Question about RTO Atwood DSI-RV Water Heater-6 Gallon

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The water heater is not heating on elec, and its some on gas, but not verfy hot and doesnt last long

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First of all, let's deal with electric side of water heater first. Make sure breaker in main panel is on, second, any switches on wall, that may even say, microwave / water heater on same switch, needs to be in correct position, or on. Also at back of water heater there is usually another switch on metal or plastic cover where you see hydro cable entering. May be on top, may be on side, but check and make sure it's in the on position as well. Sometimes,when switch on side I need to use a mirror and a flashlight to see it better as space is sometimes limited and doesn't allow for good view of switch , without the mirror. If all those are in proper position, there are a few more things to check, so get back to me after those are checked and I'll guide you through the rest if necessary. Before I get in to Propane operation part, please confirm model number of water heater and that it is DSI . (automatic, electronic ignition) Has it been working good up until now?

Posted on Nov 13, 2010

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Hi My Power Vented hot water tank vent will not shut off even after the water has reached its temp. I think this tank is 1989.

Water heater and brand are not identified:
Question posted under electric water heater, but electric water heaters are not power vent.

First suspect is gas control valve thermostat.
Or burned points on contactor that turns on the blower.
Check if the burner is still going so you are not getting runaway heating that will trip the ECO and require possible gas valve replacement.

Open following link for older Reliance troubleshoot manual, plus some troubleshooting resources and illustrations, plus link to find age of water heater:

Add a comment and say what you did to restore functionality.

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Both upper and lower heating elements are working and both thermostats have been changed but Im still having problems where my hot water doesnt last very long. Could my dip tube be my problem, and if so...

before going to far on this. drain water out of tank untill it runs clear. there may be a build up of sediment in the tank. try this first. shut off cold water to tank.
  • The cold water line should have a shut off valve on it. If it does, turn it off. If it doesn't, you may have to turn off the water at your regulator or at the street.

  • On the bottom of the water heater, there should be a hose bib. Attach your water hose to the bib and run the other end to a drainage site of your choosing. Open the hose bib and allow the water to drain out. when done flushing it turn on cold water and let sit for a while to build up the hot water.
  • If your water heater is gas fired, turn off the gas valve at the water heater locaton. If it is electric, turn off the breaker controlling the water heater. before draining. have a nice day !!

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    Leeking water from bottom

    I wrote a page on leaking water heaters with resources and information:
    Page lists things to check.

    Also run hand over tank to find warm spot that says where leak is coming from
    A rusted tank cannot be repaired.

    If your tank is rusted out, it might burst open and flood the area.
    Hot water inside tank is under pressure.
    Turn off heat source to water heater.
    Turn off water valve located above tank.
    Open tub faucet on hot side and relieve pressure from tank.

    You can limp along with a leaking water heater by turning it on when hot water is needed.
    For example a shower uses 5-9 gallons hot water.
    Turn gas water heater on for 15-20 minutes.
    Turn electric on for 20-30 minutes.

    To conserve resources with next heater:

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    Water heater work fine on gas but not on elec

    there is a big diffrence between a gas and an electric water heaters,, what you have on here is a 6 gallon water heater, it will take longer for electric to keep up hot water then it would for a gas water heater,,

    Jul 28, 2009 | RTO Atwood DSI-RV Water Heater-6 Gallon

    1 Answer

    Won't get hot enough or last as long as it used to

    You could try to adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature. Let me know the results.

    Good luck...

    Feb 22, 2009 | Bosch 1600H-NG Natural Gas AquaStar...

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    Hot water not heated as usual ?

    This could be one of your elements are bad and now that the weather is cooling down so is the water table. If you have a gas heater your thermostat is becoming weak and/or there is settlement on the bottom of the tank and will need to be drained while heater is off to remove settlement. The same with an elec. heater one of the thermostats could be bad and not allowing the heater to recover fully also again settlement in the tank can be a factor.

    Oct 09, 2008 | Water Heaters

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