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Old 12-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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I developed a water leak from the water heater and I isolated it to coming from the tank itself. I looked on-line, and contacted a few dealers and found that the GCH10A3E tank was no longer made and the only replacement was a GCH10A4E. I found that Lichtsinn in Forest City had the best price for a 4E and I ordered one.

I write this post so others with a GCH10A3E will have a heads up if they ever upgrade to the GCH10A4E. The 4E is designed to have the 110 volt controlled with a 12 VDC switch. The 4E uses the same ECO, and thermosat for gas as well as electric. The 3E control of the 110 volt is via a 110 volt switch (a wall switch). In order to retain the same control with the 4E I ran a fused 12 VDC line from the 12 VDC buss to the water heater. This then called for electric heat for the heater all the time and I retained the 110 VAC wall switch to control it as I did with the 3E.

One suggestion if you change out the water heater is to clamp off the heater hoses very tightly. I used small clamps and they didn't hold well enough to prevent a couple of gallon loss of coolant. Oh yea, if you do this job, purchase the new snap water connectors, what a blessing. You can buy the fittings at Lowes, or Hone Depot.

Hope this post may be of value to others. Oh yes, I looked the old tank over after removal and found the leak in the wall of the tank and now where near any weld. Only thing I can think of is water corrosion caused the tank to fail.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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I developed a water leak from the water heater and I isolated it to coming from the tank itself. I looked on-line, and contacted a few dealers and found that the GCH10A3E tank was no longer made and the only replacement was a GCH10A4E. I found that Lichtsinn in Forest City had the best price for a 4E and I ordered one.

I write this post so others with a GCH10A3E will have a heads up if they ever upgrade to the GCH10A4E. The 4E is designed to have the 110 volt controlled with a 12 VDC switch. The 4E uses the same ECO, and thermosat for gas as well as electric. The 3E control of the 110 volt is via a 110 volt switch (a wall switch). In order to retain the same control with the 4E I ran a fused 12 VDC line from the 12 VDC buss to the water heater. This then called for electric heat for the heater all the time and I retained the 110 VAC wall switch to control it as I did with the 3E.

One suggestion if you change out the water heater is to clamp off the heater hoses very tightly. I used small clamps and they didn't hold well enough to prevent a couple of gallon loss of coolant. Oh yea, if you do this job, purchase the new snap water connectors, what a blessing. You can buy the fittings at Lowes, or Hone Depot.

Hope this post may be of value to others. Oh yes, I looked the old tank over after removal and found the leak in the wall of the tank and now where near any weld. Only thing I can think of is water corrosion caused the tank to fail.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Pat.

Tell us more about how your WH has been used? Parttime vs fulltime? Drained when stored? Did it ever have an anode rod in it? ..anything else you can think of?
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:39 AM   #4
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We are fulltime. We spend our summers in Minnesota, and winters in Texas, and Arizona. I have cleaned the tank every six months. We purchased the coach new in 04. Atwood does not require an anode. I have no idea how the tank failed.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:25 AM   #5
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Atwood does say use of an anode would void their warranty ...I was curious if one had be used in spite of that warning ...have heard of some owners doing that!

Where/how did you notice the leak? ...where was the water appearing?

Since I too have an '03 UA, I am interested in how this developed!
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:11 PM   #6
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I have a 40K, and my water compartment is just infront of the passenger side rear wheels. I observed a small water spot on the cement (we are parked on a cement site). I took the cover above the water heater off and was able to get in behind the tank. I looked for the most likely leak which is the elbows feeding into the tank. I had replaced the elbows, and the piping with snap connectors about two years ago. This time the leak was coming from behind the insulation and not the connectors. I double checked there was no leak from the heating element and then concluded the leak was coming from the tank itself. I checked on-line and found a replacement tank (tank only) was $400.00 so I concluded replacing the water heater for $539.00 was a better choice.

One thing that could be of interest is that I had replaced the original water pump with a Auqa Jet pump that was rated at 65 psi. The large direct drive Shureflo pump also is rated at 65 psi. I talked to Atwood and asked the rated psi of the water heater and the service tech couldn't answer but "guessed" that the heater was rated at 40 psi. He was suppose to have engineering respond to the question but have not heard from them. I told the Atwood tech that OEM's are installing the higher pressure pumps as original equipment so it would seem to me their tanks should be rated at 65 psi or higher. I guess it is possible my higher pressure water pump has shortened the tanks life. We do not use the pump too often (i.e. we use it when on the road, or in a park with low water pressure).
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #7
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Regarding water pressure, when hooked up to city water you would likely be over 40# depending on the regulator you use.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:53 PM   #8
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In regard to the pressure rating of the water heater tank. I would be 99% certain it is well above 40 psi. Today I was winterizing my coach and while draining the water heater I took note of the tag on the temp/pressure relief valve. It said 150 psi, 210 degrees F. Since the purpose of the TPR valve is to keep the tank from rupturing, I am sure it can withstand at least 150 psi.
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