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Old 08-31-2016, 10:44 AM   #21
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Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if any work done like that, no matter how it is done, is said to void the warranty. (With the SW6DE, not the SW6DEL because they sell the SW6DEL)
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:53 AM   #22
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Since the relay is installed outside of the heater, it doesn't affect the warranty at all. You are not modifying the heater - just adding an external part. The only warranty problem would be with the replacement KIB panel and that would be with Escape.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Since the relay is installed outside of the heater, it doesn't affect the warranty at all. You are not modifying the heater - just adding an external part. The only warranty problem would be with the replacement KIB panel and that would be with Escape.
If it is connected to the heater, then they can probably say that it voids the warranty. I don't know if they say that though. Maybe not.

Freezing weather hoses are sold and those companies say that using any extension cord voids their warranty. That is not a change to their product either. Connecting something up to a product that the company says cannot be used with it often voids warranties. A lot of companies just do not allow any changes.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:02 AM   #24
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Freezing weather hoses are sold and those companies say that using any extension cord voids their warranty. That is not a change to their product either.
That is because an extension cord causes a voltage drop and increased current - which can cause the device to fail.

Adding the relay cannot void the warranty unless the relay catches fire and burns the side of the heater (I plan to mount the relay in the same location as it's mounted on the SW6DEL). As the relay is the same one Surburban uses, that is unlikely.
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:15 AM   #25
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If the company says the warranty is void and will not fix the heater, not a big expense. People have made very minor additions or changes to their refrigerators only to find that the company said the warranty was void, and then they would not fix a non-working refrigerator.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:31 PM   #26
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They are using the SW6DE. Maybe that is why they won't do the electric switches.
Thanks for the model confirmation. That's why Escape can't wire a 12V DC control switch for electric heating - the electric heating in this model is not controlled by a 12V DC circuit.

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The other component I planned to install is the Suburban Water Heater Relay no. 232948 , Suburban Water Heater Relay, 232948

The relay connects between the 120v supply and the heater - see the wiring diagram for the 12v and 120v connections. This should meet any code requirements as it matches the SW6DEL.
Good find
Yes, I agree, that provides exactly the functionality of the SW6DEL with a SW6DE. It would allow you to use the integrated switch panel, and only require light-gauge 12V wiring to the panel location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Since the relay is installed outside of the heater, it doesn't affect the warranty at all. You are not modifying the heater - just adding an external part. The only warranty problem would be with the replacement KIB panel and that would be with Escape.
I agree, and the same applies to a manual switch in the circuit. While Airxcel (Suburban) could make bizarre and irrational requirements for the circuit which supplies the water heater, they don't in the SW6DEL manual. This is their requirement, from the installation manual for the SWxDEL:
Quote:
The electrical connections must be made in accordance with local codes and regulations. In the absence of local codes and regulations, refer to the latest edition of the National Electrical Code NFPA 70. In Canada, the electrical installation should conform with CSA standard CAN/ CSA Z240.6.2-08/C22.2 No. 148-08. Electrical requirements for Recreational Vehicles and CSA C22.1 Canadian Electrical Code Part 1 when installing the unit in recreational vehicles and mobile homes respectively.
So use a proper switch, instead of just twisting the wires together when you want heat.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:37 PM   #27
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" unless the relay catches fire and burns the side of the heater..." It does say made in China. who knows.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:38 PM   #28
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Some companies will give you grief for just about anything.

Domestic refused to replace a bad thermostat in my RM 2510 refrigerator because I added an internal LED light strip. Not attached in any way to the works of the refrigerator (the strip is glued to the inside along the edge & a magnetic switch glued to the side & door). Power from a separate 12V circuit.

I probably could have fought it, but I was in a hurry & paid for the repair.

Oh, and as to adding an extension cord to the cold weather hose, any increased resistance will LOWER the current (it is a resistive load) so I suspect their concern is reduced wattage not providing enough heat to prevent freezing...
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:55 PM   #29
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I suspect that the extension cord concern is that an overloaded cord will overheat and cause a fire, which might be blamed on the device (in this case a heated hose)... but inadequate power could be a concern, too.

Apply this to the water heater: does the heater manufacturer specify the wire gauge, length, and type of switches or other devices for every step of the power path from the generating station to the input terminals of the heater? No - they say connect it to 120V AC power following appropriate standards, because as long as your circuit supplies power and doesn't burn up, it doesn't matter to them.

I agree that you could even just flip the breaker, but that's not very convenient and breakers wear out when used frequently as switches. I agree with the point which is simply that whatever is suitable in a 120V AC branch circuit can be ahead of the water heater, and that includes switches.

Add any reasonable switch you want to the circuit supplying the water heater, such as Jon's light switch, or the proposed relay.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Oh, and as to adding an extension cord to the cold weather hose, any increased resistance will LOWER the current (it is a resistive load) so I suspect their concern is reduced wattage not providing enough heat to prevent freezing...
Oops, and I have a degree in Electrical Engineering. Basic Ohms law always trumps. I was thinking of an inductive load like a motor.
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