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Old 03-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #1
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Water heater question

We recently purchased our AS19 and although we have all the manuals can't figure out the hot water system, is there a schematic somewhere on this forum?

What do the switches do? Does the red light ever come on?
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by srpuywa View Post
We recently purchased our AS19 and although we have all the manuals can't figure out the hot water system, is there a schematic somewhere on this forum?

What do the switches do? Does the red light ever come on?
The hot water system is explained in the manuel. If you have two switches one if for electric at the other is the propane burner. If the red light comes on you have an error. If you just turn on the electric side or the economy side as it is called it heats via electricity, it you flip on the propane side it heats via propane which is faster and more expensive. I know this because I had an error with my new heater and had to trouble shoot it, it was a t-stat, Atwood took care to the problem promptly with no fuss.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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There are two switches, one for propane operation and one for electric operation. The red light will flash momentarily when you switch on either one, IF the water heater is cool enough to require additional heating. If the red light stays on you have a fault in the system. You can use electric and propane at the same time, and will supply water similar to a 9 gallon heater, even though it is 6 gallon on one or the other heat sources.

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Old 03-25-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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There are two switches, one for propane operation and one for electric operation. The red light will flash momentarily when you switch on either one, IF the water heater is cool enough to require additional heating. If the red light stays on you have a fault in the system. You can use electric and propane at the same time, and will supply water similar to a 9 gallon heater, even though it is 6 gallon on one or the other heat sources.

doug k
If the red light comes on and stays on, that means that the water heater shut itself off due to a fault. You can restart the heater by shutting it off, waiting a minute, and turning it back on, but if the cause of the fault is still there, it will shut itself off again, though hopefully not until it has made a fresh batch of hot water.

Side, note, the whole "nine gallons of hot water from a six-gallon heater" is an Atwood marketing gimmick. Doesn't matter if you're running the heater on propane, electric, or both, it works the same way. According to the Atwood brochure— not the owner's manual— water goes in at ambient temperature, say about 70°F, it's fully heated and stored at 160°F in the tank, and then they use a mixing valve to mix partially heated water at 104°F into the outlet stream in a 2-to-1 ratio to create nine gallons of outlet water at 130°F.

The advantage to using both propane and electric is this: On propane only, the water heater can heat 11.5 gallons per hour, but on electric only, it can only heat 6.2 gallons per hour. The propane flame produces more BTUS than the 1400-watt electric heating elements and so it can heat the water faster, meaning that you can use it faster. But if you use both, you can get 17.7 gallons of hot water per hour; both heat sources transfer their BTUs to the water at the same time, heating the water faster than either heat source by itself.

I never have needed more than six gallons of hot water per hour, so my choice of electric or propane depends on what else I'm using. In the winter, when I'm running the propane furnace, I'm more likely to use the water heater on electric. In the summer, when the AC is running, the water heater is on propane. I don't need to use both heating elements at once.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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My unit was tripping out on high heat, it has 2 t-stats one for electric (ECO) and one for propane. Both stats are the same and mounted next to each other. The wiring is somewhat flimsy and it is a good thing to check how tight the spade connectors fit. I hit all the connections with DeoxIT.

Search Results: DEOXIT - All-Spec Industries

Good video tor review. The t-stat kit is available on eBay for about $8.00, cheap enough to carry a spare.

Atwood RV Water Heater Thermostat Troubleshooting by Bug Smacker - YouTube
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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So I'm a bit confused. Last weekend was our first trip. We de-winterized and paid EXTREME care to be sure the hot water tank was full as our delivery technician told us a dozen times, if you turn the electric hot water heater on with an empty tank it will die immediately. Ok.

We got it working, took a LONG time to heat but eventually we had plenty of great hot water.

This week, just set up. I ran the hot water in the kitchen so all the air would go out of the system and then turned on the electric hot water heater. Have waited a long time but no hot water. Turned on the propane switch too. Waited about a half hour. No hot water. I checked the outside vent, not hot at all. I shut both switches off, tripod the breaker and reset. Turned on electric switch - still nothing.

Any thoughts? I put a call in to the only local service tech near my campground based on the Atwood site but don't expect to hear from them until the morning. Thanks.

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:but-hopeful: :-)
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Try fiddling with the socket connection in the water heater compartment. That is plug and unplug, clean off, just be a general nuisance in there with all the connections. Make sure you have propane and try it on propane only. After flicking the propane switch, watch for the momentary red light flash, and listen for ignition. If this doesn't work, the real fix it guy will be able to help.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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Try fiddling with the socket connection in the water heater compartment. That is plug and unplug, clean off, just be a general nuisance in there with all the connections. Make sure you have propane and try it on propane only. After flicking the propane switch, watch for the momentary red light flash, and listen for ignition. If this doesn't work, the real fix it guy will be able to help.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! One of the clips wasn't attached to the post. Snapped it on turned on the propane - quick red light and ignition! Thank you!!!!
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
So I'm a bit confused. Last weekend was our first trip. We de-winterized and paid EXTREME care to be sure the hot water tank was full as our delivery technician told us a dozen times, if you turn the electric hot water heater on with an empty tank it will die immediately. Ok.

We got it working, took a LONG time to heat but eventually we had plenty of great hot water.

This week, just set up. I ran the hot water in the kitchen so all the air would go out of the system and then turned on the electric hot water heater. Have waited a long time but no hot water. Turned on the propane switch too. Waited about a half hour. No hot water. I checked the outside vent, not hot at all. I shut both switches off, tripod the breaker and reset. Turned on electric switch - still nothing.

Any thoughts? I put a call in to the only local service tech near my campground based on the Atwood site but don't expect to hear from them until the morning. Thanks.

:bummed:
:but-hopeful: :-)
Try removing and re-connecting thermostat, flame fuse and ECO spade connectors and check that the fusible link,(flame fuse) is not burned out.


Bob
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:36 PM   #10
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Thank you too Bob - that was exactly the problem!! By the way - propane AND electric heats that tank up fast!! Thanks again - gotta love this forum!
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #11
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I have a slightly different problem. The AS manual (2006 Classic, Atwood GC6AA-10E water heater) says that the RED light on the switch will come on when in the "try" mode for LP gas heating. It sates that normally the red light will go out in a few seconds once ignition takes place. If no ignition, lockout after 20 seconds then switch off/on again after a 30 second wait. I do heat up with electric although there is not a RED light. When I try gas, there is no RED light, no ignition, no flashing lite, nothing. I do have 12V on the brown wire. The inline fuses are both good, one a 2amp the other sort of looks like a diode, anyway, continuity through both. Still, no gas ignition nor do I hear it trying. I also disconnected and cleaned all connections on the harnesses and spade connections, nothing looked bad.

Any help here would be gratefully appreciated.

Joe
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #12
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Earthcreeper,

Have you checked the gas supply orifice? Very small opening...noted for getting blocked during storage.

#10 in the diagram.

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Old 04-28-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
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Thanks Bob, I will check that out and report back.

Joe
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:43 PM   #14
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Hi Bob. The issue was apparently I needed to just let it keep trying to ignite. It finally did so after 2 failures. The red light and sequence I read about is not how mine works. Thanks for the info, I may need that drawing in the near future. Best, Joe.
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