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Old 09-17-2011, 08:32 AM   #1
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switch on water hearter

Tried to turn on electric water heater on camper for the first time last night and the switch is frozen solid. (I did pull the pin first) My initial two thoughts are to spray with lube or put the pin back in and forget about it.
Any thoughts
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
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I think I would try to squirt some WD40 in the switch with the power off.It is alot cheaper to use electric hot water than propane.If that doesn't work it would still be more economical to get a new switch than to keep using propane.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:25 AM   #3
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The same thing happened to mine once. I figured I may as well try to free it up as it was going to need to be replaced anyway so I sprayed it with some contact cleaner then put a wooden dowel against it and gave it a tap with a hammer. It broke free but didn't break! I sprayed it with some more contact cleaner and flipped it on and off a dozen times and it has worked ever since.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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Thanks --
would have been a real pain to replace this switch, it is tucked in there real tight. The break free worked and the switch is moving now.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #5
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Mine is stuck in the on position.
I just use the circuit breaker in the power center to control it.
Others have posted theirs is on a circuit with something else so they
don't have that option. Mine is on it's own breaker.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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The switch has probably seen some water and humidity. The only solution is to replace it if you cannot unseize it with a penetrant. This is just like the switch light that you have on the outside front of the trailer. They dont last. It is a good idea to rock the switch once and a while to make sure it will not seize.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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Mine is stuck in the "on" position, also. Looks pretty flimsy, I was afraid it would break, if I forced off. I also use the breaker to operate it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #8
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NorminN.B. It is the best way to operate it from your breaker from now on. I will make sure I leave my switch in the ON position just in case the same happens to me . I have a minilite 2011 and the front light switch already had to be replace because it was seized. As long as you shut off your breaker when you dont need it!!!
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
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Be careful with the WD40 and other spray lubricants etc. Some of them are very flamable! If not the chemical itself the propelant can be. I know WD40 is for sure!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malco View Post
I think I would try to squirt some WD40 in the switch with the power off.It is alot cheaper to use electric hot water than propane.If that doesn't work it would still be more economical to get a new switch than to keep using propane.
I would use elctro contact cleaner, I have seen stuff like WD40 or LPS, carb cleaner, etc. melt/soften plastic parts
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:11 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the advise.. looks like the CB is the new on/off switch.
I think the only time I have to turn the electric portion of the heater off is when a generator is used . Otherwise is there any reason to turn it off?
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:15 PM   #12
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IF you were winterized and wanted to charge batteries by plugging in your
RV the hot water heater element would burn out instantly if you left it on.
I try to remember to flip the breaker off any time we're not using the
trailer.
I also occasionally plug in at home via 16 ga extension cord just to top up
batteries. I don't want the HWH coming on for no reason.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:24 PM   #13
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Thanks great tip
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:45 PM   #14
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wall switch

Does the water heater switch, on the wall turn off the electric portion of the heater ,or just the propane portion?
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #15
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The wall switch is just for propane on my trailer; I would think it's probably the same for other trailers.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #16
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seems dangerous not knowing at a glance that there is a coil on in your water tank.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:57 PM   #17
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Circuit breaker HELP.

WOW!! just checked the camper and water is HOT.. wall switch is off.
Now my problem.. No circuit breaker says water heater..
Here is what I got to work with. Please help .
MAIN----30
A/C---20
CONV--15
GEN--15
GFI--15
MICRO--15
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:20 PM   #18
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You said you got your outside water heater switch un-stuck.
Are you sure it's in the off position??
It could be internally stuck on I suppose.

My water heater actually plugs into a receptacle that's hidden behind the
water heater tank. It's possible that yours is also. If you can access the
back side of your HWH look for an outlet you can un-plug.

Alternative is get someone with a meter who knows how to use it.
Find the voltage at the HWH and then switch off breakers one at a time
until you get the one that shuts off the voltage to the heater.

It's probably time for you to seek professional help unless you have a
knowledgeable friend or neighbor. This is still pretty basic electrical stuff
but sometimes ya just gotta pay the man!
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2016 Evergreen Everlite 242RBS
29' empty nest model. Blue Ox WD hitch
(1 queen bed, large main cabin and huge bathroom)
Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41, 2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-44, 2017-63, 2018-75, 2019-32, 2020-41, 2021-49, 2022-43
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:27 PM   #19
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plug

I have the switch set " ON " witch is OK . Just supprised the heater is not disabled with a wall switch, I think mine is plugged into an outlet.
sure makes trouble shooting the CB a little easier. thanks
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:23 PM   #20
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Just put a meter in the heater outlet and tried the cb's .
the CONV breaker is the one that kills the outlet.
from what I can tell with the dimming lights -- etc this is not a breaker I should turn off to control my water heater...
I guess just unplugging it for now is OK - BUT I will have to add a switch in the near future. This Friday We are going Fall camping for the next 6 weeks at jellystone (Fall DAys).
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