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Old 04-10-2016, 08:44 AM   #1
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Tankless water heater -vs- normal gas

I recently purchased a 2014 232RBS Everlite RV and during walk thru it was pointed out that the previous owner had a Atwood tankless water heater installed from the original gas water heater. I wasn't going to purchase because of the horror stories. The dealer tech said Atwood is great product and I should never have a problem. Got the RV home and setup at a camp... no hot water. Appears a sensor is out. The pilot click and sparks and it sometimes ignites and fires up only for a few seconds and goes out. Dealer needs me to haul it 80 miles back to check it... I may have the option to have the dealer put the original back in...

I'd like to know your comments and thoughts on this? I've never ever heard of a Evergreen owner having water heater issues except for tankless. I am thinking if I have to haul it 80 miles again, plus I've NEVER got to use the water heater... I may demand they put the original back in...
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFeather View Post
I recently purchased a 2014 232RBS Everlite RV and during walk thru it was pointed out that the previous owner had a Atwood tankless water heater installed from the original gas water heater. I wasn't going to purchase because of the horror stories. The dealer tech said Atwood is great product and I should never have a problem. Got the RV home and setup at a camp... no hot water. Appears a sensor is out. The pilot click and sparks and it sometimes ignites and fires up only for a few seconds and goes out. Dealer needs me to haul it 80 miles back to check it... I may have the option to have the dealer put the original back in...

I'd like to know your comments and thoughts on this? I've never ever heard of a Evergreen owner having water heater issues except for tankless. I am thinking if I have to haul it 80 miles again, plus I've NEVER got to use the water heater... I may demand they put the original back in...
Not familiar with the Atwood Tankless heater, but on the Atwood water heater with a tank, a common problem is that a critter, usually a spider of some type has crawled up in the flame tube and built a wispery little nest that prevents the flame from getting going properly. That is the symptoms that you are describing. If it were a standard water heater, the procedure is to mark the position of the tube that slides on the smaller tube (moving this tube back in forth adjusts the amount of air that mixes with the metered propane, giving you the proper mixture for clean combustion). Unscrew the keeper screw, slide the tube back, remove the 90 degree angle fitting, and look up into the combustion chamber. If you see ANYTHING except the igniter, , us a long "Q-tip" or applicator, run it around in the tube until you get all of the "stuff" out, reinstall everything, and try it again. (please pardon me on the specifics, as I am typing this from memory). Hope it works for you, and please update us on your situation!
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I've already had a tech guy look at it and troubleshoot it. I can see that the pilot ignites just fine. And I can see that it does light up briefly sometimes. After the tech looked at it, he said he's pretty sure it is the sensor and that is why it won't stay lit. If anyone has seen these tankless water heaters, there is absolutely little room to do any normal maintenance as you describe. Since I have it parked in the wilderness (at Kerr Lake, NC) there isn't any mechanics local that I know of... my only recourse is to take it back to the dealer in Raleigh, which is about 80 miles away.

But as I said, the manager at the dealer said if they find the water heater faulty, they would give me the option to fix it or replace it with the original. I am thinking of going with the original because I've never heard of anyone having issues with them... but tankless... it is riddled all over the forums with issues...
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:14 PM   #4
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You can have issues with the conventional water heater, but it was already described above: spider web in the nozzle. Out in the sticks, you'll probably get that, so know how to deal with and the conventional unit should be just fine, but a small tank vs the constant.

I have no problem with getting a shower with just a six gallon tank. Others might, I don't judge. I figure if I'm boondocking, the shower is nearly a luxury, and I'm grateful to have it.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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brush

you can get a brush anywhere that sells gas BBQ's to clean out the tube
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GreenFeather View Post
Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I've already had a tech guy look at it and troubleshoot it. I can see that the pilot ignites just fine. And I can see that it does light up briefly sometimes. After the tech looked at it, he said he's pretty sure it is the sensor and that is why it won't stay lit. If anyone has seen these tankless water heaters, there is absolutely little room to do any normal maintenance as you describe. Since I have it parked in the wilderness (at Kerr Lake, NC) there isn't any mechanics local that I know of... my only recourse is to take it back to the dealer in Raleigh, which is about 80 miles away.

But as I said, the manager at the dealer said if they find the water heater faulty, they would give me the option to fix it or replace it with the original. I am thinking of going with the original because I've never heard of anyone having issues with them... but tankless... it is riddled all over the forums with issues...

The only thing I would add is that with the conventional water heater you also have the option of heating the water with electric. That way when you are plugged in, you are heating the water with electricity that you are already paying for and not depleting your propane!

We have a 10 gallon tank, but when we have several people showering (one after another, darn it) we will also turn on the propane switch. With the 'lectric AND the propane going, it is much like having an "on-demand" hot water quantity anyway!
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:54 PM   #7
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On my 2014 Evergreen I-go I have the Atwood on demand tankless water heater..
At first it was a pain in the tail...mud wasps built a nest in the clear air hose for the actuator(the one that sticks out of the grille.. Then it started tripping the thermal.. None of the techs had a clue on what was going on and after about three trips back to a dealer. I called Atwood myself.. talking to a lady there she told me what was wrong and gave me a part number to have the dealer order to fix it.. It looked like they changed the whole ignition system when it was done(the red plastics device)..after that was changed the unit works flawlessly and I love it... It's amazing on how fast the water heats .. Once working properly you will love yours too...
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies... today (and it is raining, balh!) I am hauling back down to the dealer to get it checked and fixed and stay with the tankless. I suppose if I go with the original, it will take weeks to order and install. This way I hope to get our RV back within a few days.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:33 AM   #9
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An update... dealer found that some water pressure thingy inside the Atwood was set at normal, when it should have been set higher... *shrug" so the main board went out. Long story short, they will replace the main board and the pilot and sensor to get it operating and then will replace the whole unit with a conventional one. I am done with tankless. Even the dealer service mgr agreed and said, yes, the technology is just not there yet for RV tankless. The bad part is that they have to replace the back compartment door and it will expose holes from the tankless door. They will put screws in and some type of cover. The service folks said if I didn't like the way it looks, they will do body and fender and fix it. Glad I bought that extended warranty!
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