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Atwood GCH10A-3E water heater repair
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/18
Picture of Steve VW
posted
My coach has a 10 gallon water heater. The electric element works well but the LP gas function quit recently. I have collected some parts to do an overhaul.

Inspection reveals 20 year old wiring, corrosion in general. In order for the gas valve to open, the ignitor must fire, and the circuit must be complete through both thermostats and the inline thermal cutoff. One thermostat controls the working temperature the other is a high temp cutoff. Both sense the water temp in the tank. The inline cutoff protects against flames around the controls.



The burner and spark probe ignitor are badly rusted, beyond cleaning in my opinion.



The two thermostats have corroded connections as well as the inline thermal cutoff. I'm pretty sure the connectors would break off the thermostats if I tried to remove them. Replacements are cheap.



Parts are easy to find, reasonably priced, and widely available. Except for the burner, the parts are interchangeable with the 6 gallon units.

Burner and spark probe:



Thermal cutoff and thermostats:



When the weather warms up I'll show the installations. (Actually this is the warmest day in 2 weeks, 18 degrees...) This will leave only the main gas valve and the ignitor PCB unchanged. Should run for a long time again, not bad for about $60.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 3719 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/18
Picture of Kevin
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Steve VW, What is the temperature rating on the two thermostats?

I just purchased several thermostats for my fuel oil burner. The thermostats I am using to enable the fuel oil burner to burn Waste Vegetable Oil or Waste Peanut Oil. The little button thermostats look very similar. Are they made in China?
 
Posts: 3470 | Location: Northeast , Ohio | Member Since: 07-29-2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/18
Picture of Steve VW
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The working thermostat is marked 60 C, the overtemp is marked 82 C. (My chemistry students, Canadians, and the rest of the world would know that 60 C = 140 F and 82 C = 180 F) Rated 15A at 125V, normally closed.

I think they are bimetal switches made in China. I have similar normally open ones I've used for forced air furnace blower controls (around 130 F) and one for my motorcycle radiator fan at about 170 F.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 3719 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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The thermostat cycles, but it triggered, the overtemp has to be replaced, unless the design is different now.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8400 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glassnose Aficionado
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/09
Picture of Danny Z
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Looks pretty much like my heater. Richard obtained, but never installed, an electric element for it, which he gave to me with the coach. I haven't looked into installing it yet and was wondering if anyone else has done this and how hard it is. I might go ahead and replace the burner while I'm at it/


79 Barth Classic
 
Posts: 3586 | Location: Venice Fl. | Member Since: 07-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/18
Picture of Steve VW
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The electric element should not be too much trouble. It is installed in a recess in the tank. I believe the element has its own thermostat. Once in place you'll need to connect to an on/off switched 110 power supply at about 15 amps.

Danny, I see you have 48 degrees, 12 degrees here this AM head bang


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 3719 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 9/17
Picture of Duane88
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Back when I "worked" There was a thermocouple salesman from a company that distributed some China made products, he had a bunch of round disc bi-metal pieces, he would warm them in his hand then throw a handful of the damn things on my desk, as they cooled they popped and flipped up about 3 foot. Pissed me off!!! Oh well time goes bye!!!

We in eastern Iowa had -1 at about 10pm last night, when I got up it was a heat wave of 5F now 12F...get the bikini!!!


25 Ft Glassnose, 2792, 1982
454 Engine
Plain Jane Interior
Original Paint
Picture by Kevin
 
Posts: 746 | Location: Clinton Iowa | Member Since: 04-02-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/18
Picture of Dana
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Steve it is balmy there at 12 degrees. Minus 1 in Minnesnowta at 9 am with the sun shining.

Got the wood-burner going trying to warm the shed up enough to work on my new old boat and trailer. If it weren't for heated socks I wouldn't even try.

I had to cleanup all the connections to the water-heater. I hardly ever use the gas. I have the electric rod that screws into the drain hole. Works well. Unbelievable how much crud will accumulate on that rod. When I winterize I scrape it off and buff it with the wire wheel on the bench grinder until back to the Stainless steel shine.


Dana & Lynn
1996 38ft Monarch front entry
Spartan Mountain Master Chassis
Cummins 8.3
Allison MD-3060 6 speed
22.5 11R
Cummins Factory Exhaust Brake
Midnight Star

1994 34ft Side Entry Aristocrat Currently FOR SALE
Christened - DBarth
Spartan Chassis
6BTA 5.9L 230hp Cummins
Allison MD-3060 6 speed
15040S Eaton rear
Banks PowerPack brings HP 268
PacBrake
ProSine 2.5 Watt Inverter/Charger
Build Number#3895

1972 22ft
Christened Camp Barth
No motor, no tranny, no running water
Electric 110 and 12 volt intact and running
Still mobile as a toad with newer brakes, tires and lights
Has Original Fridgeking Air conditioner so far
 
Posts: 761 | Location: Waseca, Minnesota | Member Since: 12-09-2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 6/12
Formally known as "Humbojb"
Picture of Jim and Tere
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Not to get too off topic, but if I needed to spend money on a water heater, I'd just can the whole thing and get one of the new instant hot water heaters now being used in a lot of motor homes. I don't know about anyone else, but I like long, hot, showers Thumbs Up My next Barth will definitely have one.

Jim


Jim and TereJim and Tere

1985 Regal
29' Chevy 454 P32
8411 3172 29FP3B
Gear Vendor 6 Speed Tranny
 
Posts: 3352 | Location: madisonville tn usa | Member Since: 02-19-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve VW:
The electric element should not be too much trouble. It is installed in a recess in the tank. I believe the element has its own thermostat. Once in place you'll need to connect to an on/off switched 110 power supply at about 15 amps.
:


Usually it's a surface-mounted resettable 'stat.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8400 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My water heater went down last summer.

Appears to be the same heater as yours.

I had a major electrical failure a number of years ago and fried the board.

I replaced the board with an aftermarket "Dinosaur Board" at that time.

Are you getting spark at the probe?

I was getting spark, but no ignition.

From all the information I could find, the failure pointed to the Gas Valve.

After a ton of searching, I was UNABLE to locate an exact replacement valve as you have pictured.

I purchased the recommended replacement, but really couldn't figure out how to mount it with the existing mounting bracket.

After some "rigging", I was able to get it all back together and working better than ever.

Some adjusting with the Air Shutter will give you a nice quiet, blue flame.

I do believe the Gas Valve is a White/Rodger 93870.

After replacing:

Board
Drain Valve
Relief Valve
Thermostats
Burner Tube
Spark Probe
Gas Valve

...it may be prudent to find an entire replacement heater and replace the whole unit

-OR-

As recommended by some of you folks, just go with some form of tank-less unit.
 
Posts: 34 | Location: midwest | Member Since: 05-05-2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Actually...

The Gas Valve I used was a 93845 (just went out and looked).

The Spark Probe obviously only needs one wire, so I snipped off the other.

The wire that came with the Spark Probe did not have the "spark plug style" connector on the end that attaches to the board, so I cut and spliced the old connector to the new probe wire.

I have the 6 gallon unit, but all hardware "looked" the same as in your photo.
 
Posts: 34 | Location: midwest | Member Since: 05-05-2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 1/18
Picture of Steve VW
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Nice and warm in Forida now so I got back to the water heater. Replaced all the parts I had, it fired right up as expected.



It appears the valve is also bad, it does not shut off completely, slight flow. I will replace it soon. I mostly use the electric heater when I am plugged in anyway.


9708-M0037-37MM-01
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
 
Posts: 3719 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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