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Old 03-26-2016, 07:17 AM   #1
JDD
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Water heater issues

I have an Atwood combination electric/propane 10 gal heater. The electric side won't heat at all. The propane lights but before the water is fully heated it shuts down and won't relight for hour or more. Then same cycle. Any ideas on problem?
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JDD View Post
I have an Atwood combination electric/propane 10 gal heater. The electric side won't heat at all. The propane lights but before the water is fully heated it shuts down and won't relight for hour or more. Then same cycle. Any ideas on problem?
JDD
I suggest you:
1.) Locate the model number of your Atwood WH
2.) Google "XXX Atwood water heater trouble shooting".
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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Yeah, need the model number, or at least the age to give some clue as to what we are diagnosing.

Give us some more clues. Have you found the switch for electric heating mode? It is separate from the gas switch. Made sure the circuit breaker is on? Do you have 120v at the heater connection? Was it working before, or is this unit new-to-you and you don't now?

In gas mode, I would expect the thermostat to keep the heater off for an hour or so unless you are actively using hot water. Are you saying the burner won't come back on, even though you run a gallon or so of water from a hot faucet?
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:33 PM   #4
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Really need to know the age of the water heater. Older heaters have two sets of control elements, propane in the front and electric in the back. Newer units have just one set in the front for both modes.

I would first exercise all of the wire connections by removing them and reattaching. A little corrosion at those connections can cause problems.

I don't know about the newer single set of control elements but on my older water heater, the electric controls are on the back and consists of a thermostat and an over temperature sensor. The over temperature sensor is a bit like a circuit breaker and has a small button on the back that needs to be pushed in to reset it.

On the older water heaters the propane over temperature sensor will shut down the water heater and the propane switch needs to powered down and then back on to reset the control board.
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:04 PM   #5
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I suppose messing with the electric controls on the back involves removing the entire tank assembly; I fear this big boy would not fit in the bay far enough to get to them.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. The water heater was a replacement unit installed in May of 2008. The model number on the work order is GC10A-4E G/E. There was a secondary on/off switch installed beside the original microwave/off/water heater switch. Instructions were that both switches had to be on for the electric side of the heater to work, and did until last fall. The gas side of the unit just started acting up as I was doing the spring cleanup.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:27 PM   #7
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I found Atwood customer service to be very helpful.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:29 PM   #8
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Try downloading the Atwood manual from this site:Atwood Water Heater Troubleshooting
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:27 PM   #9
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Jim
Our last coach had a kitchen wall switch for the electric feed to the water heater. The switch actually fed an outlet in the cabinet directly below the switch. The water heater had a cord and plug that plugged into the outlet. Might want to check that.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:12 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

Thanks everyone. I totally remodeled our interior but I'm not very good with these mechanical issues. Have app't Thursday morning at local camper sales/service where the heater was installed. I will post the results.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:26 PM   #11
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Water heater resolution

Took coach to the camper service that installed the replacement water heater 6 years ago. The issue was a blown fuse on a separate switch installed to keep the electric side and the propane side from operating at the same time. Was told that on some older models the way the combination heater-neutral off-microwave switch was wired it is possible for the propane switch to fire while the electric side of the heater is already on. Had never heard this before but if true this is a good safety improvement. Water heater now working fine on either propane or electric. Thanks for all the comments.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:05 PM   #12
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I run my Atwood WH on electric and propane at the same time for faster recovery, never a problem.
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDD View Post
Took coach to the camper service that installed the replacement water heater 6 years ago. The issue was a blown fuse on a separate switch installed to keep the electric side and the propane side from operating at the same time. Was told that on some older models the way the combination heater-neutral off-microwave switch was wired it is possible for the propane switch to fire while the electric side of the heater is already on. Had never heard this before but if true this is a good safety improvement. Water heater now working fine on either propane or electric. Thanks for all the comments.

Older units (like the original in your 2001 RV) had electric wired directly from 120V AC circuit breaker to ON/OFF switch to electric element with it's own 120V AC set of t-stats . Propane used 12V DC (fused) to ON.OFF switch with it's own 12V DC set of t-stats.

Then Atwood changed designs so 2004 models and newer used 12V DC (fused) to On/Off Switches (one electric/one propane) to circuit board for operational controls and just one 12V DC set of t-stats. Electric is triggered by a 12V DC relay to activate the 120V AC power to element (from a circuit breaker).

On both older and newer versions----propane and electric can be operating at same time for fastest recovery. T-stats have same temp settings regardless of only one set or two sets being used (140*F/180*F)

Swapping of an older version (your 2001 vintage) to a newer version (current 2008 version) can and is done BUT there are wiring changes that needed to be incorporated.
Sounds to me......the dealership/repair place jury-rigged yours cause they don't know/understand about the different versions and the needed changes in wiring. (Places like that give RV Techs bad names )

See pages 23, 24 & 25 of this manual ....explains conversion
http://www.atwoodmobile.com/dealer-m...atermanual.pdf
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:15 AM   #14
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Great information, thanks.
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