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Old 07-24-2021, 10:20 PM   #1
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Atwood water heater

Need some help. WH is working fine on propane not on Electric. Have check all the things related to electric all is good. How ever can't get to the back of the WH. Does anyone have a way to get to the back of the WH without removing it. We have a 2006 HR Endeavor PAQ.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:40 AM   #2
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Iíve not seen a duel fuel motorhome/rv water heaters that didnít have a panel on the outside that is easily hinged down out of the way.

I would be suspect that youíve got a tripped 120VAC breaker, but if not, then you can access the thermostat and heater from the above access door.

They have to to have the access panel to the outside as itís a gas burning appliance.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:47 AM   #3
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Don't know what you mean by checking all things related to electrical but.

You need 12 volts to run a relay on or near the water heater. You could have lost a fuse that controls that circuit.

Is this the 10 gallon unit?

In any case, could be a bad heating element of course but you will have to get to the back of the heater.

I'm surprised you are unlucky to have no access. There is a cover door for the back of mine so access is easy.

They are not incredibly difficult to remove but having two people will really help.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMark52 View Post
Iíve not seen a duel fuel motorhome/rv water heaters that didnít have a panel on the outside that is easily hinged down out of the way.

I would be suspect that youíve got a tripped 120VAC breaker, but if not, then you can access the thermostat and heater from the above access door.

They have to to have the access panel to the outside as itís a gas burning appliance.
He has an Atwood heater. The heating element is in the rear of the tank, not accessible from the outside door. Thermostats, yes, heating element no.


To the OP, search very carefully, inside the coach, directly behind the water heater. It is rare, though not unknown, not to have a removable panel to access the rear of the heater. Hopefully, someone with your make, model, and year coach can offer help.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
He has an Atwood heater. The heating element is in the rear of the tank, not accessible from the outside door. Thermostats, yes, heating element no.

Aghhh - my bad - had my orientation perspective backwards

To the OP, search very carefully, inside the coach, directly behind the water heater. It is rare, though not unknown, not to have a removable panel to access the rear of the heater. Hopefully, someone with your make, model, and year coach can offer help.
Agreeing with Ljwt330!

FWIW - https://manuals.heartlandowners.org/...e%20Manual.pdf

It sure helps when model numbers are included in OPís. 😀
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:36 AM   #6
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Crawl under your coach right at the water heater. Many install the water heater down low, inside a what looks like a compartment door. Mine has a door that opens, then the actual water heater door, where you access all the electrical and gas parts. If installed like this, it may be enclosed in a metal box. I went oh ****.

Upon closer inspection I found there was a large round cover screwed in covering the back of the water heater element, 120v and a breaker of some type.

On my previous coach, the outside cover was just accessed by opening the latch. The back was accessible from a cabinet inside right behind the WH. Four screws. You had to look hard to find it
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:14 AM   #7
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2006 Atwood gas/electric are the same whether 6gal or 10 gal
*have been since 2004 Versions

DC controls both Gas & Electric Functions
Gas works...then thermal fuse and t-stat/ECO are good FOR the gas circuit

ECO when using the electric MUST have a millivolt current thru it so ECO is incorporated into the temp safety control loop
W/O that millivolt current the circuit board will not pass DC to the DC Relay via Yellow wire
DC Relay when closed allows 120VAC to the element

So Check DC Voltage on Yellow Wire from Circuit Breaker
No DC....then remove Red wires on ECO and clean/tighten the terminal/spade connections
*retest for DC on Yellow

****Water temp has to be below 110*F and electric switch ON with DC to circuit board via White wire

YES have DC on Yellow Wire
Then you need to gain access to backside of water heater
DC relay and Element are under the protective cover on back bottom of WH Tank
Access.....
Locate where water heater is installed
Then go inside and check location for:
Removable floor panel in cabinet
Removable panel under/behind drawers
**Removable as in screwed or stapled in place

No Panels
Then check for access UNDER the RV where water heater is

No...then you may have to REMOVE the Water Heater cause RV Designers are IDIOTS

First..Check the DC Circuit to/thru/out the circuit board
Here is a colored wiring diagram for ALL Atwood Combo units since 2004
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Old 07-25-2021, 05:25 PM   #8
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I do have 12 volts on the yellow wire. The model is a GC10A-3E. There is a small door in the pass thorough bay. I can see the water heater through the door but there is no way to reach the box on the water heater that covers the relay and heating element. I will look under the coach tomorrow for an access panel.

Thanks for all the suggestions
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itdave View Post
I do have 12 volts on the yellow wire. The model is a GC10A-3E. There is a small door in the pass thorough bay. I can see the water heater through the door but there is no way to reach the box on the water heater that covers the relay and heating element. I will look under the coach tomorrow for an access panel.

Thanks for all the suggestions
Just remember when working on this to make sure the water is cooled off. And if you get access to the back and pull the element to check, I would drain the water heater first. Better to have 10 gal of water running on the ground outside than on top of you when you pull the element.

Don't ask how I know.
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by itdave View Post
I do have 12 volts on the yellow wire. The model is a GC10A-3E. There is a small door in the pass thorough bay. I can see the water heater through the door but there is no way to reach the box on the water heater that covers the relay and heating element. I will look under the coach tomorrow for an access panel.

Thanks for all the suggestions
Just for clarification
Model has to be a GC10A-4E
3E version production stopped in 2003 and there is no Yellow wire as that version uses Separate controls for AC (120VAC Direct) and Gas (circuit board for gas only operation)


DC Relay may be OK but the 120VAC wire to/from relay could be melted
Element could be burnt out if turned on W/O water in WH Tank

Access.....RV MFGs/Designers are Idiots ...and should have to work on anything they design before going into production

Hope you find an better access....

The element is 9 1/2" long ---10 3/4" overall length

Remember there is 12VDC and 120VAC inside that cover
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:08 PM   #11
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Just an FYI. Many or these have very limited access and are hard to get a socket on. If you think you need to change the element you may want to buy a wrench made for it.

I have one along with a spare element in my "supplies" bin.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...9610014&ipos=1
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:18 PM   #12
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Just an FYI. Many or these have very limited access and are hard to get a socket on. If you think you need to change the element you may want to buy a wrench made for it.

I have one along with a spare element in my "supplies" bin.

https://www.menards.com/main/plumbin...9610014&ipos=1
A 1 1/2" 6 point thin walled socket works better
Sometimes access makes it hard to get 'rod/screw driver' inside to turn that Element wrench
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:38 AM   #13
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Need some help. WH is working fine on propane not on Electric. Have check all the things related to electric all is good. How ever can't get to the back of the WH. Does anyone have a way to get to the back of the WH without removing it. We have a 2006 HR Endeavor PAQ.
Dave,

You and I have the same coach and, unless you can fit into the tiny passenger side lower compartment door access panel inside the bay area next door to the heater (which Mickey Mouse would have trouble fitting into), you are going to have to remove the water heater to access the rear end.

My electric on the identical heater stopped working years ago and, after trouble shooting like you did, decided that it was the electric rod inside that had gone bad. Works fine on propane, and besides being hotter and quicker to heat up, doesn't bother me in the slightest.

So, rather than spend the time, money and trouble to rip it out, I decided to just make do with it. Some of the fancier and more expensive ones out there only work on propane now.

Hope this helps somewhat?
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:52 AM   #14
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Dave,

You and I have the same coach and, unless you can fit into the tiny passenger side lower compartment door access panel inside the bay area next door to the heater (which Mickey Mouse would have trouble fitting into), you are going to have to remove the water heater to access the rear end.

My electric on the identical heater stopped working years ago and, after trouble shooting like you did, decided that it was the electric rod inside that had gone bad. Works fine on propane, and besides being hotter and quicker to heat up, doesn't bother me in the slightest.

So, rather than spend the time, money and trouble to rip it out, I decided to just make do with it. Some of the fancier and more expensive ones out there only work on propane now.

Hope this helps somewhat?
Thanks Chef Guy you are a great help just like when we are in Quartzsite.
I just got back from taking another look with my Endoscope. As you said there no access except for the Micky Mouse door. We too are operating on only propane it works except that unlike the electric I am not too sure about leaving it on 24/7.
Did you give any though to creating an access hatch through the bay wall?
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