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Old 04-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #1
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scalding water and blow off

Having been unable to find anything using search box, I again appeal to you for help.
Background: T-1950 w/Atwood GC6AA-10E water heater.
Would not heat this spring with either gas or elec. Wiggling the wires and contacts got it going. More recently it quit again. I found the thermal cutoff to be bad so removed it and things are working again. (I garnered from the web that that is a safety device for propane use, so I will replace it when we get home and I am no longer using elec).
Most recently, the tank was dripping from pressure relief valve so I replaced the air space in the tank per instructions.I know some dripping is normal. Now, the water is scalding hot and this morning, it blew off for about a minute.
Is this a thermosat problem do you suppose, or.......?
Thank you for any advice.
John
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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The safety relief valve blowing off normally points to 3 things.

1. The air pocket is gone and the relief valve drips. Sounds like you did the create the air pocket again.

2. The relief valve is getting a weak spring or has dirt in the seat and will not seal up. This creates a weeping leak. For dirt in the seat, let it cool down, bleed pressure off through sink, put container under blow off port and lift and release the valve lever a few times, let is sanp back down. Again with no pressure and cool. Then pressurize again and check.

If the valve seat is eroded, the only way to fix is replace.

3. If you have an actual blow off, big gusher of hot water and then super hot water at the faucets this points to the heating system not shutting down like it is supposed to.

If you are on gas, the ECO (emergency cut off) should trip if the water gets super hot and shuts down the gas valve.

If the T stat is not seated correct up against the tank, on both ele and gas the water can be super hot as the Tstat is not making good contact with the tank. Check to make sure the T stat is touching the tank. Pull the foam cover off and try reseating T stat. If you have a meter, you can test the T stat to make sure it is even working. Remove T stat and with tongs, hold against a hot pot of almost or boiling water on the outside of pot. It should open around 140F or above. If the pot is boiling, the outside should be way above 140.

Since it sounds like you had an actual blow off, it sort of points to the T stat note shutting you down. This will affect gas or electric. If you were pulling wires for connections you may have unseated the T stat

The ECO should only shut down the gas as a safety. The Thermal fuse will open up from flame heat in the area. The Tstat, ECO and Thermal fuse have 3 different trip points with the T stat being the lowest. I do not have time to look the other 2 up right now but the Tstat I’m fairly sure is 140F. ECO may be 160ish.

Good luck and hope this helps

John
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #3
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If you removed the high temp cutoff and are running it on 120 volts it will pop off the over temp/pressure valve. It only controls the electric side, the propane burner has it's own thermostat screwed into the tank to control the burner.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
If you removed the high temp cutoff and are running it on 120 volts it will pop off the over temp/pressure valve. It only controls the electric side, the propane burner has it's own thermostat screwed into the tank to control the burner.
Hi mainah,

It depends on what model year he has. The newer late 2003's and newer only have 1 T stat, 1 thermal cut off for both gas and ele and 1 ECO in the gas valve line. The older units has 2 ECO's and 2 T stats.


The part number: Background: T-1950 w/Atwood GC6AA-10E water heater with rev 10E seemed to point to a newer model where the control board runs the show on both LP and electric.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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HI jbinhh,

What year is your camper? or better what date of manufacture does it say on the VIN tag on the front left of the camper?

http://manuals.adventurerv.net/Atwoo...er-Service.pdf

On last part of page 24 is the wiring diagram that seems to line up with your model number and description.

Looking this up there are 3 devices.

The thermal cut off. This opens up permanently is flame blows out into the control board area. Is this what you jumped out?

The T stat. Set to 140F. This controls the water temp on both LP gas and electric "if" you have a newer model.

The ECO. Set at 170F. This is a saftey in series with the gas valve to protect agasint the heater running away on gas in the event the T stat does not shut it down.

On the 2002 and older models the electric element and gas control valves had it's own T stat and ECO. The 2003's can be a mixed set.

Does your look like this? This is a Sunline made in late 2003 and one in 2004


The door side




The electric element side




Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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Took pictures this am but have not learned to attach them yet. The vin number is
#5627 Date: Jan 2004
Yes, that is the thermal cutout I removed. There was no continuity or resistance across the ends.
My water heater looks the same as your picture, as near as I can tell.
It feels like my ECO and Tstat are tight to the tank but did not remove the foam cover for fear of not getting it back in place properly. Trying to delay that another week till I get home and can check the Tstat as you suggested.
I am inclined to order new ones and install as they are pretty cheap anyway.
Do I take it that you think that is probably the problem?
Thanks to you and Mainah,
John
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #7
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OK, if yours is a Jan 2004 then your HW heater is just like in my pics.

When you have the scolding hot water and the blow off, is it on electric or LP gas or both?

The T stat should shut this down at 140 on gas or electric and you should never get to the 170 ECO shutdown. But again the ECO is only going to cut out on gas mode to shut down the burner.

Either the Tstat is not making good contact or it is shot.

I'm also making an assumption you have cooled the HW heater, drained it down some, at least below the relief valve and refilled it to create the air cushion. If not even on electric when the T stat is working right, the thermal expansion of heating water will weep heavy the relief valve if there is no air cushion left.

A heavy blow off really points to very high heat and normally a ways above 140.

And yes I would point to the T stat first. Not making good contact or the switch is dead. It is a normally closed switch that opens with heat.

The Tstat and ECO sort of twist in place behind the foam cover.

There seems to be a U tube on everything now.... Here see how to change the ECO and T stat. The foam cover is just a cover, it does not hold the sensors in place

Atwood RV Water Heater Thermostat Troubleshooting by Bug Smacker - YouTube

Atwood must of upgraded the control board since ours as mine does not have the red light on them.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:43 AM   #8
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Have been using elec only and yes, I did drain the tank and reestablish an air cushion. I will order a thermal cutoff, a thermostat and EOC soon. I think the EOC may be faulty as it seems the water, when blowing off, was greater than 170 degrees.
Will advise if this all solves the problem.
Thank you,
John
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinnh View Post
Have been using elec only and yes, I did drain the tank and reestablish an air cushion. I will order a thermal cutoff, a thermostat and EOC soon. I think the EOC may be faulty as it seems the water, when blowing off, was greater than 170 degrees.
Will advise if this all solves the problem.
Thank you,
John
H'mm, if this only happening on electric, it points to the Tstat. The ECO only works on the gas valve and not on the electric part. At this point I would replace both, they come in the kit.

You may want to pull the foam off and try re-seating the T stat. If the T stat is not tight to the tank, it cannot shut down correct. The heat cannot get to the switch. Water ends up getting too hot. The foam is just a cover; it is not structural to hold them in. If it will not stick on once off, still put it back on and the push in terminals will help hold it there until you can get a new one.

Good luck

John
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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OK thought number 2. If this only happens on electric, the relay that turns the electric element may be burnt on. This happens on relays some times. If this is the case, it is not the T stat.

You can check the relay contact with the power off for the contact being open or wedled shut if you have an ohm meter. The relay is in the little black plastic box on the back of the heater. Contact should be open with no power on the relay coil.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
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I think I have it now. No convenient access to back of heater till we unpack, then will proceed with your suggestions and advise.
Thank you,
John
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #12
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I did it! diagnosed and replaced the thermostat on my Atwood thanks you guys! this page and a video on youtube... idk if i can link it here. and i have hot water again yaaayyyy. hats off!
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:56 PM   #13
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Hey Windy,
Isn't this forum just the best?
Good job fixing the heater. It sure is satisfying.
John
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