Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Water Heaters, Furnaces, Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Ranges
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KYAvion
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Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Post by KYAvion » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:11 am

I had planned on just swapping out the old Atwood water heater with a new gas/electric direct spark model, but as most projects go there was a little more to it than just that. Unfortunately, the floor around the water heater was rotten. Luckily, unlike my prior 79 Airstream, this was a relatively simple fix. Also, since this area is under the rear bed, I just filled the void with foam and overlapped the area with new plywood. The install of the new water heater was otherwise pretty straightforward, and the wiring for the direct spark was simple since I had three wires exiting the trailer wall (yellow, blue, and white). Using a multimeter I determined the yellow was the 12v from the switch on the Avion console at the front of the trailer, the white was the 12v negative, and thereby the blue the lockout lamp. There's four wires for the 12v system on the water heater--orange, blue, green, and white. The orange is for the 12v power and goes to the yellow from the trailer; the blue is for the lockout lamp on the Avion console, so attaches to the blue from the trailer; and the green ground wire attaches to the trailers' white wire. The water heater has an additional white wire if one wants to install a dual switch to have the option of running the water heater off 110v. Since I'll rarely if ever use this feature, I'm just going to wire a plug for the 110v and manually plug and unplug the water heater as needed.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

Rostam
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:54 pm

Re: Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Post by Rostam » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:18 pm

Thanks for the photos. At some point I must also change our water heater as well, but its currently low in priority list.
1978 Avion 26-H (Rear twin beds, center bath, front dinette)
2012 Mercedes Benz GL 350 Bluetec, 3.0L V6 Turbo Diesel, 3.45 Axle Ratio

KYAvion
Site Admin
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Post by KYAvion » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:22 pm

I was reluctant to go with the direct spark ignition due to the computer board, but I didn't want to fool with the Atwood with the pilot ignition. The water heater that was in the trailer was an Atwood with pilot ignition and appeared to have a bad thermostat or limit switch, but to replace either I'd have to replace the entire gas valve, which to me is a waste of $$ just for what should be a cheap part. As long as the computer board doesn't go bad on the direct spark ignition model (which I think is about $100), it has an easily replaceable limit switch and thermostat which are cheap. I do a lot of winter camping as well, so it will also be nice to not wake to a blown out pilot like would often happen on the suburban in my prior trailer. That, and bleeding the air from the lines to light the pilot in freezing and rainy weather was not much fun either. The Atwood with direct spark is as easy as flipping a switch. Literally. Found it on eBay for $317 including shipping. Gas/electric model, GC6AA-10E.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

KYAvion
Site Admin
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Post by KYAvion » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:19 pm

For anyone installing an Atwood water heater that wants to go with plastic/poly fittings per Atwoods recommendation, I found these elbows online.

http://www.pexuniverse.com/3-4-x-1-2-po ... -mpt-elbow
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

KYAvion
Site Admin
Posts: 464
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Atwood Direct Spark Ignition Water Heater

Post by KYAvion » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:43 pm

I forgot to update this thread, but this past winter I went ahead and wired the water heater so the 110 works off the switch on the console along with the LP. Works well and I haven't noticed an effect on my ability to run other appliances (e.g., space heater, microwave) without the main breaker tripping.
KYAvion
1984 Avion 30R

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