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Old 08-28-2020, 01:46 PM   #1
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Troubleshooting Atwood water heater

Hoping that someone here has successfully fixed an Atwood 6 gal propane only water heater. Ours worked perfectly until it didn't.

After watching a "you can easily fix it yourself" YouTube video, I replaced both thermostats. I also checked that the inline fuse on one leg of one of the thermostats is good. There's 12vdc on both sides of it and continuity through it. I've heard people refer to an an/off switch. There is a hot water tank gas on/off switch on the panel inside the coach along with a red light that is labeled something like "pilot out" but it is not illuminated and I assume there' no pilot flame anyways. Right next to the gas on/off switch, is an "electric on/off" switch which I assumed doesn't do anything.

The obvious stuff: I have more than 3/4 of a tank of propane. The burner tube looks clear of spider webs but I'll take a closer look with a flashlight when I've lost the glare from the sun. I also proactively purchased a replacement circuit board for it but have not installed it. It would be nice if I could find out the real problem without having to use the board.

Any ideas out there?
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Old 08-28-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
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First question ......WHAT is the Model of your Atwood????

IF it is a G6A-8E it IS a gas only
IF it is a GC10-4E it is Gas/Electric

** Electric is controlled by 12VDC circuits.....will be a Yellow wire coming out of circuit board which goes to a DC relay under protective cover on BACKSIDE of WH tank (same place element is located)
NO visual Indication if element is on/off except for On/Off Switch position and increase in AMP Load when on

AS for GAS not working.......
Second question
Do you get a SPARK (Click, click, click( when gas switch is turned ON?
NO spark.......could be loose wiring on spark electrode, bas connection on spark electrode wire at circuit board, bad circuit board

Yes have spark ....could be dirty burner, dirty orifice, wrong spark gap, dirty/soot on spark electrode

Answer 1st and 2nd questions for Specific Info
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:27 PM   #3
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Sorry. It's a gas only, model G6A-AE-SP. I hand no idea how to get it to make that click click sound.

One thought... This is the first time the propane tank is less than full. It's at 3/4 according to the cheapo gauges installed on the mh. The burners on the stove and the oven all light perfectly, however.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:21 PM   #4
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Open outside compartment panel on water heater
Then have some0one turn the gas switch ON
You should HEAR and SEE a spark jumping from end of spark electrode to burner....spark is High Voltage (roughly 2000VDC/Low amps) to ignite the propane as it flows out end of burner tube

Should be able to feel gas valve solenoids Click as they are energized
Both have to work in order to open gas valve

DC Voltage is sent to gas valve solenoids (12VDC) and to Spark Electrode (High Voltage from transformer on circuit board) AT THE SAME TIME

http://techsupport.pdxrvwholesale.co...ting-Guide.pdf

http://techsupport.pdxrvwholesale.co...Schematics.pdf
**3rd diagram should be for your model
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:58 AM   #5
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Here's a link to the Atwood Service Manual which may help you.

http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Atwo...ice-manual.pdf
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:34 AM   #6
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Thanks, everyone. I'm going see what's up with it this morning. I'll let let you all know what I find. Hopefully what I find is hot water.
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:01 PM   #7
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Alrighty... hot water tank fixed. Two issues:

1) Wire nut came loose on 110v incoming power connection. Wires sparked but didn't trip the breaker. That explained the smell of burning plastic that we had for a very short time about a week ago. (Note: what in the world are the mh companies doing using wire nuts in a vehicle that could be subject to vibration??!
2) A critter ate through the 12v incoming power to the water heater. Replaced a 3 foot run of wire behind the cabinets.

Viola! Water heater fired right up. One other thing... Hey Thor technical support, if you're reading this, the Atwood hot water heater is propane AND electric, not just propane.

Btw if any of you readers thought for a minute that I fixed this, you'd be wrong. George Midyette of RV Doctor Mobile, in Jacksonville nailed this problem for me. I just held the flashlight. I rate him a 10/10.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting fix & resolution

The model number you posted is for GAS Only

Gas/Electric model would have a GC6-XX
XX would be based on year of RV.....or water heater
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:30 AM   #9
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That model number I posted was the model number Thor gave me when I provided them with the VIN of my coach. When they said it was propane only, I asked the question, "so what does the switch do that's labeled "hot water electric". They told me it didn't do anything.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:36 AM   #10
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Here's what I've learned in my 2-3 year ownership of my Hurricane.

With most things that stop working, you check the easy and obvious things first-those are likely to be the problem. Something is unplugged, you're not following the instructions, or a low cost, easy-to-replace part needs to be replaced.

With this motorhome, I've found that when something stops working, the fix is non-obvious and complicated, the documentation is poor, and/or the parts are often expensive. I've seen this over and over.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfieldwiz View Post
That model number I posted was the model number Thor gave me when I provided them with the VIN of my coach. When they said it was propane only, I asked the question, "so what does the switch do that's labeled "hot water electric". They told me it didn't do anything.
Data Sticker in water heater outside compartment will show Model Number
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:19 AM   #12
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Not checking the model number on the hot water heater and instead relying on Thor was my second mistake. My first mistake was buying a Thor motorhome.

We SO wanted to love our Hurricane. We had two years of great adventures in it. But we also spent over over $10,000 to repair/replace an entire slide mechanism, stair motor, water pump, generator carb and of course, ALL of the upholstery. (Yes, past tense. We're moving on to another brand.)

Hey Thor, if you're listening, there's a small fire that's been started among owners. There's a ton of fuel being piled on and plenty of oxygen. Eventually the talk will end. Someone is going to attract the attention of some law firm that makes its money from class action lawsuits. You, with all of your brands and market share will likely get burned.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfieldwiz View Post
Hey Thor, if you're listening,.
What on earth makes you think Thor reads this or any other forum or cares about what is posted here?
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Old 05-29-2021, 08:10 AM   #14
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I did a video on this. but its usually thermocouple or gas valve .
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