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Old 03-31-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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water heater leaking

hello again,

there was a small leak coming from the outside edge next to the water heater, and when I looked under the bench seat, sure enough the whole bottom of the hot water cover was molded and wet. i tore back the water heater cover a bit but can't see where the water is coming from. neither the intake hose or output hoses were leaking, so it seems like it's coming from the bottom somewhere. It seems unlikely that the tank itself has a hole since it's so thick, and the water is not gushing, but it's dripping. I don't see another way the water could be leaking from.

my question is how should I go about investigating this further? I'd rather hire someone to install a new one if this one should be scrapped.

and if I tear off the cover, how do I replace it--that is assuming I don't have to replace the whole unit-?

thanks for reading,
noralee
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #2
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Pretty common the bottom of the tanks rot and get very small pin holes in them. There is no way to completely drain the tanks and all the crud collects on the bottom and rots the tank. They make a little hose that fits in the tank to wash it out but I',m not sure that helps a whole lot.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:54 AM   #3
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The same thing happened to me, only it was under the bed. After several attempts to locate the leak, I finally replaced the tank (Atwood)
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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After I picked up my T-1950 and put water in the system I had a leak on the bottom of a brand new unit. Since there was evidence that there was water on the floor before, when the dealer replaced it he thought they may have left water in it when they winterized it on the lot. It was a small split hole on the bottom.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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ok. well, i guess i'll do some more investigating tomorrow and if i don't find anything i can plug up, it'll have to be replaced.

Does anyone know of any directions I could read or info about how to remove the tank? I think I'll probably end up replacing it with a tankless water heater the tank is 30yrs old and likely it will be shot. any suggestions about those would be great too!
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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The tankless heaters are expensive the little 6 gallon tank ones can be bought for less then half the price of a tankless. To me a tankless one in a small camper is kind of worthless you'll have plenty of hot water but not much water to heat it least the water heater gives you another 6 gallons of water storage.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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I had to replace my water heater tank right after I bought my "slightly abused" Sunny. (previous owner didn't winterize). I see replacement tanks online now ranging from $160 to $250 or more. Mine was just under $200 at the time in 2004. You do need to know the exact model number of the heater to get the right tank. It took me the better part of a day to replace the tank part of the heater since I knew nothing about what I was doing at the time and I was working slow. I took a few pictures so the wires would get put back in the right places. I recall seeing instructions in the last year or two on how to change just the tank but can't find them now. If you choose to try replacing the tank I may be able to offer more detail on what I did.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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Check out Camping world. A tankless or on demand WH is about $1000. A new 6 gal HWH is about $500. The little I use it it's not worth it. I have plenty of hot water and use two tanks of gas a season. If I saved one tank a year it would take me 17 years to break even at $1000 for the tank vs $500.

I think you'll find that all new campers will come with tankless HWH soon.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips.

Took out the WH today and there was a small hole at the bottom. the floor underneath will need to be replaced as well because of a lot of mold.

now just have to decide what to replace it with. my next thoughts on a tankless WH is that i was thinking about putting in an outside shower, so filling up the grey water tank which is small isn't such an issue with that. but otherwise, it also sounds like a 6 gal would also work pretty well for me. whatever i do, i'll have to get a used one.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Here is a price after a very quick check Suburban 6 Gallon Water Heater SW6P - $238.15 The best choice would be the same type that is in it just makes it a lot easier to replace.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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thanks for that mainah. i had a 4 gallon atwood. but i wouldn't put in another 4gal. looks like either a 6 gal or a tankless.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb01 View Post
I think you'll find that all new campers will come with tankless HWH soon.

why do you think this is true, pwb01? this makes me think that i should go tankless if i can.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Here is a price after a very quick check Suburban 6 Gallon Water Heater SW6P - $238.15 The best choice would be the same type that is in it just makes it a lot easier to replace.

mainah,
can i use the 6 gal suburban to replace the 4gal atwood, or does it have to be an atwood?
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
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Noralee

See this post. Frank_a replaced his 4 gallon with a 6 gallon Suburban and did a good job at documenting the journey, complete with pics

Water heater replacment questions

and some more
Water heater depth

And this one with the install
Water heater removal, new install

You will have to work through the depth and outer face size changes.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:37 PM   #15
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here's what i got from adventurerv.net, $255 with shipping should arrive next week.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg atwood.jpg (31.5 KB, 19 views)
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:53 AM   #16
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A new Atwood gas control job. Very nice!
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:10 PM   #17
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That looks like a wise choice and a good investment. Being an Atwood, it should be a "Plug and Play" as they say.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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thanks guys! and thanks for all the help with this decision! hope it is 'plug and play.'
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