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Old 03-30-2007, 08:45 PM   #1
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1996 34' Excella
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Atwood water heater pilot replacement ?

Hi, I need to replace the pilot assy on my water heater that is in a 1976 Argosy. The original pilot has the two discs at the end where the flame is located. My dealer sold me a newer version and I don`t know how to make it fit . Do any of you have any suggestions ? I would appreciate any tips on installing this newer design pilot assy . Thanks Davis
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:56 AM   #2
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I see two issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis
Hi, I need to replace the pilot assy on my water heater that is in a 1976 Argosy. The original pilot has the two discs at the end where the flame is located. My dealer sold me a newer version and I don`t know how to make it fit . Do any of you have any suggestions ? I would appreciate any tips on installing this newer design pilot assy . Thanks Davis
The two disks are part of the thermocouple. That's interesting - I thought they quit using that type of thermocouple long before 1976.

My '67 Airstream's water heater has the same pilot assembly, and it looks like something will need to be done to it this season. I had planned to replace it three years ago during the refurb because it looked so ratty, but ran into the same issue you face. In spite of the assembly's appearance it still worked, so I left it alone.

Making it fit may require more effort than you are willing to put in it. As I recall, the newer design's mounting screws were in different places. This will require tapping new holes and probably the construction of a small transition plate. If that was not enough, the assembly's location with respect to the main burner is somewhat critical - If the pilot is not oriented correctly, its flame may not light the main burner.

Now, if all that labor was not already enough, I am not sure if the new design will even work with the older gas control module (GCM) you & I both have. When heated, a thermocouple produces a tiny electrical charge which tells the GCM that it is okay to supply gas to the main burner. The problem is that all thermocouples are not created equal. Their output voltage is a function of which disimilar metals were used in the construction.

In other words, the new style thermocouple may not deliver enough umph to get the GCM's attention. OTOH, newer thermocouples may deliver more power , and everything will be okay.

I ought to just go ahead and replace my 40 year water heater. But, should I decide to fix its current issue, a simple test before mounting the new assembly is planned to check out if the newer style thermocouple will work okay.

Tom
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:21 AM   #3
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Hey guys,

I have the solution to your problems. Call Atwood Mobile Products tech support line at 1-574-2131. They will have the specific info that you need and will answer all of your compatibility questions.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.I will check into it a little farther. Davis
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:20 PM   #5
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Question Is that the area code or prefix?

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... Call Atwood Mobile Products tech support line at 1-574-2131.
Hey Lew! Does that phone number have all its digits?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Hey guys,

I have the solution to your problems. Call Atwood Mobile Products tech support line at 1-574-2131. They will have the specific info that you need and will answer all of your compatibility questions.
Good thing they don't open 'till tomorrow .

That's 1-574-264-2131. I'm sure that this one will work MUCH BETTER than the previous listing!
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Old 04-23-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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I know its old, but I can't part with my original water heater

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Originally Posted by TomW
...My '67 Airstream's water heater has the same pilot assembly, and it looks like something will need to be done to it this season. ...
I said that because, on our next to last camping trip, the pilot light started going out. After initially blaming it on the windy weather we were experiencing the first day, the pilot continued to go out in with no wind even when the main burner was lit.

Examining the rusted-out condition of the pilot light's wind shield, I decided that a simple patch might extend the life of my 40 year old water heater even more.

After effecting repairs with Thermosteel, the water heater was tested overnight before we left for Stone Mountain Georgia for a four day trip. Major success - the pilot never went out the entire time, and it was so windy the first day that I did not deploy the awning.

Below are a few before & after pix along with Number 1 son on top of Stone Mountain.

Tom
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