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Old 04-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #1
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Water heater

I know the the unit has a propane / electric water heater. The switch inside the trailer is for the propane I believe. There is also a switch behind the door panel outside where the water heater is . The dealer told me that stays on all the time but Iíve been reading and from what I understand that on / off switch is for the electric heating rod in the water tank. Iím just a little confused on how to switch over to propane and when to use the electric set up. If anyone can explain that would help out.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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This FAQ should get you squared away.

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:36 AM   #3
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Hello BillyDan, it seems FR has done away with the dual switches inside the RV where you could select either electric or propane to fuel your hot water heater...now they have gone to a propane only switch inside the unit, mine is in the bath by the lav sink, or an electric switch which, as you noted, is mounted inside of the access panel to the water heater on the exterior of the rv...if THIS switch is flipped to ON, then the water heater will ONLY work with electricity...the propane function and it's corresponding switch is defeated...this is OK I guess if you are always are hooked up to shore power, but a bit of a pain if you sometimes want to fuel your water heater via propane, but then want or need to switch to electric...in my unit the electric on/off switch inside the access panel was actually taped in the off mode with silver tape...I'm sure this was done to avoid the service calls from people trying to fire their hot water tank with propane when and if that switch was left in the on/electric only mode...I'm sure the manufacturers saved at least a dollar by not having to support the dual switch function inside of the rv, but it comes as a great cost to the end-user convenience...Frlancr
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frlancr View Post
Hello BillyDan, it seems FR has done away with the dual switches inside the RV where you could select either electric or propane to fuel your hot water heater...now they have gone to a propane only switch inside the unit, mine is in the bath by the lav sink, or an electric switch which, as you noted, is mounted inside of the access panel to the water heater on the exterior of the rv...if THIS switch is flipped to ON, then the water heater will ONLY work with electricity...
NO, FR hasn't done away with both switches inside. it has to do with which BRAND you have.

most Surburbans have the propane inside and the electric outside.
BUT Atwoods have both switches inside.

a few newer Surburbans do have both inside but they aren't common.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:19 AM   #5
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Water heater

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Originally Posted by frlancr View Post
Hello BillyDan, it seems FR has done away with the dual switches inside the RV where you could select either electric or propane to fuel your hot water heater...now they have gone to a propane only switch inside the unit, mine is in the bath by the lav sink, or an electric switch which, as you noted, is mounted inside of the access panel to the water heater on the exterior of the rv...if THIS switch is flipped to ON, then the water heater will ONLY work with electricity...the propane function and it's corresponding switch is defeated...this is OK I guess if you are always are hooked up to shore power, but a bit of a pain if you sometimes want to fuel your water heater via propane, but then want or need to switch to electric...in my unit the electric on/off switch inside the access panel was actually taped in the off mode with silver tape...I'm sure this was done to avoid the service calls from people trying to fire their hot water tank with propane when and if that switch was left in the on/electric only mode...I'm sure the manufacturers saved at least a dollar by not having to support the dual switch function inside of the rv, but it comes as a great cost to the end-user convenience...Frlancr

I think somebody gave you some bad information. The outside switch runs the electric yes, but it doesnít stop it from running on propane. The Suburbanís are capable of running with both on. Iíve often done this when back to back showers are needed as the propane has a higher recovery rate then the electric alone. Most likely the reason yours was taped off was as a reminder. Itís because the electric element will burn out instantly if thereís no water in the tank. The Suburban in mine came with a small cotter pin through the switch for this same reason. To prevent you accidentally turning it on until you make sure the tank is full.

The FAQ wmtire linked above has more information about all of this.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:34 AM   #6
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I think somebody gave you some bad information. The outside switch runs the electric yes, but it stop it from running on propane. The Suburbanís are capable of running with both on. Iíve often done this when back to back showers are needed as the propane has a higher recovery rate then the electric alone. Most likely the reason yours was taped off was as a reminder. Itís because the electric element will burn out instantly if thereís no water in the tank. The Suburban in mine came with a small cotter pin through the switch for this same reason. To prevent you accidentally turning it on until you make sure the tank is full.

The FAQ wmtire linked above has more information about all of this.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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Fair enough, and I stand corrected on both points...must have only had Atwood's in my previous rv's...Frlancr
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