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Old 08-23-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default control panel switch problem

Hello, I have a 2001 29ft classic. On the control panel that has the switch's for reefer fan, propane hot water, electric hot water, plus a host of others along with tank/battery levels, the hot water electric switch stays lite no matter switch position. I thought the switch was probably bad, bought a new switch and replaced and no light at all, but the hot water heater still heats water in both positions. Anybody have any ideas what to look at next?
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:42 PM   #2
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Hi, jimm - Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but you say the hot water heater is NOW heating (on gas and electric) and the light is out, is that correct? If so, it seems to me the system is working as it's supposed to. The light should come on and stay on if the gas function FAILS to light. I don't believe it should light at all if you're trying to heat water electrically.

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Old 08-23-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply, I'm kind of frustrated as to what to do. There are 2 switches, one to turn the electric element of the hw heater on/off and another for the propane on the hw heater to be on/off. The electric switch is lighted all the time in both the on and the off position, and the water is heating whenever plugged in to shore power. I'm able to shut off the hot water heater only with the breaker in the cabinet. The switch is on all the time. The old switch is lighted all the time, the new (replacement) illuminated switch will not light but the h/w heater still heats up the water in either position. Hopefully I'm explaining it ok.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:32 AM   #4
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OK, your setup is different than mine (not surprising since mine is 2007). I also have 2 switches, but neither has a light. The light for gas not igniting is between them.

So, I wonder if a prior owner did a bad wiring job on yours? The electric should most certainly not heat the tank if the switch is off. That's a good way to burn the element out if the tank is empty. AND, since the switch itself lights, I'd say it should be lit when turned on, and not lit when turned off. That just about makes me think the gas switch should be lit when gas is turned on to heat too. And, it should be unlit when turned off.

I haven't been able to find a wiring diagram that shows that setup. But, this kind of switch is commonly found in an automotive store, such as Checker, Pep Boys, etc. It's a lighted rocker switch. It would probably come with wiring instructions that show how to connect the light DC feed and the circuit you are controlling. It is probably a DPST kind of switch.

I'm going to guess you could look at the wiring colors at the hot water tank to figure out which wires at the switch end turns on the heating for electric and gas. I believe the ground (at the tank) will be white for both. There would probably be identical wires at each switch position. There would also be a battery feed for each switch and I suspect they would have a common, but different color than the ones at the tank. A third wire you should see at the switch area would be for the lights.

It's also possible the OEM switches were never lit in this setup. In that case, you'd have only two wires at each switch position (battery feed and tank load) and you'd install a SPST type switch. However, thinking about this, I believe there ARE SPST switches with internal lights. If you had only two wires, these would light when the circuit is on.

Here's a link to an explanation of these kinds of switches, in case I'm confusing you. (I may be confused too, *grin*): https://www.littelfuse.com/technical...nd-throws.aspx

Edit: I AM confused - see Post #6!

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Old 08-24-2019, 09:14 AM   #5
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thank you for the help. going to take my time with the wiring trace and just use the breaker for now.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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jimm - I was clearly confused last night when I wrote that post. I suspect you might have 3 wires at the switch locations and one of those would be a white ground wire. It is for the switch's internal illumination. The other two would be battery + (the input) and load (to the tank).

An illuminated SPST switch will have 3 terminals (non-iluminated would need only two). The illuminated switch would look something like the ones on the top row in this link: https://www.google.com/search?q=ligh...k1qofwOsdaENM: The correct wiring is shown there too. If the light does not illuminate when the switch is ON, simply reverse the battery + and tank wires. I suspect that's why your gas switch does not illuminate.

I humbly apologize for the confusing prior post. I must have been very tired.

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Old 08-24-2019, 11:21 AM   #7
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Default Hot water heater switch.

My Hot water tank switch comes on briefly in the on position. Then I hear the propane igniting and the switch if off. This is on a 1996 26ft. Classic.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:53 AM   #8
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No problem with the gas switch, light works fine on and off, only problem is with the electric switch. I replaced the switch with a new 3 terminal switch and hooked up wires as with the old switch, white ground, black load, and red +. heated the water fine but no light on the switch, ran all hot water out of tank with breaker off; flipped the switch to other position, turned on breaker waited 15-30 min. water was hot again, still no light on switch.
turned breaker off, reversed red and black wires, ran all hot water out, turned breaker back on still no light on switch, water got hot again. ran all hot water out with breaker off, flipped switch, turned on breaker, hot water on again, still no turning off of switch and no light on switch. friend think bleed over from somewhere at water heater is the problem. Thank you for your interest and reply's. Jim
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:10 PM   #9
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That's puzzling. I think I'd try it with a 2-terminal SPST switch, so you eliminate the light from the equation. This kind of switch CANNOT be ON in one of its positions.

The fact that you can turn the heater off with the circuit breaker makes me think the "bleed-over" idea is not quite right. You're using the breaker as an additional in-line SPST switch in that circuit.

I wonder if you've installed a SPDT switch in the electric line? Or, that switch is faulty.

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Old 08-29-2019, 11:24 PM   #10
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Default Water on electric

Do you also have an on/off switch near the hot water heater? We access this switch through the rear storage drawer.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:46 AM   #11
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yes I do, its access is thru the outside door on rear of trailer (under the bed).
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimm View Post
yes I do, its access is thru the outside door on rear of trailer (under the bed).
Now THAT is just weird, in my opinion! The only reason I can think of having ANOTHER on/off switch back there would be to bypass the conveniently located switch at the control panel.

Since you have this, try putting that switch to the other "off" position. Possibly, this will make the on/off switch at the control panel work as it should.

- Jack
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:05 AM   #13
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I don't have electic on my HWH so just thinking out loud 3 wires 1 for power 1 to HWH and 1 for ground at the switch. Where is the ground for the HWH element coming from? Is it possible there is a relay that controls the 120 volt circuit that is opened and closed by the switch via 12 volts? What size wires are at the switch and did you check to see if they are 12 or 120 volts? Like I said just thinking out loud
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:46 PM   #14
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Jack, my 2703 has the same switch, same location. Guess it's not too uncommon. But I also don't understand why a second switch, except to trip somebody up.
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:14 PM   #15
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Thanks, Tree. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Does that "hidden" switch turn the heater off? Or, does it make the "handy" switch work the way it should? Crikey, with the circuit breaker, you effectively have THREE switches in that circuit!

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Old 08-30-2019, 04:28 PM   #16
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Thank you everyone for your ideas and input. I will keep you posted as to what, or how the problem is resolved. Its going to be a little while as there are other more home projects to take care of.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:06 PM   #17
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The on/off switch on the tank is located where the 110v romex wiring attaches to the unit (Atwood model). I was told that the unit is installed in the off position and taped down to prevent it from powering up before water is introduced to the tank. The selling dealer was to remove the tape and turn on the unit after adding water to the tank. This was to prevent the heating element from burning out.

jimm, I believe there is better access to the hwh by sliding the mattress down and exposing the top right corner of the platform. There is a small panel there held down with two screws. Remove it and you should see the water heater better.

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Old 08-30-2019, 09:02 PM   #18
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Would you be interested in the schematics of electrical systems? I can’t see the monitor in these diagrams!
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