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Old 08-23-2010, 10:16 PM   #1
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Water Heater

Just purchased a 06 828ss 5er. Just returned from first trip and the water heater would not work off electricity...gas was fine. Today I started looking to replace the element on the suburban WH. Removed what I thought was the drain plug and discovered it was an anode rod. There is an on-off switch next to the element outside behind the WH door. Is that the switch that turns the element on that supplies electricity. Our last TT had the gas and electric switches inside.
There are two switches inside..one for gas operation and the other is for tank heater. Is the tank heater for the gray and black water holding tanks?
Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Just purchased a 06 828ss 5er. Just returned from first trip and the water heater would not work off electricity...gas was fine. Today I started looking to replace the element on the suburban WH. Removed what I thought was the drain plug and discovered it was an anode rod. There is an on-off switch next to the element outside behind the WH door. Is that the switch that turns the element on that supplies electricity. Our last TT had the gas and electric switches inside.
There are two switches inside..one for gas operation and the other is for tank heater. Is the tank heater for the gray and black water holding tanks?
Thanks for any help.
Yes you found the HW heater switch.
If your water heater is like mine to have it work on electric you must go outside and open the hot water cover. In the lower left rear hidden behind stuff you will find a little switch with a pin running thru it. Remove the pin and turn the electric on for the hot water heater. This is a safety feature. Hope this answers your question.\

Now the other swtich inside that says Tank Heaters are for your grey and black water tanks during winter so they do not freeze.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Iggy..I found a toggle switch but it did not have a pin thru it...I will replace the anode rod tomorrow, fill the tank and flip the switch. Hopefully we'll be good to go.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:01 PM   #4
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Whew!! I replaced the annode rod today after flushing out the water heater...filled the tank and flipped on the on/off switch outside on the WH...wahla...hot water. Thought I was gonna have to replace the element but nadah.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:14 PM   #5
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BTW, you can leave the electric switch on the water heater in the 'on' position outside, under the access panel and turn the heater 'off' and 'on' with the breaker inside the fuse panel of the camper. Much more convenient. Make sure that there's water in the heater otherwise you'll burn out the element when powered up.

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Old 08-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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That's what I'm thinking..our last camper, a Coachman, had the switch mounted inside. That's what threw me on this one. I'll check to see if WH is on circuit by itself, if so I'll just flip the breaker.
Thanks
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #7
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BTW, you can leave the electric switch on the water heater in the 'on' position outside, under the access panel and turn the heater 'off' and 'on' with the breaker inside the fuse panel of the camper. Much more convenient. Make sure that there's water in the heater otherwise you'll burn out the element when powered up.

Dave
Yes you can and I've done that but........ I've also failed before to fill my HW tank before flipping on the breaker inside. Now I use both switches as a "Hey dummy! Make sure you fill up the HW tank before flippin all them dang switches!!" But that's just me. Sometimes it takes a 2x4 to knock some sense into me. At least that's what my wife says....
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:00 AM   #8
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Wadda dumb place for the switch!

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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Exactly what I said..well not exactly but close to it!
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #10
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I was planning to shut off the external switch and re-install the hairpin safety clip when I drain the water heater when wintering. Hopefully that will prevent me from having to slap the "stupid" button in the middle of my forehead while saying "Doh!"

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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I wondered this also. I tried it our first time out and the gas was still burning also. So I assumed that the LP must be closed for that to work on electric only. Is that correct?

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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I tried it our first time out and the gas was still burning also. So I assumed that the LP must be closed for that to work on electric only. Is that correct?

Sam and Tonya
You only need to shut off the water heater switch (usually red and lighted) located in the control center between the water pump and tank heater switches. That controls the propane heater portion only.

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:45 PM   #13
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The gas system and the electric system are both completely independent of each other. You can run both at the same time, for quicker recovery(6 gallon tank X how many people?) If the gas is on, you merely have a lighted rocker switch for gas operation, (which will cycle on and off, as temperature requires). For electrical side, switch outside under the access door cover must be on, as well as the circuit breaker on the converter. Hope this helps! Randy
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:04 PM   #14
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has anyone came up with a mod to install a switch inside to operate the electrical side of the water heater. Would sure beat going outside to turn off and on. Also the latch for the WH cover would receive less wear.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:34 PM   #15
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has anyone came up with a mod to install a switch inside to operate the electrical side of the water heater. Would sure beat going outside to turn off and on. Also the latch for the WH cover would receive less wear.
It's on my to-do list. Will take pictures, but not sure exactly when I will get it done.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #16
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has anyone came up with a mod to install a switch inside to operate the electrical side of the water heater. Would sure beat going outside to turn off and on. Also the latch for the WH cover would receive less wear.
You can turn the breaker on insude thw water heater and use the 15 amp circuit breaker to turn ON and OFF.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:55 PM   #17
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thanks appreciate the tip.

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Old 08-04-2011, 08:19 AM   #18
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Any problem with leaving the electric element on all the time while camping? Assume it is AC only?
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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I installed a combo switch/neon light below the sink on my 2012 2608SS to control the WH, ran 3 conductor romex from the sw/light to the breaker box and made the connections to the breaker and WH there. Works great, the light is on when the heater is on, never have to go to the water heater to turn it on.

Also added an additional 15A GFI circuit to the same location, there is only one 15A GFI circuit to the entire trailer. We sometimes have a coffee pot, toaster and fry pan going and were having occasional nuisance trips.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:28 PM   #20
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You can leave the switch on while camping the heater will just cycle on and off keeping the water hot. Just be sure to remember to turn it off when leaving the campground or if you don't and plug in with no water next time you will burn the element out....
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