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Old 05-12-2022, 10:18 AM   #1
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Water heater

So, due to sciatic nerve issues, I forgot about and never finished winterizing our trailer. I at least thought the water heater was empty but alas, was not. It has a small crack in the wall, about 1/4". Can this be patched with something like JB weld or something food safe? Or is the pressure buildup going to be too much and I am just in for a new unit? We have a trip in two weeks and I would like to at least get through that one. Its a 6 gallon propane only unit.

How difficult are these to replace?

Thanks
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:44 AM   #2
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I'd replace it. Getting it out, opening up the crack, welding it, and installation would take just as long as getting a new one. They aren't terrible to replace. Generally, there's a mess of screws around the exterior under the door (or around). that allows you to remove the door. Then there's probably 3 long screws that hold the water heater in place. Remove those, pull the water lines and the propane line inside, and slide it out. You'll need some new tape to go between the door frame and the camper wall and a new water heater.

One thing you might consider is an on demand propane system. They come in the same size as your 6 gallon heater and give "unlimited" hot water. Same propane connection and water line connection. You will have to add a thermostat controller.

Buddy of mine has this one ready to install in his 5th wheel:

https://www.amazon.com/Fogatti-Tankl...ci_mcx_mi&th=1

One thing he'll have to do looking at it is cut the corners of the wall square as the new one is square and not rounded corners. I started installing his but he misplaced his controller so it had to wait. Looking at it, wouldn't be a major install though. Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:49 AM   #3
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If the WH is a:
Suburban ---------steel glass lined tank so NO have to replace whole unit
Atwood...........Aluminum tank so YES can be welded

**Valve out propane cylinders, disconnect propane line at WH gas valve, disconnect wiring connections (at backside of WH Tank), disconnect hot.cold lines
Remove frame screws/cut sealant around frame--RV exterior and pull unit

Atwood....with unit removed and if crack is fully accessible it can be welded W/O disassembling WH Tank from drawn pan
Otherwise you have to cut the seal rings off combustion/exhaust tubes and separate tank from drawn pan
Then after welded/repaired////NEW seal ring/gasket kit to reinstall tank to drawn pan

New replacement........check AVAILABILITY
Dometic has dropped Atwood products and their models are different sizes
Suburban in stock???

On Demand.......check reviews
Many unhappy folks due to Flow Rate Issues
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:00 PM   #4
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I replaced two Atwood units (one due to son, one due to FIL) in my Camper - JB weld or anything similar is a bad idea.....while technically you could (or more accurately, someone who can weld aluminum could) repair the tank, I found it easier just to replace the whole unit.....twice. They aren't that hard to replace, you'll need some butyl tape, proflex sealer, gas pipe sealer and the usual tools


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Old 05-16-2022, 04:10 PM   #5
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Thanks. I appreciate the info. I believe its an Atwood, but will double check. The crack in fully accessible form the inside without moving any plumbing or wiring. My other concern was internal damage, not sure what else in there other than the heat tube.

We had hoped to upgrade trailers this year, but that looks more like a next year thing at this point, so we probably won't go with any on demand upgrades. If they end up being hard to find or too pricey we will just camp at grounds with shower houses.

I appreciate all the info, certainly saves a lot of time just asking!
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Old 05-16-2022, 04:19 PM   #6
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Maybe this is an option for you?


2-way water heaters
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Old 05-17-2022, 10:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
Maybe this is an option for you?


2-way water heaters
Wow, thanks I appreciate it! Shockingly new ones are down from a few years ago, but this price is even better.

I have asked for the model number, I can't quite make out the one in the photo. I'll see if it looks like it will fit, I would assume no issues if its both electric and LP? Just not hooking up the electric?
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Old 05-17-2022, 12:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yowmemperor View Post
Wow, thanks I appreciate it! Shockingly new ones are down from a few years ago, but this price is even better.

I have asked for the model number, I can't quite make out the one in the photo. I'll see if it looks like it will fit, I would assume no issues if its both electric and LP? Just not hooking up the electric?
The ad mentions Dometic, but they appear to be Suburban, so confirm with the seller, for sure. 'lectric would be a simple hook-up, even with only a short 12 gauge extension cord for "emergencies".
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:19 AM   #9
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The ad mentions Dometic, but they appear to be Suburban, so confirm with the seller, for sure. 'lectric would be a simple hook-up, even with only a short 12 gauge extension cord for "emergencies".
I wanted to say thanks again. I did pick up one of these dual units from that post, brand new never used. They came from a new trailer where the buyer upgraded to an on-demand.

I am going to install this today, but they are definitely different sizes, so some fabrication may be in order. At the very least to keep it stable and water out. I may be back here with odd questions...
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