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Old 06-13-2015, 02:31 PM   #1
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hot water heater gas valve

we have a 2015 cardinal 5th wheel model 3825fl. it has a suburban sw12de water heater which has the ability to run on either gas or electric. I was told I can use either source separately or together in combination. there is an on/off switch on the water heater to control the electric heat source. the suburban support rep told me the builder would install a gas valve to turn the gas source on or off. but I cannot find any such valve in the gas supply line. is there such a valve? I would like to turn the gas off and run on electric only when connected to shore power.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:37 PM   #2
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No gas valve to turn off nor is one needed. Just the switch. Turn the electric on There is a switch for electric.

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Old 06-13-2015, 03:09 PM   #3
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so is the gas always on (assuming you tank valves are open)? this would imply that it is not possible to run the water heater on electric only. either gas only or gas and electric. is this correct?
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:12 PM   #4
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so is the gas always on (assuming you tank valves are open)? this would imply that it is not possible to run the water heater on electric only. either gas only or gas and electric. is this correct?
Gas is always on, you should have a switch for it.
You can run both at the same time or just gas or electric.

Just be sure to use the pressure relief valve to vent the air out.
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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so is the gas always on (assuming you tank valves are open)? this would imply that it is not possible to run the water heater on electric only. either gas only or gas and electric. is this correct?
No, this is not correct per se. Here is a tutorial (link below) on the operation (and the 2 DIFFERENT switches for propane/DSI and the electric heating element). Even though it's for the 6 gallon Suburban, the 12 gallon operates the same:

Hope it helps, as this is a frequently asked question and one that is not fully explained in many PDI's with the customer. It's often a point of confusion, hence the very detailed link below.

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:14 PM   #6
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The interior control panel has a switch labeled for the water heater. This switch turns on the gas power for the water heater. The switch on the water heater is strictly for electric operation. Turn on just one or both. I normally have both on when hooked to power. The water will stay hot just fine with electric only but having the gas on as well allows for quicker heating especially when using the shower. I would also go to the Cardinal / Blue Ridge RV web site as well. There is all kinds of useful information there.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:13 PM   #7
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thank you so much. the suburban tutorial has it all covered!!!! thanks again
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
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The water heater has an electric solenoid valve that controls the gas to the water heater. Switch off no gas flows.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:38 PM   #9
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got it, thanks. I've spent way to much time on this but it kept getting more interesting. many discussions about whether to drain the hot water heater when leaving a campsite. the sw12de has 12 gallons of water which is about 100 lbs. i'm tending to think that it should be drained when travelling, primarily to help keep the weight down. we don't have a lot of extra cargo capacity!
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