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Old 01-03-2015, 07:40 AM   #1
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Atwood Hot Water Heater Problem

Got down to our winter location in Florida and after setting up found that the hot water heater was not working. Started troubleshooting and found that the 2 amp fuse on the circuit board was blown. Replaced the fuse and it blew again. After checking all the wiring connections for corrosion, frays and shorts, discovered a fried relay and wires. A month over one year since we bought the unit new and this happens. Has anyone experienced this type of failure on an Atwood Hot Water unit. Any ideas of cause? Relay was made in China...maybe a QA issue. I have a relay on order and now that the relay is out of the loop, I can use the propane options for hot water.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:26 PM   #2
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We seasonal camp in the summer. Use only the electric element in the hot water tank. We have had no problems over the last 2 seasons.
This could be a problem with the element being coated with hard water deposits and creating an electrical path to ground, with resistance, through the tank. This additional load could overload the relay, but not open the breaker.
Do you use a water filter before the coach hookup?
Sanibel coaches have a 2 year warranty from date of purchase.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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This is a somewhat common problem in high current small relays especially when used outdoors. The contacts in the relay eventually build up some oxidation ( from opening and closing under load) and the resistance increases. This causes more oxidation and corrosion in the contacts and the push-on connectors and eventually the heat is high enough to break the circuit. Inexpensive fix as the relay is only a few bucks. Replace the damaged push on connector on the white wire and add a little non-oxidation compound on both connections before pushing them on.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:20 AM   #4
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Well it turned out that the relay issue was not the only thing that went bad. After replacing the relay, I was unable to get sufficient power (12v) from the circuit board to allow the passage of 110V to the electric element. Since the unit was still under warrantee, I contacted Atwood. Atwood sent me a replacement circuit board, after some discussion. I replaced it and now I have the ability to heat my water with electric or power. I believe the root cause of the problem was a loose power connection to the relay, which overheated and sent power up the 12V wire to the circuit board. While the 2 amp fuse on the circuit board blew, it still blew out the part of the board that controlled the 12V to the relay. I ensured that all the connected were tight and contained a coating of electric anti corrosion paste.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:24 AM   #5
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We love a happy ending.
Thanks for the follow up!!
Happy Camping!
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:44 AM   #6
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Happy to see Atwood step up and send you what you needed (free I'm assuming) and didn't tell you to take it back in for service (if you're still under warranty).

Edit: I just went back and read you're OP, you are still under warranty.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:14 AM   #7
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Thanks for the update....glad to hear that you were finally able to resolve that issue!
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