Originally Posted by idroba
Realize that all they have done is to make it possible for both the propane and the electric system to operate at the same time. Also, the electric element is quite large, 1400 watts, which will take about half of your 30 amp input service to operate. With the AC unit on, you would just about use every bit of the power you may have available.
Nothing wrong with what they have done, but they really don't tell you how they did it, or what the limitations are (electric use) and even the fact that to get the specs they give you, you must have electricity.
Sorry, but the Atwood XT does NOT work in the manner that you imply; electric only.
It IS a 120VAC/LP combination water heater
, but these separate heating sources can be used individually OR together ....your choice. Using both simultaneously will improve the recovery rate of the device, allowing the water to heat quicker, but it is NOT mandatory.
The operation of the XT provides 16 gallons of hot water from a 10 gallon tank. This is NOT done with with larger electric elements (1400 watts is standard for RV electric water heaters) or more BTUs for the LP burner, It is done with hotter thermostats (specifically 165*F for the XT rather than the standard 130*F for a conventional RV water heater).
By heating the water in the 10 gallon tank to such a high degree, Atwood then employs a mixing valve at the tank output to add cold water to the 'overheated' water, bringing the mixed water nearer to the optimal 120*F seen at the faucet. This is how they increase the capacity of the 10 gallon tank.
I would NOT recommend this unit for the following reason: I get almost a call a week from customers saying that they are no longer getting hot water from the unit. The cause is the mixing valve, which clogs with sediment/minerals from the incoming water, blocking the hot water from the tank from entering the mixing valve, and ultimately your faucet. Once clogged, they are NOT repairable/cleanable.
The manual states that this valve should be cleaned with vinegar at least annually, but the positioning of the mixing valve (rear of the unit) and the difficulty of removal really precludes any sort of maintenance as recommended by Atwood. Also, replacement mixing valve cost around $250!
Not my choice for a water heater.