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Old 08-26-2016, 02:36 PM   #1
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Water heater demise?

While showing a friend the ropes on their recent purchase, I noticed when I got ready to explain the water heater operation that the the electric side switch was in the on position and the AI was plugged in to shore power and had been for a couple of hours. The water heater was dry so I wonder if the element is burned out or if there is a safety device to prevent operation if empty. And when on generator power, there was no current draw (breaker wasn't tripped) which would indicate a problem. But the Atwood site says:

Each Atwood electric water heater is
equipped with a high quality 120 volt/
1400 watt incalloy
®
heating element
designed to withstand accidental
operation in an empty tank.

The propane side didn't work either. Did notice that what appeared to be a thermal fuse in a clear sleeve on the right side near the electronics. The sleeving appeared to have been subjected to high temperature. Looked similar to this:


Any ideas?
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
While showing a friend the ropes on their recent purchase, I noticed when I got ready to explain the water heater operation that the the electric side switch was in the on position and the AI was plugged in to shore power and had been for a couple of hours. The water heater was dry so I wonder if the element is burned out or if there is a safety device to prevent operation if empty. And when on generator power, there was no current draw (breaker wasn't tripped) which would indicate a problem. But the Atwood site says:

Each Atwood electric water heater is
equipped with a high quality 120 volt/
1400 watt incalloy
®
heating element
designed to withstand accidental
operation in an empty tank.

The propane side didn't work either. Did notice that what appeared to be a thermal fuse in a clear sleeve on the right side near the electronics. The sleeving appeared to have been subjected to high temperature. Looked similar to this:


Any ideas?
I have a thermal fuse like that on the dual-mode (gas and electric) Atwood water heater in my 2013 AS trailer. I had a fire/explosion caused by an insect nest in the burner. The heat of that melted the thermal fuse (like it is supposed to) and melted a bunch of other wires that are exposed. After replacement of the fuse and wires, all is good. We now carry a spare fuse.

I think failure of the fuse alone will cause the water heater to shut down on both heat modes, but I am not positive about that.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:57 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll pass that on. I would have replaced that thermal fuse but friend had to hit the road.

Thanks to Phoenix for the following video that could help others in the future.

https://youtu.be/uYzqP2BFrMk
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