On/Off Hot Water Heater Switch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-18-2010, 12:27 AM   #1
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We have an electric hot water heater and the on/off switch is on the side of it under the sink - I read a thread a long itme ago where someone replaced the switch with a lighted on/off switch run to the outside of the cabinet. Has anyone done something like this? or know where the thread is?
thanks!
Diane D

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:47 AM   #2
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Well, there's this topic. Some good info by Greg Finke and peterh:
Water heater on / off switch?, Is there a switch?

Hope this helps, if not, we'll looking again!
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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My Atwood water heater has the switch mounted on the outside of the cabinet in my 16' Scamp.
The switch is listed separately in the Atwood manual parts list.

Bill K
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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this looks like just what I was looking for - how did you find it?

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Old 03-19-2010, 06:27 AM   #5
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this looks like just what I was looking for - how did you find it?
Are you asking me?

If so, I searched using this: +heater +switch
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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Yes, thanks for the info - I need to practice searching! That link will be very helpful as that is what I want to do.

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:05 AM   #7
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I am still trying to find a switch for my hot water heater in our new to us Bigfoot [17 foot trailer]. There is a switch to the right of the "kitchen" counter [behind the seat...but it doesn't appear to operate anything. Could this be a faulty switch for the water heater? Or for turning on the outside door light?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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It's hard to guess what a switch might do without a lot more information. Even the year of your rig might help out.

When we sold our Lil' BigFoot last week I had to do a lot or remembering just to figure out what the switches I installed myself in the past year did. It didn't help that one I installed was a "spare" and didn't do anything.

Anyway, about your water heater switch. As electric water heaters are very rare in any RV, tell us that you heater actually looks like. My suspicion is that is might be an electric start LP water heater, but those usually have an indicator light in the panel next to the switch. If it is an all-electric water heater I would suspect it is something a p.o. added at which point we would only be guessing.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:43 PM   #9
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I have to wonder how many people are flipping a switch (close to the sink) thinking it's a hot water switch when in practice it's the water pump switch???
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki NICKELL View Post
I am still trying to find a switch for my hot water heater in our new to us Bigfoot [17 foot trailer]. There is a switch to the right of the "kitchen" counter [behind the seat...but it doesn't appear to operate anything. Could this be a faulty switch for the water heater? Or for turning on the outside door light?
I know the switch you speak of and in my (what I believe is quite stock) 1988 Bigfoot it powers the spotlight on the front of the exterior. My water heater is propane and is only operated from the exterior.

My switch for powering the outside door light is inside to the left of the door (facing in). The light receptacle itself has a switch also.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Again, keep in mind that not all water heaters have the electric start feature. The new one we recently installed in our Lil' Bigfoot was a manual pilot model, but the two we installed last year were both electric start.

As far as I have seen, electric start water heaters will always have a red indicator light incorporated with the control switch panel.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Bob you are right the switch does have a red light. Some trailers have the water pump switch near the sink.
Chuck
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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The electric switch on that little control panel is only for the propane side of the HWH. It does not light up at all if you are on shore power electrical supply,(i.e. using the electrical element for heating water,) so please don't rely on it as an indicator of power because it doesn't light up on electric.

The light on the little panel only lights up during the initial ignition cycle (again I mention- only when on propane,) and then it too goes out after the propane burner ignites. It doesn't stay on all the time. After about 30 seconds it goes out if the propane burner ignites correctly, so you wouldn't even know whether your propane was on or not from looking at the light.

There is an additional "mod" which many of us have done that entails installing a small led light, (this is an additional "owner installed" after-market led, not to be confused with the existing factory-installed one already on the panel,) onto the wiring terminals behind the propane switch. It would allow you to know that your propane is on whenever it is switched on for propane water heating.


In the photo, the extra LED is installed below the existing switch panel, identified by the two skinny black and red wires:
The red wire from the led goes to the red terminal and the black wire from the led goes to the green terminal which will illuminate the led whenever the switch is in the "on" position. If you get a couple of double to single push on connectors, available at most auto parts stores, you won't have to cut any wires to install it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:55 PM   #14
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Not all electric start water heaters have the 120VAC element for shore power.

In the case of the several I have installed, they were LP only and the light worked the same, be it converter or battery powered.
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