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Old 11-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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Remoted electric water heater switch

Well I had done this on our last RV and had hoped that this new Georgetown being 15 years newer would already have had this as a standard feature. Imagine my dismay to find that the switch for the electric heating element was outside on the water heater. Not wanting to go outside to turn the element off or bend down to turn off the circuit breaker and because I was running wiring for the solar and inverter controls anyway, I ran and extra run for remoting the switch from the tank to the front of the cabinet below the kitchen sink. Why here you may ask? Because snaking wire into the panel where the control center with the rest of the switches is proved to be a real big pain in the butt. I managed to get my inverter control panel and solar charge readout in there but that was it. Now I have a lighted switch inside the rig to turn on or off the electric water heater element. The original switch was removed from it's hole and the wires unplugged from it. I then attached the wires run from the inside to those wires using spade connectors so it just plugged in. Wire loom will be added to protect the wires where they pass through the old switch hole in the picture.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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Nice job.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:13 AM   #3
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I've thought of doing that very thing. One would think that since they already put the propane switch inside they'd put the electric switch right beside it. They already have to run two wires why not run two more??? That's what I get for thinking!
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
I've thought of doing that very thing. One would think that since they already put the propane switch inside they'd put the electric switch right beside it. They already have to run two wires why not run two more??? That's what I get for thinking!
LOL exactly what I was thinking Bama. In a rig that can lock the refrigerator door when you turn on the ignition how hard would it have been to run two more wires like you say. Yep I was thinking too....
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:41 AM   #5
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Nice job, so how did you get the switch out of the heater? I have been looking at doing this for some time but was unsure about getting the switch out. Thanks
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Nice job, so how did you get the switch out of the heater? I have been looking at doing this for some time but was unsure about getting the switch out. Thanks
Just popped it out of it hole with my fingernail. Might require a small regular screwdriver if you don't have a fingernail. Be sure to turn off the circuit breaker before you do. You can relocate the existing switch inside and use a 2 condcutor wire or if you want to buy a lighted one like I used then run a 3 conductor wire, 2 for the power and 1 for the ground on the switch which makes the light work. Since I already had some 2 conductor wire run I just popped out the outlet next to the swich and attached the ground to the ground inside the outlet. Works great.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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NWJeeper, Nice Job! Leave it to a "ham" to come up with a practical and good solution to a nagging issue! Love the mod and come this spring , it will be at the top of my to-do list! Thanks again!
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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I plan to do somthing similar to my trailer. I do not like having to open the cover to turn the switch on and off every time. I was planning to just mount a switch in the outside cover though. I would still control it from outside, but wouldnt have to bother with the cover every time.
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Old 11-07-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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I plan to do somthing similar to my trailer. I do not like having to open the cover to turn the switch on and off every time. I was planning to just mount a switch in the outside cover though. I would still control it from outside, but wouldnt have to bother with the cover every time.

I don't think I would advise this for two reasons. First you would have to have a waterproof switch as water could get in and short it out. Secondly any kid walking by could turn on or off your element. Really not a good idea if there is no water in the tank but a switch out in the open like that is just inviting problems with the "curious".
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:48 PM   #10
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Ok, never thought about another kid or someone flipping the switch. The waterproofing I had under control.
My inside control panel is on the opposite side of the trailer and basicly in the center. Water heater is is front driver side corner. That is a long way to run wire unless it is low voltage power for a relay which I dont think it is. It would probably add 20' of wiring to a circuit that supports a decent load.
Am I wrong in thinking this is a bad idea?
How would I get it up to the wall control panel anyway?
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