Replacing an Atwood GC6AA-9E Water Heater

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rollonjack

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Aug 13, 2017
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I have a 1997 Hitchhiker II fifth wheel that has the original water heater (Atwood GC6AA-9E) and I need to replace it. Does anyone know a good replacement for it and where I can get it? I have seen prices for new water heaters ranging anywhere from $400 to $650. I would like the cost be toward the lower end. I am planning to change it out myself; any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Rene T

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First, welcome to the forum.
Why do you say you need to replace it. Does it leak and if it does, do you know where?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Just get another Atwood or whatever model suits your needs and budget. There are some modest wiring changes for the new models, but Atwood has a tech bulletin that explains the changes for people upgrading from older heaters.

Better yet, just fix the one you have. There isn't a whole lot that can go wrong and parts are available.
 

rollonjack

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Thank you for your input.  I have decided to buy a new Atwood GC6AA-10E water heater locally at a decent price. I know the wiring will be a little different  but manageable.
 

SeilerBird

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Gary is almost always correct but trust me there are some things that can go wrong with an Atwood water heater.
 

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John From Detroit

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Lower end tends to be PROPANE ONLY
Higher end Propane/Electric DSI

And here is a shocker.. I need to do mine soon as it developed a leak. NO it was not frozen, at least not in the last decade.. But it's leaking,    Now I have not pulled it yet so I don't know how bad but I found WAL*MART of all places (online only) Sells REPLACEMENT TANKS.. You re-use all the old "Stuff" and just replace the leaky part.

RV tech says it may be a bit of a job.. but both she and I feel I can do it.
 

ksbowman

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How did that aluminum tank rust Seilerbird? I just replaced one that malfunctioned last winter in Florida and damn near burn our 5th wheel. I got a brand new oem replacement on Ebay and it was very easy to do. If you need to ask any questions I'd be happy to answer them. It only involves taking out the screws on the outside retainer ring, unhooking the gas line and wiring (turn off gas at tanks, turn of water heater breaker or unplug from 110 and unhook wiring). I mark every wire I disconnect with tape and the color of wire to connect back to them. Then unhook all water lines in and out. Wiggle and pull out water heater thru outside of unit. Then install new in reverse of directions of removal.
 

SeilerBird

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ksbowman said:
How did that aluminum tank rust Seilerbird? I just replaced one that malfunctioned last winter in Florida and damn near burn our 5th wheel. I got a brand new oem replacement on Ebay and it was very easy to do. If you need to ask any questions I'd be happy to answer them. It only involves taking out the screws on the outside retainer ring, unhooking the gas line and wiring (turn off gas at tanks, turn of water heater breaker or unplug from 110 and unhook wiring). I mark every wire I disconnect with tape and the color of wire to connect back to them. Then unhook all water lines in and out. Wiggle and pull out water heater thru outside of unit. Then install new in reverse of directions of removal.
Well it is not aluminum. Thank you for your kind offer however I do know how to change a tank. I did the one in my last RV. I paid a guy to do this one because I am not physically able to do the job any more. I can't lay down on the kitchen floor and work under the sink. It is no where as easy as you describe it. The retaining ring bolts were impossible to remove so they had to be removed with a saws all. Removing it from the vehicle was a very taxing event. It did not want to come out due to the rust expanding the size of the tank.
 

ksbowman

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Seilerbird, the directions for changing the water heater were for Rollonjack who started the thread he asked for advise. LOL. My Attwood water heaters have all had an aluminum tank, now the Suburbans have all been a steel tank with a liner. That's why I was surprised to see a steel tank rusted when he asked about replacing an Atwood. 
 

SeilerBird

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Sorry I misunderstood you ks. You should not use run on sentences in a reply. I don't know if my heater is an Atwood or a Suburban, they look identical.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Gary is almost always correct but trust me there are some things that can go wrong with an Atwood water heater.
Indeed, but there are only a few components and they are all replaceable. Even a replacement tank is available.

I have decided to buy a new Atwood GC6AA-10E
The only difference between the GC6AA-9E and the GC6AA-10E is the engineering spec level. The two are functionally identical, as the identical model number implies. As I recall, the difference between the 9E and the 10E is a minor circuit board change.
 

kdbgoat

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I certainly have never thought of you as stupid, and hope you realize I was just picking at you in jest.
 

SeilerBird

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kdbgoat said:
I certainly have never thought of you as stupid, and hope you realize I was just picking at you in jest.
I am stupid but not for the reason you were talking about, no offense. I ordered the wrong one without checking the model number and it had to be Mickey Moused in. I will be posting a thread about it as soon as it is painted and sealed.
 

Stark9

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Jun 20, 2021
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Big Spring Tx
I have a 1997 Hitchhiker II fifth wheel that has the original water heater (Atwood GC6AA-9E) and I need to replace it. Does anyone know a good replacement for it and where I can get it? I have seen prices for new water heaters ranging anywhere from $400 to $650. I would like the cost be toward the lower end. I am planning to change it out myself; any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Stark9

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Jun 20, 2021
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Big Spring Tx
Hello I’m needing to replace a GC6A-9E can someone tell me what I can purchase to use for that model
 
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