Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to connect an RV gas/electric hot water heater to AC power

Back in September, we bought a new hot water heater.  It was an Atwood gas/electric model.   But, we had been running it off of propane only.  However, a couple of weeks ago when the temperatures really dropped, Chad decided we should really be using the electric as well in case we run out of propane during the night.  If that were to happen, the whole hot water tank would likely freeze. Chad actually "adapted" it to run off of AC power.  This way we have the option to only use propane.

Here's how.....

He bought a cheap electrical cord from the Hardware store and cut it to remove the female end.

Slit the cord to expose the wires.

Twist together the new wires from the electrical cord with the wires from the hot water heater.  Connect positive with positive (white) and negative with negative (usually black).

Add wire nuts.

Then we fed the electrical cord out to the outside of the RV and plugged it into the outlet located beside the hot water heater compartment.


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  2. Thank you this helpful information. I’ve never been a believer of do-it-yourself methods of handling mechanical and electrical problems in my house. However, having looked at how you safely connected the water heater to power I feel I can do it as well with correct information. I thought the process would be complex and dangerous but you’ve proven me wrong.

    Samuel @ JS Gas & Property Services

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  4. What a clever solution! I share that fear of running out of propane at just the wrong moment, and if you are using your RV all year round then you really need to be prepared. The instructions and photographs are quite clear and easy to follow. Thanks for this. It will be a great help to a lot of us.

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing

    1. Thanks for commenting! Glad it is helpful. :-)

  5. i liked the above post and i follow the technique of connecting RV water heater to AC power
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