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Old 03-17-2015, 06:18 PM   #11
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It does not automatically switch from electric to gas operation. The switch inside will operate the heater on gas. The switch outside is for electric operation. The heater will continue to operate in which ever mode it is set to - electric or gas or both if the outside switch is on and the inside switch is on.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for the information so far. The light issue is solved. Apparently, we had inadvertently turned off the living room light switch at the door and it just so happened to coincide with the water heater issue. There are two switches for the water heater. One inside in the convenience center in the hall and one on the outside of the coach in the water heater compartment. Which controls the electric and which controls the gas operation of the water heater? Do it automatically switch from electric to gas if you are not connected to a power outlet? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!
As the others have correctly pointed out to you, there are two switches that control the water heater either on propane or 120 volt electricity.
This FAQ link may help in the understanding and operation:

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:45 PM   #13
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Switch at the heater under the outside cover is for the 120V element. That's what you need to shutdown and try to reset. If you don't regularly shut it off, you may have drained the tank and energized it in an empty tank which cooks it. It will be electrically open and the short will tend to trip the breaker. The gas/12VDC operation is independent.
If the electric element is burnt out, it will be an open circuit and will have no effect on the circuit breaker. It's like the line was cut and no power is flowing. If in doubt, turn it off at the tank.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:57 PM   #14
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If the electric element is burnt out, it will be an open circuit and will have no effect on the circuit breaker. It's like the line was cut and no power is flowing.
I totally agree when it's cooked completely. If it's cracked, can go either way and it's not clear if they're running 120V currently. If they are, and flipping the switch outside let's the breaker reset, only have the thermostat and element as the culprit. If breaker doesn't reset, need to diagnose breaker. At least that would be my process of elimination.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:02 PM   #15
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I totally agree when it's cooked completely. If it's cracked, can go either way and it's not clear if they're running 120V currently. If they are, and flipping the switch outside let's the breaker reset, only have the thermostat and element as the culprit. If breaker doesn't reset, need to diagnose breaker. At least that would be my process of elimination.
Normally, the element is either fried or not, no in between and it normally will not trip the breaker when it goes. It's kinda like being pregnant, she is or she ain't.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:13 PM   #16
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Normally, the element is either fried or not, no in between and it normally will not trip the breaker when it goes. It's kinda like being pregnant, she is or she ain't.
I dunno... Was just in the local news last Wednesday that a woman had no idea she was pregnant till she went to the ER for what she thought was a gall bladder problem. Turned out to be labor pains... She ain't but she was?!?
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:16 PM   #17
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I dunno... Was just in the local news last Wednesday that a woman had no idea she was pregnant till she went to the ER for what she thought was a gall bladder problem. Turned out to be labor pains... She ain't but she was?!?
Bet money she wasn't slim and trim either.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:40 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for the good information. We have the water heater operating on propane now. Will deal with the circuit breaker issue when we get back home. We have been operating on both electric and propane all this time since we didn't know there was a switch outside that operated electric. Now we know!
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:11 PM   #19
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Good deal, please let us know what you find out.

If the heating element doesn't fully burn out, it can leak to ground and cause the circuit breaker to trip. It can also burn up or severely weaken the wiring/connections that will cause same.
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