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Old 07-14-2014, 08:22 PM   #1
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Water heater issue

Have an Atwood 10 gallon water heater. We have been at our current site for 2 weeks with no problems running it on electric. Woke up 2 cold water this morning and upon inspection there was a very quiet high pitched humming from the water heater. It works fine when switched to propane. Anyone have any clue what the problem might be?
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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Yep...time for a new 110 element. Take it out and down to the local rv store and they should be able to fix you up.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
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yup sounds like defective element.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:48 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. That's what I was hoping for
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:36 PM   #5
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Put the water heater into bypass and just drain the tank...

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Old 07-15-2014, 09:14 PM   #6
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Timmay, are you saying that could fix it? Or just making sure I drain and shut it off when replacing?
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:16 AM   #7
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No, that won't fix it, it will just allow you to pull the element without draining the whole rig or turning the water off. You can just drain the water heater that way (which is probably what you would do anyway - just fulfilling my job as Captain Obvious!).

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Old 07-16-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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Why is it assumed it's a bad element? There are other things it can be.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
Why is it assumed it's a bad element? There are other things it can be.

Spill the beans...


If it works otherwise and no workey on shorepower, what else? Yes, it could be a breaker, but the humming tells me it's getting power. A voltmeter on the wires would be a great idea for sure. But most of us are betting it's a failed element which is fairly common with these.

Why post 'there are other things' and not say what they are?
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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That humming could be a 12V relay on the Atwood control board to close the 12V circuit, depending on model, which was never mentioned
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:45 PM   #11
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Finally got around to the repair. It ended up being the neutral wire came out out of the wire nut. I'm lucky that I found it when I did because it was arcing and turned part of the wire insulation brown. Could have been a fire. So a little advice to anyone that has a water heater issue, make sure you turn off your breaker asap just in case. I picked up a new element but didn't need so now I have a spare. Thank god I had enough smarts to turn off the electric to the water heater when I noticed a problem. I full time with my wife, 7 year old boy and 9 year old princess and it could've been bad.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:35 AM   #12
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We had the same exact thing happen to our Atwood in our Winnebago motorhome. The neutral lead came out of the wire nut. The water heater switch became very hot and the water did not. It was an easy repair for the service shop with a volt meter. We just got a 5th wheel and I discovered that the switches for the water heater are completely different. On the inside of the 5er, there is a switch that is labels DSI water heater with a red LED next to it that states DSI FLT. The manual didn't explain the switches very well. A call to the dealer service number explained it to me. The switch is for GAS operation only when lit. The red let FLT is a fault light that comes on after three attempts to ignite and fails (like if the propane is empty or shut off). If you want electric water heater operation, you have to go outside and open the water heater cover and the switch is just under the gas line but hidden from straight on view.. We have a 2014 Cougar 313RLI.

Maybe this note will help someone else out.




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Old 08-10-2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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Just an aside to folks , who are replacing the electric element .
Don't buy the RV store element tool, it WILL break/bend. For the same $ you can buy a 1 1/2" six point 1/2" drive socket that will not fail, guaranteed for life.
Auto-Zone; Duralast 1 1/2" 75-818
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