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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2008
konehd konehd is online now
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Default Water Level Sw for water heater...

Im _Finally_ finishing up on the water heater replacement project for my '87 PT40.

Ive installed a Seaward 11 gal heater with a brand new versa valve, and plumbed it all together.

To do that I had to remove the rear wall of the bed room which was a real PITA! That thing was really not made to come apart!

Final piece of the project is the water level sensor that controls the electric heater relay.

This is a little gray plastic sensor screwed into the hot water outlet with 1/2" pipe threads.

I cant seem to find one of these.

Does anyone have a source for them??

Thanks!

/Joe
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'93 WB40, Alligator - Sold
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2008
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sfedeli sfedeli is offline
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Hi Joe,

One of the forum members, Jay Darst, made his own. Here's how he did it-

Use a brass plug that fits the hole in the water heater, 3/4" think it was, drilled the center out, about 1/4" hole. Then using an epoxy that does not conduct electricity, placed a machine screw in the plug.

Keep in mind you will need to attach a wire to the outside, so run a nut up on the machine screw close to the head. I cut a piece of cardboard and ran the screw thru the card board until it reached the nut(which is close to the head) and then sat the bored out plug over the cardboard/screw, this keeps the epoxy inside the plug. The parts of the plug and the threads of the screw should be looking up at ya. Keep the screw centered on the plug so its not touching any where on the plug and then fill with epoxy. I tested mine in a bowl of water using multi-meter, worked perfect.

Doesn't sound too difficult. Let us know how you make out!
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2008
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Does that "sensor" just ground through the water? Sounds like that's the only way it could work.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2008
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sfedeli sfedeli is offline
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Yes, it works much the same way as the sensors on the fresh water and holding tanks.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2008
konehd konehd is online now
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OK,

I took the old one out and checked it, seems there was some corrosion or gunk on the stainless screw threaded through the plastic.
I replaced it with a new screw. Put in in from the wet side with a nut behind it so there would be a little more area in the water. Also since the threads are showing on the outside it makes it a lot easier to hook up the wiring...

Works fine now!
Hooked up the power and finally have some hot water :}

Im going to put the rear panel in and make a run to check the engine heater loop then button it up if there are no leaks.

Thanks to all who responded...

/Joe
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'93 WB40, Alligator - Sold
Sedona, AZ
Still having fun- even though the the BlueBirds Away!
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2008
konehd konehd is online now
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Had some problems getting heat from the engine to the water heater, checked the plumbing diagram and noticed a gate valve that bypasses the water heater. That valve was open so there wasnt much flow to the heater...
Is that gate valve an adjustment or should it be fully closed normally?

Thanks, Joe

BTW, when I closed the valve the water heated up fine :}
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Joe & Pat Garner

'93 WB40, Alligator - Sold
Sedona, AZ
Still having fun- even though the the BlueBirds Away!
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2008
konehd konehd is online now
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Thought Id do a follow up on this.

A diagram that I got from the net showed the water sensor wired like this:

+12----------(relay coil)-----------(sensor)

AC -----------| |---------/\/\/\/\------AC
contact heater

With the idea that the sensor conducts to ground to pick up the relay, and the relay controls the heater. I left out the thermostat etc.

I looked at this and thought there is no way the sensor will conduct enough to pick that coil in any water that Id want to drink!
And on my installation the relay contacts are normally closed instead of the normally open shown in the above drawing.

I checked and on mine the relay is actually hooked to a small circuit board buried in the wiring in the corner of the rear. Its covered in heat shrink, size about 3/4x1-1/2 in.

The circuit I have is like this:

white ____________ red
Gnd-------| |-----------|-------+12
| | |
---------------- |
| | |
| black |_(relaycoil)__| black
|
|brown
|
(sensor)

Colors are the wire colors attached to the board

and the heater is wired like this:

AC-----------------|/|------------/\/\/\/\------------AC

The relay is _out_ when there is water in the heater, and it picks up when its dry.

Thanks to all that helped on this!

/Joe
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Joe & Pat Garner

'93 WB40, Alligator - Sold
Sedona, AZ
Still having fun- even though the the BlueBirds Away!
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2008
konehd konehd is online now
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Ha,

So much for my attempt at ascii art. It looks like the forum software deleted the spaces in the circuit...

I'll draw it out and post it in a while...

/Joe
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'93 WB40, Alligator - Sold
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Still having fun- even though the the BlueBirds Away!
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