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Old 08-01-2005, 09:30 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Water heater repair

I took advantage of the extra time off this long week-end to finally test my water system. I was a little sceptical that the PO had winterized it right, and in anticipation of leaks I had been waiting until I had the old carpet out to run the water. Well the good news is the fresh water holding tank holds water, the pump pumps quite nicely and all the pipes seem to be leak free (amazing). Big bad news arrived in the form of a large puddle forming around the water heater. I yanked the heater out, and confirmed my suspicions about the PO's winterizing abilities. The hot water tank had a nice, big split in the bottom from being frozen. I'd rather not part with the $ for a new water heater if I don't have to, especially since the PO had a new control module and igniter installed in this one last summer. The split in the aluminum tank can be tig welded no problem, but I was wondering what internal damage there may be to the heat exchanger (if any). Any one know what these things look like on the inside or what the contruction of the heat exchanger is? I'm assuming that once it's welded if it'll hold air pressure I should be good to go. Has anyone else run into this problem and been successful in repairing it? P.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:37 PM   #2
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Hi, Peter,

Several years ago I needed to replace the tank in my Argosy, which had a Bowen water heater, and I mentioned it to the parts guy at Three-way Campers in Atlanta. He told me to hang on, escused himself, and walked back a minute later with a brand-new tank. I bought it for $20. I suggest that you check around at your local RV dealers. They might just have what you need sitting around, and new old stock beats repaired most times.

Good luck. Lamar
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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I wish it were that easy! I have not seen any parts breakdown for the Attwood heater that I have which shows the tank and heat exchanger being available "blank". Were that the case, I would gladly swap out all my propane and electrical riggin' to a new tank. Thanks for the suggestion tho'.

I'm surprised that no-one else on this forum has attempted such a repair, or at least cut apart one of these suckers to see what they look like on the inside. I can assure you that if I can't fix mine I'll salvage what I can and the rest will be going under the sawsall just so I can have a look-see on the inside before it goes to the dump. Inquiring minds eh? P.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter&Denise
I wish it were that easy! I have not seen any parts breakdown for the Attwood heater that I have which shows the tank and heat exchanger being available "blank". Were that the case, I would gladly swap out all my propane and electrical riggin' to a new tank. Thanks for the suggestion tho'.

I'm surprised that no-one else on this forum has attempted such a repair, or at least cut apart one of these suckers to see what they look like on the inside. I can assure you that if I can't fix mine I'll salvage what I can and the rest will be going under the sawsall just so I can have a look-see on the inside before it goes to the dump. Inquiring minds eh? P.
Either Peter is an engineer, or one in training...
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:16 PM   #5
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He wouldn't have a sawsall if he didn't like to cut up . . . things!
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:00 PM   #6
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Here is a site that sells Atwood tanks, without the electronics. You might check with them to see if they can fix you up.

http://www.marksrv.com/atwoodtanks.htm

Regards,

Jack
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the link! If the tank repair doesn't pan out, I'll definitely order one from those guys. P.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:25 AM   #8
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Be sure to inspect the exhaust area of your used tank. I was going to repair mine after the "C.O." current owner......me, didnt winterize it properly and it split the aluminum. Doh! I noticed alot of corrosion in the exhaust that could have potentially leaked carbon monoxide back into the living area. I tossed it and bought a new one.

Jai
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:08 PM   #9
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My Atwood aluminum tank had a defective weld on the water outlet that only showed up after 17 years. I had a local machine shop weld it at a cost of $15 or so.

Mark
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:23 PM   #10
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No corrosion, so I'm holding out hope that the repair will be successful. Before we button it back up I'm going to get a look inside with a fibre optic scope, just to see if the heat-exchanger suffered any freeze damage. With luck I'll have hot water by the week-end. P.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Before we button it back up I'm going to get a look inside with a fibre optic scope, just to see if the heat-exchanger suffered any freeze damage.
<---- jealous of Peter's toys
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