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Old 06-06-2015, 01:47 PM   #1
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Cool What Does This Switch Do?

Having concluded that I have an Atwood hot water heater (G6A-8E) that uses LPG only (no electric heat), here is my mystery.

On my control panel there are two HW tank switches: Gas HW tank and Electric HW tank. The Gas HW switch heats up my HW tank just fine. If I instead flip on the Electric HW switch, it lights up blue, but nothing happens ... no hot water, the switch only lights blue.

So ....... just what is the Electric HW tank switch for The Gas HW switch heats up my water even if the Electric HW switch is turned off.

Is this a factory mis-wire intended for a dual gas-electric HW heater that was not installed even though both switches are present?
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:51 PM   #2
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You do not have an "Atwood hot water heater". The electric water heat switch is a mystery however you can easily convert your water heater to dual fuel and put that switch to good use.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:01 PM   #3
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You should have a switch on the WH itself accessible from the outside. Even if your sending AC power through the distribution panel, you still need to physically turn it on in order to use the electrical element.

If it hasn't been used before you will also need to remove the cotter pin from the outside switch. From there you can utilize the power panel to turn it on and off.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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I don't know what the Duck says but Amazon says this water heater is a dual fuel (propane and electricity) heater.
Amazon.com: NEW ATWOOD RV WATER HEATER G6A-8E SIX 6 GALLON GAS WATER HEATER DSI WITHOUT DOOR: Automotive


CORRECTION: my error. So sorry!
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
You should have a switch on the WH itself accessible from the outside. Even if your sending AC power through the distribution panel, you still need to physically turn it on in order to use the electrical element.

If it hasn't been used before you will also need to remove the cotter pin from the outside switch. From there you can utilize the power panel to turn it on and off.
There ain't no electric element. Its a LP DSI water heater.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarome View Post
You should have a switch on the WH itself accessible from the outside.
While this is true for a Suburban water heater, it's not (always?) true for an Atwood.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:17 PM   #7
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I believe they use a standard panel with a standard number of switches. My Coachmen Mirada has a couple of switches that do nothing and the dealer covered those in the walk-thru.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:19 PM   #8
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OK, Duck! I'm going back to sleep. Wake me when I can confuse some other issue!
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:22 PM   #9
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Go to your own link and reread it. It's a LP DSI water heater. Yes it does use 12v for LP ignition, not to heat the water.
You're right. See my post before yours AND my correction to my original. Sorry.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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I don't know what the Duck says but Amazon says this water heater is a dual fuel (propane and electricity) heater.
Amazon.com: NEW ATWOOD RV WATER HEATER G6A-8E SIX 6 GALLON GAS WATER HEATER DSI WITHOUT DOOR: Automotive
That's what I saw as well, but further reading... some of those ARE LPG only, with a $50 upgrade option for electric, and electronic ignition.

So the second breaker.. I have no idea. It "could" be for the igniter, but if it's operating without it on the main breaker, I would leave it off. It might be pre-wired for the electric option and just supplying VAC to a nearby outlet that isn't currently being used.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:47 PM   #11
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Dennise,
Here is the "Fix" I used. You can find more info at Camco.net.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:16 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Duckogram;885680]Dennise,
Here is the "Fix" I used. You can find more info at Camco.net.[/QUOTE

Thanks for the tip! Camco's 'Hybrid Heat' looks to be a nice way to add electric water heating.

Do you know if the included ON-OFF switch switches the 120 VAC to the unit directly, or alternately, is a relay included in the kit so that a remote 12 VDC source can switch the 120 VAC power ON 'n OFF?

Has anyone added Camco's Hybrid Heat to Atwood's G6A-8E LPG hot water heater?
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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That's correct and I was advised by my dealer to replace the cotter pin after each use. To prevent accidental turn-on of water heater from the inside.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:58 PM   #14
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That's correct and I was advised by my dealer to replace the cotter pin after each use. To prevent accidental turn-on of water heater from the inside.
If you are referring to the post by Yarome, there is no cotter pin or outside switch. The OP has the Atwood LP DSI 6 gal water heater.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:21 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Dennise;886435]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckogram View Post
Dennise,
Here is the "Fix" I used. You can find more info at Camco.net.[/QUOTE

Thanks for the tip! Camco's 'Hybrid Heat' looks to be a nice way to add electric water heating.

Do you know if the included ON-OFF switch switches the 120 VAC to the unit directly, or alternately, is a relay included in the kit so that a remote 12 VDC source can switch the 120 VAC power ON 'n OFF?

Has anyone added Camco's Hybrid Heat to Atwood's G6A-8E LPG hot water heater?
Yes, I installed the Camco Hybrid on my 2013 vintage Atwood G6A-8E water heater. I did not put it on a hot water heater because I saw no reason to heat hot water.
It comes with the heating element (rod), rocker switch (illuminated), wiring, thermostat with safety sensor and very simple instructions. Installation requires
drilling a hole in water heater frame under the point where the propane line comes in. You must also cut the styrofoam on a flat part of the water heater tank to mount the thermostat with the 3M tape which is included. I installed mine in March of '14 with a full 20 gal tank of propane. I now have 3/4 of a tank after 4 MONTHS of traveling and 13,000 miles and have spent $0.00 on propane.
You do have to plan a bit to manage the hot water as the Camco is only 475W as tested. Thats about 1/3 of what a factory WH draws. Also noteworthy is that I installed an electrical box under the floor and wired it to the breaker box. The camco has a standard male 120v w/ground plug on the pigtail. As a bonus, I now have an outlet under the wardrobe where I can plug in a shop light so I can see down the cable chase. You probably dont have one of those.

Edit: I did cut the wires about 4" from the element and installed a 2 prong waterproof plug. This allows for easy removal of the element assembly for draining the tank and also acts as a safety when the tank is empty.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:29 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=Duckogram;886582]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennise View Post

You must also cut the styrofoam on a flat part of the water heater tank to mount the thermostat with the 3M tape which is included.
Yes, to make the thermostat sense the water temp accurately. Do you know if the "flat part" is accessible from the outside of the control box by removing parts there? Or is the flat part only accessible from inside the coach (very difficult in my Prism ... I'd need a highly trained and motivated Capuchin monkey to do it )?
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:35 AM   #17
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Get the Monkey. Mine is accessible through a removable panel under the wardrobe. The thermostat mounting point is burried under the duct tubes. I had to remove all the ducting and use a mirror to get to the back of the tank where there was a suitable mounting flat spot. I was black and blue for days afterwood. The top of the photo is the back of the WH.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:36 AM   #18
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Here is what the front looks like:
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