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Old 04-01-2008, 01:09 PM   #1
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Water heater question?

Our new 8265S has a on/off switch on the water heater itself to convert it to electrical operation. Then there is a on/off switch along with a reset button on the main switch board inside the trailer. We almost always use our water heater on electric. It seems to me that if the switch inside the trailer is on, the heater lites and runs on gas. If I turn off the switch inside the trailer and switch on the switch on the water heater, it runs just on electric. This means that I have to turn on the switch on the water heater for every camping trip once I have water connected to the trailer (so I won't burn up the water heater heating element). I can't believe FR designed this system like this. It must be something I'm missing. My old Fleetwood 5th wheel had a switch inside the trailer for electric operation of the water heater. To run it on gas, you had to actually go outside and lite the pilot by hand.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #2
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It's not a FR design. It's a Suburban design and that's pretty much the standard across the board now. If I remember right, Powerboatr rigged up a switch to the inside of his trailer.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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found it

http://forestriverforums.com/forums/...ead.php?t=1316
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:10 PM   #4
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hey i know that guy

yep we to had the outside switch to kill the electric element and the switch inside to turn it to gas operations

now we have two switches inside
wokrs MORE GOODER
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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that's another one of my 'round toos
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'm at work so I can't run outside and look but......
don't you have a circuit breaker that says water heater???
If you do you can turn the 110 V off with that instead
of going outside in all sorts of weather to flip the switch
inside the WH panel.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I'm at work so I can't run outside and look but......
don't you have a circuit breaker that says water heater???
If you do you can turn the 110 V off with that instead
of going outside in all sorts of weather to flip the switch
inside the WH panel.

That's a good idea. When I get home, I'll check to see if it has a breaker switch isolated for the water heater. If so, I'll just leave the one on the water heater itself in the on position, and just use the one on the breaker panel to operate the electrical function of the water heater.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #8
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I have an 8314ss and my hot water heater works the same way, I use the breaker to control the on/off operation. The other good thing about useing the breaker is that you know for a fact that the hot water heater is OFF, and I turn off the breaker for the microwave as well.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwood06 View Post
I have an 8314ss and my hot water heater works the same way, I use the breaker to control the on/off operation. The other good thing about useing the breaker is that you know for a fact that the hot water heater is OFF, and I turn off the breaker for the microwave as well.
Thanks guys for the info, I have never thought of that, sometimes it is the smallest things you dont think of. Thanks again for the breaker idea!!!
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:00 PM   #10
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lucky me
my fridge, water heater and an outlet are all on the same 20 amp breaker
it was originally a 15 amp breaker and when the fridge was on electric and the water heater was heating it pulled 14.5-14.9 amps sometimes 16 and pop goes the breaker, and used to get very very HOT
so i swapped in a 20 amp and viola its all good
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #11
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I always flipped the breaker in the breaker panel so that I had inside operation of the electric portion....
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:36 PM   #12
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I leave the outside breaker inside the water heater enclosure off normally, it seems to take too long to heat up vs gas operation. i guess the downside is you pay extra for gas though. we tried the hot water heater, 6 gallon this past weekend and it really doesnt do such a great job heating water, runs out quickly. i guess this is common though.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:09 AM   #13
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LP gas is kinda pricey so we plan to use the electric when we
are on shore power.
I've read where folks who are going to take a shower or want
hot water in a hurry turn on both the electric and gas, you can do that.
OTOH for day to day hand washing & doing the dishes, I imagine the electric
element will save you some gas.
Also, the electric is quiet. We always try to remember to shut off
the gas WH when we're going to bed.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
lucky me
my fridge, water heater and an outlet are all on the same 20 amp breaker
it was originally a 15 amp breaker and when the fridge was on electric and the water heater was heating it pulled 14.5-14.9 amps sometimes 16 and pop goes the breaker, and used to get very very HOT
so i swapped in a 20 amp and viola its all good
Powerboatr:
Not trying to tell you what to do, but I don't know if that's a good idea to replace the breaker with a larger one. The 15 amp breaker was used probably because it is connected to 14-2 wire. A 20 amp breaker needs 12-2 wire at a minimum. The breaker is designed to trip before the wire's insulation begins to melt. With a 20 amp breaker connected to 14-2 wire, it will not trip before the wire's insulation begins to melt. Thus, this is an unsafe situation that could result in a fire.
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Old 05-21-2008, 05:48 PM   #15
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Purchased my 8317SS new last July. I never knew that I had the electric heat option on my water heater until last week when a friend showed me the hidden switch on his new unit located outside behind the access panel of the water heater.

When I arrived at a campground this past weekend and after hooking up and ensuring that the tank was full of water I took the cotter pin out and switched it in the on position. Never got any heat. I looked at the breaker inside and it was in the on position (flicked it off and back on just in case).

Any ideas on how to get it working?
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamperFan View Post
Powerboatr:
Not trying to tell you what to do, but I don't know if that's a good idea to replace the breaker with a larger one. The 15 amp breaker was used probably because it is connected to 14-2 wire. A 20 amp breaker needs 12-2 wire at a minimum. The breaker is designed to trip before the wire's insulation begins to melt. With a 20 amp breaker connected to 14-2 wire, it will not trip before the wire's insulation begins to melt. Thus, this is an unsafe situation that could result in a fire.
you know i cant remember what size wire it is, now i have to go look
thanks for the heads up
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:01 PM   #17
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The switch on the inside wall is to turn on the gas hot water heater only if it is the dsi model. The switch on the heater itself is for electric operation. Under heavy use you may use both for quick recovery it would be easier if the electric switch was inside however this is the way suburban
heaters are designed. This is in most cases a option in trailers.
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