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Old 02-16-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
1977 31' Sovereign
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Kalispell , Montana
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Hot Water Heater ??????

I have a Attwood water heater standing flame, about 5 years old, and would like to know if you can convert to electronic ignition?
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:33 PM   #2
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Pilot models can be converted to DSI (direct spark ignition) but the process is rather involved and expensive. You need to add an igniter board (Dinosaur Electronics) solenoid gas valve, DSI spark igniter and probably a new burner. You would be better off with a new unit with a warranty, IMHO!

Not to mention the new wiring that you have to pull to the inside for a control switch and to provide the 12 VDC to the igniter board.

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Old 02-16-2006, 09:54 PM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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What Lew said!
Seriously, a brand-new DSI water heater is about $275 at Camping World. I would imagine most other similar retailers would have comparable prices. By the time you buy all the stuff you will need to do this job, and add 20% to that figure for "overruns", you will be close to the cost of a new unit.
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:54 PM   #4
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When my pilot only atwood water heater was blowing out all the time, I contacted atwood about it.

One of my options was adding their electronic re-igniter to it. I never persued it but it was a direct factory purchase and it ran off a 9 volt battery, that would easily last the whole camping season.

It was supposed to sense a flame out and auto re-ignite it. I think it also had a push button for the initial lite.

You'd have to contact atwood customer service to find out about it. I think the cost was resonable, like $30 or so.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:23 PM   #5
1977 31' Sovereign
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Kalispell , Montana
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Thanks Safari Tim, thats what is going on with mine when the wind is right, I will check into that, Thanks again!
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:30 AM   #6
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Hot Water Heater ??????
Why do you need to heat hot water?
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
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Well, since I took the "Tropical Room" down for windy Spring, I've had a problem with the water heater blowing out. Today I found out that the boiler has perforated. Do I REALLY have to take the toilet out to get to the back of the water heater? I'm about to find out!

I'm experimenting now. This one will be the gas-electric ignition model instead of the gas-pilot-AC model that the PO installed that was never hooked up. I looked into connecting it electrically, and it draws 1500 watts. That means no A/C or heat strip while it's running electrically. That also means the water heater would require a rather beefy second line, which is something I'm not overly interested in right now. (The block heater in the truck wants 750 watts, and I'm already using one of the 110 outlets in the pedestal for that.)

If the new water heater has the same mount location for the electric probe and themostat, I may install it just for speculation, which, in effect, is what the PO did. Why he bought the nice feature and did not use it, instead of buying the OTHER nice feature (electric ignition) and using it is beyond me.

I rather like the idea of having a switch inside the bathroom, and maybe the kitchen, too, if I get REALLY ambitious, to control the water heater. Why not? I still have the shower pan out, and this is really convenient time to get to the side tunnel access.

I'm impressed that I'm having the same problems, in the same order, with the Excella that I had with the Argosy in 1992-1993. If the pattern holds, the toilet should be failing next.

And, oh yes, I got to poking around under the streetside bed and found out why my water doesn't come in on the reel. The line from the reel to the front closet compartment is freeze fractured. The system has been "customized." Gee. Something to FIX.

So far, I've only had to replace one water line on the Excella. The Argosy was a MESS. I ended up replacing every bit of tubing on that one with PEX, which has now been trouble free for 14 years.

The adventure continues...

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Old 02-28-2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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HOT water heater

Yeah, Pick, five years in building houses and over 25 years in hospital maintenance and I'm pretty sure we never caught ourselves on this redundancy -- now I almost stutter everytime I try to talk about the water heater without saying hwh. Wait, isn't the architectural abbreviation for water heater = hwh? Aha!
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