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Old 11-04-2018, 02:49 PM   #1
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Atwood Water Heater

Good morning everyone, I need your help again. I own a 24 ft 2013 Chateau we bought last year, so far I have learned a lot about using the appliances. We have only been to campgrounds and all have showers. Now we are planning a trip and boondocking. We never used the water heater. I have drained and flushed it. Filled up the WH. I need help, I have a pilot light switch on the panel, and I assumed that when I turn on the propane then turn the pilot to on it should light the water heater?
If on generator or shore power, propane off, how does it turn on?
Do I also use the pilot light ? I notice a small window on the outside panel, this shows if the flames is on. I want to try this at home before the trip, thanks in advance
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:07 PM   #2
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I would recommend that your first dry camping location be your driveway.

I have a 2018 29M, so may be different than yours.

In my case the WH functions the same regardless of if on shore power or genny. I have two pannel switches - One to heat with electric and the other with propain. When on battery the propain option is the only one available.

When you are boondocking, propain and switch on is all you should need to do.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricksplace55 View Post
Good morning everyone, I need your help again. I own a 24 ft 2013 Chateau we bought last year, so far I have learned a lot about using the appliances. We have only been to campgrounds and all have showers. Now we are planning a trip and boondocking. We never used the water heater. I have drained and flushed it. Filled up the WH. I need help, I have a pilot light switch on the panel, and I assumed that when I turn on the propane then turn the pilot to on it should light the water heater?
If on generator or shore power, propane off, how does it turn on?
Do I also use the pilot light ? I notice a small window on the outside panel, this shows if the flames is on. I want to try this at home before the trip, thanks in advance


Make sure the tank is full before turning on the heater or you will burn out the electrical heating element in a hurry. Either lift the relief valve at the heater or turn on a hot water faucet to ensure you have flow (ie full HW tank).
When you flip the propane switch on the panel there may be a red LED light that lights for a few seconds then the burner will light; donít get worried when you see the LED go turn off.
Thereís no LED associated with using the heater on electric, just ensure there is water in the tank.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:32 PM   #4
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water from hot side of faucet

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Originally Posted by Mlleml View Post
Make sure the tank is full before turning on the heater or you will burn out the electrical heating element in a hurry. Either lift the relief valve at the heater or turn on a hot water faucet to ensure you have flow (ie full HW tank).
When you flip the propane switch on the panel there may be a red LED light that lights for a few seconds then the burner will light; donít get worried when you see the LED go turn off.
Thereís no LED associated with using the heater on electric, just ensure there is water in the tank.
You will still get water from the hot side of the faucet if you have your water heater valves on bypass
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:07 PM   #5
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Atwood Water Heater

Good morning
Thanks but I am still a little confused. On my panel I have a switch for (Gas On). So if I am dry camping, turn gas valve on, turn switch on Gas, the Pilot light should turn on an then off. This Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2478.jpg
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ID:	13870should turn on WH.
Now if I am connected to shore power, the WH will always be on? Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2478.jpg
Views:	203
Size:	80.4 KB
ID:	13870
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:15 PM   #6
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Thanks again
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:20 PM   #7
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hot water heater

if the switch for electric on the Hot water heater is on then whenever you have shore power or generator, the electric element will make hot water.

If the gas switch is on then it will make hot water with LP gas.

You can have them both on for faster recovery of high hot water usage like consecutive showers.

hope that helps
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:34 PM   #8
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The "Pilot Out" LED is a hold-over from the days when you actually had a pilot light on the water heater. It is now a trouble light. It will come on when your heater fails to ignite the propane when the temperature is low enough for it to do so. So if the light stays on, you have a propane water heating problem.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Once you are sure the WH is full of water (you can test by letting water come out of the hot side of the spickets) turn the Gas switch to on. You can usually hear a rumble as the gas system ignites and heating begins. The use /store switch needs to be in Use (12v stuff usable) You can look through the openings in the outside cover and see the blue flame. Shortly you will have hot water available at the spickets. It doesn't seem to use too much gas.
The 110v option is silent in use. It does use alot of power though. So if the AC is on too there's not much left for other items.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:30 PM   #10
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Good afternoon
I just wanted to say thank you for your assistance. I got hot water. I turned on the gas, turn the LP to on and the Pilot light. I heard the flame turn on . Went outside and saw the flame. 25 min. Later had hot water, awsome.
Since I don't have 30 amp service at home just a 110 outlet so I can't check electric for WH. Next time we go to a camp ground will check. I did not know you can use electric and LP at same time. I would like to use electric to save on propane. Does the WH use a lot of propane in those 30 mins.?
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ricksplace55 View Post
Good afternoon
I would like to use electric to save on propane. Does the WH use a lot of propane in those 30 mins.?
One gallon of propane equals about 36 cuft. The 6 gallon water heater uses 3.5 cuft/hour at peak burn. So you could run the water full on for about 10 hours on one gallon of propane. With a full tank, you have about 8 gallons of usable propane.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:28 AM   #12
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Thank you
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:43 AM   #13
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You can put the water heater on 120V while plugged into a standard 120V outlet. The water heater draws about as much as a hairdryer.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ricksplace55 View Post
Good morning
Thanks but I am still a little confused. On my panel I have a switch for (Gas On). So if I am dry camping, turn gas valve on, turn switch on Gas, the Pilot light should turn on an then off. This Attachment 13870should turn on WH.
Now if I am connected to shore power, the WH will always be on? Attachment 13870
Yours is a gas only water heater. You can always upgrade to a dual unit.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:31 AM   #15
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right, I don’t see a real SWITCH for electic heat at that position in your panel - the panel is a ‘base’ model they use for many different rv models, some with the additional electric heating option - it looks like your WH is propane only.

The switch is simply to tell the unit to spark the propane and fire the water tank when the temp falls below the set value within the WH. You can leave the switch on all the time, and it will continue to keep the water hot, firing only when needed - or, you can only flip the switch on when you want hot water, waiting a while to let it do it’s heating...
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:40 AM   #16
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You have 2 options, controlled by two switches:
1. Heat water with Gas
2. Heat water with Electricity
You have to be on shore power or genny in order for the electric option to work.
You can use both at the same time if desired.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:09 AM   #17
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Thank you all for the assistance, since when we are connected we always use the campground showers. now that I know it's propane only, we can dry camp and have hot water. Again thanks guys
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ricksplace55 View Post
Good morning everyone, I need your help again. I own a 24 ft 2013 Chateau we bought last year, so far I have learned a lot about using the appliances. We have only been to campgrounds and all have showers. Now we are planning a trip and boondocking. We never used the water heater. I have drained and flushed it. Filled up the WH. I need help, I have a pilot light switch on the panel, and I assumed that when I turn on the propane then turn the pilot to on it should light the water heater?
If on generator or shore power, propane off, how does it turn on?
Do I also use the pilot light ? I notice a small window on the outside panel, this shows if the flames is on. I want to try this at home before the trip, thanks in advance
Is your water heater equipped with an electric element as well? If so there is a switch for 120V or propane. It must be switched to propane.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:58 PM   #19
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No electric? Really?

The OPís panel is identical to mine. Beneath the words ďwater heaterĒ are the propane switch and the electricity switch. You can turn either one on or off, depending on whether you want your hot water tank running off propane or shore power.

Am I missing something? Why did two posters advise the OP that he only has propane?
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:16 PM   #20
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he doesn't have 120v elec for the water heater because there is no ELEC switch under that 'label', only a filler. This might be an option on this coach, or it may be that FR just uses a 'base' panel and does not use the ELEC switch for those coaches that don't have that type of WH.

but, maybe the picture doesn't give us the best look at it...

but it also doesn't look like he has Tank HEaters either - no switches.
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