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Old 01-29-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1972 21' Globetrotter
Wylie , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 140
Water heater tank hole repair at fitting: weld?

I have a small hole about the size and shape of a BB just inside of the threads at the cold water intake. I took it to a welder whose charge would be $35 to fix. Due to the in accessibility directly, he would cut a flap behind the fitting to allow access to repair the hole from the inside of the tank. He would then fold back the flap and weld it secure.
It all seems reasonable to me. I am not sure about the age of the heater, but it is an Atwood G6-A7 according to its spec sheet tapes by the control panel. Interestingly, it still has a price tag for $294.67. I include this to help date it. It does have a tremendous build-up of scale (white powder) that keeps flaking out of it.
My feeling is that it might have been a slight pinhole that became a good place to eat away the metal. I searched with the term 'weld' and found an older thread by stickbug about a failed attempted weld along the halfway seam with jb weld. But that got me thinking about making a plug with some metal epoxy weld to repair this. Any thoughts? Plug? Weld? Scrap?
If the picture attaches you can barely see the whole above and to the left of the behind a blob of weld that looks like a face profile.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:06 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
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South of the river , Minnesota
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It's not original to the trailer. You can buy them for less than that today if you shop around, although you might want to upgrade to an electronic ignition unit or one with an electric element as well as a gas burner.

Since a new drop-in replacement is available at reasonable cost, I would suggest you scrap what you have now.

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,170
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I agree with Jammer: this is a device that has potential to make a huge mess in your trailer if it lets go, and what the corrosion that caused the hole, and the corrosion that is building up inside is telling you that it has reached the end of the string, no matter how old it is.

Treat yourself to a new one, and go with the electric start at the least.
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:31 PM   #4
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1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
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Ditto on scrapping the WH. This is a pressure vessel that is made of aluminum and of unknown age. Safety and reliability makes the cost of the replacement WH an easy choice in my book.


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Old 01-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #5
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1977 Argosy 24
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Milltown , Wisconsin
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,050
I agree with all the above, scrap it. Get one with electronic ignition. It makes it so easy to turn it on and off. I turn ours off at night so I don't have to listen to it run as it's right under our bed. Still have hot water in the morning when I turn it back on. All from inside and no going out in the rain to light it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:02 PM   #6
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1998 30' Excella 1000
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 546
I'm in the camp with those recommending replacement. However, I will say that I had a 5 year old Atwood that developed a pin-hole leak at the weld to the tank for that female thread fitting. Looked like a defective/incomplete weld during manufacture. Rest of the tank was sound. I repaired it 3 years ago with JB Weld. I've used it full-time since then. No leaks (I did place a Watchdog Water Alarm in the compartment to help keep an eye on it). Your repair sounds riskier. If you have the money, I would replace it. If not....

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