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Old 05-02-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Gas/Electric water heater breaker

I have a 2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD motorhome with an Atwood gas/electric W/H and I can't find the 110V circuit breaker for it. The panel board under the bed has a space marked "water heater", but no breaker is installed there. ( the original metal slug is still in place- never been anything in that space)
I have an on/off switch in the cupboard above the laundry, and until recently it has worked fine on electric only.
Step one would be to check the breaker- if I could find it! Any ideas?
Jeff
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Hi Joan Austin,
Welcome to the forum. Because this question is specific to your Brand, year and model of coach, consider going to Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum - iRV2 Forums
This is the Winnebago Owners Forum. One could ask the moderators to move this post to that forum. The owners forums are where the best information on your coach can be obtained.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Message moved to Winnebago Owners Forum.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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I gather the heater no longer works in electric mode? Or is this question just for future reference?
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Correct, the water heater quit working on 110V, still works on propane
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Don't know where your breaker is but we had the same problem of working on propane but not 110v. The wire from the on/off electric power switch was broken at its connection to the back of the hot water heater. With the breaker turned off, the wire above the spud connection was cleanly cut, a small section of wire insulation removed, a new spud attached, and new spud was reconnected to the water heater. Worked fine after the repair.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
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Although I am not answering your question about the breaker, I suggest that what you may soon find is the heating element that is located near the bottom of the heater is no longer working. They burn out rapidly when the heater is turned on without water in the heater. The most likely time for that to happen is generally when first turning it on after the winter season and we forget to make sure the heater is full before turning on the electric.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Based on the drawings for your rig (Table of Contents), AC Power for the Water Heater originates from a CB marked water heater in your main AC distribution panel. However, it is routed through the EMS circuit so if you have reduced power the EMS may be shutting the 110VAC Water Heater supply off.

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Old 05-09-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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Gas/Electric water heater breaker

After reading the responses above I went back to the breaker panel and after a more careful look- there are two breaker spaces labeled water heater- I had quit looking after seeing the first with no breaker associated with it.
The breaker for the W/H was not in the tripped position as I had hoped- I moved it to the off position and set it again- but no joy it still works only with propane.

After crawling under to look at the back of the basement box that houses the W/H I noticed a couple of things:
The right rear HWH stabilizer jack is located right adjacent to the basement box.
There is a porthole about 6" in diameter that I could open by rotating the plastic cover CCW and removing the cover. I could not get my head up near the opening because of the jack tower. The opening, unfortunately is about mid way up- not at the bottom of the box.

My next question is- is my next step to remove the W/H from the motorhome to get at the switch, and element mentioned in Cheryl's post above?

Jeff
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
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Access to the electrical connections on the back of our hot water heater is from underneath the rig. Underneath the bottom of the box that houses the hwh about where the back of the hot water heater would be located above is a black oval plastic cover. At first this was not real obvious to us because it was so dirty. It can be popped off with a blade screw driver. Looking up you can then see the wires and their connections to the back of the hwh.

The switch that I mentioned is the on/off switch at the One Place Panel. The connection to the element is also accessible up the oval hole access. As for how to replace the element I can't help. But I think some info may be on this forum if you search for it.

As I recall from this forum some of the older hwh's have a reset button at the back of the hwh, up the hole. Maybe yours falls in that age group. Again, searching the forum may help regarding this.

Let us know what happens.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:58 AM   #11
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there is a 110v on/off switch on the backside of my atwood water where i cannot see it without a mirror in addition to the switch inside my moho.

http://www.atwoodmobile.com/water-heaters.asp
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:13 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone

Thanks to all who assisted me here.

I finally decided to get after it, and took the screws off the bottom inspection panel and quickly realized I could not work in the space without sliding the W/H partially out. My water heater as you will recall is in a basement "box" below floor level. I turned off the power and propane, and drained the tank.

I took the 20 screws that mount the heater into the basement box out and cut the sealant with a knife, carved the gobs of silicone off the hoses where they enter the back of the box so they could move as I pulled the heater out of it's containment. (mine has Motorade- heat from engine block which means hoses in and out)

With the heater pulled out about 6" I had room to reach up and pull the back cover off the electrical element. (two 7/16" nuts held it in place on studs welded to the tank).
I also have a 6" plastic access port in the back of the basement box that has a plastic screw-on cover. It's too high to use to get the element out- but it helps to be able to get a second hand into the small working space to finess things.
As several posters had indicated there is a small rocker type power switch on the side of this metal element cover. The switch was still in the "on" position. The power switch is kinda useless in there but it's proably a code issue to have one.

I made sure the 110v breaker was in the "off" position and then pulled the wires off the element, and checked with ohm meter. My inexpensive meter showed some continuity through the element and it was not shorted to ground, but as long as I had gone this far- no way I was going to leave it- so off to the RV supply for a new element and a socket to do the R&R. The screw-in type Atwood 1400 watt replacement element was $27 and the stamped metal "socket" was another $8.

After the replacement and refitting, and refilling- Hot Water!!

No idea why Winne didn't put a removable BACK panel on the basement box- would have been so simple to do the repair. Going from the bottom was so much more difficult.

Thanks again- hopes this helps someone else.

I'll up load pictures if I can figure out how-

Jeff
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:03 PM   #13
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Thanks so much for the follow-up and pictures! I love it when we are successful at DIY
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