Electric Hot Water Heater Switch - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-31-2016, 03:03 PM   #31
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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.
That sounds like a good reason except for the fact that owners then put in their own switches for the electric as a mod. The question remains as to why Escape will not do the same thing some owners are doing.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:37 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
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.
That sounds like a good reason except for the fact that owners then put in their own switches for the electric as a mod. The question remains as to why Escape will not do the same thing some owners are doing.
The owner mods are putting a switch in the 120V AC supply circuit; the owner can't control the SW6DE with a 12V circuit any more than Escape could.

I agree that the what owners are doing could be done by Escape as well. The relay and 12V circuit to a different meter/switch panel may be too much of a variation from the stock design, but adding a switch to the 120V supply circuit is seems quite reasonable; I don't know why Escape won't do it.

At the same time, if the switch is located in a reasonably accessible cabinet location, it would also be straightforward for the owner (or anyone who can work with household 120V wiring) to re-route the stock water heater circuit and add a switch... as has already been done.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:42 PM   #33
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The inside switch is just an ordinary 120V AC switch with suitable capacity (which means a 15-amp 125V AC light switch) in the circuit which supplies the heater.

I have a question about this. I checked my breaker box and the 120V circuit for my 2-way SW6DE water heater is on a 30A breaker. I am not an electrician but doesn't that mean that this mod should use a switch rated to 30A as well?
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:55 PM   #34
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I have a simple solution, I leave my 120V switch on from spring to fall. Once your water system is charged the water heater will contain water, the water outlet is at the top of the tank so the 120V element will always stay submerged. The trick is remembering to turn the switch off, once a year in the fall when you drain the hot water tank. Then in the spring when you flush and charge the system turn the switch back on. Been doing this for years and never had a problem.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:15 PM   #35
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I have a simple solution, I leave my 120V switch on from spring to fall. Once your water system is charged the water heater will contain water, the water outlet is at the top of the tank so the 120V element will always stay submerged. The trick is remembering to turn the switch off, once a year in the fall when you drain the hot water tank. Then in the spring when you flush and charge the system turn the switch back on. Been doing this for years and never had a problem.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:17 PM   #36
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I have a question about this. I checked my breaker box and the 120V circuit for my 2-way SW6DE water heater is on a 30A breaker. I am not an electrician but doesn't that mean that this mod should use a switch rated to 30A as well?
A well informed person at ETI (the owner) told me that except for the A/C which is fed with 12 gauge wire (code requirement for 20 amps), all the 120v wiring is 14 gauge, which is rated for 15 amps. That would tell me that the water heater circuit is pulling less than 15 amps. I believe the element is rated at 1440 watts. Given the formula W=A x V, 1440 watts divided by 120 would indicate that the water heater draws @ 12 amps. That would seem to mean that a 12 amp appliance could safely be controlled by a 15 amp switch using a segment of 14 gauge wire. I am not, however, a licensed electrician so perhaps someone well versed in electrical requirements could confirm my calculation and statements. I am going to look at my power distribution panel. The main breaker should be 30 amps. It would seem to be unusual if there were a branch circuit, e.g., the water heater circuit rated the same as the main breaker. Are you absolutely certain that the water heater is controlled by a 30 amp breaker?

EDIT: I went out in the rain (Tropical Storm Hermine) and checked. My water heater is on a 15 amp breaker, and as Jim stated in a subsequent post, all branch circuits are 15 anp except for A/C which is 20.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:21 PM   #37
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I'm in total agreement with you Ian. I've left the outside switch on during camping session and turn it off only when I drain the tank to winterize. It gets turned back on after setup during 1st camping outing in the Spring. Easy Peezy!!!!
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:32 PM   #38
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The 30A breaker is the main breaker. Like Carl said, only the A/C is 20A, the rest 15A.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:43 PM   #39
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The 30A breaker is the main breaker. Like Carl said, only the A/C is 20A, the rest 15A.


Not in my 17B. Main at top is 30, and so is "HW ELEC" at bottom.

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Old 08-31-2016, 06:48 PM   #40
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Not in my 17B. Main at top is 30, and so is "HW ELEC" at bottom.
I would check into that, as I can't see them running 10g wire to the water heater. When I spliced a switch into mine and it was 14g. Others have too. You really should only have a 15A breaker there, I wonder if it was just an install error?
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