Convert water heater from gas to gas/electric

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I just wonder why this one, also from Amazon, is so much cheaper?
400-425 watts is the heat range for the add-on units. The popular brands are Valterra Hott Rod and Camco Hybrid Heat.
Duel heat factory units are 1400 watts, so heat faster. They all end up at the same heat, but the lower wattage heater takes longer to get there.
 

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No middle man distribution warehouse, no fancy packaging, and no corporate advertising overhead. Essentially manufacturer direct to consumer, with only the Amazon commission & overhead to pay. I bought one to install for a friend and the components came in a couple zip-lock bags and the instructions were a computer printout. No other discrenable differences from the corporate products from Valtera and Camco.
 
No middle man distribution warehouse, no fancy packaging, and no corporate advertising overhead. Essentially manufacturer direct to consumer, with only the Amazon commission & overhead to pay. I bought one to install for a friend and the components came in a couple zip-lock bags and the instructions were a computer printout. No other discrenable differences from the corporate products from Valtera and Camco.
Thank you Gary
 
So Gary... Nobody makes a add-on, higher wattage unit? I wonder why?...
Butch
I can make some educated guesses...
  • The heat element has to be a smaller size to fit in the tank drain hole. A typical 1400 watt heater element is a U-loop, effectively twice as long as the add-on type and more than 2x the diameter.
  • A 1400W heater draws 12 amps and requires 14 gauge wire and a heavy duty relay. 425 watts is only 3.5 amps (16 gauge wire) and light duty components.
 
I have a 2002 Winnebago Spirit. Water heaters seem to be the same size, but what would i need to do to add electric to the water heater? Should i add a new circuit? If you are familiar with doing this, input would be greatly appreciated.
I have an Atwood water heater in my 2002 winnebago Itasca Spirit. I tried to install the after market heater from amazon ($59). It was supposed to, but would not fit my water heater. Heater element was too long, so I could not install. The adaptors for the drain opening fit fine, but when I tried to install with the heater tube, I could not get it in far enough for the threads to take hold. I did get a full refund, but disappointed it would not work. I don’t know if other aftermarket heaters come with a shorter heater element? Anyone else have this problem?
 
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I have an Atwood water heater in my 2002 winnebago Itasca Spirit. I tried to install the after market heater from amazon ($59). It was supposed to, but would not fit my water heater. Heater element was too long, so I could not install. The adaptors for the drain opening fit fine, but when I tried to install with the heater tube, I could not get it in far enough for the threads to take hold. I did get a full refund, but disappointed it would not work. I don’t know if other aftermarket heaters come with a shorter heater element? Anyone else have this problem?
Did you order the 6-gallon model or the 10 gallon model? Which size is your water heater?
 
There are different lengths for the heater element, look back on Amazon.If You can, insert a dowel or something to measure the depth.
 
Not only does the size of the water heater tank play a part, if your water heater has the "motor aid" feature to keep water hot while traveling, that heating coil will also limit the length of the heating element that can be used.
Never heard of a “motor aid”.
 
Not only does the size of the water heater tank play a part, if your water heater has the "motor aid" feature to keep water hot while traveling, that heating coil will also limit the length of the heating element that can be used.
Never heard of a “motor aid”.
 
EDIT: it's my understanding this unit is no longer produced after Dometic bought Atwoodl

Atwood water heater motor-aid feature. The factory 120V heater is behind the black box.
1720192920951.jpeg
 
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