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Old 02-13-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
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Suburban Water Heater

Hello All

Recently got the waster heater resurrected in our new to us TT. The ele. element is shot, but got it working fine on the propane side. Now going to procede to replace the ele. element and try to get it working on it also.

My question is,how does the heater know weather to run on propane or electric ????

Thanks Jim
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:03 AM   #2
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Hello All

Recently got the waster heater resurrected in our new to us TT. The ele. element is shot, but got it working fine on the propane side. Now going to procede to replace the ele. element and try to get it working on it also.

My question is,how does the heater know weather to run on propane or electric ????

Thanks Jim
It doesn't. You select elec or LPG inside your RV. If you're plugged into shore you can run both at the same time for faster hot water recovery times :-)
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:54 AM   #3
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I see no selector switch, i have the water heater switch on the wall that when turned on it lites up untill the igniter fires the propane and the goes out. the breaker in the power center, which is off because i know the element is bad,and an on/off switch on the face of the heater, which is frozen in the on position.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:59 AM   #4
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Each manufacturer places the electric on/off switch in different places. Post your TT make/model/year and perhaps someone with a similar/exact model can tell you where the switch is located for your unit. With some coach manufacturers there may not be an interior switch to toggle the electric element. On some suburban models they do supply an on/off electric element switch behind the removable door outside.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:18 AM   #5
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If you have no 120VAC switch for the WH inside, then all that you have is the breaker and on/off switch on the WH outside.

The WH has an ECO/t-stat asy. for the 12V/LP side, and one for the 120V side.
So you could have a good element, and a bad on/off switch and ECO/t-stat asy.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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As for replacing your electric element, the are avaialbe at Home Depot or Lowe's' for 1/2 the price of an RV dealer. They are the same brand, CAMCO and they are a standard 110v short element. They are the same elements used in short under the sink water heaters.

When you find your electric switch, I put a piece of making tape over mine when I drain and flush the tank for storage so I don't forget and turn it on when the tank is empty cause the element to blow. Don't ask me how I learned that or that the box stores had the elements.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:11 AM   #7
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Tested the element with my meter and its bad, new one on order,and just hope the old one comes out, was lucky with the anode rode, so i gather that if the ac
switch is off it defalts to propane.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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so i gather that if the ac
switch is off it defaults to propane.
No.
If the 120V switch or breaker is off, it is just off, it doesn't turn anything on.

You have to manually turn on the LP switch, like you've been doing.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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Thanks-- so if the ac switch is on on and i don't touch the switch on the wall, it will be on ac power ? and if i toggle the wall switch it will be on propane and electric ?
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:35 PM   #10
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Correct.
With the 120VAC switch, it only operates 120VAC on and off.
With the (12V) LP switch, it only operates LP on and off.

Both off, no heat.
120VAC on, LP off, 120VAC heat.
120VAC off, LP on, LP heat.
Both on, FAST heat from both.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:39 PM   #11
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Got it . Many Thanks !!!!! Now new element ( hope the old one comes out ) and see what happens.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:46 PM   #12
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Put a new switch too, especially since it's stuck like that. Means it melted.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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New element in and working. Put all the propane parts i had to remove to replace the element back on. So i decided to run it on both the electric and propane at the same time to see how fast it would heat up, and after the propane shutdown, water was leaking out of the relief valve . Let it cool off and it continued to drip, lucky it came out and a new one on order.

It did not leak on ele. only, and did not when i have been using it on propane only. Was using both at the same time too much, or the old relief valve just give up ?

Jim
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