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Author Topic: Atwood water heater problem  (Read 2217 times)

1Longbow

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Atwood water heater problem
« on: March 25, 2013, 08:12:22 PM »
I've got a 2008 sunset Trail trailer that has a 10 gallon Atwood water heater in .It is a dual control (electric/gas model)  It worked fine last year when we winterized it,first camping trip this year the electric side did not work,gas did. Any ideas as to what to look for ,for  fixing it? Breakers and fuses all good,do you think the heating element has failed? The light on the control,where you can select electric or gas,does not come on when you turn it on to electric. Ideas --Thanks guys :-\

captsteve

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 08:16:34 PM »
put a meter on the switch and make sure you have power coming in. Reset your breaker also. if you have power to both sides of the switch, check power at the element.
Capt Steve has the Conn, Trina navigator ( Admiral )
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Tourmaster

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 09:31:56 PM »
If you energize the electric element without water in the tank it will burn out in a few seconds.
Check continuity on the heater element. If there is no continuity then it is burned out and needs to be replaced. I am on my third one now.
Good Luck.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 09:36:23 PM by Tourmaster »
John & Carol
2009 Winnebago Tour 40 TD

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 10:40:55 PM »
The control that selects electric vs gas is not part of the standard heater - it is provided by the RV manufacturer. Your first chore is to figure out if the switch is working. I would not leap to conclusions about the heater itself until that was verified.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tourmaster

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 11:51:03 AM »
In my rig the wall switch for the electric heater element is a 12V circuit that operates a 12V relay. The relay in turn will supply the 110V to the electric element. If the water is hot from the gas operation then the thermostat (12V circuit) will be satisfied and then there will be no 110V to the electric element. Think it thru and try not to be fooled by it.
John & Carol
2009 Winnebago Tour 40 TD

kjansen

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 05:44:45 PM »
By the way, you can pick new elements at Lowes, Home Depot and most hardware stores.  Take the old one in to match size and length of element.  Most of the time you will find the electricity was turned on before there was water in the tank and as mentioned, this will burn out an element in a couple of minutes.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

John From Detroit

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 05:52:26 PM »
One comment.. Now take this with the proper quanity of sodium chloride (Grain of Salt)

One RV "Expert" recommends that instead of a 120 volt 1300-1500 watt element, you get one designed for 240 volts.

The result is a lower current draw, (He says 1/4, I'm thinking 1/2) but it will also greatly slow the recovery of the heater.

I'm going to toss the idea out here and let others comment...  If you normally hit the gas when you go to wash dishes or shower or whatever (use hot water other than hand washing) it might be OK, and it would lessen the load when on 30 amps.

To Manufacturers.. Need a water heater with a HIGH/LOW switch.
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My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 11:00:27 AM »
You can reduce the wattage to the element, but that also increases the time to heat the water. May not be a problem for some, but others prefer a quick recovery time. If tow people typically shower in quick succession, fast recovery is a necessity (though you can turn on the gas to supplement the electric).
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

1Longbow

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 09:29:43 PM »
Thanks for all your help guys. It ended up being the heating element. Its been replaced and we are up and runnning!

Tourmaster

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Re: Atwood water heater problem
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 09:42:13 PM »
1Longbow thanks for lettings us know the end result. Remember to always have water in the tank when you turn it on. For me I seem to always blow it during winterizing.
John & Carol
2009 Winnebago Tour 40 TD

 

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