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Old 02-01-2015, 06:38 AM   #1
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Atwood water heater malfunction

My Atwood 10 gal. WH is acting strange. I usually run it on 110v, but right now it is on propane. Worked fine for a few days and then I shut it off for about 36 hrs. When I turned it back on, it fired up on gas just fine, ran for about 3-4 min. and shut off (too soon to reach temp), then re-fired in about 4 sec. This repeated maybe 6 times before I just shut it down.

I've looked at the manual. Problem can't be with the 'thermal cutoff' because that is a one-time only safety fuse. Problem could be with the main thermostat, I've checked that it is in direct contact with the tank, so it could be stuck closed. But according to the manual, the 'ECO' should open and lockout the system, requiring power reset. But the system keeps cycling on and off. Probability of both sensors failing at the same time seems very low. So, maybe it is the circuit board? Or maybe just the main thermostat not staying open once the water is up to temp?

Based on the manual, symptoms should be the same on 110v, but just harder to detect without a meter hooked up to it. In 25 yrs, this is the first WH problem I've had. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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Larry, been thinking about this and don't have any good ideas. Are you sure the thermal cutoff is one time use only. I have seen many where they have a red button in the middle that you can "reset". My 07 doesn't have a residential type thermostat but maybe your 2011 does. If so, they do go bad. I will keep thinking.
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Are you sure the thermal cutoff is one time use only.
Stan, yes, it is a fusible link above the burner inlet, to prevent fire from burning the outside of the rv. Right now it is working better, will cycle twice, then remain off until temp drops. So, I'm not going to order any parts just yet.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Today the WH is intermittent, just when I really need it. Did nothing the first time I turned it on. Then it fired up for about 2 seconds. Then nothing again, can't even hear the 110v relay click. I did a quick jiggle on the connections, still nothing. Then turned the breaker off and on to reset the circuit board and heard some noise, but still nothing. Rechecked the connections and another power off cycle, and the burner finally fired up and is running right now. Guess I need to do a good cleaning of the connections tomorrow if it isn't raining.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:31 PM   #5
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Larry, it sounds like your on to something. I have never done anything to mine (including cleaning) so am interested as to what you find. Maybe it IS just a bad connection. Will keep my fingers crossed!
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:42 AM   #6
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Make sure the propane line to heater doesn't have trash in it. I had a similar issue with my furnace once and found the propane line was clogged at the furnace connection. It may not be totally clogged if it works sometimes, but any restriction will effect performance.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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Our WH is the same model as yours. The 1st time it did what yours did it was the terminals on the circuit board. I read somewhere to clean with a pencil eraser and then reinstall, it worked about a year and started doing the same thing. It was the circuit board that time. Bought one on ebay, no more problems since.
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