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Old 05-26-2017, 08:11 AM   #1
LJY
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Amps on 2-way water heater?

our electric mode of the water heater didn't work in a 15-amp site.
I'm observing it use 25+ amps here at a 30-amp site... which seems really high.

How much amps should our new 17 water heater draw in electric mode?

Btw, is our furnace propane only? and our AC unit without heater mode?

I remember the AC unit in our rentals previously can provide heat without using propane...
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:37 AM   #2
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A look at the HW fuse or breaker it might give you a close idea on amps. I'm pretty sure the furnace is propane only I don't think there is an electric element in there in addition to the burner. Yes , the roof a/c can have an electric heater element in there if you order that option to run off 110v. The reviews here said it was wimpy so i passed on it for a ceramic heater. Hopefully someone will chime in with more specific info
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:39 AM   #3
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Around 12 amps for the water heater

Propane and 12 volt fan on furnace, A/C has no heat mode.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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Amp users

Amp users that can be using power without you particularly knowing it, and thus giving you high readings, include: the refrigerator, if you have put. It on 110/120 while parked, the converter which uses 110/120 to charge your battery when you first connect up and then periodically thereafter. The microwave is, of course a big user, but you would know when that's on.
When on a 15 or even 20 amp connection, you really need to watch your meter to see what's using some power, and I turn off the electric water heater because it's too much trouble to guard against over use.
The switch on my 2014 is outside at the water heater. If yours is the same, the on/off switch is nearly impossible to see, but it's there. Get someone to show you, or take a flashlight. New models may have an electric water heater switch indoors. Mine only had the water heater gas switch indoors.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:43 AM   #5
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As stated, check the circuit breaker and the switch on the water heater which is in the lower left corner after you open the outside hatch. It is reversed in that you have to push the bottom of the switch to turn it on and the top to turn it off. Hopefully, you filled the water heater before turning it on because if you didn't, the electric element self destructs in a heartbeat if not immersed in water. If that is the case, the element is around $15, and you need a large socket (can't remember the size). Takes a few minutes to change because it is behind the burner assembly, but there is a You Tube video on how to change the Suburban water heater's electric element.
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Amp users that can be using power without you particularly knowing it, and thus giving you high readings, include: the refrigerator, if you have put. It on 110/120 while parked, the converter which uses 110/120 to charge your battery when you first connect up and then periodically thereafter. The microwave is, of course a big user, but you would know when that's on.
When on a 15 or even 20 amp connection, you really need to watch your meter to see what's using some power, and I turn off the electric water heater because it's too much trouble to guard against over use.
The switch on my 2014 is outside at the water heater. If yours is the same, the on/off switch is nearly impossible to see, but it's there. Get someone to show you, or take a flashlight. New models may have an electric water heater switch indoors. Mine only had the water heater gas switch indoors.
Bill
The NEC requires a disconnect / work switch / unit switch "in sight" ( visible and within 50 ft ) of the water heater ( Electric Water heater 120 / 240 VAC) A switch inside the trailer would not satisfy this requirement .Removing the heating element from the water heater requires a 1 1/2" socket wrench.
The heating element is 1440 watts or less so the maximum current draw is 12 amps .
We have the strip heater in our A/C unit and it works well in temps down to 20 Deg F.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:07 AM   #7
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Maintain those heat strips if you have them in your A/C. They can collect dust. I have an acquaintance with a Scamp who had the heat strips. Fortunately, they were sitting at the dinette and not sleeping when the heat strips started a fire. They were able to put it out with a fire extinguisher with only minor damage. He thought dust build-up was the cause.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LJY View Post
our electric mode of the water heater didn't work in a 15-amp site.
The water heater doesn't "know" what the capacity of the site is. If you are using too much current for the campground's 15-amp circuit, that breaker will trip off and you won't have power for anything... so it's all or nothing.

Some RVs have electrical management systems which can be set for the service capacity and turn individual circuits off as required to control the total current used... but that's rare in RVs with 30-amp capacity, and an Escape doesn't have one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJY View Post
I'm observing it use 25+ amps here at a 30-amp site... which seems really high.
  • refrigerator: depends on model, but the heating element might be around 120 watts or only one amp of 120 volt AC power
  • converter: Escape uses a 55 amp output converter, so that's about 6 amps of 120 volt AC input at the very most
  • microwave: the model changes occasionally, but 10 to 12 amps is possible
It's hard to get to 25 amps of 120 volt AC power without running two major heating appliances, such as the water heater, space heater, kettle//toaster/etc, or microwave.

I assume that this current reading is coming from the Progressive EMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJY View Post
Btw, is our furnace propane only? and our AC unit without heater mode?

I remember the AC unit in our rentals previously can provide heat without using propane...
The furnace is definitely propane-only; I've never heard of a North American RV furnace with an electric option, and certainly the Atwood used by Escape doesn't have one.

The "heat strip" which is available in some air conditioners is separate from the furnace, although perhaps the shared thermostat could turn both or either on.
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:46 AM   #9
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Thanks all! Is there a good and safe electric portable heater people use?
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The NEC requires a disconnect / work switch / unit switch "in sight" ( visible and within 50 ft ) of the water heater ( Electric Water heater 120 / 240 VAC) A switch inside the trailer would not satisfy this requirement
Can't there be both an outside switch and an inside switch? And meet that rule?
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