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Old 02-25-2018, 12:02 PM   #1
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Question Winnie Woes

Hi Everyone,

Wondering if anyone out there has experience or a method of changing the Check Valve on my Atwood RV water heater? I know its the check valve that is jammed up, as I have no hot water flow from the faucet.

I have a Winnebago Brave and am scratching my head on how to pull this heater. The issue is that I cant find ANY access to the back of the WH. This unit sits in what seems to be a sealed box, There is no internal access, there is no External Access, I have hunted for some kind of removable access panel Just is not there.

So my question is.. Is there enough hose on the thing so that I can slide it out and change that valve out. Is there a top secret hatch under the carpet?? They surely did not build the coach around the WH.

So if any of you out there has done this, and has a winning method I would be grateful for the Information. i do not want to start tearing into this half cocked! All the Online video show folks disconnecting the lines before they slide the thing out. I do nearly all of my own servicing, but this one has me baffled!

Anyhow

2006 Winnebago Brave 36ft
Attwood 6 gallon water heater LP Electric, also has heater boost switch on dash Model GCH6A-9E
heater located in between front passenger side wheel and entrance door to the coach.

Hope someone has been around this block and can enlighten.

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:44 PM   #2
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Sorry, can't help with your particular model, but I'd bet if you called Winnie with your model number (on that wall chart next to the driver) they'd be able to send you a drawing that should explain it fairly well.

Also, you can shut off the water supply and drain the hot water pipes as well as you can, than use a 25PSI air supply to blow into the tank from one of the faucets. And perhaps charge the tank with air and then open a hot water faucet. Trying to dislodge any debris that might be in the check valve.

BTW, those check valves go bad fairly regularly so if the air trick 'works' you'll still need to figure out how to get the tank out most likely.

Good luck and come back and let us know what you found out.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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I May try the compressor thing. I feared that I am going to have remove that darn thing!
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:57 PM   #4
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Might a well figure out how to replace it and carry a spare. They go out at random and always when you are on vacation. Usually a little singing when someone is taking a shower (providing it's not someone singing in the shower ) is a sign it is about to fail.
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:04 AM   #5
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No Doubt About it!! Just have to figure this out.. Valve around $8m Labour at the RV Center $400+

When the rain stops, I am going to have a go!
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:39 PM   #6
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So all.. I contacted WinneBago,.. Less than 6 Hrs I had a call on the Phone and email of the Layout And WHAT nededed to be removed to effect the repair.. It IS a little involve but you don NOT need to remove the WH.. you gotta be prepared to undo some stuff ! weather is getting OK here in NJ so I will tackle stage one this weekend I will have this on video Through the whole process. I have agonised over pulling the water heater for the last 3 months.. Going in soon! I will post my efforts ! Incidentally, I have suggested to WinnebagoIND that they post an on the road emergency playbook for owners. We ALL do not have access to professional fixers when travelling.. I welcome all comments !! Thanks all !
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:55 PM   #7
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I know I'd be interested in seeing your pictures, videos, and write up of your progress.
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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Well Winnie Owners (this is for the Brave) It is Officially a PIG of a Job! There is an Access panel , This just happens to be the panel that the Pumps, tubes, valves and stuff are fastened too, Start unscrewing and easing them outta the way. Once off look toward the inside and you will find a bracket, Four Screws remove the bracket, That frees up the back end of this Panel/Bulkhead, Now here it gets foxy! The front end of the panel appears to be tucked under some kinda ridge, NOT SO ! Look to your right and you see Three vertical placed screws, They do not hold the heater they are screwed into the front edge of that board. Remove them, Pull the board out and down, You gotta finagle the angle to remove it from the compartment. Now for some spelunking. Headlamp preffered here, Poke you head shoulders and as much that will pass into the hole. You will see the A$$ end of the Water heater, all hoses and connections. The fun begins! I am a sailor so I had these handy (well almost). With a 1/4 to 1/2 inch taper plug handy remove the BOTTOM rubber hose (hot water from the engine) and plug that MF up Quick! coollent will flow be quick!! now once plugged up tight remove the rubber hose closest to you Get that plug in!! ASAP. once done you can tackle the cold water feed and hot water line. Disconnect! Now come those pesky valves. Beware wrenchers, these buggers bite in my case the cold water check was EASY!!! finger tight almost, You will see fluid leakage when you unscrew, NP that just winterised AF. Now for the top one... HA!! It will own your ass.. Let me just say.. one the Brave there is no room for a mouse. Now a 210 guy has to spelunker has to go places he aint welcome. Well done WinnebagoIND! For all those interested ALL previous steps MUST be Completed! This is because so lunatic W****R at Atwood decided to use Plumbers cement to seal the top hot water check valve!! There is no way on gods earth that you can break that bond in a confined space!

Guess what the damn heater HAS to come out Period! to release that top check took a 3inch Plumbers wrench two hefty dudes to hold her still and a 10Lb hammer!!!!!! not to mention disconnecting the LPG GAS Line That is tight!! That chick has been friendly for years!! So my story ends prematurely My Gal is in bits! I have orders to make, but let me say I have replaced gearboxes on a MINI with less Hassle. I think we surpassed the plumbers sealant a while ago.. Get some Pink tape for all the Lines. I have piccies and they are a horror story I will post!. Winnebago IND wished me luck, I think he was laughing like a clown! To be sure If you are on the road with a poorly Brave and do not like cold showers at diswhasihing, That this fix is a vixen from HELL! Two busted fingers and a Thumb wrapped in electrical tape cos it bled like a chopped chicken, I am ALL over this bad boy!

I just want to say, and I do not care who you are, but if you manufacture a bus that I cant fix on the road... You guys suck !!! Pics to follow!!!!
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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Yikes! Does not sound like an easy job. Looking forward to the pictures...
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:30 PM   #10
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Its not Hard It is a PITA!! after all the unscrewing and going into places you aint welcome. You stil have to pull the heater. Its the only way to remove that top check valve ! I tried All ways.. From Deep impact sockets to a Hammer.. no way.. Be prepared to get some engine coolant in prep!U are gonna need it. LOL
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