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Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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Can't Use Water Heater On Electric

I have a 6 gal Suburban water heater that is both propane and electric. I have always used propane since it was faster, but I wanted to try the electric element this weekend. There is a small black on/off switch on the lower left side of the water heater when looking from the outside. The problem is I could not get the switch to move from the off to the on position -- it seems to be stuck in the off position. The water heater is 10 years old, and the switch position has never been moved. Any ideas how to coax it on with breaking the switch ? If I had to replace the switch, does it just pop out from the exterior, or do I have to do something from the inside of the trailer ? I hope not, because the back side of the front of the water heater is hard to reach from the little access door.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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I would try WD-40 or electric contact cleaner (radio shack).

It could be corroded and ruined and need total replacement.
Lots of work arounds if you can get that switch to the "ON" position; including adding a really neat remote switch inside the camper.
Hott Rod Water Heater Wiring Switch Conversion Kit - $15.99

Oh, BTW if you do decide to "pop it out" make sure the power center AC circuit breaker for the heater is off.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Some help you are Herk.

The guy already has a stuck switch, and then you tell him there's a work around that includes installing a neat remote switch inside the camper.

Just what the poor guy needs...........another switch that won't!!!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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Stand on your head and --------

Stand on your head and look closely, there my be a "BLOCKING" pin holding the switch is the off position. Mine had one when it was brand new. It will be located at the very top of the switch. Simply pull it out!

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
Some help you are Herk.

The guy already has a stuck switch, and then you tell him there's a work around that includes installing a neat remote switch inside the camper.

Just what the poor guy needs...........another switch that won't!!!!
I know you comment was "tongue in cheek," but my intent was that is the switch is actually broken he could pop it out, toss it, and use the existing wire terminals to connect to the remote switch kit. Might as well kill two birds.

That OEM switch is fairly common and most RV or electronic parts stores stock it.

Amazon.com: NTE 54-054 SPST Lighted Rocker Switch Red Neon lamp: Home Improvement

This one even has an internal red light to show when it is on. (check your measurements to make sure it is correct for your water heater.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAISY BOYKIN View Post
Stand on your head and look closely, there my be a "BLOCKING" pin holding the switch is the off position. Mine had one when it was brand new. It will be located at the very top of the switch. Simply pull it out!

Good luck!
I doubt you can miss it but the pin should be removed. I also found a recommendation on another site for silicone spray and careful wiggling.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Lots of work arounds if you can get that switch to the "ON" position; including adding a really neat remote switch inside the camper.
Hott Rod Water Heater Wiring Switch Conversion Kit - $15.99

.
Lou, this switch will work with the existing wiring to a Suburban water heater?

If so, this may be a modification I probably want, as I would really like to switch mine on/off from inside the camper when running on electric..
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I would try WD-40 or electric contact cleaner (radio shack).

It could be corroded and ruined and need total replacement.
Lots of work arounds if you can get that switch to the "ON" position; including adding a really neat remote switch inside the camper.
Hott Rod Water Heater Wiring Switch Conversion Kit - $15.99

Oh, BTW if you do decide to "pop it out" make sure the power center AC circuit breaker for the heater is off.

Isn't the "Hott Rod" another type of anode rod? If so, perhaps this switch won't work for him.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DAISY BOYKIN View Post
Stand on your head and look closely, there my be a "BLOCKING" pin holding the switch is the off position. Mine had one when it was brand new. It will be located at the very top of the switch. Simply pull it out!

Good luck!
Good advice - you beat me to it. Sometimes its the simple things that mess you up.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Isn't the "Hott Rod" another type of anode rod? If so, perhaps this switch won't work for him.
Hott Rod is a company.
The remote switch is a product and so is the heated anode.
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