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Old 01-25-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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We have a 2000 Itasca 35U. Bought it two years old used. We had never used the water heater on gas other than just a few minute test run a couple times. We have always used it on electric. Recently the electric failed and I will fix we when we return home. So I fired the gas only to find it goes into lockout within about 5 minutes about 75% of the time. On very windy days many times it will run fine. I've cleaned the electrical connections, cleaned the burner tube and so on, (no change). A couple days ago I discovered if I leave the storage bay door open the heater works fine. It now appears to me it lacks getting enough air with the bay door shut. Called Atwood, about the first thing they ask was it the heater had a bay door that closes over it and they agree it sounds like the problem. But they put the blame to Winnebago and Atwood's only answer is to try bending the heater door and removing the foam strip at the bottom of the heater door. I tried this and no change, only opening the bay door lets it burn. At the bottom of the bay door is a gap about 1" x 21" then along the side there is a opening 1/2" x 18" but guess this is not enough opening. I ask Atwood about installing a slightly smaller orifice, yes it would be slightly less BTU's but would require less air. Atwood didn't think that idea was good, but they have no other ideas. Yet I would say from talking to them it's not the first time they have heard it. Anyone else with the problem and what have you done to fix it????
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:35 PM   #2
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We have a 2000 Itasca 35U. Bought it two years old used. We had never used the water heater on gas other than just a few minute test run a couple times. We have always used it on electric. Recently the electric failed and I will fix we when we return home. So I fired the gas only to find it goes into lockout within about 5 minutes about 75% of the time. On very windy days many times it will run fine. I've cleaned the electrical connections, cleaned the burner tube and so on, (no change). A couple days ago I discovered if I leave the storage bay door open the heater works fine. It now appears to me it lacks getting enough air with the bay door shut. Called Atwood, about the first thing they ask was it the heater had a bay door that closes over it and they agree it sounds like the problem. But they put the blame to Winnebago and Atwood's only answer is to try bending the heater door and removing the foam strip at the bottom of the heater door. I tried this and no change, only opening the bay door lets it burn. At the bottom of the bay door is a gap about 1" x 21" then along the side there is a opening 1/2" x 18" but guess this is not enough opening. I ask Atwood about installing a slightly smaller orifice, yes it would be slightly less BTU's but would require less air. Atwood didn't think that idea was good, but they have no other ideas. Yet I would say from talking to them it's not the first time they have heard it. Anyone else with the problem and what have you done to fix it????
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:48 PM   #3
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Bill, this problem has been posted before, where basically the hot water heater is not getting enough combustion air.

Check out this thread on the topic. I think you will find some interesting information on the topic.

Leaving the door open during operation pretty clearly points towards the burner not getting enough air to stay lit. Hopefully the above post will help.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for finding this Don, saves me the work..
We've now been out for 3 weeks in Death Valley, Quartzsite, etc, and with the mods I listed in that thread the WH has been flawless in all kinds of wind and weather, including sustained 15+MPH winds straight at the vent at the beach last summer. Winne looks like they did their part on our Meridian by slotting a vent in the door, but Atwood never finished the project by fixing the door. Personally I point the finger at them.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:36 AM   #5
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These post seem to me to be so typical of everything ATWOOD does. Why they are still being used by manufactures as a supplier amazes me. They made lousy windows, their water heaters are defective. They have little or no customer service. I personally am stuck with several foggy and defective dual pane, (pain), windows, which they refuse to address, along with hundreds of other similar cases. They have closed several of their plants, and it may be catching up to them. However, much damage and loss has been incurred by the customers of many manufacturers. In the future if it has ATWOOD on it, I will not buy it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:01 PM   #6
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Good response. Reminds me to add Atwood to my list of "do not buy", along with Norcold refrigerators and Shurflo water pumps. And I'm sure the list will continue to grow.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:44 AM   #7
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Atwood water heaters are not designed to be mounted behind a door. Blame the coach manufacturer.

Mine rarely runs on gas. I use electric when available and when we're traveling the engine coolant heats the water.

IMHO, Atwoods are the best with their all aluminum tanks which provide better heat transfer and no corrosion.

-Tom
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:12 AM   #8
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TOM: When you are designing a piece of equipment to be obviously used in an RV, why not design it to perform in the application you are selling for? ATWOOD knows full well how this water heater is going to installed and used. It just escapes me as to why we keep making excuses for these inept manufactures. Nothing is going to get better until we as consumers put their feet to the fire.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:46 AM   #9
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I have to agree that atwood products are junk (Read my previous post. The water heat for my 01 Journey is no longer available. I went from a GCH10A-3E to a GCH10A-4E and does not come with the extra wireing harness or the new switch you need to install it. It needs to be wired differently because of the new switch so you now have to find a place in the coach to put the new switch. Now you have two factory switches that are no longer in use (Electric and Propane). Called atwood to find out why they discontinued the GCH10A-3E they told me that they were having problem with the model. When I asked them for help to install it they told me they are not tecks and that I would have to take it to a (Atwood sevice center) and none was available in my area. Called Winnebago for help and asked them if they knew that the GCH10A-3E was discontinued (They didnt know) they sent me a wiring schmatic for an 07 Journey to see if the heater could be wired up to the GCH10A-4E since that model is in the 07 didnt help. Anyway the heater is working with the new switch and the factory switches are still in the wall disconected. I think this is cheap and cheezy way to install the heater to have to add a new switch and find a place to put it. As for my windows no problems as of now (knock on wood) Ron
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:39 AM   #10
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RON & patti: Sorry to hear about the unfortunate water heater problem. However, I find it typical for ATWOOD. I also hope you never develop the foggy window problem with ATWOOD. It can ruin your love of RV's. Most glass replace/repair houses in this area will not touch the windows. Just too much hassel and labor involved. Keep on RV'g like it will never happen.
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