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Old 04-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #1
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replacing my Atwood 6 gallon l.p. water heater with a new Atwood with l.p. and electr

Atwood 6 Gallon Gas / Electric Water Heater GC6AA-10E
I am replacing my old water heater and we can't quite figure out the wiring. We don't know if the thick red cable coming off of the hot battery line in the converter needs to be spliced or if the smaller red line is the same one. We took pictures and my buddy Jack was helping me. We decided to just bypass until we conferred with y'all.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:56 PM   #2
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We need a little more info to help better.

First, no you really do not want to splice into the big heavy red wire from the battery. That wire can supply much more current then the wires on the new water heater can handle.

We do not know what water heater you had before. Any pics and or model number? Some of the older ones where all gas operated and no electrics at all.

If you are starting out with no electric at all, then this is different and we can help point you on how to fuse the new wiring and how to bring 120 VAC to the unit for the 120 VAC electric element.

Pictures of your old water heater hooked up will help show us what you have.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:01 AM   #3
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I'm having a bear of a time trying to upload pictures! They say they get uploaded and then disappear . The old heater was an Atwood g6a6. Original I assume do the condition and my t-1700 is almost 30 yrs old. It was l.p. only. The new one is l.p. and electric . I will continue to try to add images, maybe when I get closer to town they will upload.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:44 AM   #4
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images of old water heater
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:54 AM   #5
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Your pics are not coming through.

See if this post will help explain on the how to upload pics to a post
Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

You can also upload pics to your album verses a post. To add an "album",
  • Go to your Control Panel (CP). Up on the top left of the forum in small white background black letters is "User CP"

    Go in the CP and scroll down to "Networking" on the left and then select "Pictures and Albums".

    Go in the "Pictures and Albums" and at the bottom it shows, "add and album" .

    You create an album and then upload pics to the album. You can have several albums to keep pics separated if wanted.

    These album pics are then linked to your account. And if wanted, then you can link from your album to a post and it will view. Once uploaded and you select a pic, click in the pic and along the bottom is a URL address and a BB Code address. Just copy in the BB code address in any post and it will view.

To hooking up your new heater,

The pics will help. But knowing your old heater is all LP gas, that helps tell us what you have and do not have. Basically you have no 12 VDC or 120 VAC power to the water heater area.

I will look up your needs and post back but we now need info on one more area. If you can, please tell us what brand and type power converter you have. And if there are any 120 AC circuit breakers in that area and 12 volt DC fuses? Pics here really help too as that area is where the 12 VDC and 120 VAC will come out of. The older campers had limited power distribution but we can see what you have and give you a guide on "how to" hook into it.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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Thanks so much! I will add the pictures to a water heater album and hope that works ! it says they are attached and then disappear. Could be where I'm at hosting at a MD state park.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:22 AM   #7
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Hi,

OK the pics really help!!! Sunline Coach Owner's Club - sallyforth's Album: water heater install

First and foremost, there is risk here. Do you have a friend who can help sort out these wires and is electrically friendly with home 120 VAC wiring and automotive 12 VDC wiring? That will be a need. If this is beyond your comfort level and prior experiences, find someone who can help you. This can be dangerous if not done correctly.

A few basic things to start with. The camper has 2 electrical sides to it. A 12 volt DC (VDC) side that runs off the battery or the power converter output. This is for lights, water pump, furnace and other 12 VDC items.

The other side of the power is 120 volt AC (VAC) power like what is in your house. This can run an air conditioner if yours has one, any 120 VAC wall outlets and provide AC power to operate the 12 VDC power converter.

Those 2 electrical worlds should not mix wires even if the wire colors look the same. In a camper many times the same wire color is used on both the 12 VDC and the 120 VAC wiring and they need to be seperate. Point being, you need to make sure you do not mix up the wire colors by accident.

We are missing some info but the pics now help to explain this. This pic of yours shows a gray 120 VAC breaker box. With the power off, open that box and take some pics of the inside.


Also, does your camper have an air conditioner and tell us what other 120 VAC appliance or things you plug in. We have to sort out how much power you have now, what elses is running on it in the camper and then figure out how to attach the 1,400 watt electric element from the water heater if we can.

Next is this pic.


You tell me where I go wrong on what I am seeing. The black plastic box on the bottom of the new water heater is the 120 VAC hook up box for the electric water heater element. There should be a green (earth ground), a black (120 VAC hot) and a white wire (120 VAC neutral) wire with short pigtails in that black junction box.

It looks like someone may have connected the white wire to some older existing yellow wire. At this point that yellow wire is not known what it is and the white 120 VAC neutral wire should not be connected to it. If that is correct, take that white wire off the yellow wire for now.

Once we sort out what 120 VAC power you have, a romex cable of 14-2 with ground (#14 AWG for 15 amps, with ground wire) will need to be run from the gray breaker box to the little black box on the back of the water heater. This assumes you have enough 120 VAC power in the camper to run the electric part of the heater. This romex cable will give you a white wire, (120 VAC neutral) a bare copper wire (earth ground) and a black wire (120 VAC hot) that will connect to the inside of the black box. Sunline used romex cable which is solid wire (not stranded wire) to hook up the 120 VAC items in the camper.

See this pic of a Sunline wired one. The white 3 wire nuts are attached to the 3 connections you need to make


Inside the black box, the green wire is earth ground. This goes to the bare copper new wire in the romex cable.

Inside the black box, the white wire is the 120 VAC neutral. This goes to the white new wire in the romex cable.

Inside the black box, the black wire is 120 VAC hot. This goes to the black new wire in the romex cable.

Now to the 12 VDC part of the new water heater. On the outside of the camper under the fold down door is an electrical control board in the upper right hand corner. There are plugs on the control board with wires on them. That area is all 12 VDC. We need to connect to that black control board.

Give me a pic of what yours looks like now. I need to see the wires and pigtails open on that control board plug strip. And I see you have the Atwood switch unit that looks like this


That switch unit will need to be mounted somewhere convenient so you can turn the water heater on and off. It may mount on a thin 1/8" thick wall board in a good spot by the water heater so wires do not have to be so long and you can easily see it.

Before we can tie in the 12 VDC, I need you to figure out what items are on each of the fuses in the power converter.


You will need to back into this. You pull the fuse and then see what does not work in the camper. Write down all the items that stopped working. Then put the fuse back in and make sure all those same things now work. Then go to the next fuse an do that over again. Yes, this is tedious and will take some time. It is also helpful for the future to know what is on what fuse.

We need to know what items are on what fuse so when we tie in the new water heater 12 VDC it will not overload one of the fuses.

This should get you to the next steps which are, sort out the 120 VAC power in the gray breaker box and what 12 VDC power you have on what fuse.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:25 AM   #8
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Also as FYI for the future, if you use your phone to take pics, try and not rotate the phone. If you rotate the phone from normal straight up, then the pics will post rotated or upside down. The rotation command is embedded in the pic from the phone and the forum software cannot override it.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:44 AM   #9
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water heater install

We put the yellow to the white, I will disconnect them. My friend who has helped me with the whole thing has general knowledge of all of this. I'm good at following directions So sorry about the rotation of the pictures, I appreciate your help so much! My trailer has AC, microwave and fridge. I will post the pictures you needed on my album. you are correct about the black box being the bottom of the heater.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:45 PM   #10
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Hi Salleyforth,

I see you posted pics of the break box. Great!!! We can now sort out the 120VAC portion of the heater.

I’m assuming you have this, but maybe not. It is the installation instructions. This link will take you to it in our files section to download a copy.
Sunline Coach Owner's Club - Sunline Owner's Files - Atwood Water Heater - GC6AA-10E

Then scroll to page 7. At the bottom left of that page under the (12) Wiring Diagrams, look to the left for Combination Gas/Electric. That diagram goes with your water heater. Not any of the other models on that page.

You will see the 120 VAC electric hookup on the lower left. The 3 wires say 115V Neutral (white wire) 115V Hot (black wire) and grn (green) wire is for earth ground. Those are the 3 pigtail wires in the little black box on the back of the water heater.

You need a piece of romex wire cable, 14-2 with ground (14 awg, 15 amp with a bare ground connector. Hook the one end to the heater and route the cable over to the gray breaker box.

You will need to buy a 15 amp circuit breaker to fit in your gray breaker box. It can be a double one or a single.


I cannot read the brand on the one that is there or I would look it up for you.

There is also a possible jumper wire missing in your gray breaker box. I cannot tell from your pic but it looks like it may be missing. It connects the top 2 power lugs together. This wiring diagram shows it needs to be in place in order to make the spare breaker slot live with power. If your does not have that jumper, you need to buy about a 12 inch long piece of no. 10 awg (30 amp) romex wire and make a jumper wire out of it. Pick black as the color. Your helper who you said was familiar with this should be able look for the jumper or make one if needed.


That will power up the electric element part of the heater once the 12 volt DC part is finished. Also a heads up. Many folks have accidently burnt out their electric element by accidently turned it on with no water in the heater. It can happen in seconds. Do this, which is what I do, whenever the water is drained from the water heater, right then go turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater in the gray breaker box. That way someone can flip the on/off button on the control switch for the electric part of the heater and nothing will happen. No damage. Make it a habit.

Now to the 12 volts part of the heater. I did not notice any pics of the outside PC control board connector and I did not see a list yet of what item in the camper is on what fuse. Did you get to doing this yet? If not, that is OK just asking.

There should have been 4 pigtail wires of some kind off the PC board connector that need to be hooked up :

A white wire that controls the electric part of the heater.
A orange wire that controls the gas part of the heater.
A green wire that connects to negative 12 VDC.
A blue wire that is the gas fault wire.

And then there is the switch control. This device we have to finish up wiring.


I see some wires on it, not all of them but some and do not know if the other end is hooked up right. Need some info on where the other end is going. You are missing a negative 12 volt DC wire on the fault light. You may be missing a positive 12 VDC wire too. Can’t tell from this one pic.

Those 12 volt wires colors also show up on the wiring diagram.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-25-2018, 09:32 PM   #11
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you are so amazing! thank you so much for your help. I'm adding images of the breaker box info so I can make sure I buy the right 15amp breaker. I've forwarded all of your info to my buddy Jack, he is coming over tomorrow to work on it while I work. He is also a godsend. I haven't figured out the fuses yet, got bogged down, but plan on getting up early before work. I don't know where the electrical panel is that you are talking about, I have opened up every compartment . I will look at the manual.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallyforth View Post
I don't know where the electrical panel is that you are talking about, I have opened up every compartment . I will look at the manual.
Your welcome and glad to help. See is these pics can help you track down the outside control board.

Go outside the camper, find the metal cover of the water heater. Looks like this just in a different location on your camper.


At the top is a spring loaded tab you twist to align with the slot to open the door. When inside it looks like this.


The PC control board is in the top right corner with the wires hanging off of it. The control board is black and there are wire plugs on the left side. There are 5 wires that leave that control board through a white plastic grommet and are heading somewhere behind the water heater. Looks like this:


Those 5 wires are:

A yellow wire that should run to the black box area on the back side of the water heater. It turns on the 120 VAC electric heating element. It should be pre wired from the factory.

The other 4 wires are what we are looking for on where they are hooked up to now. These are:

A white wire that controls the electric part of the heater.
A orange wire that controls the gas part of the heater.
A green wire that connects to negative 12 VDC.
A blue wire that is the gas fault wire.

Those 4 wires I need to see if they are hooked up to anything now as those are the wires that will end up going to the Atwood switch and fault light unit. This device of yours


While you are taking pictures, take a better one looking straight on to the back of that switch unit and the front so I can see the words on the switches.

To power up the water heater on the 12 volt DC side, we will need to run 2 new wires from your fuse block in the power converter panel over to the area where those 4 wires come out of the water heater and the switch fault light panel.

Those 2 new wires will be: (wire size to be # 14 awg (15 amp) stranded flexible wire. The colors ideally will be these.

Red or black (+ positive 12 VDC hot) This will start at the fuse panel and then run to that switch panel as we have to attach it in the right spot to create power for the switches. We have to yet sort out which fuse we will add this too. Sunline used black many times as the DC positive wire. But sometimes red is also used.

Green or a white (- negative 12 VDC common) this will attach to the 12 volt negative wires in your fuse panel area. Sunline often used white stranded wire for the DC negative wire. But sometimes it can be a green wire. You seem to have a collection of both green and white and there are not enough pictures for me to sort this out. Jack your helper will have to. Just make real sure it is "not" a white wire from the 120 VAC wires which are generally solid wire from a romex cable. This DC negative wire will go to the green wire from the Atwood heater pigtail and it needs to jump to the Atwood switch unit for the fault light.

Since the camper never used wire numbers to clearly identify what it was, we have to sort out both colors and confirm we know what voltage and polarity it is. Not that hard to do, just know to do it.

Hopefully this will help

Thanks

John
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:17 AM   #13
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Amazing work John helping a guy out.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Amazing work John helping a guy out.
Helping a lady out!
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