Replacing an Atwood GC6AA-10E with a Suburban SAW6DE

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Ok..based on the above 12v wiring, when I turn on the electric rocker switch inside my coach, the fault light comes on…does that mean the white wire from the switch panel does should not be connected to the rd from the WH…?
Also, how does my inside electric switch work in conjunction of the electric switch at front of WH…? It was off when I first turn on the inside switch(and fault light came on) so turned on the WH electric switch and FL still turned on inside the coach
Fingers crossed the water will begin to heat as result of the 120v being connected correctly…Hopefully
Need help/advice…😩🤪🙏🏻
 
It might help if we knew which Suburban you are installing and what Atwood you are replacing. If we assume that you are dealing with the same 2 water heaters as in post #1, then this is the Atwood Service Manual and it has a schematic on page 23. The installation instructions should give you most of what you need for the Suburban, but just in case the Suburban Service Manual is also available.

It is normal for that red light to turn on when starting the propane side until the controls sense the heat of the burning propane, when it should turn off. If the propane does not ignite or if no heat is sensed, the light will stay on and the water heater goes into lockout mode.
 
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It might help if we knew which Suburban you are installing and what Atwood you are replacing. If we assume that you are dealing with the same 2 water heaters as in post #1, then this is the Atwood Service Manual and it has a schematic on page 23. The installation instructions should give you most of what you need for the Suburban, but just in case the Suburban Service Manual is also available.

It is normal for that red light to turn on when starting the propane side until the controls sense the heat of the burning propane, when it should turn off. If the propane does not ignite or if no heat is sensed, the light will stay on and the water heater goes into lockout mode.
Kirk…thanks for the response and reminder that the vault light is a safety measure…(senior moment). Yes, same 2 as in post #1 except 10gallon,
Suburban SW10DE(new), Atwood GC10A4E(old). Given that the WH did not light afterward, I revisited the initial wiring and notes from the various threads, made some revisions and right now both the gas and electric are working…see Connections below:
12v side
RV White to WH Red
RV Blue to WH blue
RV Orange to Relay Yellow
RV Green to WH green
Relay green to WH ground
I then flipped the electric switch on the WH to on and the RV switch to on…

RV gas switch is off, water is hot, So electric side is working…we typically only use gas to boost the temp when needed for longer HW use…will post later when when I know for sure that side is working…
 
It is done! With the help of Fixrv Dotnet I was able to install, have electric heated water, gas heated water, and not have to go outside to flip a switch. I will put the fix in the comments, I have included pictures. I sincerely hope this helps others! I can not thank Alex from Fixrv enough! Tip of the Hat to you good sir!
Picture 1: Top wires are 12V DC and the bottom 3 are 120V AC, don't mix them up.
2: Leave the 2 black, the yellow, and the green wires connected to the relay. Unscrew or snip the wires from the water heater to remove the relay with wires. The green and yellow are 12v wires the black one is 12v
3 - 5: These are the 120v connections. Connect 1 to 1, 2 to 2, and so on.
6 - 9: wires and schematics
Did you leave the rocker switch connected on the Suburban WH?
I have electric heat but nothing from the gas side
 
New member here.

Does anyone know where I can find the black plastic heater element junction box that is in the 4th picture on page one?

thank you.
 
Does anyone know where I can find the black plastic heater element junction box that is in the 4th picture on page one?
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Its only a guess but I suspect that a part like that might be available from the manufacturer but a better bet would be to visit the largest RV repair facility you know of and see if you can salvage one from a replaced water heater.
 
Basically, they sold you the wrong water heater. You need a Suburban SAW6DEL the letter L on the end being the key. The water heater you have DOES NOT have a way of controlling the 120v AC with the switches you have now, The Atwood uses a relay controlled by 12v DC from your switches to turn on the electric heat element. The Suburban DEL has this capability, but the DE (no L) does NOT. It has a manual rocker switch on the outside to control the 120v AC electric heat element.

Suburban Advantage water heater (the A in SAW of the model number, are direct fit replacements for the old style Atwood and early Dometic units) The correct model would have been a SAW6DEL and that is part number 5322A See page 12 (PDF page numbers) of This Catalog.

You also need a new outside door........ SUBURBAN ADVANTAGE DIRECT FIT UPGRADE WATER HEATER DOORS 6279APW - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Polar White | 6279AEB - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Black | 6279AAW - SAW6 Water Heater Door, Arctic White

If you are replacing the Atwood due to leakage, you can have the tank welded, and if the tank needs replacing, the tanks are still available

Amazon.com

Charles
Is it possible to use the DE model (no L) and just bypass the 4th unused wire if you have no issues walking outside to use the electric on/off rocker switch? I too have fallen victim to poorly and wrongly suggested items to replace my Atwood
 
You are correct. Suburban owners have been making that hike for many years now. However, you can also salvage the relay off the back of the Atwood and mount it on the Suburban and Hook it up. I think that was documented in this thread somewhere. If not its documented in one of the several other Suburban/Atwood threads of the past year or two.

EDIT: just refer to Post #6 of this thread.

I hate to see the Atwoods trashed, They are easily repaired, even if frozen and tank busted.

Charles
 
You are correct. Suburban owners have been making that hike for many years now. However, you can also salvage the relay off the back of the Atwood and mount it on the Suburban and Hook it up. I think that was documented in this thread somewhere. If not its documented in one of the several other Suburban/Atwood threads of the past year or two.

EDIT: just refer to Post #6 of this thread.

I hate to see the Atwoods trashed, They are easily repaired, even if frozen and tank busted.

Charles
Ok. I have another question, I spoke with United RV and they have agreed to exchange the one I have now for the (DEL) model. Will this model have 4 wires instead of 3 so that it mates up correctly with my camper wiring? You don't happen to have a picture of the back of the DEL model so that I can see them do you?
 
Yes, the DEL will have a fourth wire to their relay in a box on one of the upper corners of the water heater.

If you have not already disconnected the wires, cut them on the old (Atwood) water heater side of the splices. This will preserve the old Atwood color coding.

Atwood was
Blue, fault light
Green, Ground
Orange, gas heat
White, electric heat

New Suburban (DEL) has
Blue, fault light
Green, Ground
Red, Gas heat
???, electric heat (the thread above discusses transferring the Atwood relay (and its yellow wire) to the Suburban, I am not sure what color the Suburban uses for the 12v input to the relay, as I do not recall it ever being discussed in any of the threads on this and the Suburban installations drawings do not show it).

Understand that your camper manufacturer may have used different colors from the switch panel to where they spliced onto the Atwood wires. Also, the ground should be carried back to the switch panel, assuming you are using an Atwood dual switch panel, this is necessary for the fault light to work. Its possible that the camper manufacturer provided for a ground to the switch panel from somewhere else. There is no set way RV manufacturers use to wire things like this. A lot of the RV manufacturers use white for ground, so you might have a white from the camper connected to the Atwood green.

The entire shell of the water heater, both old and new, is grounded to the camper frame via the bare ground wire of the Romex®, so if there is no ground going back to the switches, take the new green suburban ground and take it to the metal shell of the water heater, possibly where the Romex® ground is connected.

This is why I suggested cutting the wires on the water heater side of splices, that way you can match blue to blue, Green to green, red to orange and ??? to white.

Suburban really needs to generate a special set of instructions for the Advantage models showing the Suburban to Atwood color scheme.

Charles

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Interesting thread. CharlesinGA, wow, what great advice and direction you've provided! Your last post of cutting the wire from the Atwood on the tank side, or before the spliced connectors should simplify the job for those making the switch.

Reading through the almost-year-old thread, a couple of questions have come to mind. One, for those who are making the switch from Atwood to Suburban, why Suburban instead of a new drop-in Atwood?
Also, has anyone called Suburban Customer Service, or emailed them, asking for clarity on wiring their product (a gain for Suburban) to the Atwood wiring?
 
It is done! With the help of Fixrv Dotnet I was able to install, have electric heated water, gas heated water, and not have to go outside to flip a switch. I will put the fix in the comments, I have included pictures. I sincerely hope this helps others! I can not thank Alex from Fixrv enough! Tip of the Hat to you good sir!
Picture 1: Top wires are 12V DC and the bottom 3 are 120V AC, don't mix them up.
2: Leave the 2 black, the yellow, and the green wires connected to the relay. Unscrew or snip the wires from the water heater to remove the relay with wires. The green and yellow are 12v wires the black one is 12v
3 - 5: These are the 120v connections. Connect 1 to 1, 2 to 2, and so on.
6 - 9: wires and schematics
so you did NOT use the relay on the new Suburban DEL that comes with it?
 

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When doing this install of the new Suburban water heater (DEL version) do you use the relay that comes with the new water heater and wire in to the wires coming from it and match up to the relay on the old atwood?
 

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