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RV Water Heater Not Igniting Or Staying Lit - RV Maintenance And Cleaning

Atwood RV Water Heater GC6AA-10E

I have an Atwood 6 gallon electric/gas water heater, model# GC6AA-10E, on my RV. Recently I started experiencing an issue when trying to operate it on gas. I decided to do some general maintenance and cleaning to see if it was something simple. I am comfortable working on RV components and appliances but you should certainly seek professional assistance if things like this are beyond your capabilities. The first step is to shut off all power and gas to the water heater.

Atwood RVV Water Heater Thermal Cut-off Fuse 93866

I removed the thermal cut-off fuse from the thermostat. One of the ends showed heavy corrosion and there was poor continuity. I cleaned up the connections, retested with my multi-meter, and reinstalled it on the thermostat. The connections on the thermostat assembly all looked clean and in good condition.

Atwood RV Water Heater 91638 Main Burner

I removed the main burner and bracket for cleaning. I checked for spider webs and bugs inside the tube which can cause lighting problems. I also removed some exterior rust that was forming.

Atwood RV Water Heater 93868 Mobile Products Spark Probe Single Sense

Upon closer inspection, I discovered the flame diverter was out of alignment. I also noticed the white housing on the spark igniter was showing some cracking. It still functioned but a new one is on order. I centered the flame diverter and reset the gap between the spark igniter and grounding probe to 1/8 of an inch.

Atwood RV Water Heater 92742 Orifice Main Burner

Attached to the gas valve is a small gas orifice. This can sometimes become compromised with dirt or bugs. I removed the orifice and blew it clean with compressed air. You never want to stick anything in the orifice as you may damage the soft brass.

Atwood RV Water Heater flame

After everything was cleaned up and reinstalled I turned the gas and power back on. The water heater fired right up on the first try. A pure blue flame was visible and steady. The final step was to adjust the gas to air ratio on the main burner tube. The hot water heater should have a quiet roar. If it is too loud more than likely too much air is being mixed with the gas.

I slowly moved the air adjuster till the flame was quiet but still showed blue with very little yellow. This needs periodic adjustment depending on the elevation. This was all basic maintenance that should be performed yearly since it is a gas appliance. It also helps you discover if any parts are in need of replacement. If need be, hire a professional to perform routine maintenance. I have listed some parts below but always check the model number to ensure proper fit.

Watch the video below to see how I clean and maintain my RV water heater

Atwood RV Water Heater Manual

Cleaning Flushing and Descaling an RV Water Heater - How to Clean and Maintain

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