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Old 09-26-2022, 11:03 AM   #1
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Electric water heater, leave it running?

For those of you with electric or dual source water heaters, do you leave the electric running all the time like a regular residential unit, or do you turn it on/off daily?

Just bought our first RV and discovered last night that ours is dual source. Thinking I'll leave it on electric throughout the day, then turn the LP on for showers to help with recovery time
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:11 AM   #2
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We leave the AC water heater on all the time we are connected to shore power. We turn of the propane side about 30 minutes before taking showers to have hot water for longer periods, the turn it off after we are finished.
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:15 AM   #3
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Electric If I have shore power on The Carriage
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:16 AM   #4
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On electric, ours gets turned on when we set up camp and doesn't get turned off until we leave. If I had to use propane, it would get turned on as needed, we don't leave it running.

I cannot remember the last time we used propane. The Hott Rod I installed in our Atwood 6 gallon water heater about 18 years ago keeps up just fine with the three of us taking staggered showers every night.
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Old 09-26-2022, 12:16 PM   #5
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30 amp
Depends on weather and how many A/C we need. On gas if we need the A/C.


50 Amp
Constant electric.
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Old 09-26-2022, 12:37 PM   #6
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When we had that setup, we left the electric element on all the time. You may want to try and leave both on and see what happens. Your electric element may keep the water hot enough, that the propane doesn't turn on until there is hot water usage. If so, you can leave the propane on too.
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Old 09-26-2022, 01:06 PM   #7
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Electric ON when connected to AC Power
Propane ON for back to back showers

Electric is slowest recovery rate....roughly 6 gal/hr
Propane is faster recovery rate......roughly 10 gal/hr
BOTH is fastest recovery rate........roughly 16 gal/hr

Thermostats for electric & propane are 'same' set point so they come on/go off at same time

We turn water heater ON when we set up and it stays ON until we depart
When I want to use hot water I don't have to plan for it

Just like A/C, Fridge, Furnace.......
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Old 09-26-2022, 01:19 PM   #8
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We have a 10 gallon water heater in our fifth wheel, and when on shore power we use electric only. We've taken back to back showers and have never run out of hot water. BUT, we use an Oxygenics showerhead.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:18 PM   #9
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Expansion and contraction does damage to the tank, The electric element lasts as long as your house water heater and are almost free by contrast.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:37 PM   #10
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We turn it off at home and when traveling and turn it on when we get a site with shore power, unless there is an electric meter. If there is a meter we turn it on when preparing meals or about an hour before shower time.
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Old 09-26-2022, 07:03 PM   #11
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The first reply from Joe, is the standard for most. I do the same, if I'm powered up, I leave my electric hot water heat on constant. If I'm using the propane gas heater for hot water, I shut it off when I'm done using hot water.
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Old 09-26-2022, 07:45 PM   #12
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I turn my electric hot water heater on about 15 minutes before a shower. Then turn it off when I'm done.

It gets very hot in only 15 minutes. It's a 6 gallon.
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:19 PM   #13
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You are paying for power in a campground so why not use their electric? You pay the same rate if you use it or not. The only time we turn off our electric is when we will not be using the coach
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:31 PM   #14
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Had a problem a few times if I left the electric side on and disconnected power. Next time I connected the electric side would not work until I reset the breaker. Does not always happen, but now I try to remember to turn off when I unplug.

Also if BOTH ACs are running and the Electric water heater is running on my Onan 5500 I will hear a buzzing from the front AC. Itís because the voltage on that line is 109. When I shut off water heater it jumps to 115. Generator has 435hrs on it and runs good. I have noticed the highest voltage I see is 118 even with little to no load. Possible I need to adjust the governor a little. Plan to check hertz output.
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