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Old 06-06-2015, 11:42 AM   #1
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How do I get to the back of my water heater on 2000 Sea View

My 6 gallon Atwood water heater has finally given up the ghost. I'm replacing the propane-only unit with a combo propane/120V electric unit. Same size, direct fit per the Dometic support folks. I will bring in a new 120V circuit and 12V control line.

Question is ..... how do I get to the back of the heater unit?

My rig doesn't have that handy access door in the sink cabinet next to the steps. It doesn't appear to have an access door inside the sink cabinet either. I could just pull the old unit and disconnect the water lines, assuming there is enough slack. But you would think you'd want access to the back of the heater after the new one is installed to verify no leaks. Maybe?

Before I rip apart the old, I'd like to get any tips from others who have pulled their heaters. Thanks for any inputs.

Karl
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:59 AM   #2
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Karl;
Cant help you with any specifics.

You would think they had thought stuff like this through so there must be a place to access behind the unit.

If the unit has quit I would gently try to take it out from the outside if that is the only option you think you have. It may come out easily or it may not want to come out.

I would expect the water lines and propane line would resist being able to simply remove it from the outside. Is there any other possible access points, say from the compartment beneath the heater?
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:32 PM   #3
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Karlos.....our coaches are not exactly a match, floorplan wise, but I have an Atwood 6 gallon water heater and the thermostat and the breaker for the electrical heating element is on the back of the water heater, almost impossible to get to. On my coach, there is a "blank" wooden panel directly behind the heater at floor level and my plan is to cut an access hole when I have to replace the heater......I already know you cannot disconnect the water lines from the front....good luck. National apparently installed the heater first and built the cabinetry around it. Rook
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:57 PM   #4
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In my 99 Dolphin the kitchen is L shaped, the sink is in the short part of the L next to the entry. The water heater is next to the entry door and under the kitchen counter. There is a removable panel under the sink that has five small screws holding it in place. With the panel removed I can access the back of the water heater.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the hints guys.

I'll empty out that cabinet under the sink and look for the removable panel that Chuck mentioned. If there isn't a factory access panel, I'll cut my own as Rook suggests.

On a slightly different note, I noticed a metal 120V junction box in the basement compartment directly below the water heater. I wonder if the rig was pre-wired for an electric water heater option.

Karl
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlos View Post
Thanks for the hints guys.
On a slightly different note, I noticed a metal 120V junction box in the basement compartment directly below the water heater. I wonder if the rig was pre-wired for an electric water heater option.

Karl
That's possible in my Dolphin the junction box is attached to the floor behind the water heater. There also was an extra used 20 amp circuit in the junction box, finally found what the extra 20 breaker was for that didn't shut anything off.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by chboone View Post
That's possible in my Dolphin the junction box is attached to the floor behind the water heater. There also was an extra used 20 amp circuit in the junction box, finally found what the extra 20 breaker was for that didn't shut anything off.
Should have said unused 20 amp circuit.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:42 PM   #8
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We had trouble with it bouncing loose behind the water heater. We cut a hole by the stairs to access it. We happened to be in Quartszite shortly after and found a door that matched our others and was just the right size.

When we had our heater replaced in 2008, the guy told us a gas/electric would not fit in our space cause it was too small and not wired for 110.
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