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Author Topic: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI  (Read 714 times)

Umpireone

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Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« on: February 07, 2018, 02:20:00 PM »
I must have missed the info about the WH when we bought our trailer.  First-timer here with a 25' Pioneer and I have what is probably a simple question: How long should it take to heat the water in a 6 gallon Atwood using just the electric element on Shore power?  When I flip the electric side of the switch inside the trailer, all I hear is a very faint 'whiring' sound.  We have used the heater several times, but I have always just used the propane option.  Now that I think I understand the benefit of using both, I want to make sure the electric side is working properly.  Not sure how to do that. I have researched the Atwood manuals online (didn't get one when we bought the RV) and still don't know how to sure the electric element is working. 

Badlands Bob

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 03:40:35 PM »
Give it about 20 minutes and you should have hot water.  There shouldn't be any sounds associated with the electric side of the water heater.  I don't know where the faint whirring sound is coming from.
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keymastr

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 05:56:58 PM »
The whirring is probably the fan on the converter which will spin a little faster since the element is drawing more power. That seems like proof right there.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 06:07:14 PM »
The electric heating element is 120-volt. Using it should have no effect on the converter or its fan. If the OP has a volt meter, checking for voltage at the heating element would be the place to start trouble shooting if the water is not getting warm after 10-15 minutes.
Dutch
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ksbowman

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 08:38:46 PM »
Badlands Bob is correct. Mine has good hot water in about 20 minutes. I just replaced ours this summer and put in a new unit. The water produced by the new one seems much hotter than the old unit that failed. I need to use a thermometer to check the current water temperature.

Umpireone

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 11:04:45 AM »
I really appreciate all the advice. I'll check out the voltage this weekend.  We are headed out for a weekend trip.  I ran the water heater last night on electric for about 20 minutes and the water never got hot.     The only other oddity I have found is that while the propane side of heater works great, the light in the switch never goes off.  If I read the manual correctly, it is supposed to go off when the propane cuts off and then on again when it heats back up.  The propane is working correctly-the light just doesn't go off.  Should I be concerned or chalk it up to another minor electrical glitch that I have to track down?

NY_Dutch

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 12:14:51 PM »
The DSI switch for our water heater has a green LED that just shows it's turned on, and a red ignition LED that comes on initially, and then shuts off when the burner lights. It comes on again when the burner restarts the ignition process for a reheat.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 12:53:49 PM »
I think you have a problem.. The light should go out when you turn the switch off.

However I don't know if your RV is the same.

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 04:16:07 PM »
Whether the red light goes off or not depends on the age of the heater model, and possibly on how the switch is wired by the RV manufacturer as well (like Dutch's).  Back in the day, the red light was a "heater on" indicator, but that changed back around 1999 or so and now it just stays on during the gas ignition sequence.
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kjansen

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 08:32:44 AM »
Is it possible the electric switch was turned on when you didn't have water in the WH?  In which case the element may be burned out  which is an easy fix.  The elements can be purchased at almost any hardware store, Lowes, or Home Depot.  Wise to take old one along to get the right size.  Some will have a double loop and this will give hot water faster.
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Rene T

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 08:44:32 AM »
I really appreciate all the advice. I'll check out the voltage this weekend.  We are headed out for a weekend trip. I ran the water heater last night on electric for about 20 minutes and the water never got hot.     The only other oddity I have found is that while the propane side of heater works great, the light in the switch never goes off.  If I read the manual correctly, it is supposed to go off when the propane cuts off and then on again when it heats back up.  The propane is working correctly-the light just doesn't go off.  Should I be concerned or chalk it up to another minor electrical glitch that I have to track down?

Did it at least start to get a little warm?
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
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From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

kdbgoat

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 08:51:50 AM »
Is it possible the electric switch was turned on when you didn't have water in the WH?  In which case the element may be burned out  which is an easy fix.  The elements can be purchased at almost any hardware store, Lowes, or Home Depot.  Wise to take old one along to get the right size.  Some will have a double loop and this will give hot water faster.

Also make sure the one you get is rated at 120 volts, not 240 volts.
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Umpireone

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 11:14:14 AM »
I am going to replace the element on my 6 gallon atwood water heater in my 2015 25' Pioneer travel trailer.  I have read that this should be done by a certified dealer because the heater has to be removed.  I have also read that it may not have to be removed if you can find access inside the trailer.  I do not want to spend a large amount of money for $20 worth of parts if I don't have to.  Am I kidding myself that this is a DIY project? 

kdbgoat

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 11:46:41 AM »
I recommend doing an internet search on "replacing electric element on Atwood DSI water heater".
There you will see a few Youtube videos and you can decide if you can do it yourself.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
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Rene T

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 01:13:42 PM »
I am going to replace the element on my 6 gallon atwood water heater in my 2015 25' Pioneer travel trailer.  I have read that this should be done by a certified dealer because the heater has to be removed.  I have also read that it may not have to be removed if you can find access inside the trailer.  I do not want to spend a large amount of money for $20 worth of parts if I don't have to.  Am I kidding myself that this is a DIY project?

Why do you feel you need to replace the element? Have you checked the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn't tripped. You need to shut it off then back on to reset it.

This is a DIY project. But you do need access to the backside. In mine, I had to cut a section of the back wall of one of my cabinets to gain access to the backside. A RV dealer would also have to do that so the pipes and electrics can be disconnected. It may also be just a matter of removing a couple of drawers. If you gain access, It's just a matter of going to Home Depot and picking up a electric element. Make sure it's a 1400/1500 Watt  120 AC volt element. It will be about 8" long. They also sell a cheap wrench for unscrewing the element. Once you gain access, it will take longer to drain the tank than doing the actual work. 10 Minute job at the most.  And it will be less than $20.00 for parts. A dealer will probably charge you $200.00 in labor.
Don't forget to fill the tank before turning the 110 volt power back on.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/1500-Watt-120-Volt-High-Watt-Density-Screw-In-Water-Heater-Element-15024/204834407

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Camco-5-in-Screw-In-Element-Wrench-09883/206807374
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:22:55 PM by Rene T »
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
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Umpireone

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2018, 03:33:57 PM »
Thanks! Found the access panel beneath the oven last night.  Going to drain the water heater and replace the element this weekend.  Thanks for the advice!

John From Detroit

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Re: Atwood 6 gal water heater with DSI
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 04:40:49 PM »
One comment if I've not already made it

RV101byFred. something.. I've met Fred  interesting older RVer.  I took his advise.

He suggests when you replace that 1500 watt 120 volt heat element

you use a 1500 watt 240 volt element.. that is about 375 watts (1500/4) at 120 volts.

WHY. Well sometimes I'm on 30 amps and I can tell you the odds of the park breaker tripping went down by about 9 amps.   Takes 4 times as long to make hot water (From turn on) but once it's hot it stays hot just fine and it is not often I need more than one tank of hot at a time even with jsut a six gallon. If I'm in a hurry.. I can always hit the GAS switch .. but that slower AC element sure makes the breaker happier.
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