these draw about 6 amps. Initial heat up times will vary with conditions. Full temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit should be reached within 45 to 90 min.
Ok so less power. I was thinking a full OEM heating element.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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I still can't believe that in 2013 new water heaters need to be manually lit.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #11
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It is a 2014. But it was only a $15000 tt. All appliances where bottom end. A/C, frig, stove, even the toliet was the cheapest gulf stream uses. But it had the floor plan we wanted and i can customize with the help of my new found friends.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:35 AM   #12
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I hope I am not too far off topic but I have always wondered what "DSI" stands for. And by the way for approximately how long should the red DSI light stay on after turning the hot water system on?
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:58 AM   #13
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Direct spark inigition red light should be off if its on it tells you to reset the unit
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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Red light comes on when you first flip the switch on, and maybe 5 seconds? Never timed it. THEN it should never come back on, as fish said, unless there is an issue.
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