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Old 09-19-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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Need help with Gas Valve Replacement Atwood Mdl G6A-6E

Phyllis and I began smelling propane last winter while we were staying at Travelers Rest in Dade City, FL. Couldn't seem to locate the leak. We felt it was either our Atwood Water Heater (WH) or our Frig. Anyway we did narrow it down to our WH finally when we got back home. A very small amount of gas seemed to be seeping past the electronic gas valve. No leaks around the fittings that I could tell. Anyway we were putting it into storage for the summer so I did not get it fixed at that time. We'll be leaving next Saturday for our winter travels and brought our AS home last Thursday to get it ready. A couple of weeks ago in anticipation I contacted Out-of-doors Mart in North Carolina and spoke with Mark in their Parts Dept about my gas valve. He said, that when they get old these the seals in these valves can develop leaks. He told me he sees about 10 a year. My AS was built in 1992 and I'm pretty sure the WH is original. I ordered a new electronic Gas Valve. No. 93844, is the new replacement valve. (BTW, they charged me $184.50 plus shipping and I've since seen the same part for $84.37 and several for about a $100 or less and at least one included free shipping. With shipping I paid close to $200. So, buyer beware. Lesson learned, I won't order parts from them again without checking online.)

He told me that the new OEM replacement valve (Part # 93844) was different than the one I had and that it would require some finagling to install it. He wasn't lying. This is definitely not a straight forward swap out. Mark told me I'd need to modify the bracket, but it looks like it could be more involved than that. It appears that the WH needs to be removed to remove the bracket. However, the directions included with the new valve say that you can use the existing bracket and make no mention of removing it. So... I thought I better check and see if someone who's done this is available to give me some advise. I'm posting a few picks I hope will be helpful. Click on the images to see the enlarged version.

My Water Heater Info Click image for larger version

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Original Valve attached to mounting Bracket Click image for larger version

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Old and New Valves Click image for larger version

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A couple of Questions, then I'll shut up and await instructions.

  1. Can the old valve simply be rebuilt?
  2. It appears that I need to remove the original bracket as the new valve does not appear to attach to it and it's in the way where it's now installed. It appears I need to pull the water heater out of the AS to do this. Is that correct and if so, I'd appreciate some detailed instructions.
Thanks


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Old 09-19-2015, 07:20 PM   #2
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Hi Pete,

I replaced the valve on our water heater a few years ago and don't recall having any problem. Pretty much a drop-in replacement. Maybe things have changed since then (about 5 years ago).

Danielle and I will be doing some maintenance on our trailer tomorrow and I wanted to compare your pictures to our heater since it's probably similar.

However, I don't see any pictures attached to your post. I see some text that is bold, centered, color blue but those don't seem to be links to pictures. What am I missing? I'd like to help if possible.

Lucius
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hi Pete,

I replaced the valve on our water heater a few years ago and don't recall having any problem. Pretty much a drop-in replacement. Maybe things have changed since then (about 5 years ago).

Danielle and I will be doing some maintenance on our trailer tomorrow and I wanted to compare your pictures to our heater since it's probably similar.

However, I don't see any pictures attached to your post. I see some text that is bold, centered, color blue but those don't seem to be links to pictures. What am I missing? I'd like to help if possible.

Lucius
Hey Lucius,

Good to hear from you, I hope all is well. Regarding the pictures try reloading or reopening the page. They are there, but when I first posted the thread they did not show up. I immediately edited it and had to upload the pictures and link them again. They took the second time around. Not sure what happened the first time.

Please look at them and let me know if your original and replacement valves match mine. I did figure out how the new valve mounts which is differently than the original, but the bracket still does not seem like it's going to work. The problem is that the screws holding the bracket are screwed up through the bracket from beneath the bottom of the exterior side of the WH cabinet.

It might prove helpful if you are able to post a picture or two of your installed valve and bracket.

Thanks,
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:09 PM   #4
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Picture Re-post

Even though I see the pictures when I reload this thread. When I click on them to see the enlarged view just the file names pop up, but no images. Thinking the file names were to long I tried re-naming them and posting the pictures again here. No luck, I keep getting up load errors. I'll try contacting AF and see if they can trouble shoot this on their end or give me some feed back. Never had this problem before, so I have no idea whats going on.

Pete
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:07 PM   #5
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Here's a work around with links to the photos on my Picasa account. Click on images to enlarge.

My Atwood WH info label





Original gas valve attached to bracket:



Top: Original gas valve
Bottom: New OEM replacement gas valve 93844




Pete
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:56 PM   #6
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If your water heater is 23 years old, I would consider returning your "almost $200 gas valve" and getting a whole new unit for about $250-$350 (model dependant). Those tanks don't last forever, control boards fail, etc. And a new unit could be put in by a moderately handy person in 1/2 a day. Other than your labor, the only additional expense would a few bucks for a short roll of butyl putty tape to reseal the exterior flange.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:41 AM   #7
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Second that...

For what you paid for the valve, a new replacement is not a whole lot more and yours with a 1989 or so build date is a junk and replace in my book. It should be less work to do as everything you need to do to remove it is the reverse of what it takes to install a new one. Just use fresh teflon tape for the water connections. With luck you can use them as is... without luck you may need to modify the plumbing slightly to line up with new inlet/outlet positions.
This could apply to both gas and water, but it is unlikely as I just put one in my trailer and my new one looks incredibly similar to your old one.
Adding electronic start and other upgrades may push the price up but also may be worth it. Also a new exterior face plate may be worth the price as well. It is a separate purchase. Hard to find in aluminum... I had to paint mine with aluminum paint.

Chuck
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:59 AM   #8
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I agree with the logic for replacing the existing WH. But here are the reasons I won't at this time. As I said I paid to much for said valve, but it should have only cost me about $100, so I recommend shopping around like I did not and save. Due to both suggestions I looked up the cost of a new Atwood electronic WH, like I have, and they are in the $500 to $600 area, especially if they include 110V electric heat capability as well. When I get around to replacing I'm going for the full enchilada, maybe even a tankless. I did not see any electronic WHs for $250 as suggested. But thats neither here nor there because I have one week before I leave for a 6 month trip. Thanks but no thanks, hahaha, I've got enough on my plate getting ready as it is.

This summer has already been a big project summer around the Woodhead homestead. I've completed the major stuff and am down to a dozen, or so, honey-dos hopefully finish before we leave. Once out west we will have some long stays in a couple of places and it might be something I look into at that time, if I'm having problems. The WH has performed great since we bought the AS in July 2012.

For now I'd really just like to see some pictures and here about some similar gas valve replacement installs.

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:03 AM   #9
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Here are some pictures of my installation. I think it must be very similar to yours Pete.

I can see what you mean about the bracket. It's mounted to the water heater with three screws and the screws come from the opposite side. I did not change anything on the bracket. The solenoid valve I purchased was a drop-in replacement for the old valve. It appears the valve I purchased is still available. If you look up the part number from the label on the valve you'll find this company.

CV Series Redundant Combination Controls my unit is the CV200 and it appears it would be a drop-in replacement for yours. I haven't taken time to find it through online retailers.

About 5 years ago I paid just over $100 for the valve. I found my receipt but the part number on the receipt is for the local RV dealer (Three Way Campers just north of Marietta, GA)

I hope you can find the correct valve and get your money back (minus shipping maybe). I've always found Out-of-Doors Mart to be very informed and able to help. Seems odd that they went down what appears to be the wrong path.

I'll be working on the trailer for a few more hours today and will check back before I leave to see if you need further information.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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Lucius,
Thanks, this is extremely helpful. I'm a bit tied up at the moment, but I wanted to let you know I've seen this. I'll get back in touch if I need any additional info.

Regards,
Pete
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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Lucius,
So, Ive done a few searches and so far no luck coming up with a local distributor or even one that I recognize. From your post I gather you found your through a local RV dealer.

Pete
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:05 PM   #12
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What to do...

Given that you are going to use what you have and make it work...
First you need to orient the valve correctly... inlet and outlet should be clearly marked on it. The electrical connections look the same. I would not take the unit out of the AS if all you are going to do is replace this part. You may have to work a bit harder to get at the screws that attach it to the bracket, but after that it should be relatively straight forward. They make simple screw drivers that are made to reach into tight and difficult places, talk to you Ace salesman to have him point them out to you.
You will need to add the unions to the valve that will mate up correctly.You could use the old ones, but I would not... Ace has a section where you should be able to select everything you need. Ask for help from a knowledgeable salesperson. Take both valve units with you to show what you've got and what it needs to look like with the fittings on it. Use gas specific pipe dope or teflon (yellow) to seal fittings.
If the valve does not mate directly to the old flange it is screwed to then alter it (the flange) to make it fit or make an adapter out of sheet metal as a go-between. You can make this and mount it to the new valve and choose how it will tie into the old one easily. Its simple sheet metal backyard engineering.
A pair of tin-snips, a flat pair of pliers and a drill is all you should need to manufacture your own adapter. Be careful while drilling... if the drill bites the metal can get caught and spin and bite you in the process. Hold the metal firmly with the pliers during this process to avoid getting cut or injured. A vice is even better if you have one. This is a bit of a hack but the valve just needs some support and you can easily re-engineer that.

Should not take more than a couple hours once you have everything you need.

Chuck
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:31 PM   #13
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When I look closely it looks like that bolt that goes through the old unit simply clamps the unit in place... you probably want to re-use that bolt. In your picture you probably have the new vs old units oriented differently from the perspective of inlet and outlet. You could use the old fittings and probably will have to with respect to the outlet as this is not a commonly available fitting at Ace. The 45 degree inlet is.
The stuff you have looks a bit crunchy so be careful. You will still need fresh pipe dope/or teflon if you don't want a gas leak. What is most important is that the outlet wants to be in exactly the same place when the new valve is mounted to/in the bracket. If the mounting is simply a clamp as it looks then you should be able to slide the valve forward to the correct location and tighten the clamp... then adjust the flexible copper inlet pipe to mate with the 45 degree inlet coupling by carefully bending with your hands. That "union" between the valve's outlet is where the air mixes with the gas and is adjustable to get the proper flame color for a clean burn.

Chuck
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:07 AM   #14
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Chuck, Thanks for your detailed help. I'm afraid short of disconnecting the and pulling the water heater or removing the banana wrap (not gonna happen), I can not access the backs of the screws that hold the the original mounting bracket in place. So it looks like I'll be cutting off the screws with a dremel type tool and fabricating anew bracket. Unfortunately the original bracket is in the way and does not allow for a proper alignment of the replacement gas valve and the flow tube.
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