Yes, we have a UL switch kit (part# DBS-200) that has an illuminated on/off switch assembly that you place in a convenient location. You run some 14/2 Romex wire (you supply) to the water heater. The box switch kit also has a duplex receptacle (RV sized). That is where you plug in the power cord that comes in the RV water heater kit. They come with detailed photographed instructions.
A six gallon RV water heater will reach 130º in about one hour to no more than 90 minutes, depending on how cold the water is to begin with. The ten gallon water heaters take about the same time as they have a higher wattage heat element (425 watts/6 gallon). 6 gallon Atwood water heaters must use the 6 gallon kit, due to size limitations inside the heater. The Suburban 6 gallon water heater can use the 10 gallon kit instead of the 6 gallon kit if you want faster recovery. The Atwood 6 gallon model is by far the most popular RV water heater in use. The kits come with a 6 foot power cord that you plug in, but the on/off cycles are controlled by the thermostat. You don’t need to unplug the kit after it reaches temperature, the thermostat will maintain temperature between 90º to 150º. You set the temperature where you want it.
The two most popular RV water heaters are Atwood & Suburban. The 6 gallon Atwood water heater has an obstruction (bottom of the flame tube) about 6 1/2″ from the inside around the drain opening (where the heat element is installed), therefore you must use the 6 gallon model kit in the 6 gallon Atwood. However, if you have the 6 gallon Suburban RV water heater you can use the 10 gallon kit as there is over 18″ of inside clearance before you hit the back of the tank. The 6 gallon models work great in both brands of 6 gallon RV water heaters, but you would get faster recovery using the 10 gallon heat element in a 6 gallon Suburban water heater.
The Bowen model is actually an early Atwood water heater. Some 1980 and earlier models had a “pencil” sized drain plug (1/8″ NPT size). All other Bowen models and early Atwood’s had 1/2″ NPT sized drain plugs (about the size of your thumb). If your model is the “pencil” sized drain plug. It requires you to drill & tap the drain out to 1/4″ NPT (7/16″ drill bit, followed by the tap). If you are not using the propane on this old water heater, you can remove the gas control and use this port for the heat element.
My hope is that this will correct your problem. We have not had the thermostat cause any breaker to trip and we have been manufacturing the Lightning Rod kits since 1989. You could “bypass” the thermostat to test whether it is the rod or thermostat. To bypass, just unplug the thermostat out of the circuit and run the heat element straight off the power cord (heat element red connector to power cord blue connector).
If you are tripping a “standard” type circuit breaker, disregard all the above and give us a call or email us and you can order a replacement heat element, just let us know if you have a 6 or 10 gallon RV water heater.
The water heater kit comes with a 6 foot power cord that you can plug into an 110v outlet or extension cord. If you would like a complete switch kit assembly (to hard wire in your RV) we have them. They come with a dual outlet receptacle and also an illuminated enclosed switch box assembly and full instructions on how to wire it up.
You can install the longer 10 gallon heat element in the 6 gallon Suburban RV water heater as there is lots of room in the inner tank. You can not use the longer 10 gallon heat element in the Atwood 6 gallon models as they will hit the flame tube inside the tank. The 6 gallon heat element measure 6″ end to end while the 10 gallon heat element measures 8″. Atwood RV water heaters make up over 80% of the RV market (in our estimation). The 6 gallon heat element still does an excellent job of heating these small water heaters.
Yes, you can use the 10 gallon heat element in the Mor-flo American 6 gallon sized RV water heaters. On 1993 and older models you do not need the bushings that come in our kit, you just thread in the heat element as it is.
Yes, you can run both propane and electric at the same time to have almost continuous hot water. Since the propane & our electric kit both have thermostats of their own, there is no damage to the water heater, just faster recovery. You will find that our electric kit does a great job all by itself.
If you go outside and open the RV water heater door, there should be a tag with specifications of the heater. One of the specifications will be the capacity. Atwood water heaters say: 6.2 gallon for the 6 gallon model and 10 gallon for the 10 gallon one. Suburban water heaters will say either 6 or 10 gallon. If you have a older model that might of had the tag worn off or otherwise, you might take some measurements (width & height) and get back to us and we will let you know what you have.
The thermostat works by sensing the temperature rise as the water is heating and will shut off when the temperature is reached (you can adjust between 90º & 150º) We recommend installing the thermostat on the pressure relief valve, as it gets warm as the water heats. We recalibrate the thermostat for this location so it is accurate.
Yes, we can send replacement components around the world.
Please contact us with your information.