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Old 01-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #11
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Unless designated otherwise, breakers should not be used as on/off switches. You may not be replacing a burned out element, but you stand a very good chance of replacing a worn out breaker. The outside rocker switch is your best bet.
In the factory where I worked we used circuit breakers to control
over head fans over the work stations. These were cycled off and on
almost daily for years and years. Occasionally we'd have to replace one
or more but not very often.

In the case of an RV I would be VERY surprised if you managed to wear
one out. If you do, they are typically standard plug in breakers which
can be bought at HomeDebit or Lowes or a good hardware store for
around $5. A "risk" I'm willing to take for the sake of convenience.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
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KyDan...
I would imagine those breakers were designed to be used as on/off switches. If I were replacing my WH breaker in my RV I would try and find an upgraded one if I was going to use it for that purpose. That's just me..
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:17 PM   #13
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I work at a electric power plant. We cycle breakers all the time. We have many circuits that don't necessarily have switches (they're on all the time) and if they do, you still need to kill the power, so if we want to work on them, you have cycle the breaker. I'm not saying you'll never break one, but most breakers have been tested through 4000-8000 cycles by the manufacturer. I don't think I'll be pushing that limit any time soon -
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:01 PM   #14
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Wink

I bet my Wfco has the same quality of breakers that you are using in the power plant. Do as you please...I'm just trying to pass on what I have been told by electricians in the trade. Sometimes it's just better to read than to post on this forum
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #15
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I bet my Wfco has the same quality of breakers that you are using in the power plant. Do as you please...I'm just trying to pass on what I have been told by electricians in the trade. Sometimes it's just better to read than to post on this forum
Regardless, the breakers are cheap, readily available and easy to replace on an rv.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:36 PM   #16
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If you have a breaker and a switch - please turn both off and check the circuit before doing any repair work or modifications. I've seen both fail.

If by chance you do lose a breaker out in the boonies - you're pretty well stuck. If you break a switch you can turn the breaker off, connect the switch wires together and then use the breaker as a switch until the switch can be replaced. In industrial situations breakers can cost thousands of bucks, switches cost very little compared. We always killed the load on the circuit with the switch - then turned the breakers off.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #17
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Most circuit breakers today are switch duty rated. The next time you are at the big box stores look at one. It will have SWD on the label or on the side of the breaker. WFCO and other converter manufactures do not make their own AC breakers. They use either Square D, Cutler Hammer, GE, Siemens, or others. This is posted to remove myths and doubts.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:13 AM   #18
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Thanks to boats742 for posting this issue and to entire for the response. I had drained the water heater and had plugged into house current to keep the coach batteries fully charged on our new 24R. When I read the post I feared the worst. The outside switch on the back of the water heater had never been mentioned during PDI. To my surprise either FR or my dealer had placed a white tape over 3/4 of the switch thus "locking" it in the off position. Now I realize what must be done when we want to use shore power to heat water AFTER filling it.

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