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Old 04-30-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
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gas/electric appliance operation

I have a Suburban water heater in my 2011 Sunseeker 2300. As far as I can determine, it is a model SW6DE. The main control panel in the coach has one on/off switch which controls the water heater. Is it possible to “quick” heat the water using the gas source when the coach is connected to shore power? Or is the water heater designed to use only the electric element when it is connected to shore power? It appears to me that the gas option is only available when the coach is disconnected from an external power source.

On a related matter, the unit has a Dometic refrigerator, model DM2652. The control panel on the refrigerator has an on/off switch and a switch labeled “gas.” The switches are of the push in/push out design. The manual describes the “gas” switch as the “AUTO/GAS mode selector button.” A symbol near the “gas” switch shows it in the non-depressed position. When the on/off switch is depressed (to turn on the refrigerator) and the “gas” switch is also the depressed, the auto indicator lights up. As I understand the operation, in the auto mode, the refrigerator will automatically operate on electricity if it is connected to shore power and on gas if it is not. I assume that, with the “gas” switch in the non-depressed position (which causes the auto light to go out) the refrigerator will operate only on gas whether it is connected to shore power or not.

The manuals seem to me to leave a great deal to be desired in their description of how these appliances can be operated in the gas and/or electric modes. Could someone familiar with the operation of these appliances tell me if my assumptions are correct?

Incidentally, after de-winterizing and pressurizing the water system and firing up the hot water heater for the first time, I only experienced one minor problem. While the hot water flowed freely from the shower and bathroom sink, only a trickle came from the kitchen sink. After disassembling the various components of the kitchen hot water source, I discovered an obstruction in the base of the faucet in the section leading from the valve to the spigot. Removal of the obstruction solved the problem. This was accomplished, of course, only after disconnecting various parts of the system, pressurizing, and spraying water liberally about the kitchen area. Fortunately, no leaks other than those that were caused by my own plumbing activities have been detected.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Fresco View Post
Is it possible to “quick” heat the water using the gas source when the coach is connected to shore power? Or is the water heater designed to use only the electric element when it is connected to shore power? It appears to me that the gas option is only available when the coach is disconnected from an external power source.
Al,

The Suburban water heaters have two methods of heating water.

1) 12 VDC and Propane. This feature is controlled by a switch inside the camper/coach. When the switch is in the "ON" position, 12 VDC is routed to the control board and monitors the temperature of the water. When initially turned on, the red light turns on until the gas lights and then the red light goes off. After the initial firing, the light will stay off. Later, when the water heater control board calls for heat, it opens the gas solenoid valve and gas is ignited by sparks from the control board's high voltage output. If the unit ever calls for heat and the gas does not fire (no propane for example) the red light will remain lit and will not go out.

2) 120 VAC. This way of heating the water is NOT controlled by the switch inside the camper. In fact the switch in the camper can remain off (red light off). This way of heating the water is controlled by a 120 VAC heating element that is turned on by a small black rocker switch in the lower left hand corner of the water heater OUTSIDE under the metal cover. Some units have a small cotter key that must be removed to use the switch. Water heat is maintained by a thermostat in the 120 VAC circuit and the heater element.

3 BOTH. Since both systems operate independently, they can both be used at the same time. This will give a faster recovery time when using a lot of hot water (like multiple showers).
Airxcel | Suburban Manufacturing Service

Sounds like you have a good handle on your Fridge.
Your Manual is here:
Products - Dometic

Some troubleshooting is here:
Dometic RM2652 Refrigerator Problems by FixYa

The difference between an RM2652 and the DM2652 is the DM2652 has had the factory safety recall complied with.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:44 PM   #3
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Herk, thanks for the explanation. You just saved me from asking the same or a similar question.
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Found some photos

That Element has years left on it
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:47 AM   #5
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herk7769

Thanks for clarifying the Suburban water heater gas/electric operation for me. Too bad the manual does not provide the same information.

Al
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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Too bad the manual does not provide the same information.
Al, I looked at my manual to be sure. It covers installation and Operation of the SW6D, SW6DE, SW6DM, and SW6DEM models and you are correct!

I know it is hard to read due to every other page being in French, but in the English pages on page 8 it does talk about how to use the unit, but its spends 90% of the verbiage on what to do if it does not work. Almost no space is devoted to HOW to use it!

Thinking back, I think it was a post by a forum member that lead me to the exterior AC rocker switch for when I was in full hookups last year. It is talked about on page 4 installation, but not so much on page 8 (like not at all).

The wiring diagram on page 5 shows the AC circuit totally separate from the DC/Propane side. Figure 8 shows the DC circuitry and Figure 9 shows the AC circuitry.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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That Element has years left on it
Lou - did you mom not tell you should never show your anode rod in public
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:29 AM   #8
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Lou - did you mom not tell you should never show your anode rod in public
ouch!
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:24 PM   #9
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herk7769

Thanks for the additional information and comments. It seems that if the manual writers would spend a bit more time explaining (in clearly understood terms) how to use the basic features of an appliance, they could save a considerable amount of ink by not having to go into such detail about what to do if the operator cannot make it function properly. Many (if not most) of the problems operators encounter with these types of devices could be eliminated if the directions for usage were more carefully thought out, more thorough, and presented in unambiguous language. The downside would be that such an approach would also eliminate many (if not most) of the inquiries and friendly exchanges of information that take place on forums such as this one.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #10
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Lou - did you mom not tell you should never show your anode rod in public
Worse yet, that is my anode rod (file picture) that he showed in public !!!
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