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Old 01-12-2019, 01:19 PM   #1
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Water heater

I have a 2007 Winnebago Meridian. I think I have a bad element in my hot water tank. It is a GCH10A-4A model. It looks like the element comes out the back but Iím not sure. I would really appreciate it if someone could give me advice on this and other things or ways to check. Thanks
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billnlynda View Post
I have a 2007 Winnebago Meridian. I think I have a bad element in my hot water tank. It is a GCH10A-4A model. It looks like the element comes out the back but Iím not sure. I would really appreciate it if someone could give me advice on this and other things or ways to check. Thanks
do you have a VOM (Volt/ohm/meter) do you know how to do a continuity check on the element?

Turn off the power to the Heater, remover the 110v wire from the element terminals and check continuity at the terminals, if there is no continuity, the element is bad, if there is continuity the problem lies in either the thermostat or the power supply.

If you don't know how to perform these tests, call a pro.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

...or if you do have a VOM and are a slightly familiar with RV water heaters, this troubleshooting guide I've had bookmarked (I too once had a 2007 Meridian) is very comprehensive and gives a lot of good information in easy to understand terms on Atwood water heaters:

2004 Atwood Water Heater Service Manual


What are your symptoms?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmac00 View Post
do you have a VOM (Volt/ohm/meter) do you know how to do a continuity check on the element?

Turn off the power to the Heater, remover the 110v wire from the element terminals and check continuity at the terminals, if there is no continuity, the element is bad, if there is continuity the problem lies in either the thermostat or the power supply.

If you don't know how to perform these tests, call a pro.
If there is water in the tank you will get continuity even if the element is bad. I would start with a cold tank turn the electric on check the voltage to the element and wait and see if the water heats up.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:27 PM   #5
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YES the element is installed on backside of water heater tank at the bottom under the protective cover.
Your model uses 12V DC to trigger the 120V AC to element via a DC Relay also inside that protective cover


With cold tank of water use a voltmeter set to DC Voltage and check the following:
*Turn Electric Switch ON............measure DC Volts on WHITE Wire (outside compartment at top 4 pin connector)
*Measure DC Volts on BROWN Wires .....bottom 6 pin connector to the T-stat/From T-stat to top 4 pin connector (T-stat has to be closed/water temp below 110*F)
*Check for DC 'Millivolts' on RED Wire (bottom 6 pin connector) to ECO and then to Gas valve (when using electric a millivolt signal goes to/thru ECO so the ECO/Hi temp T-stat is part of control loop...safety measure)
No millivolt signal to/thru ECO no electric function
*Measure DC Volts on YELLOW Wire (bottom 6 pin connector)....goes to the DC Relay which then allows 120V AC to go to element.
120V AC wire on the 12V DC Relay can get burnt off....then no AC to element


IF....IF you have 12V DC thru all circuits above then you will need to remove protective cover over DC Relay and element to further test.
*Turn the 120V AC Circuit Breaker for Water Heater OFF
*Turn the Electric On/Off Switch OFF
*Do a continuity test on element..........WHITE Wire terminal on element to Element Flange. IF you have continuity....element is shorted
*Do a continuity test on element....BLACK Wire terminal to WHITE Wire terminal.
NO Continuity..bad element
To replace element:
Drain water heater/disconnect White & Black Wires on Element/Unscrew element using a 1 1/2" thin walled socket (or element wrench for hardware store)....New element is a `1400W (can use 1500W from hardware store)
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:26 AM   #6
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Hey thank you all for the great information!! I spent the day under neither and found the element on the back side. I now know what to do with all your help. Thank you.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rkesselus View Post
If there is water in the tank you will get continuity even if the element is bad. I would start with a cold tank turn the electric on check the voltage to the element and wait and see if the water heats up.
ok. educate me has to how that would be possible?
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:21 PM   #8
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I see others have given you the advice you need but I noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:33 PM   #9
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Just a follow-up on your model GCH10A-4E

Gas
Combination (electric & propane)
Heat Exchange (engine coolant)
10 gallon
A type of element---screw in
4 model version
Electronic Ignition (DSI----Direct Spark Ignition)


Here is the OEM wiring diagram for ALL Atwood Electric/Gas Models since 2004 design change
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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GET NEW Water heater ELEMENT

1. First the vehicle is 10 years old.
2. Most elements fail because there is no water in the tank when element comes on. When water hits it ...it breaks.
3. Buy online or Home Depot...in stock. if you don't have a socket to remove it...they sell an inexpensive model to unscrew it.
4. Make sure you turn off all power and disconnect battery negative before servicing.
5. You might consider changing the aneroid tube also...if it has one.

Good Luck...simple job...takes longer to go to the hardware store! LOL
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:24 PM   #11
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1. First the vehicle is 10 years old.
Age doesn't matter.....mine is OEM from 2006
*OP needs to verify the DC and AC circuits function before replacing element....might not be bad element


2. Most elements fail because there is no water in the tank when element comes on. When water hits it ...it breaks.
Elements require being submerged in water ... They have shorted long before water goes into WH Tank.
DRY Firing burns them out within a few minutes


3. Buy online or Home Depot...in stock. if you don't have a socket to remove it...they sell an inexpensive model to unscrew it.

YES...Standard water heater element
OEM is 1400W---hardware stores wil be 1500W (uses 0.5A more)



4. Make sure you turn off all power and disconnect battery negative before servicing.
120V AC circuit breakers and 12V DC Fuse ----can leave battery cables connected


5. You might consider changing the aneroid tube also...if it has one.
Suburban Brand ONLY....use a steel glass-lined tank (same as residential)
Atwood uses an Aluminum tank that has a cladding inside for added protection...NO anode rod






Good Luck...simple job...takes longer to go to the hardware store! LOL

Just some clarifications........In Red


Always test/verify that Power Circuits work FIRST


And because of Atwoods location of electric element (backside) it can be a real PITA to R/R the element.
Sometimes the whole water heater has to be removed in order to gains access to element ----thanks to RV MFGs location/installation.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:24 PM   #12
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How is the electric heating element in an Atwood different than any other electric heating element
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:28 PM   #13
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How is the electric heating element in an Atwood different than any other electric heating element

Different in what sense???


Atwood OEM element is 1400W
They used to use the 1500W
They used a bolt on style and a screw in style



Suburban OEM is 1440W
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
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ok. educate me has to how that would be possible?
He has to define continuity first.

Heater elements have very low resistance, in the single ohms when cold as I recall.

An open element in a full tank with lotsa calcium cabonate may read in the mega ohms.
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