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Old 06-09-2019, 10:00 PM   #1
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Adding inside switch to Suburban water heater

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Originally Posted by gbaldwin View Post
"you don't have to run the generator just to have hot water if you've left the heater mounted electric switch on"

I think I misundurstood this part of previous post. Of course understand that when Bdk'ing can heat water off gas.... but my understanding was that elec Htr would not work w/out sufficient shore power. I thought he was saying switch ON = hot water.

I am straight....
I do not have an inside switch on my 2015 Georgetown 329ds. I have figure out, by watching several videos and reading lots of forum entries, that I can wire an inside switch by cutting the black wire from the breaker and sending the power the a 110V litghted rocker switch that will be mounted on the control panel via #12-3 wire. Then I will send the power back via a red wire attached to the original black wire going to the outside switch. I'll wire neutral and ground back to the breaker panel. Does this sound right to y'all? I'll leave the outside switch on and control electric heating via the inside switch. Both will have to be one to used electric water heater. Do I have this correct?
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:48 AM   #2
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Your water heater is most likely on a dedicated circuit. If so just switch it off or on with the circuit breaker.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CedarCreekWoody View Post
Your water heater is most likely on a dedicated circuit. If so just switch it off or on with the circuit breaker.
CedarCreekWoody, i could certainly do that but my CB'S are at the floor in a corner behind a cover which would require these old bones to kneel down and figure out which one. I'd be annoyed every time I needed to do it. I'm going to do what FR should have done and wire it correctly one time and done. Need to wire a voltage monitor at the same time since they hid the inverter under a drawer in the pantry. Thanks for thought, though. I'm not an electrician but I've done enough of it and talk to lots of people like this forum so i'll go through the pain once and I'll be done.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ledoylefcco View Post
I do not have an inside switch on my 2015 Georgetown 329ds. I have figure out, by watching several videos and reading lots of forum entries, that I can wire an inside switch by cutting the black wire from the breaker and sending the power the a 110V litghted rocker switch that will be mounted on the control panel via #12-3 wire.

Then I will send the power back via a red wire attached to the original black wire going to the outside switch. I'll wire neutral and ground back to the breaker panel. Does this sound right to y'all? I'll leave the outside switch on and control electric heating via the inside switch. Both will have to be one to used electric water heater. Do I have this correct?
I would not modify the wire colors. Red and Black are commonly used for DC circuits only.

There should be no need to change the neutral and ground wiring at all.

I do not know the internal wiring but I believe the DEL model has a relay in the water heater so the switch only handles a small amount of current.

If the black wire is the heater wire, and it sounds like it because it's 12 gauge and wired to the breaker, you're going to need a rocker switch capable of probably 25 amps. That's a 1,440 watt heater on mine so it's pulling 12 amps when hot and more on the surge as it's heating up.

The Surburban manual for mine says the "newer" electric elements are more resilient against being powered up without water so that may be an argument in favor if an OEM heating element.

If I were doing this I'd add a relay at the water heater, perhaps something ike this: https://www.amazon.com/Enclosed-Powe.../dp/B000LEST4E and double up the contact set.

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NXR View Post
I would not modify the wire colors. Red and Black are commonly used for DC circuits only.

There should be no need to change the neutral and ground wiring at all.

I do not know the internal wiring but I believe the DEL model has a relay in the water heater so the switch only handles a small amount of current.

If the black wire is the heater wire, and it sounds like it because it's 12 gauge and wired to the breaker, you're going to need a rocker switch capable of probably 25 amps. That's a 1,440 watt heater on mine so it's pulling 12 amps when hot and more on the surge as it's heating up.

The Surburban manual for mine says the "newer" electric elements are more resilient against being powered up without water so that may be an argument in favor if an OEM heating element.

If I were doing this I'd add a relay at the water heater, perhaps something ike this: https://www.amazon.com/Enclosed-Powe.../dp/B000LEST4E and double up the contact set.

FWIW,

Ray
Ray, thanks for the link. Running a single black 12v wire with relay would seem easier than working with 110v. I'm not confused but I am a carrier. Thanks, Larry
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ledoylefcco View Post
CedarCreekWoody, i could certainly do that but my CB'S are at the floor in a corner behind a cover which would require these old bones to kneel down and figure out which one. I'd be annoyed every time I needed to do it. I'm going to do what FR should have done and wire it correctly one time and done. Need to wire a voltage monitor at the same time since they hid the inverter under a drawer in the pantry. Thanks for thought, though. I'm not an electrician but I've done enough of it and talk to lots of people like this forum so i'll go through the pain once and I'll be done.
I have been thinking of modifying my SWDE water heater (Like you have with no inside switch to the electric heating element)..... into a SWDEL model, which does have the inside switch to the electric heating element.

Really, the only difference between the SWDE and SWDEL models are the inside switch, 12 volt wiring.... and the 12volt DC to 120 volt AC relay.

This factory Suburban relay can be purchased for $10.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suburban-Wa...-/141953376863

Here is the 120 volt AC wiring schematic for the SWDE model:



and here is the schematic for the SWDEL model utilizing a 12 volt DC inside switch and relay to turn on the 120 volt AC to the electric heating element.



It's not nearly as simple (or easy) as just putting a switching supply on the 120 volt AC line, but would allow me to put a 12 volt DC switch in my panel of switches where the water heaters 12 volt DC DSI switch is currently.

If I do this in the fall, I'll post up a progress report on the process if anyone is interested.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ledoylefcco View Post
Ray, thanks for the link. Running a single black 12v wire with relay would seem easier than working with 110v. I'm not confused but I am a carrier. Thanks, Larry
Ray, in the 110v side the line coming from cb is 12 gauge (12-2) to sw on wh. Wires should be black for load, white for neutral and ground with neutral and ground wired to breaker panel common lugs. If i disconnect black from cb and instead connect black from inside sw it will take power to 15amp lighted switch. Then I need to get power back to outside sw. 12-3 wire has white, black, red and ground. Since I'm already using black to get power to sw I would have to use red from sw to black wire to outside sw with neutal and ground coming from inside sw to common lugs on cb panel, I think. Any electricians here that can verify this? Btw. I think cb is 15 amp but i need to double check.Thanks, Larry
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:54 AM   #8
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I'm about to move the posts starting at #15 and afterwards to their own thread.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ledoylefcco View Post
Ray, in the 110v side the line coming from cb is 12 gauge (12-2) to sw on wh. Wires should be black for load, white for neutral and ground with neutral and ground wired to breaker panel common lugs. If i disconnect black from cb and instead connect black from inside sw it will take power to 15amp lighted switch. Then I need to get power back to outside sw. 12-3 wire has white, black, red and ground. Since I'm already using black to get power to sw I would have to use red from sw to black wire to outside sw with neutal and ground coming from inside sw to common lugs on cb panel, I think. Any electricians here that can verify this? Btw. I think cb is 15 amp but i need to double check.Thanks, Larry
I'm not an electrician but I have worked with electricity and high current circuits throughout my career. Running a small 18 gauge wire from the switch to the relay likely will be a lot easier than muscling a 12 gauge wire.

If your breakers and switches are in the same location it may not be a big deal. Mount the relay near the new switch if you have to.

My breakers and most fuses are under the bed. I also have the Progressive Plex LCD controls instead of switches so that would be another challenge for me...

A breaker handles a surge because its bi-metal element takes a short while to heat up and trip. Have you selected a rocker switch yet? I'm curious how large it will be compared to your other ones.

I definitely would not change wire colors. While you'll probably remember in the future, a service tech or a new owner won't know what you did and may think it's low voltage DC when it's really high voltage AC.

Ray
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:11 AM   #10
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If you are running the black 120 volt line to a switch you would still use black when you return to the heater as it is the line feed. You do not need to run the common wire to the switch.
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