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Old 11-26-2022, 08:10 AM   #1
Tjschaffer
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Electric hot water relay

Under the island there is a 110 lead going to the hot water tank and it goes through what look like a relay of some kind
It burned out last night lucky was at home any ideas how this works
 
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:26 AM   #2
Daryles
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There is a Suburban water heater manual in the files section. Download it. Wiring diagram on page 11.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:31 AM   #3
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Is this the relay? If so you can get it on Amazon or any number of RV suppliers including Suburban I believe.


https://suburbanrvparts.com/suburban...2-16-d-de-del/

Why it's there I have no idea as it just complicates the operation of the water heater IMO. I suppose it's just to make sure that you are "really" sure you want to turn on the water heater. The switch inside the trailer activates the relay (12vdc) which in turn sends 120vac to the switch outside on your water heater. When you turn that switch on it then sends 120vac to your thermostats and heating element. They burn up occasionally from what I've read and I carry a spare in my spare box.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:48 AM   #4
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The water heater relay is normally mounted inside a junction box on the side of the water heater. First time I have ever heard of one mounted any where else.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:55 AM   #5
sourdough
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Originally Posted by BB_TX View Post
The water heater relay is normally mounted inside a junction box on the side of the water heater. First time I have ever heard of one mounted any where else.

Bill is right. Mine, and every one I've seen, are on the back side of the front panel (left side?). As I asked in the previous post, does the relay you have look like the one in the link?
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post

Why it's there I have no idea as it just complicates the operation of the water heater IMO.
I am sure it is to provide low voltage switching of the water heater element.

Not a bad idea actually... I currently use the circuit breaker. Might have to consider this idea, but I would use a heavier contactor with a 12VDC coil.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:58 PM   #7
sourdough
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I am sure it is to provide low voltage switching of the water heater element.

Not a bad idea actually... I currently use the circuit breaker. Might have to consider this idea, but I would use a heavier contactor with a 12VDC coil.


Yes, the concept is used in lots of applications but it doesn't really matter on the water heater; you use the 12vdc to pull the relay and the 120vac is going to arc/go into full operation mode no matter where the contacts are - in this case it's in the relay. Maybe that is why those relays fail and melt so much. I'd rather the switch melt where I can get to it without pulling the water heater out.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:43 PM   #8
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Good to know info - yet another item to add to my electrical spares box. Hey - at least electrical spares are lightweight to keep onboard.
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
Maybe that is why those relays fail and melt so much. I'd rather the switch melt where I can get to it without pulling the water heater out.
Agreed. Engineered on the cheap. A good contactor, maybe 30 amp would be a lot better choice.

Probably gets a little too homebrew for the original point of this thread. Sorry for that…
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