Suburban SAW6DE vs SW6DEL

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Yavne

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This is my second post about the hot water - Atwood GC6AA-10E (110v and propane)
It has a leak, tested it a number of times cannot identify the problem... (leaking with hot water only)

I talked to a number of local RV dealers, they mentioned there is a direct replacement for the Atwood (the same size, the same electric connectors, door...)
The models I got from dealers: SAW6DE and 5240a.

I came across this model on Amazon - Suburban 5240A 5240A SW6DEL W/H 6 Gal DSI/Elec
Could you please help me to understand what is the difference between SAW6DE vs SW6DEL?

Thank you!
 
SW6 is a standard Suburban, you will need a SAW6DE or DEL as the A stands for Advantage, meaning a replacement for the Atwood. DO NOT get the SW6 models, they are not correct size and shape.

Show us how you turn your Atwood on, pics please.

If you turn on your Atwood with a single control panel, two switches and a lamp, then you need the SAW6DEL as the DEL has a relay that is 12v controlled and switches the 120v AC on and off at the heater when you operate the rocker switch in the RV.

The SAW6DE model does not have any ability to turn the 120v heat element on from inside the RV, you are expected to go outside and open the door and press the rocker switch on the lower LH side of the heater to switch on the element.

And no, the Suburban does not use the original door, it requires a special door, available in several colors. And hookups are the same but different, as the 12v wire colors are not the same and you will as dozens before you have, be back here asking what red, or blue, or green or orange connects to.

When you cut the wires, leave some of the Atwood wire on the RV side, that way we can say, take the white Atwood wire and connect it to the whatever suburban wire.

An alternative is to buy the Dometic water heater and the conversion kit with side filler plates and a special door.

Charles
 
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SW6 is a standard Suburban, you will need a SAW6DE or DEL as the A stands for Advantage, meaning a replacement for the Atwood. DO NOT get the SW6 models, they are not correct size and shape.

Show us how you turn your Atwood on, pics please.

If you turn on your Atwood with a single control panel, two switches and a lamp, then you need the SAW6DEL as the DEL has a relay that is 12v controlled and switches the 120v AC on and off at the heater when you operate the rocker switch in the RV.

The SAW6DE model does not have any ability to turn the 120v heat element on from inside the RV, you are expected to go outside and open the door and press the rocker switch on the lower LH side of the heater to switch on the element.

And no, the Suburban does not use the original door, it requires a special door, available in several colors. And hookups are the same but different, as the 12v wire colors are not the same and you will as dozens before you have, be back here asking what red, or blue, or green or orange connects to.

When you cut the wires, leave some of the Atwood wire on the RV side, that way we can say, take the white Atwood wire and connect it to the whatever suburban wire.

An alternative is to buy the Dometic water heater and the conversion kit with side filler plates and a special door.

Charles

Hi Charles,

Appreciate the detailed answer!! My understanding I will need SAW6DEL model, based on the images below, is that correct?

BTW, both dealers told me it will have the exact same electric connectors and I will be able to use the same door :) I knew it won't...



IMG_9162.jpg


IMG_8913.jpg
 
My understanding I will need SAW6DEL model, based on the images below, is that correct?
That Atwood is nice and clean. The aluminum tank can be welded if you find the leak.

Suburban brochure

Suburban catalog, see page 12 of 16, below the second red line for door part numbers.

SUBURBAN ADVANTAGE DIRECT FIT UPGRADE WATER HEATER DOORS
6279APW - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Polar White | 6279AEB - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Black | 6279AAW - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Arctic White

You are correct, you need the SAW6DEL. There are no connectors, the wires simply splice together individually. Long story I won't get into but I was changing the switching of my Atwood and I installed a 4 pin Molex connector, so If I ever had to unplug the wires to get them out of the way, it was simply a matter of plugging them back up, no guessing.

Your trailers wiring may or may not conform to the Atwood colors. You may find that when you go to remove it, that you have different color wires connected to the Atwood's wires.

Atwood wires are Blue for the fault light, White is the Electric control, Orange is the gas control, and Green is the ground.

If you cut your wires so a little bit of those colors stay with the RV wiring, then you will take the Atwood colors and mate them to the new heater as follows.

THIS IS FOR THE DEL MODEL!!!!!!

Atwood Blue goes to the Suburban Blue
Atwood Orange goes to Suburban Red
Atwood White goes to Suburban Orange
Atwood Green goes to Suburban Green

1718493737775.png

Charles
 
That Atwood is nice and clean. The aluminum tank can be welded if you find the leak.

I wish I could fix it... I tested it a number of times, it leaks only when the heater is on. And even in this case, it's not crazy, just a few drops of water. I consider to put something (some kind of box) underneath the HW tank for upcoming trip (4 days).

I removed the HW tank, was expecting to see some damage, but wasn't able to find anything. I guess this is so tiny, so I cannot see it (btw, I don't think I've mentioned before, I didn't empty the water tank properly last fall, so it was full with water all winter).

The bottom side of the tank. I see the water drops somewhere in the center of the tank:

2024-06-15 23_04_00-Photo - Google Photos.png
 
THIS IS FOR THE DEL MODEL!!!!!!

Atwood Blue goes to the Suburban Blue
Atwood Orange goes to Suburban Red
Atwood White goes to Suburban Orange
Atwood Green goes to Suburban Green



Charles

Thanks again! Just to confirm, we're talking about these wires (image below), right?

When you're saying Atwood blue/orange/etc., do you mean the wire that comes from the switch, correct?

02.png
 
The Atwood colors I am referring to are those colors that come from the water heater itself. It appears that in your case, the RV manufacturer actually used the proper/same color wires from the splices back to the switch (which is unusual). Usually you will find odd colors, inconsistent with the proper Atwood (or Suburban) colors. That is why I try to specify the water heater manufacturer colors, and not get into what the RV manufacturer may have used.

We've had a number of these atwood to suburban water heater discussions on this forum (and other forums) in the past couple of years, and I think yours is the first one I have ever seen that had the same colors from switch to water heater. RV manufacturers use what they have on hand, not what should be used!

Yours will be easy.
Charles
 
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On my trailer, I didn't change water heaters, I simply was consolidating all of the switches in one place, as the gas switch and fault light were on the stove hood, and the switch for the electric was four or five feet away. This pic is just FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY, to show you the wire color differences between the RV manufacturer (Bigfoot Industries, in BC) and Atwood, which is extremely common. I added the Molex connector.

Charles
 

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We've had a number of these atwood to suburban water heater discussions on this forum (and other forums) in the past couple of years, and I think yours is the first one I have ever seen that had the same colors from switch to water heater. RV manufacturers use what they have on hand, not what should be used!

Yours will be easy.
Charles

good, thank you!
 
We've had a number of these atwood to suburban water heater discussions on this forum (and other forums) in the past couple of years, and I think yours is the first one I have ever seen that had the same colors from switch to water heater. RV manufacturers use what they have on hand, not what should be used!

Yours will be easy.
Charles

Charles, looks like the dealer is going to get the WH next week, just a day before our trip. Probably I won't have time to install it before that trip.
Can you see any potential issue using the existing WH with minor leak (for 4 days)?
I could install disposable aluminum pans to collect all the water. This is a temporary solution, until I get back home.
 
You will just have to keep a close eye on it and keep the system depressurized when you are not using it. Shut off the pump or city water and open a faucets (hot and cold) to depressurize it.

The Dometic web site is currently showing a replacement tank and insulation kit for the 6 gal Atwood. Its not a lot of work if you are handy. Don't know if you would save any money but you would have the good old Atwood aluminum tank water heater (I am not a fan of the porcelain lined steel tanks of the Suburban) and you would get to keep the adjustable air flow to the burner (neither Dometic nor Suburban are adjustable)

Dometic Inner Water Heater Tank Kit

Apparently available thru Dometic dealers. Internet shows it out of stock everywhere. Cannot imagine Dometic would keep it on their site if it was discontinued. There are two black sleeves that lightly press onto the flame tube ends and they are easily installed with a piece of large PVC pipe the right size and a mallet.

part_9108873681_96215.png


Charles
 
Apparently available thru Dometic dealers. Internet shows it out of stock everywhere. Cannot imagine Dometic would keep it on their site if it was discontinued. There are two black sleeves that lightly press onto the flame tube ends and they are easily installed with a piece of large PVC pipe the right size and a mallet.

I talked to a number of RV dealers, no one has it in stock or don't see an option to get it (atwood tank replacement). But, some small RV service shop have it in stock!! The price for the tank is $660 CAD and suburban water heater is $860 CAD.

Does it make sense to get just the tank for 80% of the whole system?

Thank you!
 

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