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Old 10-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #1
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water heater switch

I have a 1998 fleetwood terry with an atwood water heater and next to my water pump switch I have what looks like a light switch that is marked water heater, when I bought the trailer the previous owner showed me how to light the heater by opening the door out side and flipping a little black switch that beeped and made spark to light the heater ..... Anyone have any idea what the switch is for?
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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On my 2005 fleetwood fiesta the switch you describe and the location is what ignites my gas water heater. I've never tried from outside the coach. When you turn the switch on a red light should come on and it will go off once the heater is ignited.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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In my coach, the atwood water heater is lp/electric and I have a little switch like you describe that controls the electric heating element, so I don't have to burn my LP if I'm on shore power at a CG.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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This switch has no light I will try to add a pic of what it looks like ..... What would I look for on the water heater to tell if it also had electric element?


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Old 10-25-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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I should add that my switch says water heater on it and one side is labeled "on"
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Go outside and open the access panel and get the model number so we know what features your water heater has. Should be something like GC6A-7E, G6A-7, or G6A-7E.

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Old 10-26-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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I'm guessing someone added an inside switch for electric only on the hot water heater.I had an old Terry and I added a switch just like you describe so that I didn't have to crawl into the storage compartment to turn it on or off. Pull the switch out and check the wires. If they are romex and the white wire is connected to the black wire through the switch... that's what it is. Now pull out your volt meter and trace out the wires. Do they go from the switch you describe to the back of the hot water heater? If yes, that switch turns on the electric elelment in the hot water heater.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:14 PM   #8
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It is also possible someone added a Hott-Rod electric element at some point. Knowing the model number identifes what features where designed into the WH (Pilot, DSI, Electric, etc.). From that information it can be derived how it is set up (there are at least 3 seperate wiring configurations for a Atwood WH). That switch could even be for the pilot model auto-relight option.

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Old 10-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info I got the model number and some pics if the water heater
Model GC6AA-8

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:53 AM   #10
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You have a pilot model with Auto Pilot relighter and 110VAC Screw-in Heating Element. The Auto Pilot relighter (black box in top picture) was not original but added later. Model number would have been GC6AA-8E if it had been original.

A 110VAC Screw-in Heating Element located on the rear of the water heater. There is also a switch on the rear of the unit.

After manually lighting the the pilot light, the Auto Relighter (black box with wires in your picture) is used to automatically relight the pilot light if it is blown out. I believe this is a 12VDC device though Atwood documentation is clear in this regard.

You will have to trace the wires a bit for the wall switch as it could be wired for either of the following:
1) Turns the 110VAC Screw-in Heating Element ON/OFF
2) Turns the Auto Relighter ON/OFF

Installation/Operators Manual: http://www.atwoodmobile.com/manuals/...2011.19.07.pdf

The manual also talks to relighter operation

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Old 10-28-2011, 04:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the info
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #12
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FWIW, that is the exact switch my 7-year-newer MS uses to control the electric element on my Suburban water heater.
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