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Old 05-17-2017, 11:26 PM   #1
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Unusual Water Heater Issue

Hello All!

The Mrs. and i are full timing in our back yard as we are doing some renovations to our new home. For the first week we have been on battery/generator power when its cloudy. I finally got an electrician to come by and wire a 50amp on the garage. All was great until i noticed water leaking from the WH tank. I opened the cover and found the relief valve was letting water out. Long story short, the tank keeps heating, so much the relief valve is doing its job and dumping the water out. Crazy thing is, both the 120v and the 120v switches are off! The only way i can make it stop heating is to flip the breaker! We did about 6k miles on it last summer and had no issues. This is the first time we used it this year and the first time this has happened. When we are not hooked up everything was fine. Any help or anything would greatly be appreciated. I don't even know where to start troubleshooting!

2006 HR Endeavor-Atwood WH
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:18 AM   #2
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2006 Atwood WH....

120V AC element is on backside of WH Tank (inside rv)
AC power goes from Circuit Breaker to ON/OFF switch to set of t-stats to element
On/Off switch would have to have failed CLOSED (ON) & BOTH t-stats (normal temp & High temp) would have to have failed CLOSED for electric element to continue heating.
And propane would cause same issue ---same set of t-stats

Normal t-stat Opens at 140*F
High temp T-stat (ECO) Opens at 180*F
Relief Valve OPENS at 210*F/150 PSI

Relief Valve Opens it BLOWS steam/hot water under high pressure

Now if Relief Valve is dripping (weeping water) then the 'air pocket' has been lost
Air Pocket is part of design....used to control increase in pressure due to swelling of water when heated.
No air pocket....pressure increases enough to cause Relief Valve to leak
Air Pocket gets absorbed by water over time----especially when being used for long periods

Re-establish air pocket
Turn water supply OFF
Open nearest faucet hotside to relieve system pressure
Open Relief Valve via lever.....until water Stops running out...then let Relief Vlave snap closed
Close Faucet hotside
Turn water supply back on

(Sometimes you have to let water flow thru Relief Valve under pressure to CLEAR seat/disc of crud---scale/calcium so it will properly seat when closed)

Have a hard time thinking ON/OFF Switch and Both t-stats failed>
But COULD happen----and if did I would be checking wiring for over-voltage/high amp damages.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
2006 Atwood WH....

120V AC element is on backside of WH Tank (inside rv)---so is the set of t-stats
AC power goes from Circuit Breaker to ON/OFF switch to set of t-stats to element
On/Off switch would have to have failed CLOSED (ON) & BOTH t-stats (normal temp & High temp) would have to have failed CLOSED for electric element to continue heating.

Normal t-stat Opens at 140*F
High temp T-stat (ECO) Opens at 180*F
Relief Valve OPENS at 210*F/150 PSI

Relief Valve Opens it BLOWS steam/hot water under high pressure

Now if Relief Valve is dripping (weeping water) then the 'air pocket' has been lost
Air Pocket is part of design....used to control increase in pressure due to swelling of water when heated.
No air pocket....pressure increases enough to cause Relief Valve to leak
Air Pocket gets absorbed by water over time----especially when being used for long periods

Re-establish air pocket
Turn water supply OFF
Open nearest faucet hotside to relieve system pressure
Open Relief Valve via lever.....until water Stops running out...then let Relief Vlave snap closed
Close Faucet hotside
Turn water supply back on

(Sometimes you have to let water flow thru Relief Valve under pressure to CLEAR seat/disc of crud---scale/calcium so it will properly seat when closed)

Have a hard time thinking ON/OFF Switch and Both t-stats failed>
But COULD happen----and if did I would be checking wiring for over-voltage/high amp damages.
awesome write up. i have some work to do in the morning! and i agree about both failing bc on battery and running the WH on propane all is good.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:37 AM   #4
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Correct.......
Propane and electric use same set of t-stats....which are in outside compartment

(I mis-spoke when I posted electric was on backside.....that hasn't been that way since 2004 models when Atwood redesigned controls)
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:40 AM   #5
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Correct.......
Propane and electric use same set of t-stats....which are in outside compartment

(I mis-spoke when I posted electric was on backside.....that hasn't been that way since 2004 models when Atwood redesigned controls)

So if all is good when on batteries and running propane is it safe to assume its the 120v switch?
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:56 AM   #6
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So if all is good when on batteries and running propane is it safe to assume its the 120v switch?
Switch could be bad....staying closed.

But t-stats would STOP heating whether it is electric or propane



SO ----you didn't address Relief Valve

IS it BLOWING or just leaking/weeping/dripping???
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #7
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Switch could be bad....staying closed.

But t-stats would STOP heating whether it is electric or propane



SO ----you didn't address Relief Valve

IS it BLOWING or just leaking/weeping/dripping???
i think it is doing all of the above. i saw steam, dripping at first then dumping out more then a little to nothing and starting it again.

i am more concerning that its heating with out me turning on the switch. if i didn't catch it and it was empty, bye bye WH.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:18 AM   #8
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Well Like I Stated earlier.....same set of t-stats whether on electric or propane

IF electric ON/OFF switch was bad---failed closed ------WH would heat to the 140*F and then normal t-stat would OPEN just like it does with propane
If Normal t-stat didn't open then ECO would at 180*F just like it would on propane

IF normal/ECO t-stats failed then Relief Valve would Open and BLOW water whether on electric or propane

Electric switch could be bad.......it is a 12V DC switch/same fused circuit feeds it as propane on/off switch.
So with electric switch ON...check for 12V DC voltage on WHITE WIRE on connector to circuit board. Then turn electric switch OFF----S/B no 12V DC voltage on WHITE WIRE (or on Yellow wire)

Really think what you experienced was 'loss of air pocket' and pressure increase when heated water swelled.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:23 AM   #9
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Well Like I Stated earlier.....same set of t-stats whether on electric or propane

IF electric ON/OFF switch was bad---failed closed ------WH would heat to the 140*F and then normal t-stat would OPEN just like it does with propane
If Normal t-stat didn't open then ECO would at 180*F just like it would on propane

IF normal/ECO t-stats failed then Relief Valve would Open and BLOW water whether on electric or propane

Electric switch could be bad.......it is a 12V DC switch/same fused circuit feeds it as propane on/off switch.
So with electric switch ON...check for 12V DC voltage on WHITE WIRE on connector to circuit board. Then turn electric switch OFF----S/B no 12V DC voltage on WHITE WIRE (or on Yellow wire)

Really think what you experienced was 'loss of air pocket' and pressure increase when heated water swelled.
okay..i will check the wiring.


if its 'loss of air pocket' would that cause it to heat even with out me touching the switches?
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:33 AM   #10
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It just came to mind that i am probably due to change the Anode rod. not sure if that would have any effect?
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
okay..i will check the wiring.


if its 'loss of air pocket' would that cause it to heat even with out me touching the switches?
I don't think you are understanding the concept of 'air pocket'.

NO....it would not continue to heat

Need to check AC Wiring and the DC Relay under the protective cover over the electric element---backside of WH Tank inside RV

Might have a melted DC Relay and triggering the AC power
That would bypass ALL heater controls





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Old 05-18-2017, 01:42 AM   #12
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you are correct! not totally understanding but i am learning!

how do i access that area in the pics? do i pull the tank from outside or can i get to it from inside?
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:52 AM   #13
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It just came to mind that i am probably due to change the Anode rod. not sure if that would have any effect?
Now I am beginning to wonder if you are pulling my leg or don't really know
Atwood does NOT use an anode rod....only Suburban does \
Anode rod has NOTHING to do with heating water.
Goggle anode rod...read so YOU can learn about them

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMAR View Post
you are correct! not totally understanding but i am learning!

how do i access that area in the pics? do i pull the tank from outside or can i get to it from inside?
Find backside of WH inside your rig...then YOU can decide if it is accessible or not






Bye-bye
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:54 AM   #14
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Now I am beginning to wonder if you are pulling my leg or don't really know
Atwood does NOT use an anode rod....on Suburban does \
Anode rod ahs NOTHING to do with heating water.
Goggle anode rod...read so YOU can learn about them



Find backside of WH inside your rig...then YOU can decide if it is accessible or not

Bye-bye

not at all..just super new to the WH thing. i will try all the info you gave.

thank you a million for all your help!
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