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Since our 21rs is an '03, it didn't come with the slick water heater control panel that you can use to select electric and gas. We've had to use the breaker in the electrical panel to turn on and off the electric heating element, until today that is


The water heater is right by the door with access by removing a drawer, under the drawer is a blank panel. I bought a lighted 120v light switch so we would be able to tell at a glance if it is on or off. I cut an electrical box into the blank panel under the drawer and wired the switch into the 120v line going to the water heater. Now we can turn the electric heating element on and off via the switch instead of using the breaker in the panel. Granted it's not as nice as the newer control panel, but it will do the trick.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pete,
Hit the road with that outback and come east, we'll set you up!!


Mike
 

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Very smart mod Mike!

For that mod you get the Outbackers Mod of the Moment Award
 

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Shantz,

You can get 20Amp lighted switches at Wal Mart in the automotive (towing, wiring, electrical section) department. The one I got had a bit of a large handle on it but it worked in another application. Radio Shack should have it too...

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the award, I am deeply honored. Do you need my address to ship it to me?


I figure a 15 amp switch is plenty, even if that heating element is 1500 watts, which is doubtful, that's 13.6 amps. I looked up the hotrod and lightning rod and those are only 400 watts. Although if I can get a 20 amp switch, maybe I'll switch it now that you got me thinking.

Mike
 

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Thanks Steve,

Grainger, of course! duh
, I buy from them at work and didn't think of it.

I found a 20 amp lighted switch and ordered one this afternoon. They come two ways, lighted when the switch is open and lighted when it is closed. I order the one which is lighted when the switch is on. Wasn't cheap though, 33 bucks.

Mike
 

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camping479 said:
Wasn't cheap though, 33 bucks.
Did it come with a small jar of Vaseline as well? Dang that's spendy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Paul,

I didn't even think about a small rocker switch. I ordered a heavy duty 20 amp light switch, Grainger's number is 5Z739. After I saw what you picked out I thought about getting that, but I already have the electrical box mounted and it's just a matter of changing out the switch.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Paul,

Would be easy enough to put the splices in a box. Might be a little bit of a pain wiring it back in that little compartment though. I just spliced the wires with wire nuts and wrapped them in black electrical tape. As far as the switch goes, our girls are older so I'm not worried about them accidentally turning it on or off.

I didn't find it to be to a complicated mod, I've done quite a bit of wiring in the past. I am glad you raised the point about the switch though, it did occur to me about the amperage, but I didn't give it much thought until you raised the point.

Mike
 
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