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Old 03-30-2016, 08:58 PM   #1
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Water heater on/off switch

Every RV that I've owned has the water heater switch in the worst possible location. You have to open the panel and reach around the little pipe with your finger to turn it on and off. Why they couldn't have put the switch in an easy to access location is beyond me, but I'm thinking about doing just that. I have astorage exterior storage compartment next to my water heater where I could put a lighted switch. The light would also remind me to turn it off as I'm putting stuff away during camp breakdown. Has anyone one else done this sort of thing? If so where did you put it? Was it difficult? Any photos would be awesome.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:59 PM   #2
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I think there are several threads in the modifications subforum, that show how others have accomplished this.

edit: here are a few

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ight-9008.html

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-54847.html
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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My water heater main electrical on/off switch is inside the rear panel to the heater and can be easily reached by removing the outside vent panel. However, we never turn it off. If we wanted to turn it off [electricly] we would use the breaker in the main breaker box in the hallway. No need to turn off the switch outside.
The gas switch is in the bathroom and easy to flip on/off to use either as a primary source of heat, or to assist the electrical elements.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
I think there are several threads in the modifications subforum, that show how others have accomplished this.

edit: here are a few

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ight-9008.html

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-54847.html
Doh!, my bad. Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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i INSTALLED A SPLIT BREAKER AND ENSURE ITS OFF AT THE TANK AND THE PANEL UNTIL ITS FULL OF WATER AND THEN THE SWITCH OUTSIDE ON THE UNIT IS TURNED ON LAST.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:53 AM   #6
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I don't know why it never occurred to me to turn it on and off with the breaker, duh. I've complained for years about the inconvenient location of the switch, and there's been a few times that I almost forgot to turn it off because of the out of site and out of mind location. I still think I'll put a lighted switch inside of the outside storage compartment. That way as I'm putting stuff away, the light will be a reminder to turn it off. I can still see myself forgetting to turn off the breaker.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:54 PM   #7
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Circuit breaker seems to be the best way to go. The little switch on my RV is the same as yours and it was starting to stick and I didn't even want to think about trying to replace it. I just added the breaker to my preflight check list.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:59 PM   #8
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Heater Switch

yes I had the same problem especially after leaving the power on after I emptied the tank. I just rewired the small switch to inside the bathroom area with a small lighted switch
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:34 PM   #9
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HW heater switch

As a doctor, I have had less difficult surgeries than trying to insert that cotter pin into the hot water heater on/off switch....sigh.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:40 PM   #10
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Ha as many campers I've had never use the electric. Rather use the propane. Later RJD
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:45 PM   #11
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I guess I've been lucky. My last three units have all had a second switch on the main panel for the 110v WH conveniently located right next to the WH propane control switch. Once you turn on the outside switch for the first time, you never have to touch it again if so desired.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:52 PM   #12
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While I try to remember to turn it off between trips, I'm not overly concerned about it. As long as the tank has water it's not going to be impacted if the switch is left on.

The key is to make sure it's part of your drain/fill HW tank procedure. (It's on that list at least 3 times!)

Since we generally us our trailer enough that I don't drain the tank, it really only needs to be turned off when I winterize.



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Old 03-31-2016, 05:55 PM   #13
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Our Dutchman Kodiak hybrid tt had the electric and gas switches on the same panel with the controls for the lights, awning, and black, grey, and water gauges.
Our new Rockwood Mini Lite 2304KS the switch was in the outside water heater compartment. I eventually, after several searches, found it beneath a piece of silver tape that hid it quite nicely. Why the ---- would the good people of Forrest River make something that important so hidden and/or inaccessible?
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:10 PM   #14
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Another question regarding the water heater and inaccessibility.
Why would Forrest River/Rockwood make the water heater, and it's bypass valves, inaccessible by placing an inoperable door (2 hinges on one side, 1 on the opposite side) in the access point?
I suppose the hinge was cheaper than a catch would be? But, given that access to the valves is mandatory for winterizing and de winterizing, it is just plain stupid. At great expense to myself, maybe $5 retail, I fixed the problem. Of course, even though I filled them, the puckered holes from the hinge screws into the vinyl covered particle board ( the brochure calls them "Cherry Cabinets") stick out like sore thumbs.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:08 PM   #15
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Another question regarding the water heater and inaccessibility.

Why would Forrest River/Rockwood make the water heater, and it's bypass valves, inaccessible by placing an inoperable door (2 hinges on one side, 1 on the opposite side) in the access point?

I suppose the hinge was cheaper than a catch would be? But, given that access to the valves is mandatory for winterizing and de winterizing, it is just plain stupid. At great expense to myself, maybe $5 retail, I fixed the problem. Of course, even though I filled them, the puckered holes from the hinge screws into the vinyl covered particle board ( the brochure calls them "Cherry Cabinets") stick out like sore thumbs.

Actually, as the father of two young kids, I prefer the way FR did it. Young'uns can't open panels that are screwed down.


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Old 03-31-2016, 07:14 PM   #16
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Actually, Suburban did it.....
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny B View Post
Our Dutchman Kodiak hybrid tt had the electric and gas switches on the same panel with the controls for the lights, awning, and black, grey, and water gauges.
Our new Rockwood Mini Lite 2304KS the switch was in the outside water heater compartment. I eventually, after several searches, found it beneath a piece of silver tape that hid it quite nicely. Why the ---- would the good people of Forrest River make something that important so hidden and/or inaccessible?
Not sure why you're blaming FR? They don't make water heaters, Suburban does.

and they've had the electric side switch on the outside, for many years now.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:32 PM   #18
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I never use the electric feature of mine either. In fact, I unplugged the hot water heater from the AC jack just to guarantee it will never be turned on accidentally with the tank empty.

It should be fairly easy to reroute the wiring form the switch to a lit on/off wall switch.

What i can't figure out is why down is on and up is off on my Wildcat's main on/off switch.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:37 PM   #19
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A couple of points/observations;
1. The breaker should not be used as a switch. They are not really built for that.
2. The electric heating elements should absolutely have its own switch separate from the breaker box, and I installed my own in the compartment behind the dump valve handles. In hindsight, I should have placed it higher, because, if I'm not careful, my fingers can flip that switch when operating the black dump valve. Not a huge deal, but it's something I am careful with.
3. Occasionally, maybe when not even plugged in, we should work the little rocker switch in the water heater, as it is prone to seizing up in the position that it's left in for a long time.
4. I rarely, rarely turn my propane on...occasionally for the stove/oven, but that's about it. We precook a lot of meals, then just nuke'em, and the electric elements heat our water, the fireplace/electric heater will warm the coach, and cold stuff is in a residential refer. Two bottles of propane last us for years.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:49 PM   #20
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A breaker is not switch, but it don't hurt them to be used like a switch.
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