Replacing Water Heater

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KD7ONE

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Posts
45
Location
Yellowstone County, MT
In my 1976 Class C Delta, I have an old water heater that runs strictly on Propane. I am looking to switch it out for a new Suburban 6-gallon water heater that runs on both propane and electricity.

My problem is that I don't have any current wiring for the electric part of the new water heater.

Anybody know how to wire it up?
 
I'd treat it as a separate dedicated line. Install a breaker, run a line to WH.  I also would install a WH on/off switch, should be available same place you get WH.  There are many installation sheets and videos on the web.  I would not cut corners, the electric element tends to draw a good amount of watts, and you don't want to under supply it with inadequate power.
 
SpencerPJ said:
I'd treat it as a separate dedicated line. Install a breaker, run a line to WH.  I also would install a WH on/off switch, should be available same place you get WH.  There are many installation sheets and videos on the web.  I would not cut corners, the electric element tends to draw a good amount of watts, and you don't want to under supply it with inadequate power.

So, let me get this straight. The wires should go from the WH to a on/off switch, to a breaker?
 
Usually there's a regular wall switch inside the RV to turn the power on and off to the electric side of the water heater, separate from the gas burner on-off switch.  But the current generation of Suburban heaters use a pair of low voltage switches inside the RV to control the gas and electric sides of the water heater.

In this case, you'd run the AC directly to the water heater, then run the low voltage control wires to a dual switch panel inside the RV. The panel is available from Suburban.
 
The problem with the Hott Rod in a Suburban water heater is it eliminates the sacrificial anode that protects the tank from corrosion.

This may shorten the life of your water heater, especially if you camp in hard water areas like the desert southwest.
 
How about if I use the Hott Rod in the place where the electrical heating element goes? That way the anode is still used. I also noticed that the newer suburban tanks are lined with porcelain.
 
The hott rod still needs 120 volts, and cost more than a replacement element from the hardware store.
 
SpencerPJ said:
I'd treat it as a separate dedicated line. Install a breaker, run a line to WH.  I also would install a WH on/off switch, should be available same place you get WH.  There are many installation sheets and videos on the web.  I would not cut corners, the electric element tends to draw a good amount of watts, and you don't want to under supply it with inadequate power.

I will second every one of those suggestions... Including the "DO NOT CUT CORNERS" warning.

NOTE; 14 Ga may be enough but I'd go with 12.. and another thing if yours is a 30 amp rig you might considering swappign the 1500 watt 120 volt element for a 1500 watt 240 volt element (375 watts at 120) less likely to trip the 30 amp breaker at the trade off of slower heat/re-heat.  You can always go to GAS if you need to reheat fast.. That's how I do it.
 

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