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Old 07-01-2019, 09:13 PM   #1
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Suburban SW6D water heater

My Suburban SW6D water heater manual says it's LP gas and DC. Does it run on one or the other? Or both are required? I did read the manual but it was clear as mud. Can anyone explain in English how it works? And how much propane it might use? Should I turn it off and only turn it on when we need hot water? Is it draining the battery? Thanks
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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Fire to heat, but its electric ignition.

That is assuming you got the model right.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:10 PM   #3
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The burner operates on LP gas.
12v DC power is necessary to operate the control board that opens the gas valve (controlled by 12v solenoid) and begins the spark to light the gas. (Called DSI- Direct Spark Ignition)
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:24 AM   #4
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Uses very little propane. Mine seems to be well insulated. Doesnít kick on to often.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HappyCamperCanada View Post
My Suburban SW6D water heater manual says it's LP gas and DC. Does it run on one or the other? Or both are required? I did read the manual but it was clear as mud. Can anyone explain in English how it works? And how much propane it might use? Should I turn it off and only turn it on when we need hot water? Is it draining the battery? Thanks
I have used the gas on my heater acouple of times because I do not know of the electric side works. The manual sucks, it doesn't take much about heating the water on the DC side. The manual doesn't cover the reset buttons, which I do not know if they work.

I would like to know how to tell to tell if the electric side works. The water doesn't seem to get hot. I use the gas when camping to be sure. Doesnt seem to use much gas.
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:21 PM   #6
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I have used the gas on my heater acouple of times because I do not know of the electric side works. The manual sucks, it doesn't take much about heating the water on the DC side. The manual doesn't cover the reset buttons, which I do not know if they work.

I would like to know how to tell to tell if the electric side works. The water doesn't seem to get hot. I use the gas when camping to be sure. Doesnt seem to use much gas.
Is your water heater a model that has an electric element? Some don't.

There really isn't a DC side. The 12v DC is just control voltage to operate the LP burner.

Some water heaters are LP only. (no DC needed, you manually light pilot)

Some are LP only with DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) needing 12v to operate the controls.

Some are LP and electric. (120v AC)

Without the make/model number of YOUR water heater, we can't tell you much about it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TXTornados View Post
I have used the gas on my heater acouple of times because I do not know of the electric side works. The manual sucks, it doesn't take much about heating the water on the DC side. The manual doesn't cover the reset buttons, which I do not know if they work.

I would like to know how to tell to tell if the electric side works. The water doesn't seem to get hot. I use the gas when camping to be sure. Doesnt seem to use much gas.
The OP of this thread does not have the electric heating element option, as their water heater is propane only...SWD model (the number is just the tank size in gallons) The D means it has Direct Spark Ignition aka DSI

This thread that we keep in the FAQ section, explains the operation of the SWDE and SWDEL models of the Suburban water heater, which both do have an electric heating element. The E means these models have the electric heating element in addition to the DSI

Suburban's electric switch and much more

This thread above will also explain how the propane/DSI side work, which the OP can read and just ignore the stuff about the electric heating element. Make sure to read the entire thread as it also explains the fault lights, etc...to the propane.

To the ones with the electric heating element option (SWDE and SWDEL), the same thread will also explain it's operation of in addition to the propane side.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:40 PM   #8
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My mistake.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Is your water heater a model that has an electric element? Some don't.

There really isn't a DC side. The 12v DC is just control voltage to operate the LP burner.

Some water heaters are LP only. (no DC needed, you manually light pilot)

Some are LP only with DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) needing 12v to operate the controls.

Some are LP and electric. (120v AC)

Without the make/model number of YOUR water heater, we can't tell you much about it.
I had to go get the Forest River Appliance Information Sheet to be sure. According to it, I have a Suburban 5093E Water Heater Gas/Electric.

I looked on a few sites and found that it is very similar to the SW6DE, actually looks exactly the same.

On the heater, I can flip the switch to ON for electric, but I have a switch in camper that I can flip for gas that says DSI and lights up RED. I do hear it click for igition and it lights up fine. Now I don't know if I need to turn the switch at the heater to OFF and what are the RESET buttons for.

I attached a pic of the heater for reference.

Hope this helps. Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TXTornados View Post
I had to go get the Forest River Appliance Information Sheet to be sure. According to it, I have a Suburban 5093E Water Heater Gas/Electric.

I looked on a few sites and found that it is very similar to the SW6DE, actually looks exactly the same.

On the heater, I can flip the switch to ON for electric, but I have a switch in camper that I can flip for gas that says DSI and lights up RED. I do hear it click for igition and it lights up fine. Now I don't know if I need to turn the switch at the heater to OFF and what are the RESET buttons for.

I attached a pic of the heater for reference.

Hope this helps. Thanks.
Ok,this was why I asked about the model info. There are combo units which it appears you have. So... it WILL run on gas or electric (110). Your not going to heat water quickly with 12v DC
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXTornados View Post
I had to go get the Forest River Appliance Information Sheet to be sure. According to it, I have a Suburban 5093E Water Heater Gas/Electric.

I looked on a few sites and found that it is very similar to the SW6DE, actually looks exactly the same.

I believe you are possibly confusing the part number with the model number. As per Suburbans website:


https://www.airxcel.com/suburban/pro...spark-ignition


Where's My Model Number? Suburban Water Heater (SW | V | SAW Models) The model and serial number information can be located by opening the water heater access door on the outside of your RV. The silver colored data plate with black printing is located on the right side of the metal control housing as you face it from the outside. The model number will be located on the top line of the data plate and will begin with "SW", "SAW" or "V". The nine digit serial number will be on the bottom line.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TXTornados View Post

On the heater, I can flip the switch to ON for electric, but I have a switch in camper that I can flip for gas that says DSI and lights up RED. I do hear it click for igition and it lights up fine. Now I don't know if I need to turn the switch at the heater to OFF and what are the RESET buttons for.

Most of this is thoroughly explained in the previous link I gave in post #7 above


The hi-limit/ECO resets are more thoroughly explained here in another thread:


Gas/Electric water heater issues.


I am probably about to move all the posts that are off topic to the OP's problem to their own thread.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:28 PM   #13
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Thanks wmtire, flyerpd and 5picker. I figured it out from your posts. My SW6D heats the water via propane. The DC part is just for ignition. I need propane and DC power for it to work. Mine does not run on electric power alone. That's what I thought. Now I get it. Wish the user manual was less techie and more user friendly! But I get why it has all the install instructions too. Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:48 AM   #14
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The hi-limit/ECO resets are more thoroughly explained here in another thread:


Gas/Electric water heater issues.
Thanks for the link, it explained alot for me. Your information & pictures are not found in the user manual, having it explained and diagrammed out so a lay person like me could understand was invaluable.

I will look on the panel to get the number to know exactly what I have.

Thanks.
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