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Old 01-17-2015, 07:04 PM   #1
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Water heater power source question

On the control panel, I can choose either propane or electricity. But why doesn't the water heater just have a board in it, that like the refrigerator, senses when electricity is coming to?

The only reason that I can figure out, is maybe that even with the electricity, people still prefer to use propane for it?
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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You can actually run both propane and electric at the same time. Some say it gives you a faster recovery time, I personally have not tried it. Either way it is nice to have the option of gas or electric, in case one is not working.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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Yes, using both electric and propane at the same time heats the water up a lot more quickly. I only turn my water heater on before my shower, and with both it takes about 15 minutes from cold to hot.

Another reason you'd want the choice is that if you're running electric space heaters, it might cause a breaker to trip when the WH is on electric. Using gas prevents an overload.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #4
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I use propane if I want hot water quickly. If I want it to just maintain hot water I allow the electric to run.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #5
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We just turn on the water heater 15 before bath time. Then off. Wash dishes at the same time.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:43 AM   #6
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If you are running on a generator you do not want the water heater running on electric. It is best that YOU make the determination how it is operated.

The refrigerator is a special situation. It is automatic so your food does not spoil due to a 110V power failure.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnchuck100 View Post
If you are running on a generator you do not want the water heater running on electric. It is best that YOU make the determination how it is operated.

The refrigerator is a special situation. It is automatic so your food does not spoil due to a 110V power failure.

x2. To keep your refer cold while traveling, you may want to run it on propane, since the electric setting won't work when the rig is not plugged into shore power. The "Auto" setting takes care of the changeover "automatically" when you plug in at your destination. Chances are, you don't need hot water while traveling (or when your tanks are empty and you're not connected to "city water"). Having switches forces you to make a conscious decision to turn both electric & propane off assuring less chance of trying to heat an empty water heater - and burning out the unit.

Also, (generally speaking) electricity is less expensive than propane, so it's less expensive to run both on electricity - when it's available. At state park campgrounds (where I'm paying for electricity as part of my CG fee), I'll typically leave both refer and WH on electric all the time. But when I'm camping long-term at a full hook-up facility and have to pay for metered electric, I only turn on the water heater about 15-20 minutes before a shower or doing dishes. When you're boon-docking, you still want hot water, so there's the option on your control panel to run it off propane.

Finally: I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but on nights when the temps are going to drop below freezing, I'll turn the water heater on (elect) for 1/2 hour or so, then turn it off before going to bed. The water in the WH will stay warm until morning - preventing the tank from freezing. The water heater is, after all, directly exposed to the outside. Like I said, I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I figure "an ounce of prevention . . . "
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:59 AM   #8
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We had not thought we would be spending the winter months in our TT when we purchased it. So now we wish we had 50 amp service so we wouldn't need to run a line from the post into the camper in order to use multiple appliances simultaneously. Another method to optimize our existing power level is to occasionally run the WH on propane.

This is the 2nd winter we haven't kicked a breaker even once!
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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You only have 30 amps to use... if you are trying to run the A/C and the water heater kicks on it would blow the breaker..
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:34 AM   #10
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You only have 30 amps to use... if you are trying to run the A/C and the water heater kicks on it would blow the breaker..
Exactly! Or run the microwave with the coffee maker, add WH - POP!
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