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Old 12-03-2020, 05:53 PM   #1
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Atwood Water Heater CYCLE PROBLEM

Hi everyone, here Guido from Miami.
We have an RV that we live in 24/7, we always have the Atwood water heater ON, we never turn it off, mine is only with LP propane, not electric. 6 gallons, from the year 2001.
It always worked perfect. As I said we always have it ON so when it reaches the temperature it shuts off and then it re-cycles and it does it all day.
The times between the re-cycles always been some hours when we don't use the hot water, since the water stays very hot in the tank.
But now it kicks on every 30 minutes and stays lit for 2 or 3 minutes and shuts off, and then the same every 30 minutes all day...even if we don't use the hot water.
We have hot water all good, but the re-cycling time never was that short, and I just figured out that if i take a shower I only get hot water for 3 minutes, then it starts coming cold and obviusly the water heater starts again.
I changed the relief valve and both thermostats ( the normal and the ECO), but nothing changed.
Now is a little bit cold in Miami, the cold water supply is very cold but I don't know if that is related.

Thanks very much hope somebody can help me on this!!
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:24 PM   #2
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I was going to suggest changing the T-stats but you did that
Did you CLEAN the Tank Wall where the t-stats make contact??

T&O Relief Valve ----OK to change out since it is a 19-20 yrs old\

Short Cycling....Lack of Full Hot Water...supply water cold
Have you checked for a LEAK....hot water system?
*Cold water diluting hot due to loss of hot thru a leak
Water temp should be 140*F ---set point where T-stat Opens.

Do you have 1,2 or 3 valves on water heater?
Bypass leaking thru and diluting HOT .....??

Short cycling is typically t-stat issue...so with new ones I am at a loss

Good wire connections
At circuit board
At t-stat/ECO
Grounds
????????
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:09 AM   #3
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We had a problem last Spring with our Atwood HW heater . In our case the problem was the Control Board failed.

While I was researching the cause of the problem , I came across a 110v adapter that works with our heaters. It's called HottRod . The electrode screws into the tank drain fitting. It's a complete system , thermostat , electrode and off/on switch.

Now with both systems working at the same time , it is like having a 12 gallon HW Tank. The water heats faster so quicker recovery time .

The best thing now is we have a backup for when the propane stops working . Plus , when we are in a Park with power , we turn off the propane water heater and use the 110v water heater exclusively .

Since we're paying a flat rate for power , it's like free HW .
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill Gail View Post
We had a problem last Spring with our Atwood HW heater . In our case the problem was the Control Board failed.

While I was researching the cause of the problem , I came across a 110v adapter that works with our heaters. It's called HottRod . The electrode screws into the tank drain fitting. It's a complete system , thermostat , electrode and off/on switch.

Now with both systems working at the same time , it is like having a 12 gallon HW Tank. The water heats faster so quicker recovery time .

The best thing now is we have a backup for when the propane stops working . Plus , when we are in a Park with power , we turn off the propane water heater and use the 110v water heater exclusively .

Since we're paying a flat rate for power , it's like free HW .
Course you do still remove that set up to drain/flush tank of the scale/calcium/crud that builds up....right?

Hott Rod t-stats control to 130*F
Atwood t-stats control to 140*F
*Using both at same time is a quicker recovery but Hott Rod for 10 Gal is only 675W (6 gal--450W)

In order to 'increase' hot water you would need to heat water to 160*F and control Hot out to 130*F
*Atwood XT Models
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:45 AM   #5
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Of course , I drain and flush the tank at the end of summer every year . In fact the electrode can be removed without disassembling anything else .

After the flush and drain I leave the electrode out and turn off the breaker to avoid accidentally turning on the electrode.

With two heating elements , there is more heat being exchanged , simple thermodynamics .

You are correct about the thermostats , when the HottRod reaches 130° it cycles off while the propane heat continues to 140° . So as the HW is being used and drops below 130° both heat sources turn on . Again , generating more heat than having just the propane as the heat source.

I do acknowledge that 4 or more people showering will run out of HW , but there's only the two of us.

From personal experience , when the DW and I shower now , the second one to shower no longer runs out of hotwater . Before installing the HottRod and since I was the one usually to get to shower last , I was usually rinsing off with cold water.

Well worth the cost and effort .






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Course you do still remove that set up to drain/flush tank of the scale/calcium/crud that builds up....right?

Hott Rod t-stats control to 130*F
Atwood t-stats control to 140*F
*Using both at same time is a quicker recovery but Hott Rod for 10 Gal is only 675W (6 gal--450W)

In order to 'increase' hot water you would need to heat water to 160*F and control Hot out to 130*F
*Atwood XT Models
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:54 PM   #6
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Check your outside shower and make sure both valves are closed.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:08 PM   #7
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Check your outside shower and make sure both valves are closed.
WHY?
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:29 AM   #8
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WHY?
Quoting somebody else "If the hot and cold faucets are open and the valve at the head is closed, this creates an open loop in the system rapidly mixing hot and cold water".

And it free, easy and eliminates one possible source of the problem.
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quoting somebody else "If the hot and cold faucets are open and the valve at the head is closed, this creates an open loop in the system rapidly mixing hot and cold water".

And it free, easy and eliminates one possible source of the problem.
Can cause mixing of cold/hot ----resulting in Luke Warm Water in Hot Lines

But would not cause Cycling of WH propane
That is a temp control issue AT the WH....T-stats/wiring/circuit board, dilution of hot within the WH Tank
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Old 12-10-2020, 11:28 PM   #10
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Wonder if OP got more then 3 minutes of hot water????
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