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Old 07-08-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
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Electric water heater

My water heater is a Suburban SW6DE ,6 gallon water heater, it works fine, but my question is: I was told to turn on a switch that's found in the outside panel cover of the water heater and a switch found on the inside control panel, and the breaker on which is a given. The switch in the inside panel is the switch I am concerned with because I see tank heater switch to? I didn't get a walk through with my home only a few tips from the driver that delivered it, and that's another story, lol.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-08-2017, 06:36 PM   #2
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I am under the assumption the tank heater is for cold weather fresh water. ...
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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In most cases, the outside switch controls the electric element in the water heater. The inside switch controls propane operation, Normally you would use outside switch if you have shore power, You can use both to get a little faster recovery. The tank heaters controls heat pads under the fresh water and possibly black and grey holding tanks to keep them from freezing in freezing weather.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:45 PM   #4
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Your water heater has an inside switch (bottom left in your pic) that runs it on gas. There should be a switch outside on the lower left side of the water heater looking in that turns on the electric heating element. See here:


Your model does NOT have an inside switch for the electric heating element (if it did, there would be an "L" in the model number). I've attached the manual for your heater.

The switch in your pic labeled Tank Heater is for a 12VDC heating pad on the bottom of your tanks that help to keep them from freezing. What I can't tell you is which tank(s) the heating pad(s) is on. All your tanks (Fresh Water, Gray, Black) may have heaters, OR just one or two of them. You would have to crawl under the trailer and look for a pad glued to the bottom of the tank(s) with a couple of wires coming out of it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:54 PM   #5
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Thank you, I am only running on shore power, I am converting to all electric and using the TT as a tiny house.I live in the South would in need to use the tank heaters , our winters are mild compared to Northern USA ?
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:57 PM   #6
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Thanks rockfordroo for the manual, I really appreciate each one of you for your help, this is such a great Forum.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:12 PM   #7
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This FAQ on the SW6DE should fix you up:


http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ore-36197.html
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:49 PM   #8
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Thanks again everyone
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:05 PM   #9
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Cardwellmarty, if you're electrically inclined you can mount an illuminated 110 Volt switch inside the RV in a convenient location, running the hot wire from the breaker through it and reconnect it to the wire going to the waterheater, then leave the powerswitch outside on the water heater permanently in the 'on' position.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:16 PM   #10
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Cypressloser that is a good idea, there is a 110 plug under the cabinet with the water heater plugged in, I could do as you advised and it would keep me from having to flip the breaker everytime I am not using the water heater, because my TT is only 30 amp and no need to keep just 6 gallons of water hot all the time, good idea, thanks.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypressloser View Post
Cardwellmarty, if you're electrically inclined you can mount an illuminated 110 Volt switch inside the RV in a convenient location, running the hot wire from the breaker through it and reconnect it to the wire going to the waterheater, then leave the powerswitch outside on the water heater permanently in the 'on' position.
I've attached the wiring diagram with a switch part number and below are some pics if you want to go this route. You "should" replace the crappy RV style outlet that the water heater is plugged into with a real house style outlet and electrical box.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:33 PM   #12
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rockfordroo, making sure I totally understanding, I can use same wire, provided there is enough slack, replace receptacle, cut and splice in water heater switch with its new box. Would you use GFI or just a regular house plug ?
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cardwellmarty View Post
rockfordroo, making sure I totally understanding, I can use same wire, provided there is enough slack, replace receptacle, cut and splice in water heater switch with its new box. Would you use GFI or just a regular house plug ?
The black/white/ground wire (i.e., 2 conductor plus ground) shown on the right going into the outlet is the current RV wire to the current RV outlet. Provided you put the new outlet/electrical box in the same place as the current one, you "should" have enough slack in the existing wire. If you do have slack problems, you can really mount the new outlets electrical box just about anywhere, provided the water heaters plug will still reach.

The RV outlet doesn't use screws to attach the wire, it has blades with slots that cut the insulation when you push the outlet and its cover together.

And it won't have an electrical box because the wiring is all enclosed. You don't want that kind of outlet, you want to use a real house-style outlet that you screw the wiring to.

You will need a piece of black/white/red/ground wire (i.e., 3 conductor plus ground) for the wiring from the outlet to the switch.

For a GFCI, you could just use a regular GFCI outlet. They're about $15-20. Alternatively, you can replace the water heaters circuit breaker with a GFCI circuit breaker. They are a bit more expensive, about $40 and up.

If you aren't familiar with house wiring, you might want to find a buddy that is, to help you.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:44 PM   #14
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My uncle is a electrician, but you helped me think outside the box , thanks Roo
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:59 PM   #15
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Here is some information on your holding/fresh water tank heaters:

Their web site: http://www.ultraheat.com/
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