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Old 03-01-2008, 05:43 AM   #1
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Dave Hill here, new member from Pueblo CO. The water heater in our '05 Itasca 31W froze and cracked last winter. Learned JB Weld wouldn't fix it. Just got a new Atwood GC10A-4E which looks like it will replace the original 6 gallon unit. Why was it and the pump located 12 feet from the kitchen and bath? After much research into the very handy plumbing diagrams (thankyou)I'm sure I can relocate it through the outside wall in unusable space under the kitchen counter,in the slideout. Why not?
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:43 AM   #2
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Dave Hill here, new member from Pueblo CO. The water heater in our '05 Itasca 31W froze and cracked last winter. Learned JB Weld wouldn't fix it. Just got a new Atwood GC10A-4E which looks like it will replace the original 6 gallon unit. Why was it and the pump located 12 feet from the kitchen and bath? After much research into the very handy plumbing diagrams (thankyou)I'm sure I can relocate it through the outside wall in unusable space under the kitchen counter,in the slideout. Why not?
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:42 AM   #3
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In theory you could relocate the water heater just about anywhere you want it. You would have to do some significant plumbing work to accomplish this. You would also be cutting another hole in the skin of the motor home and need flexible plumbing if you put it in the slide. It would seem much more efficient and easier to keep it in the same location. Is your current water heater equiped with "motor aid"? If so there will be additional tubing to be rerouted from the engine cooling system.

If you water heater had enough water to freeze and crack, you will need to check the rest of the plumbing for possible freeze damage too. Carefully check all the drain traps, it only takes a small amount of water to freeze and crack the plastic fittings.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Dave, If the water heater ever freezes up and cracks again you may be able to purchase just the tank. When one of mine started leaking the only thing wrong with the unit was the tank. I replaced it and everything worked fine after that. Indiana Journey
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Old 03-01-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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The hardest part of the install would be making the installation safe with propane and the exhaust. If you locate it closer to the sink it is father from the water tank. Something I plan on doing, I have the parts, is making my shower and wash basin hot water recirculate back to the water tank. This would save 16oz of water every time I run it till it is hot.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:54 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by indiana journey:
Dave, If the water heater ever freezes up and cracks again you may be able to purchase just the tank. When one of mine started leaking the only thing wrong with the unit was the tank. I replaced it and everything worked fine after that. Indiana Journey </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Indiana, good idea, but I coudn't figure out how to seperate the tank from the unit. Plus it gave me a good excuse to change to 10 gallons. No sense fixing something if you can't make it better! Dave
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:58 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by John Hilley:
The hardest part of the install would be making the installation safe with propane and the exhaust. If you locate it closer to the sink it is father from the water tank. Something I plan on doing, I have the parts, is making my shower and wash basin hot water recirculate back to the water tank. This would save 16oz of water every time I run it till it is hot. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> John, On my rig the water tank, propane tank, kitchen and bath are all within 5 feet of each other. But the pump and watr heater are about 10 feet to the front! Dave
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kazoo Tom:
In theory you could relocate the water heater just about anywhere you want it. You would have to do some significant plumbing work to accomplish this. You would also be cutting another hole in the skin of the motor home and need flexible plumbing if you put it in the slide. It would seem much more efficient and easier to keep it in the same location. Is your current water heater equiped with "motor aid"? If so there will be additional tubing to be rerouted from the engine cooling system.

If you water heater had enough water to freeze and crack, you will need to check the rest of the plumbing for possible freeze damage too. Carefully check all the drain traps, it only takes a small amount of water to freeze and crack the plastic fittings. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Tom,
I've decided to leave it in the factory location until after an upcoming long trip. After a minor trimming of the opening, the new 10 gallon unit is going to easily replace the old six gallon. As for the relocation, it seems to be not as involved as you would think. The water heater and pump will reside in the front slide-out under the kitchen counter in an unuseable storage area. Not only is flexible plumbing already there, but flexible propane as well, since the stove and oven are also in the same slide-out. I'll just T the heater into the hot and cold lines to the kitchen sink. Then the long plumbing runs to the original front heater and pump locations will be capped off. Why bother? Almost instant hot water, practical use of a useless area, and conversion of the original heater compartment bay to very accessable storage. I figure the screwy layout was due to different floor plans in the Sunrise line-up.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:46 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dave Hill:
Dave Hill here, new member from Pueblo CO. The water heater in our '05 Itasca 31W froze and cracked last winter. Learned JB Weld wouldn't fix it. Just got a new Atwood GC10A-4E which looks like it will replace the original 6 gallon unit. Why was it and the pump located 12 feet from the kitchen and bath? After much research into the very handy plumbing diagrams (thankyou)I'm sure I can relocate it through the outside wall in unusable space under the kitchen counter,in the slideout. Why not? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Dave,

Here are some random thoughts:

It is already optimally located for safety and weight distribution.

In a separate lower bin it will not effect the inside of the coach or the contents of other bins if there is a leak.

The metal encasement above and beside the water heater will also help contain things in the event of a water heater fire and alow you more time to escape the coach before the fire intrudes into the living space.

The vent is also not at face level and not on the side of the coach that would be tight against another coach or brush which could also become a fire hazard.

Not being though the fberglass sidewall but a metal skinned door panel prevents side wall damage from hot vent gases overheated and deforming the fiberglass above it.
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