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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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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My camper water heater with electronic ignition lights for a short few second burst 3 times and then times out due to heater switch inside camper..why

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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Try removing the igniter. (First turn the heater off) There is a heat sensor rod on the igniter. If it is blackened use fine sand paper or a scotch brite pad and clean it so it is shiney. reinstall the igniter (turn the heater back on) and try it. If that doesn't work the igniter may be defective and will require replacement. I have a smaller A.O. Smith water heater and that little trick has saved me three service calls. Good luck.

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My Honeywell Water Heater Thermostat will turn on for 30 seconds. Then it shuts down- wait 5 seconds turn it off EITHER with the ON/OFF switch OR by turning thermostat to off & back on immediately! If...

Time to call qualified service technician. And watch what that person does to learn about your water heater.
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.

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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You need to replace the thermocouple.
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If you pull pressure relief valve open slightly (carefully ) and water shoots out, your good. The red light inside is not overtemp, it is to alert you to the fact that the heater did not ignite. If your sure you have by-pass in proper position on back of tank, try removing the cut-off that is inline by pressure relief valve. It is enclosed in that small clear plastic jacket and wire runs to thermostat. Pull at each end and remove it from the circuit, then put the male spade from wire directly on thermostat connector where the cut -out was attached, then try water heater. If it works, replace that cut out. Don't leave it off, it's a safety device that shuts off gas to water heater in case of flame up.

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My Rv water heater will not stay lit for longer than 2 minutes. There is no sticker with the product name on it. The model # is G6A-4E, it uses a GAS LIGHTER direct spark ignitor to lite. I have cleaned...

If your water heater dies, here's a quick way to find out if it is the Thermal Cutoff. First, MAKE SURE there are no obstructions in the flue tube. Then turn off the water heater's electric mode and turn on the gas mode. With the exterior access door open and looking at center of the water tank you'll see a black foam-covered area with 4 wires running to it. Look for the area marked T-STAT with two brown wires running to it. One of the wires will have a piece of clear tubing over it that covers a large diode- this diode is the Thermal Cutoff. (Mine didn't look burned or in any way defective, so a visual inspection won't tell you if it's bad or not.)
Remove the diode from the T-STAT terminal lug then disconnect the other end of the diode from the brown wire connector. Now connect the brown wire (without the diode attached) directly to the T-STAT terminal lug. Give it a few seconds and the water heater should turn on in gas operation mode. If it does, that means the Thermal Cutoff is bad and you'll need to get a new one from Atwood. Leave the wire hooked up, turn on the electrical mode to supplement gas mode (if you want) and you'll have hot water till you get the new Thermal Cutoff.
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For the main gas valve to come on several conditions need to be met.

The system must detect a pilot light prior to turning on the main gas valve for systems with a standing pilot light (not sure what your system has) and on systems with auto igniters (spark or ceramic heat glo) the control board must detect a flame present at the main burner a few seconds after the main gas valve turns on.

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From your description it sounds as if you may have a dirty/failing flame detector (thermocouple). Remove it and give it a good scrubbing with a scotch brite pad etc. cleaning off any carbon or corrosion/gunk re-install and try it out, or simply spend $15.00 or so and install a new one to be sure. The thermocouple is the metal thin tube that protrudes into the pilot and/or main burner flame and is connected to the main gas valve by a thin capilliary tube.

To check the vacuum swich on the blower a multi meter across the switch terminals looking for a steady "state change" as the blower runs/stops will work.

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