Hot water heater element-cost to replace? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-11-2019, 02:14 AM   #1
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Hot water heater element-cost to replace?

I wish I was asking for a friend, but I'm not. A few weeks ago, after a long haul, we got into our campground and I thought I had filled the water tank with a hose. In a hard-of-thinking moment, and without checking if the HW tank was full, I turned on the electric water heating element and of course burned it out.

It's a 2014 Escape 21 with the Suburban electric and propane water heating system. I believe the replacement element's part number is SW6DE.

Could someone who has a friend who has made the same mistake please tell me roughly how much the repair should cost, parts and labour, at a reliable RV shop?

Thanks for any information.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:45 AM   #2
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If you have it done at a shop it would depend on the individual so itself, but it should not be expensive. It is a fairly easy job to do yourself, takes about an hour to do, and the element can be bought at most hardware stores for about $15.

We had one fail on our 19 many years ago.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:26 AM   #3
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Taking Jims numbers, if it takes an hour the shop will charge something like $120 labor, and the $15 part will cost $45, $165.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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This is the part you need.

suburban part # 520789
https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-5207.../dp/B003G9G4X4
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
This is the part you need.

suburban part # 520789
https://www.amazon.com/Suburban-5207.../dp/B003G9G4X4
Home Depot, Lowes, Canadian Tire, and lots of local shops all sell them. They are a very common element for electric water heaters. There is a bit of a variety of wattage, but lots of what one needs.

Oh yeah, time to go shopping at the BORG, add another hour.

The job would take no more than 15 minutes, but you do have to move the gas line out of the way and put it back, an easy job, just takes time.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
We had one fail on our 19 many years ago.
The reason for the fail was the switch on the tank was left on by me when I winterized, and in the spring after I brought the trailer home to prep for the first trip, had not filled it with water before Lisa plugged it in to start the fridge cooling. This was why I added the switch with on light inside on our 19, and then added the switch on the control panel in our 5.0TA to easily turn it on or off and clearly see when it was on.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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Been there done that. Part is less than fifteen dollars Canadian at Home Depot. You also need an inch and a half socket or the tool sold at HD as well. Pretty easy and about 15 minutes of your time.

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Old 10-11-2019, 09:19 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips, everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
The reason for the fail was the switch on the tank was left on by me when I winterized, and in the spring after I brought the trailer home to prep for the first trip, had not filled it with water before Lisa plugged it in to start the fridge cooling. This was why I added the switch with on light inside on our 19, and then added the switch on the control panel in our 5.0TA to easily turn it on or off and clearly see when it was on.
As always, I appreciate the expertise and generosity that abound on this site.

Great suggestion to wire in an indicator light and switch, Jim.

Brent.
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