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Old 09-09-2021, 07:12 AM   #1
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Swapping Atwood water heater to Suburban

Hello!

I recently purchased a 2014 346 RESA. My first camper! I noticed the water heater had burst and I purchased a used replacement. My issue is the wiring colors and quantity. From the camper there is an Orange, brown, blue and red. The replacement water heater has Green, blue and red. Help!!!!!
We really want to go camping before the season closes.

The old Atwood water heater had a blue wire connected to the red, a white to the brown, a green to the white and an orange to the orange.

I've found several schematics online that have only served to confuse me further. Surely someone has done this before and can help me? Please?
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:41 AM   #2
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Get your hands on a good multimeter and then start here: http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Atwo...ice-manual.pdf

Just noticed your heading was for a Suburban. Can't help you with that.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:49 AM   #3
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I have a multimeter, I have no idea how to use it though... It's a Suburban water heater, not a suburban SUV!

Suburban model # SW6DE
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:51 AM   #4
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Go here: https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tch-90343.html

Post #4. Even PM the person that put that post up. May be your shortest distance between two points.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:58 AM   #5
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You'll be better off if you have this in hand: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/wp-...ter_Manual.pdf
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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A multimeter is a great tool, but so is Google. I would start off with a Google search, and look up the installation manuals for both water heaters. The manuals will tell you exactly which wire is for what.

Your new water heater may have more or less features than your OEM water heater, aka, propane only or an added electric heating element, auto ignition verses standing pilot light. Hence a different wire count and colors.

Just google "suburban/atwood RV water heater M#XYZ installation manual" for both units.

I have really liked this website; www.manualslib.com

Here is a sample; https://www.manualslib.com/manual/60...rban-Sw6d.html
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:40 AM   #7
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Jag....look up to the posts just above yours
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:58 AM   #8
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Thanks Jag!

The original water heater is an Atwood GC6AA-10E And I do have the manual.
The new one is a Suburban SW6DE and I found the manual online. I'm quite good with the physical aspect of the swap, but the wiring diagrams are like a foreign language to me. It's the last piece of the puzzle. If those wires are low voltage I don't think I'll damage anything with trial and error? The most confusing part is there was 4 wires to the old heater and only 3 on the replacement. Looking at the confusing (to me) wiring diagrams I think the blue wire can be eliminated as it's for a light for flame on or something.
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:48 AM   #9
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I replaced my tankless water heater with the exact model of Suburban you will be using. Since my old tankless didn't have the 120 volt option I had to bring in 120 volts which I controlled with a heavy duty relay so I could use a low voltage switch panel inside the rig.

Since your old water heater had electric that will be the tricky part. Some water heaters have built in relays for the 120 volts while others, such as the Suburban one you bought, do not. There is a different model Suburban (more expensive) that has the built in relay.

To feed 120 volt power to the unit you either need a heavy duty relay or a heavy duty switch. The little switch on the typical low voltage control panel probably isn't up to the task. You will be pulling above 10 amps at 120 volts.

Working with 120 volts can be dangerous so unless you feel comfortable around it, leave the install to the professional. It basically boils down to how the 120 volts was controlled in the old unit. If the water heater had a built in relay, you can't do a simple wire swap.

Here is a link to my installation.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...ter-73569.html
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:21 AM   #10
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I think Iíve attached a picture, I think it comes with a relay already?
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:31 AM   #11
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The different Suburban water heater models:

SW6D - gas only
SW6DE - gas and electric
SW6DEL - gas and electric with 12 volt relay
SW6DEM - gas, electric, plus connection to engine cooling system

Here is a link to the manufacturer:

https://www.airxcel.com/rv/suburban/...spark-ignition
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:16 AM   #12
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Iíve included a picture of what I think is a relay from the old heater, my electrician friend is looking at it this evening. Wish us luck.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:56 PM   #13
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The yellow wire comes from the control board and supplies 12 volts to the relay when the thermostat is closed. The green wire is ground. The two black wires go to the thermostat and carry 120 volts AC.
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:21 AM   #14
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To close the loop on this, success! The relay from the old water heater did the trick. Thanks everyone for the assistance.
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:22 AM   #15
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Pics
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:40 AM   #16
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Atwood part

If you still have the Atwood , I need some parts from it . The fittings that connect the tank to the water line . Pictures included . Please let me know if you are willing to sell these parts . Thank you , Al Weaver
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:46 AM   #17
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Well dang, Iíd have sent them for free but I disposed of the old one on Monday. I toyed with the idea of posting the whole thing online for like $50, but I got enough junk around my house already. Sorry that didnít work out.
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:48 AM   #18
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Thank you for the quick response . I can't find them anywhere . Have a Blessed weekend .
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:24 PM   #19
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I am glad to hear suburban has gas electric because the one we have now is propane. I hate it. I am use to the Jayco atwood which is gas electric and I love a hot shower not a surprise cold shower. Thanks for the heads up. Now to replace our tank with a gas electric.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yondering1 View Post
If you still have the Atwood , I need some parts from it . The fittings that connect the tank to the water line . Pictures included . Please let me know if you are willing to sell these parts . Thank you , Al Weaver
I believe you just need the middle part of this fitting. Here's what I've found, but your size may be different. They come in several sizes and combinations.

https://www.camperid.com/zurn/qickti...e2a1835f2b1cda

You might find it at a big box store, well stocked hardware store, or larger Walmart.
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