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Old 06-13-2016, 11:37 PM   #1
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Inside water heater switch

I want to install an indoor on/off switch for my gas water heater. I can't believe my 10 y/o rig had one and my brand new FR only has an on/off switch outside on the heater.

None the less, can I simply splice the wires from the outdoor switch and run them up through the floor into my main switch panel?

Thanks!

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Old 06-14-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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The WH should be plugged into a 120v AC receptacle. You could add a switch before the receptacle.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:23 AM   #3
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You said that you want to add a switch for your GAS water heater. Every propane only water I've ever heard of has a switch for the propane side in the RV somewhere.

The switch on the outside is for the electric side.

Do you have a gas/electric model and what you're wanting to do is add a switch for the electric side inside the RV?
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuppyWN View Post
I want to install an indoor on/off switch for my gas water heater. I can't believe my 10 y/o rig had one and my brand new FR only has an on/off switch outside on the heater.

None the less, can I simply splice the wires from the outdoor switch and run them up through the floor into my main switch panel?

Thanks!

2015 Wildcat Maxx 28RKX
Yes. Another option, if it's easier to route the wires, is to splice into the circuit breaker wiring. Splicing into anywhere along the AC power input to the water heater is doable (cutting that wire and inserting your switch by splicing). Be sure and size the wire and switch amp rating correctly. You end up with your switch in series with the switch on the outside which you leave on for your switch to control the heating element. You probably know this though.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
You said that you want to add a switch for your GAS water heater. Every propane only water I've ever heard of has a switch for the propane side in the RV somewhere.

The switch on the outside is for the electric side.

Do you have a gas/electric model and what you're wanting to do is add a switch for the electric side inside the RV?
Yep, had a brain fart! The electric power switch is located outside at the unit and I want to bring the on/off switch inside so I don't have to leave the heater on full time while plugged in.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuppyWN View Post
Yep, had a brain fart! The electric power switch is located outside at the unit and I want to bring the on/off switch inside so I don't have to leave the heater on full time while plugged in.
Flip the 110v breaker off in the panel box.
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:20 AM   #7
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Many just use the breaker as the switch, provided nothing else is wired on the same subcircuit that you need.

Others have wired a switch to the electrical outlet that the water heater plugs into. If you have access, this may be the easier route. Here are some other threads to maybe give you an idea:

Water Heater Switch with Power-on Light

Electric Hot Water heater question

What you have to realize though, is the switch (and wiring) for the electric element switch on the face of the water heater is 120 volt AC. The switches and wiring in your main panel of switches (ie slide, awning, lights, etc) are all 12 volt DC. They do not cross.

Suburban does make an inside 12 volt DC switch for the electric heating element, but this 12 volt switch actually controls a 12v/120 v relay, that then turns on the 120 volt AC to the electric heating element. This is what you most likely had in your older trailer, if you had a Suburban water heater.

You can find more information on the SWDEL model in post #4 here:

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GuppyWN View Post
Yep, had a brain fart! The electric power switch is located outside at the unit and I want to bring the on/off switch inside so I don't have to leave the heater on full time while plugged in.
I understood what you wanted to do and post 4 addresses that to answer your original question. May not be the answer to your dilemma though.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:36 PM   #9
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Here's what I added between the breaker and water heater. All I had to do was add wire from switch to breaker and connect lead from heater to switch. Got lighted switch from home depot.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:41 PM   #10
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I added a relay and wired from the breaker and then up to my switch panel.
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