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Old 09-17-2006, 02:18 PM   #1
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Last week it was the furnace, this week is the Atwood Model GCH10A-3E 10 gal. water heater. Electric works. Propane does not work. Turn remote switch on, pilot light does not come on.Turned electric switch on and works. Removed left wire to E.C.o. switch as per manual and checked to no avail. would appreciate some feedback as to possible problem. thanks. Keith
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:18 PM   #2
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Last week it was the furnace, this week is the Atwood Model GCH10A-3E 10 gal. water heater. Electric works. Propane does not work. Turn remote switch on, pilot light does not come on.Turned electric switch on and works. Removed left wire to E.C.o. switch as per manual and checked to no avail. would appreciate some feedback as to possible problem. thanks. Keith
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:32 PM   #3
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We had this happen in one of our coaches and it was the diode that was burnt out, therefore it would not light the pilot light. The diode acts like a safety mechanism so it burns out instead of your water heater. Just a suggestion.
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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Pulley, do a search on thermofuse, or just
waterheater fuse. Lots of information, as
this diode looking thing is a safety fuse.
Radio Shack has them for like .50cents each.
The end is color coded as to what temp it
will open up. And you can not solder the
fuse to the lugs. good luck!!!!!!TENN.
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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We just returned from a trip during which our electric water heater failed, heated great on gas. The red light glows, no heat. would this be the same diode?
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:07 AM   #6
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Golfingene:

There is a little story to tell provided your heater is a motor aided (With the cooling water)Atwood heater. The motor cooling water heats your water up (while driving) that high that an internal safety device trips the electric circuit.This stupid thing doesnot know where the heat comes from and you have to reset this at the back of the heater.There is a cure from Atwood. This was part of a readers question in Motorhome a while ago. If you want to read it I can send this to you because I do not know how to make an attachment to this note.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Fore sure mine is not motor aided. I will try some of the suggestions and see what happens. Keith
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:19 PM   #8
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johan
Thanks for solving the puzzle. It is absolutely amazing how much knowledge there is on this forum. Now to find the back of the heater...

'04 Journey 39K
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:53 PM   #9
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Golvingene:
If you give me your e-mail address I will send you a little write-up on this subject because I cannot find a button to fix an attachment or how to past this into zhis message.
John
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:30 PM   #10
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Well I finally was able to copy the following story I picked up in the Motorhome magazine. It is self explanatory:

Motorhome April 2005

Written by Wes Caughlan in Coach and Chassis

Question:

Too hot water

We own a 2003 Itasca Sun that was build on a W22 Workhorse chassis with the Atwood Electric heater which gave us some trouble. We were told that the emergency thermostat was bad. The OEM told us that it was a Winnebago issue. The Atwood heater uses the engine coolant as a means to heat the water for use in the coach. This gets so hot that the electric safety temperature limiter trips the electrical circuit and if it gets cold again does not reset unless you do this manually. But this limiter is at a very awkward position at the back of the heater.

Note :

The writer of the question said that he waits until everything gets cold and then turns on the electric heater. Well I cannot do that at all, the heater simply does not work electrically since I own the motorhome.

Lloyd Rivers/ Taylorsville / North Carolina

Answer:

You're in sort of a catch-22 situation: Atwood should have done something and Winnebago should have done something. It is a common problem that is easily solved with Atwood`s Heat Exchanger Control Valve Kit, that costs about $60. I am surprised that Atwood did not tell you about it.
The Atwood kit put a thermostatically controlled valve in the coolant hose that delivers hot engine coolant to the heat exchanger in the water heater. When the water heater reaches 140 degrees F the valve turns the coolant off and the hot water never gets too hot.
The usual complaint from owners of motorhomes with LP gas water heaters is that the pressure / temperature valve weeps and drools water down the side of the motorhome. That valve starts to open at 150 degrees F. Since motorhome coolant temperature can be well above 200 degrees F tripped electrical water heater cutouts and weeping pressure/temperature valves are considered normal by many techniciants. I consider them dangerous because an unknowing person can be scalded and permanently disfigured by water that is too hot.
While Atwood should have told you about its Heat Exchanger Control Valve Kit the that controls the temperature of motoraid-heated hot water, Winnebago should have installed the kit at the factory when it build the motorhome. At the service level we install the kit whenever we install a water heater in a motorhome that is plumbed to provide engine coolant as a source of hot water while travelling.


My heater: Type ICH6-6E Serial number 2051
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:31 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Last week it was the furnace, this week is the Atwood Model GCH10A-3E 10 gal. water heater. Electric works. Propane does not work. Turn remote switch on, pilot light does not come on.Turned electric switch on and works. Removed left wire to E.C.o. switch as per manual and checked to no avail. would appreciate some feedback as to possible problem. thanks. Keith </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We have this very same problem, same atwood heater. Tonight I went out and had my wife turn on the switch while I looked for a "spark" where the gas emerges...I could not see spark...but I could hear the gas coming out..then smelled it.

Where is the diode people are speaking of ... or should I remove what looks like a circuit board coated in black stuff and just replace it?

Any other thoughts? Thanks, HEMI
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #12
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I do not have a pic, but normally it is enclosed in a clear plastic tube, and is connected from the circuit board to the thermostat. Usually close to the Pressure/Temperature relief valve.

You can remove it and connect the wire from the circuit board directly to the thermostat to see if it will lite. But don't leave it like that, as then you do not have the safety it provides.

You can also test it with an ohm meter once it is removed.

If it turns out the fuze is good you mignt check the fuze on the circuit board.
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:49 PM   #13
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I had trouble a couple of years ago. Atwood rep at GNR told me it is usually not the circuit board. He replaced some stuff and it worked for a while. I finally took the board ino a dealer. They put it on a tester. I have had no trouble since I replaced the board.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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The thermal fuse that everyone is referring to is in the brown wire circuit that you see when you open the door to the water heater. If the thermal fuse has been "blown" the propane will not light as the electricity for the piezzo lighter is cut off. You can check this by taking the thermal fuse out of the circuit. The thermal fuse part of the circuit is normally put into the circuit with "plug in" type connectors on each end. Remove the fuse from the circuit and plug the brown wire directly into the tab where the thermal fuse was "plugged in." Go inside and turn on your heater again and see if it will ignite now. If it will, this means that the thermal fuse is bad. This is a common occurance with the Atwood heaters. The fuse it in place to protect your MH should a flash back occur that could start a fire in the heater department. As has been mentioned before, replacement thermal fuses can be bought at Radio Shack -- much cheaper than the Atwood replacements. Do not solder the new ends on as that will destroy the fuse. Also the heat that you need for the thermal fuse is 98 degrees celcius (not F).

Hope this helps. You can probably get by with running your heater once or twice without the fuse in place if you have to but, I would get it replaced instead of taking it out of the circuit permanently.

If you go up to the photo section of this forum and do a search using the words -- thermal fuse --- it will bring up one picture of the thermal fuse. This may help you in seeing it.
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