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Old 10-24-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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Water heater - electric or propane?

I have a 2013 Signature Ultra Lite 8314BSS. Our water heater is a Suburban Electric/Gas water heater.
My question: When does it pull electric to heat the water and when does it pull propane?
There is a "water heater" switch on our monitor panel, but perhaps we aren't using it correctly...?
We full time and are always in an RV park so we really just need the electric to heat our water.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
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The WH switch on the monitor is switching on/off the gas side only. For the WH to run on electric, the switch inside the WH panel outside has to be on and the 120V breaker inside the power control panel has to be on.

It's not automatic switching like the fridge.

BTW, welcome to the forum!

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Old 10-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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So when traveling we should turn off the switch at the water heater?

To make sure I am understanding your reply correctly: you say only hit the WH switch at the monitor panel when we want hot water from gas? Otherwise we will have hot water from electric (when hooked up)? We have always turned the WH switch on at the monitor panel assuming that is the only way to heat the water. I have sometimes run out of hot water while showering (it's a girl thing!).
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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Although some units have the gas and electric switch inside if you only have one then it's outside inside Hw heater compartment.

Lower left hand side.

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Old 10-24-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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You can use both gas and electric at the same time for faster recovery.
Gas can be run while traveling not electric.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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We have 2 switches. One inside on the Monitor Panel and one outside the WH compartment.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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I run the WH on electric all the time...I've paid for the site with 30A service, I'll use all 30A. I leave the switch under the outside cover turned on and then switch the power to the WH with the breaker in the control panel. You have to remember to never power the WH without it full of water as you'll burn out the electric element pronto.

If I want hot water soon after we arrive, I'll use both propane and electric.

I've never travelled with the WH running propane...don't think it's good idea or necessary.

Dave
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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for longer stays at campgrounds I use electric, shorter stays I use gas.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Most of the time we dry-camp, so I rarely use the electric feature. I turn the WH off after dishes are done in the evening. The water heater insulation keeps the water warm enough through the night for hand/face washing. Turn it back on as soon as I wake-up for morning showers, etc. Then off again, until it's needed....

Water heater is off during transit, but we run the fridge on propane, and have so for years w/o problem. The "flame" for a propane fridge is very small, with the gas coming through a tiny opening. If the thermal-couple senses that the flame has gone out, it immediately shuts off the gas supply, then "times-out" for a short period, then begins the re-light sequence.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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We've found that the water seems 'hotter' when running on electric; assume a different temperature setting. When we're connected to a 30A service I turn on the electric element for HW. As noted by Dave make sure your HW tank is full; I run the hot water faucet for a few minutes prior to turning the HW tank on (electric and/or propane).
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