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Old 04-01-2017, 06:32 AM   #1
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Remote water heater switch

Getting ready to install a remote electrical switch for my Suburban hot water heater. Going to install it in the line from the heater to the breaker.
For those of you who have done this, one question...
Haven't pulled the romex wire yet to cut/tap into it.
Is it a standard 3 wire romex (hot/neutral/ground) or a 2 wire romex line?
The romex on my Lexi, for the water heater, is the only line going to the dedicated water heater breaker. It's listed on the breaker panel as a 15 amp breaker.
Grumpy
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:06 AM   #2
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It's "2 conductor w/g" (3 wires)
I don't think you can even buy romex with just 2 wires.

I always just flipped my breaker when I wanted the electric side to be off.....
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:11 AM   #3
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Thanks. Thought it was a 3 wire (they do make "2 wire").
Have been using the breaker to turn on/off, but don't want to continue as it's a pain to replace the breaker if it goes bad, and it wasen't really designed to be constantly flipped on/off.
Simple to hook up a remote switch...just wanted to get the right "stuff".
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:20 AM   #4
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It's an electrical device that's associated with water.
It has to have a dedicated ground so it's 3 wire by code.

Also this can has been kicked down the road many times before but I've
never had to replace a breaker that was "worn out". They plug in and
are readily available at any hardware or home store. I know others will chime
in and say breakers aren't meant to be switches but my panel was easy
to reach so I used the breaker. It never go weak and it never tripped
in nearly 5 years of use.

I did however add a switch for my outside outlet because I got tired of
un-dressing and going to bed and shutting off the light only to realize I'd left the awning lights on outside!
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:24 AM   #5
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Thanks Ky. Didn't even think about it being associated with a water source, and having to be a 3 wire. "Brain Fart"!!!
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:53 PM   #6
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For my switch, I just disconnected the output of the circuit breaker and moved it to the output side of an appropriately rated switch in my control panel. I then ran a new wire from the output side of the circuit breaker to the input side of my new switch.

In simpler terms, I inserted a switch between the CB and the water heater.

From

---> CB >---> Water heater

to

---> CB >---> Switch >---> Water Heater

No muss, no fuss.

John
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:16 PM   #7
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It's Romex on our Cardinal and accessible in the under sink cabinet. I haven't installed a switch, I just kill the braker.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
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I have not seen this mentioned and it is important: Be sure to get a switch that is rated for the amperage of the water heater. They do make switches for different amperage loads.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:07 PM   #9
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Leave switch on water heater on and use breaker in panel box as your switch.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:38 PM   #10
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Ran to recipticle

Your water heater should plug in to a box underneath,water heater has a regular plug at the end,,,at least mine did on my 5th wheel,i ran my switch off that box and then ran my switch inside the unit,worked great.....
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:48 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. Got the appropriate switch and box. WH is on it's own 15 amp breaker. Can see the wire attached to back of WH but can't follow it...it goes under the WH to a dead space, and comes out under bed and to breaker panel.
Lot of extra wire, just going to cut into romex, hot wire and ground and simply add lighted toggle switch in line, leaving neutral alone. Basically hot in, hot out, and un intruppted ground to ground terminal.
Info, total cost was under 6 bucks. $4.79 for a lighted toggle wall switch and $1.09 for a box. Had a decrotive wall plate.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy0374 View Post
Thanks everyone. Got the appropriate switch and box. WH is on it's own 15 amp breaker. Can see the wire attached to back of WH but can't follow it...it goes under the WH to a dead space, and comes out under bed and to breaker panel.
Lot of extra wire, just going to cut into romex, hot wire and ground and simply add lighted toggle switch in line, leaving neutral alone. Basically hot in, hot out, and un intruppted ground to ground terminal.
Info, total cost was under 6 bucks. $4.79 for a lighted toggle wall switch and $1.09 for a box. Had a decrotive wall plate.
Grumpy
You got it. Keep the switch on the load side and don't interrupt the neutral. As you're dealing with an electric element on a water source I would verify that a GFCI device is already in the mix. It should be, but doesn't hurt to verify it. Unlike others, I would never use a circuit breaker for an off/on switch.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:30 PM   #13
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I installed a switch in our, Was a PITA to go out and mess with the little switch behind the burner tube in the water heater compartment, I installed a switch with a red indicator light so it was more noticeable that it was on.
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D W View Post
You got it. Keep the switch on the load side and don't interrupt the neutral. As you're dealing with an electric element on a water source I would verify that a GFCI device is already in the mix. It should be, but doesn't hurt to verify it. Unlike others, I would never use a circuit breaker for an off/on switch.
Yup, simple. Just used a single pole lighted switch. Heater is on a gfi circuit.
My biggest problems in using the breaker for on/off, was always reminding wife to turn it off before unhooking. Now with lighted switch she can see it's "on".
Other problem is that panel box just has a simple drop down plastic cover, and the "push" latch barely holds now as it's been used so much. Going to have to glue some small magnets in the corners to hold it closed.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:49 PM   #15
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hidee ho

Good for you on the switch install. I wanted mine to look factory so I ordered this dual Suburban switch for 12 bucks and it works and looks great. So nice not having to outside to turn on/off water heater or use circuit breaker! Happy Camping!
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:20 PM   #16
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For those who have added a switch inside for the Suburban water heater, it looks like this is the same switch that's mounted on the water heater itself. Any reason I can't use this switch and just install it on the hot line and mount it with the others on the wall panel inside?? I just grabbed the first image I found on the web, but I think I'd rather a similar lighted switch.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Suburban-2331...d=352490699296
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