2-Way water heater on 21' - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-10-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
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2-Way water heater on 21'

We currently have a 2-way water heater on our Casita and are considering the same for our 21' Escape. The thing I'm not crazy about is having to go outside to turn the electric element on or off. I've seen bigger RVs that have both the propane and electric water heater switches inside the RV, so I'm wanting to do something similar with my Escape.

I'd like to run the power from the breaker to a 120V switch with indicator light, like the one in the picture I've attached, and then to the water heater. This way, I can just leave the outside switch on and use the inside switches to control whether I'm using propane or electric.

I asked ETI if they would do this during my build, but they said "no". So I'm wondering if there is easy access for me to be able to do this myself. Can anybody with a 21' tell me if there's easy access to be able to disconnect the romex from the water heater and reroute the wire to where I want to put the switch (hoping the wire would be long enough to reach somewhere near the existing water heater propane switch), and then run a wire back to the water heater. Or, if I have access to run some 14/3 from the switch location to the power center, I can make my connections there - from breaker to the switch, then back where I'd wire nut the switched hot to the hot going to the water heater.

Is this something easy to get to under the dinette seating? I'm not even sure where the propane water heater switch is - under the dinette seating on the fridge side, I think?
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File Type: jpg Switch_with_Indicator_Light.jpg (16.2 KB, 9 views)
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
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Water heater is under the bed. I think it would be easy to do if its o.k. to put the switch in the the bed platform, but I'm no electrician...
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
Water heater is under the bed. I think it would be easy to do if its o.k. to put the switch in the the bed platform, but I'm no electrician...
If I recall correctly, a number of members have added an inside switch. You might find it doing a search. I recall pictures and location discussion.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
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The water heater switch is located on the "night stand" side closest to the bed. There is a 120V outlet and the standard Suburban switch. It would be simple to wire as the water heater is under the bed and you can get access to the rear of the night stand via removing the drawers.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:29 PM   #5
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Thanks everybody. This definitely sounds like it would be pretty easy, so I think I'll put the 2-way water heater back on my build sheet and put in the switch myself.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:51 PM   #6
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I did that mod 4 years ago, where I added a switch to the line to my water heater, and now just leave the heater switch on, and use the added switch to turn it off, or on.

Water Heater Indicator lights and 120V Switch.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:00 AM   #7
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... and now just leave the heater switch on, and use the added switch to turn it off, or on.
Thanks Jim. Yeah, that's what I'm planning on doing too.

I also like the idea of putting an indicator light on the normal water heater switch.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #8
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I added a "switch loop" by running a length of #12 Romex between the water heater breaker & a switch I installed next to the gas water heater switch. I did not include a light - I don't want it glowing all night if I leave it on & am connected to a pedestal.

Two reasons for the addition - I rarely shut it off - I only switch it off when I'm running the AC & am connected to a 15 Amp campground connection. The second reason - If you have ever had to replace the switch that is built into the water heater, you won't want to do it again. A difficult job, particularly if the failure burned up the connections so the crimp terminals had to be replaced.
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