What the heck is this module? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-26-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
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What the heck is this module?

I'm in the process of opening up a wire path on the driver's side between the cabinet with the heater and the underside of the bed.

I'll be installing an interior switch for the hot water tank and a built-in electric heater.

Knelt down and looked along the area by the hot water heater to make sure that the 1" hole that I was about to drill wouldn't hit anything. Saw this white module tucked up out of the way. What is its' function?

Ron
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:34 PM   #2
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Interesting! It appears that the control board for the water heater is now mounted remotely. The wires from the box to the heater are visible in the photo, and a web search shows the board and plastic cover available as replacement parts.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian,

I'm a little surprised at that amount of circuity. Don't know what I was expecting in the way of electronics associated with the heater but not that much.

Glad I got down in an awkward position and looked along the rear of the panel before I drilled.

Ron
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:45 PM   #4
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My 2018 has this water heater control board mounted on a stud a few inches away from the water heater as well.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:47 PM   #5
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Better than needing to tear off the Styrofoam blanket to get to it underneath....
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I'm a little surprised at that amount of circuity. Don't know what I was expecting in the way of electronics associated with the heater but not that much.
It's almost the same as a furnace, with the bulkiest part being the high-voltage source for the direct spark ignition (DSI) and the rest being the driver for the ignition and the safety interlocks. Of course the water heater doesn't have the fan motor control.
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Old 10-26-2019, 08:38 PM   #7
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An Atwood water heater, equivalent to this Suburban, has the circuit board mounted on the outside face so it is completely accessible when the outside access door is opened... but that's a hotter and potentially wetter location, which may be why Suburban chose to mount it remotely. I've never heard of controls buried under the foam insulation jacket on any RV water heater - that would be an inappropriately hot place to put it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
An Atwood water heater, equivalent to this Suburban, has the circuit board mounted on the outside face so it is completely accessible when the outside access door is opened... but that's a hotter and potentially wetter location, which may be why Suburban chose to mount it remotely. I've never heard of controls buried under the foam insulation jacket on any RV water heater - that would be an inappropriately hot place to put it.
The Suburban hot water heater in my Casita had the control board mounted on top of the insulation - not under it. But still difficult to access. The way Suburban does it now is better - easier to get to when it dies. Hopefully with the voltage regulator I installed, it will have a longer life.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
with the bulkiest part being the high-voltage source for the direct spark ignition (DSI) and the rest being the driver for the ignition and the safety interlocks.
Good to know, forgot about the DSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I've never heard of controls buried under the foam insulation jacket on any RV water heater - that would be an inappropriately hot place to put it.
I feel the same way about the exterior on-off switch. The location isn't the best, not only for convenience but because it isn't the driest location around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
The way Suburban does it now is better - easier to get to when it dies. Hopefully with the voltage regulator I installed, it will have a longer life.
Based on your photo it looks like ETI has slightly shifted the location of the module so that it's further away from the hatch opening and higher. On mine I had to kneel down, stick my head right down into the opening and look sideways to see it.

There's been lot's of furnace issues etc. but I don't recall circuit boards for the water heaters failing. Has this been an issue?

Anyway, good to know where and what the module is if I ever have a problem.

Thanks

Ron
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