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  #1  
Old 08-29-2014
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Default Project: Install an electric water heater in an M380

This project was done concurrently with the previously described tool/utility drawer.

The Kuuma 11-gallon water heater would barely squeeze between the water tank and the bay wall, but I found that the plywood covering the front of the water tank was actually mounted 2-inches away from the tank platform, so I moved it directly against the platform and cut down both end pieces to fit. The extra width will be good for storage from the other side as well.

Two ball valves were installed in the water lines at the top of the Hurricane bay to isolate it. Water source and return for the heater were obtained at the bottom of the frame member, again with ball valves. 5/8-inch heater hoses were routed from the Hurricane for engine heating of the water - the line that flows in from the engine was removed from its fitting and coupled to a 6-foot hose going to the new heater, and the 6-foot return was routed to the fitting on the Hurricane. One of the two wires that powered the electric elements on the Hurricane was routed across to supply the necessary power.

The wire and heater hoses were brought through the wall between the bays using a 2-inch Uniseal Bulkhead fitting. This uses a 3-inch hole and provides 1/2-inch of rubber around the hoses/wire.

I don't like using circuit breakers as on/off switches, so I installed a power switch on the bay wall. The existing wire from the Hurricane was long enough to reach the switch, so it also served as the junction box.





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Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
Prior: 1990 WB40 "Blue Thunder"
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2014
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Nice and clean Installation!
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2018
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Default 6-gal Atwood Electric Water Heater on M380

Finally got around to installing an electric hot water heater (WH). With the batteries on my coach no longer in the compartment with the fuel tank, I was able to install the Atwood directly below the Hurricane (H). Shorter plumbing runs and turning the Atwood around so it faces into the compartment, made connecting everything easier. Can still access the WH via the other curbside bay door (after removing several bins I now keep there). Note: WH placement used on this installation is not possible for other M380’s, because the compartment where I put the WH has three 4D’s.

Because I wanted the ability to run the WH off-grid from the battery bank & solar as well as shore AC, I wired it through the inverter rather than shore power. To provide easier On-Off control, I repurposed the LP Fill Switch in the kitchen below the Water Pump switch, then ran a line from it to the WH and used a DC-AC relay to control the 120V AC power. Instead of using one of the non-inverter powered Hurricane A/C lines, AC Power was obtained from the GFCI outlet box on the roof of bay 4L. That outlet gets its power from the inverter. When on shore or gen power the inverter automatically passes power through. However, since the WH draws 1,485 watts, when running it from the batt/solar I need to be selective when using other big draw items like the microwave or induction cooktop, and would likely not use it battery only without solar “assist”. Eventually, I may add a Dump circuit to the solar controller that could automatically power the WH when charging is done or there is excess unused solar watts available.

For Engine Heat lines, the WH was connected inline between the Engine & Hurricane engine Hot line. This should preserve both the Engine PreHeat function of the Hurricane boiler via the ‘to’ engine line, and engine heating of potable water in the electric WH. It will also retain the ability to get coach radiator heat from the engine when traveling.

For the potable Hot plumbing, like Don I isolated the Hurricane cold and hot lines with 2-way valves (see diagram below). Fresh water can flow through either the WH or H depending on the position of those two valves.

Looking forward to trying it out next week at Q
.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2018
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Your usual spectacular job!
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2018
BBERIC35 BBERIC35 is offline
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New water heater delivered today so time to start getting ready for this project. If I tie into the lines to and from the engine that currently go to the Hurricane, will I get heat from the engine going down the road or do I need a pump to circulate the coolant? Not sure where these lines tie in to the engine cooling system.

I had a good discussion with Cummins tech support this week about the necessity of an engine preheat circuit and a block heater. Their opinion was the engine preheat circuit was unnecessary and the block heater would only be useful for starting in extreme winter conditions. If I decided to replace the Hurricane with a new unit, I would definitely choose the less expensive Combi unit that doesn't offer a superfluous engine preheat loop. After further investigation I discovered my reman engine doesn't have a block heater like the original did. Guess I just have to cancel those blizzard camping plans we made for the great white north!
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2018
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I've never used engine pre-heat, either kind. Hope to stay in weather where it is unnecessary!

The loop that runs through the Hurricane is "powered" by the engine - the circulating pump in that loop is only used to make it flow for engine pre-heat, when the engine obviously can't push it through. It thoroughly heats the water heater, likely hotter than it gets via electricity. It also goes through the exchanger in the Hurricane, so turning furnace on at the thermostat but diesel off at the switch under the sink provides over-the-road coach heat.
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Don Bradner
Current: No RV at this time
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Prior: 2004 M380 Double Slide
Prior: 1990 WB40 "Blue Thunder"
My location: www.bbirdmaps.com/user2.cfm?user=1
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2018
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I too hope to avoid the need for engine pre-heat. Only issue I’ve ever had with the H was caused by the using the Preheat and that led to the housing of that little circulating pre-heat pump leaking inside the H box. Details of that fix and subsequent rebuild posted elsewhere on WOG. If you look at the Diagram in my post above, you can see where I tied into the From engine line. That should provide the electric hot WH heat exchanger with HOT glycol from the engine before it then goes into the H box, and from there back to the engine via the return “To” line. If using engine pre-heat the H should take the cold glycol from the “From”engine line, heat it and then send it back to the engine via the To engine line, using the engine pre-heat pump inside the H. Installing and using that added circuit to/from the WH heat exchanger wasn’t difficult. This involved clamping off the single line above and below the takeoff location & then installing two 90° elbows to conduct engine coolant to/from the electric water heater. You don’t have to install the engine line or use the electric water WH at all, like Lances installation. It will work just fine without, but then the Hot WH water can only be heated electrically.

When rolling I have used the H radiator heater fans with the engine lines providing the heat. It works well once the engine is warmed up.
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