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Old 07-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #1
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Hot water heater switch from Propane to elec

I have a 94 Gulfstream Conquest camper. The board for the propane is shot and I want to run hot water with electric. I cant find the switch to change it to electric. Any suggestions? I dont see any switch in the compartment with the ignition switch besides on and off and the reset button inside the camper over the sink is just a reset. Any idea how I can change the water heater to the electric setting.

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'm sure some of our experts will be along soon with advice but are you sure your water heater is equipped to run on both?


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Old 07-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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You need a Dual Mode water heater to run electric or purchase a 'Hot Rod' kit and add electric to it..

What heater brand and model?
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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Are you sure your wh is dual mode. Many older units had just propane.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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The door on the side of the camper has the pilot light and it just says suburban. It has been running on electricty the past two years but I had someone different winterize it and Im not sure what happened but I have no hot water. The manual says it has a switch for propane to electric but I cant find a switch anywhere. Its been driving me crazy because I dont want to pay someone to come out and just hit a switch that is probally right in front of my face.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:49 AM   #6
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In mine there is a switch in the bathroom to turn on the propane heater and another switch, also in the bathroom, that turns on the electric. Sorry but I'm not familiar with your RV.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #7
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Before you look for the switch, if it was winterized, then your tank might be empty. Draining the tank during winterization is part of the process. There are usually bypass valves that need to be returned to the correct position in order to fill the tank. Hopefully, your electric element is still good, if it was run without water in the tank it could be ruined.

If you are sure your tank is full, then you might check that your outdoor shower valves are closed (opening those valves is also part of winterization). If they are not closed, that can mix your hot and cold so there appears to be no hot water in the house.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Many RV places turn OFF the electrical breaker for the water heater when they winterize to prevent an accidental burn-up of the electrical element. If you are sure you have filled the water heater with water then flip the breaker on. The breaker should be with all the AC breakers.

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Old 07-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Do not know exactly. Can only suggest you look in the kitchen counter area, any electrical or switch panel below the refrigerator. These are the usual locations for the heater electric switch. Also there is one outside at water heater itself. This switch enables the electric heating element but does not control it being on or off. It is for protection to disable using electric when the tank is not full.
Finally once again be certain you have water in the tank. It will burn out the element in no time, a matter of only minutes.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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My surban has a small switch inside the water heater door might look there it's white
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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On most Suburban installations, there is no "inside" switch for turning on the 120v element. Many folks have done "mods" to provide one, but, for most manufacturers, their usual low to moderate range of trailers don't provide them as standard.

If you take the outside door off the water heater, on the end of the water heater you should find a small white rocker switch, usually with a hair pin style retainer pin in it to prevent accidentally turning it on...the electric element will go up in a flash unless there is water in the tank. If you are sure there is water in the tank, pull that pin and rock the switch to the "on" position. Note, however, that the electric element is also controlled by the board that controls the LP burner. If you have, in fact, toasted the board, the element (electric) may or may not come on either, depending on what area of the board is shot. That board controls the thermostat which shuts the element and the LP burner off, or turns them on, based on the water temperature in the tank. If the board has no power, or the thermostat control circuit is out, then neither heating source will work.


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heater, propane, water

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