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Old 06-30-2015, 04:43 PM   #1
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How to turn Electric water heater off on 2016 21fbrs

When I plug up to power my electric water heater automaticly turns on. The only Water heater switch is on the panel and it turns on the gas water heater. There must be some way to cut it off. I would like to leave my 21fbrs plugged in so the DV can run the air when doing stuff and getting ready for camping without running the water heater. Anybody know how. I would like to install a switch.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
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It would help if you post the make and model number of your WH. I'll guess there is a switch behind the burner tube. Have a good look there.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:54 PM   #3
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DW turns off the breaker when we leave, ours has a switch on the outside where you would take out the plug to winterize, hope that helps
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have a suburban WH. The switch is in the lower left corner of the heater You need to open the outside access panel. it is hidden behind the gas line. It may have a cotter pin in it to prevent it from being turned on by accident. CAUTION. if the electric element is energized with the water heater empty, it will burn up the element in seconds.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:06 PM   #5
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Like Flybob said look in the lower left hand corner of the outside access panel for the water heater.

Just switch it off and leave it off till you absolutely need it.

Like a camper full of folks who need showers; then turn both switches on - gas and electric. Turn the AC switch back off and pin it off.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:25 PM   #6
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I see it now said the blind man. I called myself looking for it, just didn't look hard enough. Thanks everyone. Record response time.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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Open the exterior cover of the water heater, look for a small switch. It is pretty well hidden but should find it. If not turn the breaker off.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #8
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Switch

I was able to add a lighted switch w/ pilot light inside the unit right next to the thermostat. It works great and saves me from the finger cuts.
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:57 PM   #9
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My circuit breaker box has a switch type breaker that I turn off.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by txredfish View Post
My circuit breaker box has a switch type breaker that I turn off.
It is not recommended to use a circuit breaker as a switch when the circuit is energized. It is NOT designed to do that. It is designed to open during a current overload and will not close until it cools down and is manually reset.

When routinely forced open when energized, the contacts in the circuit breaker will become burnt from arcing; the resistance will increase; when powered, the increased resistance will cause the breaker to run hot; draw excessive current, and open prematurely.

Find the on/off switch and use that. It is designed to switch when powered and why they put one there.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:48 AM   #11
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I click off my "Main" circuit breaker on the panel of the trailer every time before I disconnect from my power supply at home or the RV park or campground...from what you are saying I should not be doing that? I do use a surge guard protector.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:54 PM   #12
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I click off my "Main" circuit breaker on the panel of the trailer every time before I disconnect from my power supply at home or the RV park or campground...from what you are saying I should not be doing that? I do use a surge guard protector.
That is exactly what I am saying. Since campgrounds do not provide "Service Disconnects" at their pedestals and offer you no proper alternative; USE THEIR circuit breakers to depower your camper when disconnecting.

Trip Off their circuit breaker before you plug in and trip off their circuit breaker before you unplug.

This saves the blades on your cables and sockets as well as your main circuit protection in the camper (not to mention arcing your expensive Surge Guard!!!)
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:16 PM   #13
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
It is not recommended to use a circuit breaker as a switch when the circuit is energized. It is NOT designed to do that. It is designed to open during a current overload and will not close until it cools down and is manually reset.

When routinely forced open when energized, the contacts in the circuit breaker will become burnt from arcing; the resistance will increase; when powered, the increased resistance will cause the breaker to run hot; draw excessive current, and open prematurely.

Find the on/off switch and use that. It is designed to switch when powered and why they put one there.
I remember there being a thread sometime ago discussing the use of a cb instead of a switch in circuits. Many different opinions both pro and con,but what you said here has always been my position regarding the use of each device - a switch to switch and a cb to break a circuit.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Like Flybob said look in the lower left hand corner of the outside access panel for the water heater.

Just switch it off and leave it off till you absolutely need it.

Like a camper full of folks who need showers; then turn both switches on - gas and electric. Turn the AC switch back off and pin it off.
Never noticed the hole in the switch for the hairpin cotter. Ill have to look for that, and use it. Peepoor design on FR's part to not have a lighted switch for electric ops on the main switch panel. Wonder how many times this got left on an the TT hooked up to shore power when the owner got home and bye bye WH element
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:16 PM   #16
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Never noticed the hole in the switch for the hairpin cotter. Ill have to look for that, and use it. Peepoor design on FR's part to not have a lighted switch for electric ops on the main switch panel. Wonder how many times this got left on an the TT hooked up to shore power when the owner got home and bye bye WH element
It just MAY BE that this design takes into consideration the fact that almost everyone who hooks up their campground water hose is standing within a few feet of the pressure release valve (to ensure their water heater tank is filled) and a few feet from this switch by which one turns ON the electric portion of their water heater. This same location is where one stands to unhook ones campground water hose. Some ask "why should I have to go outside to turn on my water heater electric portion?"... but I don't have to go outside. I'm already outside. I'm outside when I hook up my water hose and test for a full tank. Why wouldn't I turn on the little black switch at that time? Why wouldn't I turn off that switch before I UNhook my campground water hose when I'm preparing to leave the camp?

My process may not work for those who don't use a campground water hose. Those folks may not have anything to do on the ground so they wouldn't be near this switch. Oh wait. You have to be on the ground and outside your unit if you hook up your electric cord to a power pedestal or we probably wouldn't be talking about frying our electric element. So, in that case, when you're hooking up to power, check the switch at that time and only turn the switch ON if it's needed.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:28 PM   #17
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did you look at heater behind outside panel should be switch there.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #18
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did you look at heater behind outside panel should be switch there.
Sorry. To whom are you addressing this statement collection?
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:38 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=jeff64;915030 Peepoor design on FR's part to not have a lighted switch for electric ops on the main switch panel. [/QUOTE]

don't know why you're blaming FR, for a design by Suburban?
FR has nothing to do with how Surburban designs their WHs and furnaces.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:54 PM   #20
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don't know why you're blaming FR, for a design by Suburban?
FR has nothing to do with how Surburban designs their WHs and furnaces.
Can't agree with your "FR has nothing to do with how Surburan designs their WHs and furnaces." If a product can be improved and the manufacturer doesn't improve it,then FR can and should stop using that manufacturer and get another.

If FR truly wants to provide their customers with a high quality RV, as they claim, then they should look at each appliance they purchase from their vendors from the customer point of view.

I'm not saying the current design is in need of re-design (I never had a problem with it), but don't let FR off the hook for not looking for ways to improve their product.
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