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Old 05-28-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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rain water leak past atwood water heater

just a heads up......when you drop the outer door down to get inside your water heater take notice of the silver clips with 3 screws in each corner of the outside mounting flange. if you do not see any sealant behind those clips, remove them and see if there is any sealant at all. mine had none, which left an open hole in each corner. the upper right was big enough to almost put your little finger in. there is a thin strip of butyl tape only behind the flange and not all of that. atwood's installation instructions are quite simple and has a specific size for the opening. mine is 3/8" too big all around (uhh, how many little lines on that stick did you say?) atwood states: caulk ALL the way around inside AND out then push unit into sealant. then install corner clips for an airtight seal. maybe the same guy did this that did my ac unit. it just blows me away that anyone, even with minimal skills, could believe that was water tight. lets see....its not even 3 years old. I wonder how long it'll take for mold and mildew to become apparent or for the outer skin to delaminate? oh well, its out of warranty now......I think i'll let the next guy find out........mjf.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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Have any photos?
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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Photos would be good..I'm confused, but that doesnt take much.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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sorry, no photos. when I found that leak I was so angry I would have broken the camera. I had to fix it right away, its raining here. in the most simple terms.....make sure your water heater is sealed ALL the way around the outside......mjf.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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This is from my prior 2001 Excel. If I understood the description correctly, it is the four corner brackets. It's not pretty but is sealed.

Hard to believe how many photo I've kept...just hard to get rid of.

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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thank you "workshop", that's exactly what i'm talking about. not a lick of sealant behind those corners.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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Oh my gosh work........and I was just braggin' on your caulking skills!! What in the world....are you tryin' to make a monkey out of me???
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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Thank you, will check mine today
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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Rockin' sorry about that. That photo was taken after I bought the Beast in 2007. One of the things I do after buying a unit is to take photos of almost everything....behind drawers if there is anything there, under cabinets, behind compartment dividers, etc. That way if I'm in the house and starting a project or 'wondering about' something....I bring up a photo. Besides a good way to get to know the unit is to look at everything...almost anyway. So that is one of those photos, caulk outside was done in the future... but the inside stuff probably stayed the same.

I can run 100 ft. of perfect silicone caulk in the morning...stop for lunch and mess up everything thereafter. The only thing I could suggest is keep the tip small, don't apply more than needed to make a good seal, keep the spread finger clean and apply during the coolest part of the day and not in direct sunlight.


Here is the back side of my Suburban WH...the red circle marks a small hole that allows a single control wire to pass through to the gas valve. When I replaced the WH door/trim ring to 'freshen' up the look....I removed the old caulk that sealed the hole and forgot to reseal it. Well travel to several weeks ago, days before a weekend trip and four days and 'bout 10 inches rain. I raised the front of the 5er to hitch up, drove it closer to the house...got up on the roof to remove a small branch sitting on the edge...when coming down the ladder I heard a warning tone which sounded like the smoke alarm. When I entered the inside I determined it wasn't the smoke alarm...looking around I couldn't determine the source but it was coming from under the sink cabinet. Still not sure what was causing it, I removed a panel that allowed access to the back of the water heater. There making all the noise was a water alarm, that sits on the floor near the corner. Apparently when the nose was raised, there was enough water behind the door...held by the trim ring, to put a small amount of water through the hole, on to the floor and setoff the alarm. Just have to remember I have one there as well as behind the utility hookups in the storage compartment. Hopefully if it ever goes off again...I'll remember what it is.





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Old 05-29-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workshop View Post
I can run 100 ft. of perfect silicone caulk in the morning...stop for lunch and mess up everything thereafter.
workhorse
Maybe whatever you're drinkin' for lunch!!! Hate it when that happens!!!

Seriously, thanks for the great info and pic. We appreciate you more than you know. You're welcome out here no matter what kinda rig you got. Hell, you can even drive a Ford and we wouldn't hold it against ya!!!

Hugs to Ms. Debra rockin'
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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This is amazing, as I was just dealing with this issue when padutchmans post went up.

In our case, after discovering water in the heater drip pan, we had expected a slow leak from one of the connections. Tightened those all up, cleaned up the water, and thought (hoped) problem was resolved. In our rig, you can see the front of the pan on the inside but can't see the back side of the pan area without taking the heater out. After a few days, again saw enough water that it showed in the front of pan. Cleaned up, and wrapped dry paper towels around connections and hoses to allow time for leaks to show up. Nothing.

Local RV repair checked it out-could see nothing-and raised the possibility of rain water getting in I hadn't thought about that (I blame it on sitting in the dessert and not seeing rain for 5 months this winter). Anyway, made sure it was dry, then waited for next rain. Sure enough, saw water accumulate in the pan.

So, local RV tech pulled the heater, and found the same thing as Dutchman. Fairly large holes beneath the silver clips on the corners. Nothing sealing them. When he pulled the heater out, there also appeared to be evidence of water going in thru the flange. There are holes all the way around our flange, on the edges, where the ends bend at 90 to fit up against the wall. It could be described as perforated metal which then has been bent on the perforation. (Sorry I don't have pics, but I wasn't doing this operation, just watching, and didn't want to ask the work be stopped to allow for photography). In some areas there was tape behind these holes, other spots not. There was tape all the way around, its just that in many areas the seal didn't match up with open spots. So lots of tape applied, all the way around, then heater re-inserted and caulked up good. Put to the test last night, and no water! Yeah!
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:20 AM   #12
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ah yes, I wonder how many others are like this ? drip pan ?? mine has no drip pan. I guess that's one of the differences between the winslow and limited. so, mine has been leaking down the wall and on the floor since it left the factory. atwood's installation instructions tell you to caulk those perforations on the inside before installing the unit.
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