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Old 08-01-2021, 10:56 AM   #21
sourdough
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I had a power failure to my Suburban 12 gal. water heater and got a good immersion in figuring out how they work (had always had Atwood). All tests indicated that relay had failed and left it for warranty repair when I returned. After taking it in dealership told me everything worked fine....(right) so I bought, and have, a spare sitting in my box. In the course of that conversation the SM indicated to me that it was behind the front edge/side of the heater once you pulled it out. Don't know where yours is but that is what was told to me but figure like everything else on these things it might be anywhere - good luck.
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:56 PM   #22
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Of course I don't know about your WH but my Dometic/Atwood 6 gal water heater is plugged into a special outlet. The control toggle on the wall sends current to a solenoid (relay) inside that outlet box to allow 120 volts to the WH element. My relay looked smaller than the one shown.
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:58 PM   #23
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Found the relay online. Does anybody know where the factory located this relay? Any pics?its a suburban 12 gallon model.
I had to replace the rocker switch with two wires next to the hot water heater. Iím wondering if you could pull the outside rocker switch connect two wires and run a new line, disconnecting that switch completely. Iím asking because Iíve been kicking around the idea for sometime . Itís a hassle walking outside taking the hot water heater cover off and flip in the rocker switch.
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:18 PM   #24
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I had to replace the rocker switch with two wires next to the hot water heater. Iím wondering if you could pull the outside rocker switch connect two wires and run a new line, disconnecting that switch completely. Iím asking because Iíve been kicking around the idea for sometime . Itís a hassle walking outside taking the hot water heater cover off and flip in the rocker switch.


I've not found/seen a purpose for that switch and intend to do just that. The thing melted on the first trip we took in the new trailer so replaced it. Looking at the schematic it serves zero purpose other than a secondary switch to make sure you really, really want the water heater to operate on AC.

IMO the whole thing is set up just to complicate things; you have to have 120vac wired to the 12vdc relay. The switch inside has to be flipped to operate the relay and send 120vac, not to the water heater, but to the next switch inside the heater panel which then passes it on to the limit switches, element etc. Best I figure is that someone at Suburban was was feeling a little "testy" when they designed the layout and just wanted to add "one more thing" to see if they could aggravate an owner. JMO
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:44 PM   #25
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Mine also has a dedicated outlet to plug into above the heater. I know this because I had to figure out why it wouldn't run on electric? It was not plugged in from the factory!
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:57 PM   #26
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I contacted the manufacturer and asked them about how to add the relay option? They replied that a dealer could probably add the option but they could not give me any info on how to do it myself. So now I have found the part online but want to place it in the same location as the factory option to not void warranty.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:03 PM   #27
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I've not found/seen a purpose for that switch and intend to do just that. The thing melted on the first trip we took in the new trailer so replaced it. Looking at the schematic it serves zero purpose other than a secondary switch to make sure you really, really want the water heater to operate on AC.

IMO the whole thing is set up just to complicate things; you have to have 120vac wired to the 12vdc relay. The switch inside has to be flipped to operate the relay and send 120vac, not to the water heater, but to the next switch inside the heater panel which then passes it on to the limit switches, element etc. Best I figure is that someone at Suburban was was feeling a little "testy" when they designed the layout and just wanted to add "one more thing" to see if they could aggravate an owner. JMO

I'm guessing the idea is to save somebody from accidentally turning on hearing element without water in the tank. Also it can be used as a service switch when working on the water heater or draining the tank. Nobody inside the rv could accidentally turn power on while you are working.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:11 PM   #28
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I'm guessing the idea is to save somebody from accidentally turning on hearing element without water in the tank. Also it can be used as a service switch when working on the water heater or draining the tank. Nobody inside the rv could accidentally turn power on while you are working.
I have ran my water heater dry several time because of the inconvenient switch another flaw is when and if your pressure valve drips water on the gas shield onto the switch . I donít know anyone that would drain a hot water heater before flipping the breaker or disconnecting the power cord.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:27 PM   #29
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I have ran my water heater dry several time because of the inconvenient switch another flaw is when and if your pressure valve drips water on the gas shield onto the switch . I donít know anyone that would drain a hot water heater before flipping the breaker or disconnecting the power cord.
I have know plenty of people that would take rv out of storage and forget to make sure water is in the heater before plugging in. Just hooking up your water hose doesn't assure the tank is full of water..
maybe even some may hook up power before water? If the switch is left on you would fry the element before you realized it was happening.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:44 PM   #30
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I have know plenty of people that would take rv out of storage and forget to make sure water is in the heater before plugging in. Just hooking up your water hose doesn't assure the tank is full of water..
maybe even some may hook up power before water? If the switch is left on you would fry the element before you realized it was happening.


If you take that rationale further, why stop with 2 switches you know you have to operate to "make sure"? Why not 5, or 15? There's always someone dumber than the last guy so do we need a switch for each level of "dumbness" OR...have one switch, it turns it on and off. If you forget you burn up the element. Go buy another one. Can't figure it out? Buy a case of them but everyone doesn't have to have a dozen safety latches to get out the door! JMO
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:52 PM   #31
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I always figured I left the tank empty and plugged in. I would go to the suburban water heater and push the black reset buttons and it would come on after six years use I replaced the element. I research the reset button it’s for over heating of 180 Degrees. I always believed the reset button saved the element.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:21 PM   #32
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If you take that rationale further, why stop with 2 switches you know you have to operate to "make sure"? Why not 5, or 15? There's always someone dumber than the last guy so do we need a switch for each level of "dumbness" OR...have one switch, it turns it on and off. If you forget you burn up the element. Go buy another one. Can't figure it out? Buy a case of them but everyone doesn't have to have a dozen safety latches to get out the door! JMO
If its really too hard for you to remember to turn on 2 switches when you set up your rv, then maybe you should just leave the outside one on and pretend it doesn't even exsist! Maybe your perfect and don't make mistakes or you have unlimited funds to keep fixing them but I'm sure it has saved many people money by not having to replace the heating element over and over. Not everyone is perfect you know!
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:38 PM   #33
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If its really too hard for you to remember to turn on 2 switches when you set up your rv, then maybe you should just leave the outside one on and pretend it doesn't even exsist! Maybe your perfect and don't make mistakes or you have unlimited funds to keep fixing them but I'm sure it has saved many people money by not having to replace the heating element over and over. Not everyone is perfect you know!

Hold on there grasshopper! Didn't mean to step on your "feelers" but just pointed out the needless function an owner had to perform.

First, 2 switches to turn the water heater element on is wasted time, effort and actually...equipment. I can also easily remember there are 2 switches to that heater, and why they are there and what they do....hence my comments. I DO act as if it doesn't exist and leave it on....I CAN remember to turn the inside switch on/off and don't need 1, 2, 5 more switches to remind me or keep me "safe".....from myself?

Perfect? Yes, in my mind....but "she that knows" let's me know differently every chance she gets.
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:58 PM   #34
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I can’t speak to WHY the switch is there but there has to be a "valid" reason. There's no logical reason gor the manufacturer to spend the money gor a switch,bthe electrical wire terminals, and the labor just to "get their jollys by messing with people". I can’t find any logic in the theory that it's there to keep you from forgetting and burning up the element. As the switch doesn’t automatically turn off the only time that would prevent forgetfullness would be the initial use as There's nothing to make you remember to turn it off.

Fortunately our unit has 2 switches inside, 1 for gas, 1 for electric. So I just consider it another one of the "quirks " to deal with on an RV.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:03 PM   #35
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Hold on there grasshopper! Didn't mean to step on your "feelers" but just pointed out the needless function an owner had to perform.

First, 2 switches to turn the water heater element on is wasted time, effort and actually...equipment. I can also easily remember there are 2 switches to that heater, and why they are there and what they do....hence my comments. I DO act as if it doesn't exist and leave it on....I CAN remember to turn the inside switch on/off and don't need 1, 2, 5 more switches to remind me or keep me "safe".....from myself?

Perfect? Yes, in my mind....but "she that knows" let's me know differently every chance she gets.
Maybe they should only put one mirror on a car instead of 3. They all do the same thing. Why waste time to look at more than one? Think of all that wasted effort looking in more than one direction! All that wasted equipment.

These threads are posted from people looking for answers to problems they facing. Really don't need a bunch of personal opinions and bitching about what they don't like. Maybe if you don't have anything helpful to say, you should say anything st all?
Maybe you should start your own thread about why there are so many unnecessary switches?
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:27 PM   #36
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I canít speak to WHY the switch is there but there has to be a "valid" reason. There's no logical reason gor the manufacturer to spend the money gor a switch,bthe electrical wire terminals, and the labor just to "get their jollys by messing with people". I canít find any logic in the theory that it's there to keep you from forgetting and burning up the element. As the switch doesnít automatically turn off the only time that would prevent forgetfullness would be the initial use as There's nothing to make you remember to turn it off.

Fortunately our unit has 2 switches inside, 1 for gas, 1 for electric. So I just consider it another one of the "quirks " to deal with on an RV.
As an electrician, I can wee the value in the outside switch for troubleshooting and safety while working on the unit. Being able to turn on/off while diagnosing or working on the unit and not worrying about someone being able to turn on power while your working. It actually may be a code thing. Generally electric equipment is required to have a service disconnect within 50' and sight. This means the breaker andbswitch inside would not count. Like you said there must be a reason. Maybe this is it or maybe its something else.
Also it is much easier to remember to turn that switch off when you have to be at that location to drain the tank.
I'm thinking the the reason mine has the switch wired i side but doesn't do anything is because of a supply shortage. They just ran out of the del models and substituted the de model leaving nowhere to wire the switch at the water heater side. Ive been seeing more and more of these shortages affecting many industries lately.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:32 PM   #37
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Maybe they should only put one mirror on a car instead of 3. They all do the same thing. Why waste time to look at more than one? Think of all that wasted effort looking in more than one direction! All that wasted equipment.

These threads are posted from people looking for answers to problems they facing. Really don't need a bunch of personal opinions and bitching about what they don't like. Maybe if you don't have anything helpful to say, you should say anything st all?
Maybe you should start your own thread about why there are so many unnecessary switches?

I'm sorry you seem to have issues with a discussion about the switches on a Suburban water heater. But the highlighted above;

3 mirrors on a vehicle and they all do the same thing...only need one. Of course that is absurd, they all give different angles and views. Why look at more than one - well, that little old lady walking behind your vehicle that your left mirror doesn't show that you just ran over....that's the reason there are 3....or more, and....cameras!

I think you asked a question about your water heater operation and you have no idea how it works or how to verify it. That's fine and we try to help with that. The conversation morphed, as I'm sure you followed, to comments about that type of water heater operation. Observations and comments were made about how "some" of the Suburban heaters used a secondary switch (DLE? as I recall). You don't know so can't elaborate.

I made a comment about the unnecessary additions of switches on the heater and the issues they caused. You then attacked me personally for pointing out they were useless - and, yes that switch on the outside is useless if you have the relay and inside 12v switch....just look at the schematic.

Whether you like the switch, feel you need more switches or whatever is your opinion; I think it's a waste of time. I didn't however attack you because you thought they were a safety measure....whether needed or not.

You carry on with your water heater quest. You might do some due diligence up front as I believe some Suburbans came with the secondary switch and some not depending on model.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:10 PM   #38
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I'm sorry you seem to have issues with a discussion about the switches on a Suburban water heater. But the highlighted above;

3 mirrors on a vehicle and they all do the same thing...only need one. Of course that is absurd, they all give different angles and views. Why look at more than one - well, that little old lady walking behind your vehicle that your left mirror doesn't show that you just ran over....that's the reason there are 3....or more, and....cameras!

I think you asked a question about your water heater operation and you have no idea how it works or how to verify it. That's fine and we try to help with that. The conversation morphed, as I'm sure you followed, to comments about that type of water heater operation. Observations and comments were made about how "some" of the Suburban heaters used a secondary switch (DLE? as I recall). You don't know so can't elaborate.

I made a comment about the unnecessary additions of switches on the heater and the issues they caused. You then attacked me personally for pointing out they were useless - and, yes that switch on the outside is useless if you have the relay and inside 12v switch....just look at the schematic.

Whether you like the switch, feel you need more switches or whatever is your opinion; I think it's a waste of time. I didn't however attack you because you thought they were a safety measure....whether needed or not.

You carry on with your water heater quest. You might do some due diligence up front as I believe some Suburbans came with the secondary switch and some not depending on model.
Well you obviously can only see one side of a situation. Just like the mirrors there are many reasons to have 2 switches. You just refuse to see any view but your own. As far as two models, I am very aware that there are two different ones. My post was to find out how to make the switch functional instead of a dummy that does nothing labeled electric water heater. Like I also said before, most use this site to get some knowledge and facts about what there asking. You just seem to feel the need to force your opinions and views on all of us with no real info about what the post was asking. You have wasted enough of my time with your comments on this thread. I will not be responding to you anymore!
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:21 AM   #39
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The open or "capped orange wire would have been connected to a remote relay that you would find inside that metal junction box.. IF the relay was installed...

without the remote relay that switch inside the RV for the "electric" side heating element will do nothing

https://www.dyersonline.com/suburban...ter-relay.html
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:39 AM   #40
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The open or "capped orange wire would have been connected to a remote relay that you would find inside that metal junction box.. IF the relay was installed...

without the remote relay that switch inside the RV for the "electric" side heating element will do nothing

https://www.dyersonline.com/suburban...ter-relay.html
Thank you. That is exactly what I needed to know. I have already found the relay and wiring diagram just didn't know where the relay should be located. The switch is already installed and wire ran to the heater. Now it is an easy fix. And to factory standards.
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