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Old 12-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #1
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Water heater not working.

2007 Airstream international wit Atwood 6 gal water heater.It has been working great and then it sat for 30 days in storage.Now won't work on gas or electric.Checked circuit board fuse and spade connections.Light comes on and stays on with gas.plugged into shore power and everything else functions on gas or electric.Any ideas?Circuit board?


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Old 12-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
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My guess is the board.

A good RV shop should have a test jig, to be sure.


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Old 12-21-2014, 09:36 PM   #3
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I was leaning towards the board also.


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Old 12-21-2014, 11:12 PM   #4
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The gas side of the water heater has a circuit board for ignition and safety issues. However that should not affect, in any way, the 120 volt side which does not go through the circuit board at all. They are completely independent, and in fact can both run at the same time for faster water heating. I can see one or the other going out, but not both at the same time.

So, although I believe what you are saying, it is hard to imagine anything which would cause both parts to go out at the same time other than really bad luck.

Wish I had a magic solution for you but you are going to have to solve first one of the heat source problems, then go on to the second one. I would attack the 120 volt side first, it is the most straightforward of the two. Be sure that there is 120 volts at the water heater, then check the continuity of the thermostatic switch and the heating element itself.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:18 PM   #5
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The gas side of the water heater has a circuit board for ignition and safety issues. However that should not affect, in any way, the 120 volt side which does not go through the circuit board at all. They are completely independent, and in fact can both run at the same time for faster water heating. I can see one or the other going out, but not both at the same time.

So, although I believe what you are saying, it is hard to imagine anything which would cause both parts to go out at the same time other than really bad luck.

Wish I had a magic solution for you but you are going to have to solve first one of the heat source problems, then go on to the second one. I would attack the 120 volt side first, it is the most straightforward of the two. Be sure that there is 120 volts at the water heater, then check the continuity of the thermostatic switch and the heating element itself.
I agree - but it is a 2007. About time for the electrical element to wear out. It's possible that the electric had failed to work for a while, and the owner didn't notice if he was running both at the same time. A couple of weeks later tha board goes bad too? Replacing the element is pretty inexpensive and if that doesn't fix the electrical side... well you have a spare element you'll need sooner or later.

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Old 12-22-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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The electric side of the water heater can be compromised if the water tank runs dry while a hot tap is open. If air gets into the heater tank and the element isn't fully submerged, it will burn out in minutes. Was the tank drained when the trailer went into storage?
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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Mine was doing exactly same thing. I changed what I could and still didn't work. Finally decided to read the book. Once I adjusted the igniter, she works every time. I was first adjusting by putting the igniter tip as close "IN" as possible. Wrong. I loosened the igniter and backed it off a little at a time and bingo, I hit the sweet spot and she works every time (I was adjusting the igniter in as far as I could get it, rather than the opposite way). The instructions say 1/4" or 1/8" gap or something like that. Sorry, I cannot explain it better....but, it works)
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:16 PM   #8
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Tank was drained when stored but refilled an bled before hooked to shore power. I have searched high and low for the electric element location,does not appear to be on the outside and do not see it on back side????Hmmm


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Old 12-22-2014, 03:06 PM   #9
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Light comes on and stays on with gas.plugged into shore power and everything else functions on gas or electric.
I don't have any specific solution to suggest but wanted to point out that when the light by the gas/electric switches is on, the heater unit is in "fault." Oddly enough, when the light is OFF, the hot water unit is working properly, when the light is ON, it's not. Go figure?
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #10
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My gas only unit failed to light after de winterizing this weekend for a trip to Santa Cruz. The trailer was set to run and plugged into shore power before i left while packing snd cooling the fridge. De winterized filled the tank and took off. Heater wouldn't fire all weekend. Wasn't a big deal as the campground had baths and hookups.

Called the local RV shop here this morning. Service manager suggested a re-set. Disconnect the batteries, then connect ( store/run). The reset worked. Hot water again. Now to re-winterize!


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Old 12-22-2014, 04:31 PM   #11
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I don't have any specific solution to suggest but wanted to point out that when the light by the gas/electric switches is on, the heater unit is in "fault." Oddly enough, when the light is OFF, the hot water unit is working properly, when the light is ON, it's not. Go figure?

Yea,go figure.


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Old 12-22-2014, 04:33 PM   #12
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My gas only unit failed to light after de winterizing this weekend for a trip to Santa Cruz. The trailer was set to run and plugged into shore power before i left while packing snd cooling the fridge. De winterized filled the tank and took off. Heater wouldn't fire all weekend. Wasn't a big deal as the campground had baths and hookups.

Called the local RV shop here this morning. Service manager suggested a re-set. Disconnect the batteries, then connect ( store/run). The reset worked. Hot water again. Now to re-winterize!


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Now that's a new one.Reboot with the store button.


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Old 12-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #13
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Searched high and low for electric heating element but to no avail.Hard to replace when you can't find it!


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Old 12-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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Searched high and low for electric heating element but to no avail.Hard to replace when you can't find it!


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Dumb question here, but are you sure there is one?

A lot of trailers have propane only....

Is there a 120 volt wall switch or breaker for the water heater?

Or just the 12 volt/indicator light?


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