Question about RTO Atwood Water Heater - 6 Gal LP

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Attwood water heater will only light for 30 seconds and goes out

I have cleaned all f the electrical connections with scotch brite and still same outcome. I have changed out the ECO and Tstats as well. There was one weekend in two years which it had worked

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  • RTO Master
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Can you give me your model number off the sticker under outside cover?
Need to know as this will tell me if Manual ignition, or automatic spark, and if just gas operation, or electric element as well.
One thing you may want to try, if it has electronic ignition, is to remove the thermal cut-off diode from the circuit temporarily. It's the little diode inside the clear plastic tube, that is connected to your incoming power wire, and connects to thermostat. Simply remove it from the spade connector at the thermostat, and pull it apart at spade connector from incoming power wire, and connect incoming power wire to spade connector on thermostat. If you try to light it now, and all works good, the diode is faulty, and should be replaced.

Posted on May 02, 2010

Testimonial: "Sounds good, my model number is G6A-4E it uses a direct spark ignitor, where would I find the diode all of my wires enter then leave the ignitor box."

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 04, 2010

    There is usually a wire coming from therm, with a plastic jacket covering the diode. Look where your THERM, and ECO are labelled on foam covering them. Does one spade from THERM, have a wire, then clear plastic cover heading up from there? It might have been already taken out.

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Sounds like it may be a dirty flame sensor. It can be gently cleaned with steel wool or scotch bright pad (not emery or sand paper). Its a small rod that sits in the flame. I believe it is part of the spark ignition assembly on your model. Only open your burner compartment though if your are certain you have the skills (and perhaps gaskets etc) to reassemble it safely.

God bless

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I assume you have Honeywell Icon gas valve. Honeywell makes different several model numbers.

Here is 'typical' Honeywell Icon gas valve service manual for Bradford White, that may or may not apply to your water heater. It shows testing for Icon and disassembly instructions, and error codes.
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Gas water heaters today require yearly service that includes cleaning burner parts and combustion chamber, checking vent and air intake, electrical connections, testing gas valve, checking gas pressure, bleeding air out of gas line, etc. These are things you can learn to do by reading service manual, and making sure you have a spare water heater around to connect real quick if experiment goes wrong.
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