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Old 08-31-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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Gas/electric water heater question

My ref is gas/electric. It chooses electric first and tells you which is on. My WH chooses gas first but does not tell you which is on. Aside from the gas noise, how do you know when it has chosen electric? Which is more efficient? think cheap cost?? electric here is $.18 kwh.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavie View Post
My ref is gas/electric. It chooses electric first and tells you which is on. My WH chooses gas first but does not tell you which is on. Aside from the gas noise, how do you know when it has chosen electric? Which is more efficient? think cheap cost?? electric here is $.18 kwh.
What kind of water heater do you have, as this is kinda news to me?

If you have a Suburban or Atwood water heater, there is nothing automatic to it like a fridge. It's all up to the user to turn on the appropriate switch to either the gas or electric heating element side.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:58 PM   #3
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If you have a Suburban water heater, this link may help you understand the operation of...and which switches you use for either the propane and/or electric heating element.

I have a feeling you may have been not using it correct...and have always had the electric heating element on, or have never had it on and been using propane the whole time.

If it's always been on, there is a good chance the electric element has been fried, and may need to be replaced. It's all explained in the link below:

Suburban's electric switch and much more

This Suburban water heater is one of the most commonly misunderstood appliances in the operation of.....especially the SWDE model that has the only switch to the electric heating element on the face of the water heater. This is why we have such a long detailed FAQ about the operation of it.

Hope this helps, good luck.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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Tell us the manufacturer of your WH and its model so we can help. Your refrigerator probably does choose power option when you have the AUTO button. Actually, it chooses propane if no 110v A/C electricity is available and electricity if you are plugged in or on generator.

If your WH is like most, it does NOT choose power source. You do. If you have the propane switch ON and all other conditions are met, it uses propane. If you have electric power an you have the electric switch(es) ON, it uses electricity. If you have switches on for both power sources, it uses both.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:33 PM   #5
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When I am on a 30 amp service which is most of the time, I run WH on propane. This saves power for A/C and other uses.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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Figured it out. It's a Suburban. 2 switches for 110 one on the WH and one under the sink. The 12 volt is in the cab front next to the sink. I need to run propane as the is a low voltage problem in the park and electric is $.18 kwh.

I've had both on but the gas is overriding.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:15 AM   #7
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Glad you got it figured out.

You can run both at the same time and that allows it to recover faster when showering and stuff. In your situation, the gas energizing before the electric was perfect. As it allowed the gas side to maintain the temp and only use electric when you used a lot of hot water.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:37 PM   #8
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My water heater has an on/off rocker switch on the outside, which is for using electricity. I am already paying for electricity at the campsite so I want that on rather than using LP. To turn it off (and on later) I use the circuit breaker inside and always leave the outside switch on.
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