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Old 07-20-2015, 11:52 AM   #1
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Yet Another Atwood Water Heater Question

Sorry , I know there are many many post about water heaters because I have searched the archives here and also Googled this for two days now.

When we went on our first ill fated shake down cruise in our "new" 2001 Journey , I hooked up the water supply, ran water with hot water taps open , then flipped on the water heater switch. A red light came on saying "pilot not lit". (Yes, I had opened the valve on the LP tank.) The water did not seem to get hot within the next hour but we really didn't keep checking it because we had an AC failure and that was more of an immediate problem since it was close to 100 degrees outside.

In the literature I have from Atwood , on page 4 under "Electronic Ignition Operation" item (1) says to place remote switch in ON position. Item (2) says repeat step 1. The wiring diagram suggest there may be a remote switch for electrical and a separate remote switch for gas. My question is : Are there two separate switches ? If so, then the second switch location is a mystery to me. The unit is a elec/gas combo model GHC10A-4E.

Again, sorry to bother but I just can't find the answer elsewhere.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:14 PM   #2
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Yes, there is a momentary switch for gas and a toggle switch for electric. I would try the gas a couple of times in case there is air in the line. Lighting a burner on the stove top helps get rid of the air.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:21 PM   #3
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Been a long time since I used the gas option on my wh. As I remember if you turn on the wh switch the light should come on and they go off and stay off. It the light comes back on, the gas did not light. Needed to turn the switch off and then back on. If the wh had not been used in a long time and the gas had been turned off at the tank, it may take a while to get gas to the wh. Common remedy is light the stove which will help get gas into the lines.

On mine which is a gas only unit which the PO installed a Hott Rod element and there are two switches. One for gas and one for electric. Both can be turned on at the same time.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
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Thanks Tom and John. I admit I had to Google to find out what a momentary switch is We had lit all 3 burners on the cook top prior to trying the water heater. I'll search until I find the 2nd switch.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:07 PM   #5
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On a fifth wheel we had, the previous owner said the electric part never worked. My dad showed me a switch on the water heater itself that was hidden by some of the components. Turned that switch on, then the one in the camper and presto! Hot water with electricity. I would have never seen it and evidently the previous owner never did either.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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Thanks Jimmy and Teresa. I've looked at the schematics of the unit so much that I think I know them by heart and I don't think there is a switch on the unit itself ?? It may be true though - like my wife says - men can look right at something and not see it
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron and Lin View Post
Sorry , I know there are many many post about water heaters because I have searched the archives here and also Googled this for two days now.

When we went on our first ill fated shake down cruise in our "new" 2001 Journey , I hooked up the water supply, ran water with hot water taps open , then flipped on the water heater switch. A red light came on saying "pilot not lit". (Yes, I had opened the valve on the LP tank.) The water did not seem to get hot within the next hour but we really didn't keep checking it because we had an AC failure and that was more of an immediate problem since it was close to 100 degrees outside.

In the literature I have from Atwood , on page 4 under "Electronic Ignition Operation" item (1) says to place remote switch in ON position. Item (2) says repeat step 1. The wiring diagram suggest there may be a remote switch for electrical and a separate remote switch for gas. My question is : Are there two separate switches ? If so, then the second switch location is a mystery to me. The unit is a elec/gas combo model GHC10A-4E.

Again, sorry to bother but I just can't find the answer elsewhere.

That model Atwood water heater is a combo gas/electric with electronic ignition.

It should have two 12vdv switches, one for electric and one for gas. The gas will also have a fault light indicating the gas did not light.

Common causes for not lighting are no propane, air in the line, or obstructions in the burner area. More severe causes are plugged orfice, mis-aligned igniter, or bad circuit board.

Another common problem with both heat types is a bad ground at the top outside where the green wire connects.

Hope this helps.

Here is the service manual http://manuals.adventurerv.net/Atwoo...er-Service.pdf


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Old 07-21-2015, 08:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link. Y'all have answered my question about whether there are two switches. I finally found the second switch this AM. It was in an upper cabinet back by the washer/dryer ??? Only other problem I've found in my inspection of the water heater was a loose self tapping screw holding the top of the circuit board in place.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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Another thing that helps is to pull the electrical spade connectors off and replace them a couple of time to clean the contact.
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hilley View Post
Another thing that helps is to pull the electrical spade connectors off and replace them a couple of time to clean the contact.
Thanks John. Are you talking about the electrical connections going into the ECO unit ?
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:33 PM   #11
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On my Atwood.. when cold I used to have to cycle the GAS switch 3 times.. Of course on electric it worked fine.

Sounds like my switches are different from yours.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:40 AM   #12
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My water heater is coming on for 20-30 seconds on propane and then shutting off. I just replaced the eco, tstat, thermocoupler, and thermal over load...still only running for 20-30 seconds and shutting off.

I have two switches on the side of the panel where the water heater is located that I assume are for the electric, also the light switch in the coach...never used the electric part, only the propane.

mac 'wife wants hot water this weekend' gyvr
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:59 PM   #13
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Wish I could help with your propane problem but , at my stage of the game , I was doing real well just to find the second switch I'm sure you've checked for obstructions in the burner area considering all that you've replaced.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:40 PM   #14
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Macgyvr, In 2011 John Hilley posted that he was having a problem that sounds identical to yours. His problem was solved by fixing a loose connection of the spade connector on the ignitor / flame sense wire on the circuit board. Tightened female spade connector with a pair of pliers.
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