Converting gas water heater to electric kit

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mdgodaat

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Jul 4, 2006
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Would like to hear from anyone who has converted their gas water heater to electric with the many kits that are available. have a 6 gallon heater and would like to consider doing this to save on propane. is it easy, difficult or not worth the trouble ?  :-\
 

Karl

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I'm not sure if you really meant converting to electric, or simply adding an electric element to the existing heater. Many people ADD an electric element to supplement the gas, but using it alone may be a disappointment because the initial heating time and recovery time would be much greater than gas or gas and electric together. That said, I'm going to be adding an electric element to my unit very soon too. When demand is not great (shower, dishwashing), electricity will do the job just fine. For laundry, the gas will kick in and give me what I need.   
 

Ned

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We run out hot water heater on electric nearly all the time, the exception being when boondocking, and have never run out of hot water.  But, we have a 10 gallon tank and practice water conservation.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Karl said:
I'm not sure if you really meant converting to electric, or simply adding an electric element to the existing heater. Many people ADD an electric element to supplement the gas, but using it alone may be a disappointment because the initial heating time and recovery time would be much greater than gas or gas and electric together. That said, I'm going to be adding an electric element to my unit very soon too. When demand is not great (shower, dishwashing), electricity will do the job just fine. For laundry, the gas will kick in and give me what I need.? ?

Karl, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised -- if we're talking about the same kind of element. I have a Hot Shot and have had one in my past three rigs. Once I set the thremostat (120), it keeps plenty of hot water for my needs. I don't have a cloths washer.

I hook them up in various ways. In my 5thW, it was a bit combersome to get to the converter area -- or to put in a switch. So I drilled a small hole in the kitchen counter top just under a wall socket. I temporarily cut the plug off the line, ran it up thru the hole, the put the plug back on. Whenever I wanted to swtich to electric, I just pulled it up 10 inches and plugged it in. It also made a great conversation piece in that some would as why the electric plug was sitting on the counter.  :)

I have also run them thru a wall switch, plus my current hot shot I get the power via the breaker the supports my Micro Wave. When I go from gas to electric, I turn thta breaker on and vice versa. If I do go to gas, it's because I am boondocking, using reduced 110 from my brothers house or othre similar situatioins -- so I would not be using the MW anyway.

BTW, a number of Winnebago models have the radiator line routed back to encircle the hot water tank. That way, I have hot water when I pulll into a rest area or whenever I stop after traveling w/out the need for gas or electric.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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When I installed the Hott Shot type of electric heater in a coule rigs, I ran the power cord externally and plugged it directly into the campsite power pole.  That way I wasn't burdening the 30A system in those rigs with te water heater load.  I left the power cord coiled up behind the outside heater door when not in use. Sometimes had to add an extension cord to reach the pole, but I thought the extra effort was worth it to keep the measly 30A available for other tings.
 

gcharte

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May 14, 2006
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My question is basically the same. If I chose not to plug it in externally to shore power is there a better place to plug or wire in to the motorhome internally. BTW when in Florida for the winter I'll probably just plug it in direct to shore power.


Thank,

Gary C
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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If I chose not to plug it in externally to shore power is there a better place to plug or wire in to the motorhome internally.

Better in what way? Every circuit in the RV is fed from your shore power source, probably 30A, so you can't beat the total number by using an inside outlet.  But the heater draws a lot of current (check the label for amps or watts), so you should plug it to a circuit that does NOT have another large load, to avoid tripping that inside breaker (typically only 15A). Remember that your galley outlets are subject to large laods when you operate a coffee pot, toaster or microwave on one of them.  Odds are you do not have an available circuit that never has a large load on it, but do the best you can.
 
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