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Old 09-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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How to go to smaller water heater? (pic)

How to go to smaller water heater?

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I've removed the original Atwood 10 gallon water heater from my trailer. I'm shopping for a new heater and due to the center bath space issue, I'd like to go to a 6 gallon heater. I think I'd like the electronic ignition with the 110 volt heating element. The cutout size of the original heater was 16" wide, 15.5" high, and 20" deep.

The Atwood GCH6A-10E cutout is 16" wide, 12-1/2" high, and 16-7/8" deep.

I haven't looked at Suburban heaters. Do I need to? I don't want a tankless heater at all.

How will I install the heater and deal with three inches less in height?

What door looks the best on my aluminum skin trailer?

Where's the best place in the world to buy this heater with the right door?

Thanks!

Gary
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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Gary, this was my solution. Basically I cut the existing corners round, which meant I had to "over cut" the existing hole. Then I attached a new sheet of aluminum on the inside face w/ an opening cut in for the new water heater. As you can tell I'm not done yet.

I wish they made an aluminum door . . . I think I bought my heater on eBay (it's been awhile). Good Luck.
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(the foil/bubble is obviously going to "go away" when I install the heater)
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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Gary will that 3 inches in height gain you any useable space under the counter? I replaced mine with the 10 gal DSI (electronic Ignition) and 110VAC element. The only space problems I had is for the 110VAC Element. There is a different version which mounts the 110 element elsewhere. It should just slip right in. I can't see how 3 inches above the heater and below the counter will gain you any useable space.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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Gary will that 3 inches in height gain you any useable space under the counter? I replaced mine with the 10 gal DSI (electronic Ignition) and 110VAC element. The only space problems I had is for the 110VAC Element. There is a different version which mounts the 110 element elsewhere. It should just slip right in. I can't see how 3 inches above the heater and below the counter will gain you any useable space.

I'll need to see where the 110 volt element connection is on the new heater. The 3" space I gain in height is not a problem. I'll set the new heater on a pedestal to the top of the opening and make a filler for the bottom. Where I gain is the 3" between the toilet and the water heater. Right now, they touch.





Thanks,

Gary
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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Hi Gary I can see clearly now the wall is gone.
The 110VAC element is attached to the rear of the W/H on mine. I had to cut a hole in the plastic shroud that covers the back of the W/H and make an extension box to close it in. The problem you have is the new toilet you installed is much wider than the original. Yes you must use a 6 gallon W/H to gain the space you need. The problem is that the depth Atwood lists is just for the W/H case itself. The 110VAC element and controls mount on the rear which brings them closer to your toilet. I just measured mine and it sticks out a further 1 1/2". Attached is Atwoods manual and pics of my mods.What about this apnel I modified you have no room for it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I'll need to see where the 110 volt element connection is on the new heater. The 3" space I gain in height is not a problem. I'll set the new heater on a pedestal to the top of the opening and make a filler for the bottom. Where I gain is the 3" between the toilet and the water heater. Right now, they touch.



Thanks,

Gary
Giving new meaning to the expression "HOT SH**!"

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Hi Gary I can see clearly now the wall is gone.
The 110VAC element is attached to the rear of the W/H on mine. I had to cut a hole in the plastic shroud that covers the back of the W/H and make an extension box to close it in. The problem you have is the new toilet you installed is much wider than the original. Yes you must use a 6 gallon W/H to gain the space you need. The problem is that the depth Atwood lists is just for the W/H case itself. The 110VAC element and controls mount on the rear which brings them closer to your toilet. I just measured mine and it sticks out a further 1 1/2". Attached is Atwoods manual and pics of my mods.What about this apnel I modified you have no room for it.

Thanks, That helps a lot.

What's included with yours? Did the shut off valve, the mix valve, and electric switches come with it? Or are those separate order items?

Gary
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Giving new meaning to the expression "HOT SH**!"

Satan made me say it.


Paula
I said something similar! This begs the question . . . what's the original toilet look like? This was a new replacement when I got it. It sits on a flange that looks like the one in my house.

Maybe I should use a 10 gallon water heater and get a different toilet. That still won't increase the space required for a oversize rear gear on the human element.

Gary
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:08 PM   #9
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Hi Gary I tried to respond earlier but I lost my internet connection due to a storm. The original toilet was a Thetford Aquamagic IV. It was tapered in at the bottom allowing for more space between the plastic shroud and the toilet.
The water heater does not come with any fittings or valves. I'm not sure what you mean by a mixing valve. It does come with the dual electric switch panel and switches. One switch turns on the DSI gas system and the other turns on the electric element. The panel also includes a red light to show operation of the gas system.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks! The PDF you put up showed the mixing valve at the hot outlet. I assume it's an anti scald feature.

Thanks again.

Gary
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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Gary the mixing valve is something new to me. i would contact Atwood to find out it's purpose. I can't see why you would want to heat water and then cool it down again. seems like a waste of propane or electricity. The same function can be accomplished at the faucet. Usually the valves at the back of the W/H are for winterizing. They are used to bypass the W/H when using antifreeze to flush the lines. You don't want antifreeze in the W/H tank and the valves allow you to send it directly to the hot lines and avoid or bypass the W/H. I'm curious and will investigate further myself as to it's purpose.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:14 AM   #12
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Mixing valves on Atwood XT series water heaters are there to temper the water that exits the heater, as it is now heated to 140*F. It mixes the 140* output water with incoming cold water to a temp of roughly 120*F.

They say the this increases the usable capacity of the heaters, this making a 10 gallon into a 16 gallon capacity by increasing the water temp..............maybe!

The thing to look out for is that their manual says that these tempering valves should be 'serviced' annually. For most installations...this in not close to reality, as they are placed where the back of the heaters are nearly impossible to reach.

I generally replace 4-6 of these valves every year, as they tend to get clogged with calcium and other minerals found on hard water. The real downside is that these valves cost upwards of $250 EACH!!!!!!!!!! Plus the installation time.

I would RUN from any Atwood XT product because of this 'feature'.YMMV!
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:40 AM   #13
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I was hoping Lew would chime in on this. I knew he would have the answer.
Lew do they also incorporate a check valve for winterizing?
Do you need this valve? Couldn't you just install one way (check) valve instead?
Atwood's W/H just slip right in and don't require any mods to skins.
What has to be done to service these valves?
YMMV? Don't know that abreviation yet.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:33 AM   #14
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Can you just eliminate the mixing valve?

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