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Old 10-18-2015, 07:16 AM   #1
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Water heater on 12v?

I'm assuming the WH runs on propane or shore power electric but not on batteries. Is that correct?

I ask because when I went to take my batteries out for the winter yesterday, I was cleaning out the trailer first and in the bathroom saw the electric WH switch in the on position. Since the unit is winterized and WH is empty, if it tried to heat an empty tank it would die pretty quick. But the red light wasn't on. So I'm assuming (and hoping) the electric only works on shore power.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:26 AM   #2
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Yes, the electric function only works on shore power (120 VAC).
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:58 AM   #3
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Thanks. I can enjoy the winter now 😄
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:02 AM   #4
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Leaving the electric heating switch on when not connected to shore power does seem to energize a circuit via the batteries. I say this because I notice a hum in the water heater that stops as soon as I turn off the switch. If nothing else it might just add to draining the batteries more quickly.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:28 AM   #5
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Thankfully it could only have been for a few minutes. I know it was off when we left our last campground the prior weekend (I double checked it before leaving). So I'm guessing I bumped in to it when dewinterizing with the dealer.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #6
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I would caution you to never turn the power switch on to the water heater when connected to shore power without water in the system, as it will burn out the heater element.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:35 AM   #7
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That's exactly why I asked the question. The one things the dealer instilled in me was to NEVER EVER EVER let that happen! So when I saw the switch on and my batteries were still connected, I had a minor panic attack but figured - the red "failure" light would have to be on....

Very glad for the clarification.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:39 AM   #8
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Most water heaters use 12 v. power for control purposes, even when running on propane. You probably powered a circuit board, not the heater element,
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:07 AM   #9
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Yep ... 12vdc to the ignitor and gas brain.
The 110vac on our Atwood only goes to the heating element and its brain.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:03 PM   #10
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Just to clarify...in normal operation of the water heater via the electric heating element, the red light will NOT be on. The red light only comes on when the propane gas switch is turned and indicates that the ignition spark is trying to light the gas. The light will only stay red if the propane ignition phase fails. The only visual indication that the electric and/or propane water tank heating options are turned on or not is the toggle position of the wall switches.
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