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Old 04-09-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
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Water Heater Operation

We are getting ready to take our Maiden Voyage with our 2005 T 1950 which we purchased in Jan. My question is this. According to the manual I must turn off the breaker to the water heater in order to run the water heater on gas, however, the only way I can get the water heater to work on gas is to have the breaker on and the water heater elec panel switch on. Is this the correct way to run it and is the manual wrong. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:28 AM   #2
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I would think that the breaker would need to be on, because even though it's operating on gas, the controls are all electronic. On our 2007, we have two seperate switches on our control panel one for electric and one for gas, I've never had them both on at the same time. I rarely use it on gas though, as the DW isn't into roughing it! I do fire it on gas every once in a while to make sure it's working and I just turn on the "gas" switch.

Maybe someone else will have a better idea of that specific model.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #3
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My "Atwood" owners manual, indicates for "quick" hot water heatup, you
can run the water heater on both gas and electric at the same time.

I believe I saw in the sunline owners manual (2002), that you should either run on one or the other ???
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:09 PM   #4
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water heater

I've run by on gas and electric simultaneously without issue, but there's really no point. The quickest way to heat it is with gas.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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jpspaz

I'm a little confused.

Are you saying that, water gets heated faster, by gas alone, than with gas plus the electric at the same time ??
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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Gas Heaters

There's really no technical reason why both electric heat and gas can't be run at once as long as you have water in the tank. We have both water and electric on our tank and only use gas when we are not plugged in.

If you're using hot water at a rapid rate, run both.

Electric heats fast enough and is usually ready before you need it. We leave it on all the time unless we're not using the rig. Usually the electricity is free plus it's silent.

Norm Milliard
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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No, I'm saying that gas is much faster than electric in my experience, but you can run both together.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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Re: Water Heater Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKID
We are getting ready to take our Maiden Voyage with our 2005 T 1950 which we purchased in Jan. My question is this. According to the manual I must turn off the breaker to the water heater in order to run the water heater on gas, however, the only way I can get the water heater to work on gas is to have the breaker on and the water heater elec panel switch on. Is this the correct way to run it and is the manual wrong. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
When you said "breaker" are you refering to the circuit breaker in the power convertor like this:


Or are you talking about the rocker switch like this:


Something is not adding up right. When you say it does not run on gas, do you mean it will not even light or hear clicking sounds? To run on gas, you need the battery dissconnet turned on or plugged into 120 V shore power, gas at tank on, gas purged from line, (light stove burners to know air is purged out) and then flip on the rocker switch that says gas. You should hear a clunk of the gas valve opening then followed by click click click and if she has gas, followed by a whosh and it'ts running. (Like those sound effects )

If you are hearing clunks and clicks but no fire, that is another problem.

For the gas operation there is no need for 120 VAC as the camper will run stand along on 12 VDC.

Tell us more about what does and does not work. Something not adding up

Hope this helps

John


About running electric and gas at once. Yes this is doable and both will add BTU's of heat to the tank. Yes gas is faster and hotter but both togheter is fastest. Electric is about 20 minutes until hot, gas may be 1/2 of that and togehter maybe only a few minutes less.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
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The 120 vac circuit breaker for our HW tank is rarely on. I leave it off most of the time to make sure I don't accidentally fry the heating element (and more!)

With the breaker off, the HW heater works just fine on gas. Yours should too.

You do need to have the 12 vdc system operating properly, so check all the fuses (and remember to carry spares.)

Make sure that there is gas in the tanks and that at least one of the tank valves is wide open. Also, if you get all the clicks and such, but no "whoosh" sound to tell you that it is firing up, check the gas shut-off at the HW tank. Drop that outside door and trace the copper propane line and verify that the gas is on there too.

If everything is working properly, you should hear the sound sequence that JohnB described. On mine, if it doesn't fire up for some reason (usually right after swapping out a propane tank) the red light on the switch comes on and stays on until I flip the switch off and wait a minute for the controller to recycle. At the beginning of the season when I first put the tanks back on the trailer, there's a regular ritual to getting the gas lines purged of air.

If none of the above helps, there may be a bad thermocouple. Without a service manual and the right test gear, that is a job best left to a tech at the RV shop.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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Water Heater Operation

JohnB, I loved your sound effects as I understood them perfectly

Here is what I did, I made sure the water heater was filled with water and then I read the manual on how to operate the water heater on gas. It said to turn off the main circuit breaker water heater switch, which I did. On the monitor panel I turned on the water heater gas only rocker switch on and all that I got was a click, click, click and the red light stayed on. So I made sure that I was getting gas by lighting the stove. I tried the monitor rocker switch again and got a click, click, click and the red light stayed on. So I went back to the main circuit breaker water heater switch and turned it on and then went back to the monitor panel and turned the gas only rocker switch on and I heard the water heater ignite and in a few minutes we had hot water. Yes, the battery switch was on all this time so according to what everyone is saying it should of ignited the first time. Only thing I can think of is maybe I should of purged the gas line as the water heater hasn't been used for over a year.

Thanks for all of the help, I think I understand better how the water heater works.

This is a great forum.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:29 AM   #11
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Re: Water Heater Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKID
So I went back to the main circuit breaker water heater switch and turned it on and then went back to the monitor panel and turned the gas only rocker switch on and I heard the water heater ignite and in a few minutes we had hot water.
To be sure that it was just a gas line purge, shut off the breaker for the HW and try firing it up on gas alone. If it goes OK, then you can be sure that the gas line purge was the problem.

My guess is that the system purged after two tries with the breaker off, and it was just coincidence that lit on the third try when you also turned on the breaker.

I suspect that the system was already partially purged if it only took a couple of tries to get the HW running. If you had already gotten the stove and fridge going, then there would be only a few feet of propane line to purge. OTH, if the system was completely devoid of gas, starting the HW first might have taken a dozen tries or more. All that would depend on proximity of the HW, stove, and fridge to the tanks. My HW is on the extreme rear of the TT but the stove and fridge are in the middle so I fire up the stove first, then the fridge, and the HW last when purging.

I wish more of our systems could be diagnosed via the "Click, click, whoosh!" method...
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #12
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Re: Water Heater Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKID
So I went back to the main circuit breaker water heater switch and turned it on and then went back to the monitor panel and turned the gas only rocker switch on and I heard the water heater ignite and in a few minutes we had hot water.
To be sure that it was just a gas line purge, shut off the breaker for the HW and try firing it up on gas alone. If it goes OK, then you can be sure that the gas line purge was the problem.

My guess is that the system purged after two tries with the breaker off, and it was just coincidence that lit on the third try when you also turned on the breaker.

I suspect that the system was already partially purged if it only took a couple of tries to get the HW running. If you had already gotten the stove and fridge going, then there would be only a few feet of propane line to purge. OTH, if the system was completely devoid of gas, starting the HW first might have taken a dozen tries or more. All that would depend on proximity of the HW, stove, and fridge to the tanks. My HW is on the extreme rear of the TT but the stove and fridge are in the middle so I fire up the stove first, then the fridge, and the HW last when purging.

I wish more of our systems could be diagnosed via the "Click, click, whoosh!" method...
Yup, I second what Steve said. Dead on

On my T2499, on a startup, I purge the stove with a Grill lighter, (seems like forever) Now I know I have gas 1/2 way back on the camper. The HW heater is back even further on the gas line. It's the last drop.

It can easily take 3 sometimes 4 cycles to purge it out then she goes.

Now what does not sound right is what the manual said that the circuit breaker has to off in order for gas to work. If by any chance you can pop a pic of the rest of the paragraph so we can see what context it is used in. On the new style Atwoods in our campers the 120 V only feeds the electric element that is run by a 12 VDC relay to turn it on.

Here is the good news. If you flip on the rocker switch and you hear. clunk, click click click, then the system is trying to work. You have already made it past all the safeties and she is trying to fire.

After 3 sets of trying to fire off, (meaning, a clunk, click, click, click then wait and try again 2 more sets of times) she goes out on safety thinking the gas may be running with no ignition as there is no fire feed back to keep the system active. Then the little red light on the panel inside comes on. To reset, you turn both rocker switches off (electric may already be off) and then you get another 3 try’s.

I agree with Steve, that it may have jsut happened on coincidence that it worked with the AC power off as it normally has nothing to do with the gas side.

Now on my T310, the HW heater is first on the gas line. So when I do the stove, last on the gas line, everything works right off the bat.

Oh depending on where the fridge is in the gas line, it too on gas can take several try’s and go out on safety too trying to prime it. My T2499 has that issue too.

The furnaces are easier. They use so much more gas that when that valve opens a lot of air comes out quicker. If you are having a hard time with the HW heater priming in your camper, try your furnace first after the stove. Pending how yours is plumbed it can purge out the lines faster and the HW heater will fire faster.

Hope this helps and good luck

John

Yes, on these gas things with electric ignition keeping track of when clicks and clunks are occurring is the easiest way to trouble shoot. No clicks, no clunks = no way is it going to fire. Need to go looking for what is holding out the click and clunks ....,.LOL

Steve, OK whats is up with the Dodge??? One moment you have a Dually, the next, it is a choo choo train??? OH on 2nd look it is a old Chevy pulling an out house on wheels LOL
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:52 PM   #13
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Re: Water Heater Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Steve, OK whats is up with the Dodge??? One moment you have a Dually, the next, it is a choo choo train??? OH on 2nd look it is a old Chevy pulling an out house on wheels LOL
It's a clip from an old postcard I have in my collection. I thought it'd be fun to use that in my signature for a while. I use the same file for my sig pic on several different forums so when I change the pic on my file server, it automatically changes on any forum that I have a signature.

Beast is safely tucked away in his parking spot next to the boat. He's recovering from major surgery; I gave him a new set of front brake pads today. Golly, those tires are heavy!
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:31 PM   #14
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Re: Water Heater Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Steve, OK whats is up with the Dodge??? One moment you have a Dually, the next, it is a choo choo train??? OH on 2nd look it is a old Chevy pulling an out house on wheels LOL
It's a clip from an old postcard I have in my collection. I thought it'd be fun to use that in my signature for a while. I use the same file for my sig pic on several different forums so when I change the pic on my file server, it automatically changes on any forum that I have a signature.

Beast is safely tucked away in his parking spot next to the boat. He's recovering from major surgery; I gave him a new set of front brake pads today. Golly, those tires are heavy!
Yes it is funny. And... some how the Dodge pops in and out.... I was reading your reply, the Dodge was up, then I posted and the rolling outhouse came up??? Unless you flipped it on and off tonight, it is somehow loading from a cache memory or something.

New brakes, ouch. That can sometimes be an expensive proposition on 1 tons. You have rear drums or disks?
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