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Old 01-27-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
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Atwood W/H woes

Been having problems with using the w/h on gas. Last month it would not shut off before the ECO kicked in and relief valve opened. Fixed that with a new ECO, thermostat and I also replaced the relief valve since it was looking a little "scruffy". W/H has worked great ever since (we are full timers) until yesterday when it would burn for a little while and then go into lock out mode. Cleaned the burner, gas orifice and checked the ignitor gap. Put everything back together and it will burn for 5-10 minutes and then lock out. Reset the switch and sometimes it will fire up again right away, other times it will not. I did some more checking and found when it wasn't firing right back up the igniter was not sparking so replaced that a little while ago. I also made sure the ECO and thermostat was making good contact on the tank. I have also cleaned all the electrical connections. I am still having the same issues and am at the point that it almost has to be the circuit board. Any other ideas?

Phil

ps: it is an Atwood GCH10A-3E W/H
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:42 PM   #2
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I could be wrong but tend to agree with you.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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I think you may be correct
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:24 PM   #4
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Workinrvers, I just got finished working on my Atwood Water Heater today. My problem was similar to yours in that when I would turn on the switch inside the coach, I could hear the igniter fire once and then the WH would go into lockout and I would have to reset the switch several times to get the darn thing to finally light and stay lite.
I pulled all the push on connectors and cleaned them. I removed and cleaned the ground wire coming from the circuit board and attached to a screw in the WH sheet metal then reattached. I pulled the two plug on edge connectors on the circuit board and cleaned the contacts on the circuit board with a pencil eraser, then reattached. I installed a new electrode / igniter.
Finally after putting everything back together, IT WORKS

Here is a Atwood service manual that you may find helpful.

http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/atwoodwaterheater.pdf

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Old 01-27-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Thanks Sammie. Glad you got yours working but I have cleaned all the connections (several times actually) and everything else too. Still no go and getting worse.
So far tonight the longest it will fire up is about 2-3 minutes before going into lock out and will not refire when switch is cycled, have to wait several minutes and then it will light up again for another 2-3 minutes.
I went ahead and ordered a circuit board on line and it should be shipped out tomorrow.

Phil

ps: been using the trouble shooting guide too, what would we do without the internet and helpful RVers. Thanks again.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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Thought I would update, the new circuit board arrived today and I got it installed. The W/H fired right up and looks like it is cycling normally and we are back in business .... time for a shower.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:27 PM   #7
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I have a 2002 adventurer with the three way water heater and i need to replace the element,which i know is in the rear.No removeable access,can anyone point me in the right direction to find the post for replacement of element. thanks
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:28 PM   #8
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I recently worked up a boiler plate for Furnaces,, Strangly it works here too with only minor editing.. So..

The control board then opens the gas valve (3) and begins sparking (4.1)
Gas Flows (5) And ignights (4.2)
The flame heats the flame sensor (5)
The flame sensor sends .480 volts to the control board (6)
which then detects the .480 and continues operation (*)
When the T-stat says "Enough already" (RV is now warm)
The control board shuts off the gas flow (*)

3: Bad solenoid.. No Propane. Clogged oriface,
4: .1: Bad ignition curcuit (high voltage) on control board. .2: Points too wide (Very common it seems)
5: These do not often fail but they can
5: Bad connection, NOTE:
5 and * Bad wire.

* applies to all steps nby the way So does bad wire/connection.

As you can see I simply cut out the part about the blower and sail switch.

You have already eliminated a few of those possibilities (Oriface, Points and bad connections)

This leaves the board as suspect #1

I suggest a Dinosaur board, if needed adapter and cover from American RV in California.. A dealer I have dealt with before and a product I trust.. I put a Dino in my furnace, would have in my Water heater too but logistics were just flat too tight.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonfield View Post
I have a 2002 adventurer with the three way water heater and i need to replace the element,which i know is in the rear.No removeable access,can anyone point me in the right direction to find the post for replacement of element. thanks
If you have no access to the rear side of the water heater, it's almost impossible to change the electric heating element without removing the whole water heater. Are you sure you can't squeeze some skinny kid in there to do the work?

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Old 02-08-2014, 11:13 PM   #10
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I think i have read before that you have to remove the whole unit /i was looking for a link to do that.You can get to the backside of the compartment that houses the WH but there is no access to rear.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonfield View Post
I have a 2002 adventurer with the three way water heater and i need to replace the element,which i know is in the rear.No removeable access,can anyone point me in the right direction to find the post for replacement of element. thanks
when i was preparing to replace the electric heating element on my atwood 10 gal water heater, some one on a forum told me about a switch on the back of the wh near the element.
on my unit, the switch was turned of when i bought the moho. i could not see this switch without a mirror.
i have read that the switch can go bad. as there is a switch inside of the moho, it is suggested to eliminate this outside switch.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:42 PM   #12
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I just bought a new element for my atwood in 04 meridian. I opened the back panel but the element can't come out as it is too tight to the box the heater is in. Do I need to pull the heater out enough to do this? There are a lot of piping connections so it will be difficult. Why wasn't the Winnebago box made to get access to the element? -- Marv h
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marv h View Post
I just bought a new element for my atwood in 04 meridian. I opened the back panel but the element can't come out as it is too tight to the box the heater is in. Do I need to pull the heater out enough to do this? There are a lot of piping connections so it will be difficult. Why wasn't the Winnebago box made to get access to the element? -- Marv h
:welcome:

check for a switch with a mirror first and do trouble shooting as outlined on this thread.
you can do a forum search using the search format at the top of this page.
maybe you can cut an access hole to the rear of your water heater and cover in with a sheet metal plate when you are done.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAN L View Post
:welcome: check for a switch with a mirror first and do trouble shooting as outlined on this thread. you can do a forum search using the search format at the top of this page. maybe you can cut an access hole to the rear of your water heater and cover in with a sheet metal plate when you are done.
does this switch fail? Why is it even there? My '06 Meridian element failed early on and the shop replaced it through the rear plate
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