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Old 11-29-2018, 03:31 PM   #1
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Installing camco hybrid water heater conversion kit

I miss having an electric hot water heater to reduce propane usage on my GT 300 MH. I've purchased a camco hybrid conversion kit but I'm concerned with having to drill holes to connect to electricity. So far the only close 120v plug in is at the foot of our bed.The rest of the installation should be somewhat simple. I'm including a couple pics to see if anyone can help me.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-29-2018, 05:09 PM   #2
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You should be able to route the wire through the grommet that the gas line goes through. But I have no idea what's on the other side of the heater.

Can you post a few pictures in the cabinet the WH is in?
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:58 PM   #3
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You should be able to route the wire through the grommet that the gas line goes through. But I have no idea what's on the other side of the heater.

Can you post a few pictures in the cabinet the WH is in?
Hmmm, didn't think about that grommet. I guess I could run the red wires from the heating cartridge thru the grommet. I was kinda hoping to put the switch in the door panel, but that may be a little much. The pic of inside the the heater cabinet just barely shows the grommet and gas line. Then again, I just might put the switch just outside the cabinet door. I'll have to get a couple more pics from inside the cabinet.
Thanks for your input!!Click image for larger version

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Old 11-29-2018, 07:55 PM   #4
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When you say that the closest outlet is as the foot of your bed, I am guessing that you are looking to pull power from the outlet.
I may be seeing things wrong but why not pull power from one of the wires inside the metal junction box that you show in your 1st pic? Unless of course the use of one of those circuits would overload the circuit.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:02 PM   #5
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When you say that the closest outlet is as the foot of your bed, I am guessing that you are looking to pull power from the outlet.
I may be seeing things wrong but why not pull power from one of the wires inside the metal junction box that you show in your 1st pic? Unless of course the use of one of those circuits would overload the circuit.
I'm not sure, but I think I'd have to install another outlet in the cabinet? I haven't looked at what's in that box.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:08 PM   #6
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I'm not sure, but I think I'd have to install another outlet in the cabinet? I haven't looked at what's in that box.


The yellow Romex wire leads me to believe that there is 120vac connections in the junction box. An inexpensive power tester pen will help identify the different circuits and can also help to identify what is connected to it.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:38 PM   #7
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The yellow Romex wire leads me to believe that there is 120vac connections in the junction box. An inexpensive power tester pen will help identify the different circuits and can also help to identify what is connected to it.
Sorry, but I have little electrical knowledge and what goes where is not in my experience.
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:55 PM   #8
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Well...

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Sorry, but I have little electrical knowledge and what goes where is not in my experience.
Well, you could route the cable outside using 14 AWG flexible 3-wire cord and run it directly to the pedestal. Types SJ and SJO are available at Lowe's by the foot.

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Old 11-30-2018, 03:09 PM   #9
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What kind of water heater do you have? Is it replacing your anode rod? Or do you not have one?
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
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What kind of water heater do you have? Is it replacing your anode rod? Or do you not have one?
Suburban-- yes replacing the anode rod. I tried to screw the parts into the threads temporarily- unusable until I can clean up the water heater anode rod material and flush it all out. when I have city water available. Unfortunately I couldn't get the parts threaded properly, anode rod either--so I'll have to get some help to clean up the threads. I'll probably get a set of thread chasers to fix it. I'll call Camco for some help as well!
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:56 PM   #11
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Well, you could route the cable outside using 14 AWG flexible 3-wire cord and run it directly to the pedestal. Types SJ and SJO are available at Lowe's by the foot.

Larry
Have to use the kits parts.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:02 PM   #12
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Suburban-- yes replacing the anode rod. I tried to screw the parts into the threads temporarily- unusable until I can clean up the water heater anode rod material and flush it all out. when I have city water available. Unfortunately I couldn't get the parts threaded properly, anode rod either--so I'll have to get some help to clean up the threads. I'll probably get a set of thread chasers to fix it. I'll call Camco for some help as well!
I could be wrong but I thought the anode was required as it was sacrificial vs the inside of the tank from being eaten up. I’d hate to see you save a few bucks on propane but end up costing you a premature water heater death.

If you’ve thought about this already- my apologies for side tracking the thread.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:11 PM   #13
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I would not run a Suburban water heater without an anode which protects the tank from corroding from the inside out. Unless you're planning on replacing the entire water heater soon.

I have no idea the speed of the aftermarket heating element. The OEM electric element only heats water at about 67% of the LP element. With a 6 gallon tank there's no need to turn the LP on until half an hour before need. Recovery on LP is 10+ gallons per minute.

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Old 11-30-2018, 04:24 PM   #14
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Suburban-- yes replacing the anode rod. I tried to screw the parts into the threads temporarily- unusable until I can clean up the water heater anode rod material and flush it all out. when I have city water available. Unfortunately I couldn't get the parts threaded properly, anode rod either--so I'll have to get some help to clean up the threads. I'll probably get a set of thread chasers to fix it. I'll call Camco for some help as well!

Screwing the anode rod back in (or the new heating element) requires a bit of patience and forethought. Since the rod/element is long and heavy, it tends to not want to thread into the port well unless you hold against the leverage as you screw it in using two hands.

I've seen several ports that were messed up because of this. A 3/4" pipe tap will chase the threads if you've cross threaded them.

Often times, putting the anode in a socket with a piece of paper across the socket and then inserting the anode will hold it steadier than just using your fingers. A short extension helps too.

You likely won't be able to use this old Indian trick with the element, as there are wires coming out the end.

If you are uncomfortable with drilling holes and running wires, the suggestion of just using a capable extension cord from the element to the pedestal might be better for you.

Here's a short video I found that might help you with the thread chasing...
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:38 PM   #15
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I could be wrong but I thought the anode was required as it was sacrificial vs the inside of the tank from being eaten up. I’d hate to see you save a few bucks on propane but end up costing you a premature water heater death.

If you’ve thought about this already- my apologies for side tracking the thread.
No apologies necessary. Thank you for your thoughts. The MH is 8years old and if I have to replace with a new water heater so be it. If so, I'll get one that is both electric and propane. Yeah, they're costlier than my original equipment, probably worth it in the long run. I'll give Camco a call and see what they have to say!
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:34 PM   #16
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Looking at the answered questions on the Amazon website, I learned two things.
1) I wondered whether an anode rod was part of the replacement assembly. It is not.
2) To my surprise, this is NOT a 1450 or 1500 watt element as is customarily used. There are two models:
--For 6 gallon WH, 425 watts, 6.25" long
--For 10 gallon WH, 625 watts, 8" long

Fine for dishes, might have to reduce the shower volume to enjoy it. Amazon comments suggest 3 hour recovery times.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Hot-Wat...0024E6UMC?th=1

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Old 11-30-2018, 09:00 PM   #17
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Just use the propane 30 minutes before you need lots of hot water. Stays at least warm for hours.

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Old 11-30-2018, 09:17 PM   #18
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Well, you could...

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Often times, putting the anode in a socket with a piece of paper across the socket and then inserting the anode will hold it steadier than just using your fingers. A short extension helps too.

You likely won't be able to use this old Indian trick with the element, as there are wires coming out the end.
Not with an extension, but if you used a deep socket and the paper wedge trick you could run the leads out the back side of the socket and still have something to hold onto. The best socket would be a long one with short depth of the 6-or-12-point part; in other words a deep socket that's not a deep-well socket. It was hard to find an image of such a socket, but here's one.

Larry
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:17 AM   #19
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Screwing the anode rod back in (or the new heating element) requires a bit of patience and forethought. Since the rod/element is long and heavy, it tends to not want to thread into the port well unless you hold against the leverage as you screw it in using two hands.

I've seen several ports that were messed up because of this. A 3/4" pipe tap will chase the threads if you've cross threaded them.

Often times, putting the anode in a socket with a piece of paper across the socket and then inserting the anode will hold it steadier than just using your fingers. A short extension helps too.

You likely won't be able to use this old Indian trick with the element, as there are wires coming out the end.

If you are uncomfortable with drilling holes and running wires, the suggestion of just using a capable extension cord from the element to the pedestal might be better for you.

Here's a short video I found that might help you with the thread chasing...
Yes, I'm going to Home Depot to pick one up.
When you say new heating element, I'm assuming you're talking about the rod that comes with the hybrid electric kit.
Important question-- if I'm not using the anode rod for my 8yr old gas only water heater, is there some way to determine when it's time to replace it? I'm thinking that when that time comes, I'll replace it with an attwood gas only heater which is less costly than than a Suburban gas only or gas-electric model.
Since it sounds like the camco hybrid electric is a lot slower to initially heat up the cold water, I figure initial heating with gas and electric at the beginning. Then turning off the gas when hot enough kills two birds with one stone.
Attwood doesn't need an anode. Which would only require changing out the hybrid??? "element" if needed. Also, the plug for draining the water when necessary is plastic so it won't require thread chasing like the suburban steel tank problem I'd been fighting for over 7 years prior to buying my MH 3 years ago. I believe that what I'm anticipating doing is going to work.
Any more thoughts from you are more than welcome!!! I appreciate your help!
What is that paper trick you mentioned???
I didn't quite understand the process?
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:25 AM   #20
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If you leave the anode out over the winter expect the threads to be highly rusted in the spring and likely requiring rethreading. Gotta admit I've never needed to re-tap the threads on either of my trailers. Replacing the rod into the tank takes a bit if finesse but it should turn easily with the fingers. Deep socket as a finger extension works well. 1-1/16". You can't cross thread this with just fingers.

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