Explain Atwood Heater - Fiberglass RV

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Old 12-14-2005, 12:59 PM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft
Posts: 31
hi there,
Does anyone out there own this type of heater or can explain to me its operation, installing a bypass and what the battery is for? Appreciate it,
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:15 PM   #2
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Name: Per
Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft Widebody towed by Touareg TDI
Posts: 863
We have an Atwood like yours, except with no battery or wiring to the gizmo going into the burner/pilot area. You can buy these water heaters with automatic spark ignition, but I'd guess they are wired into the trailer's 12-volt system.
This looks like it is a battery-powered spark ignition or re-ignition device for the burner. Jury-rigged, maybe, but it may very well work, probably actuated by momentary switch inside the trailer somewhere.
If it works, you won't have to go outside to relight the pilot light after the storm blows it out.
On the other hand, you'd still have to go out to turn on or off the gas, and I think you'd have no way to know if the pilot light is out without going outside to peer through the peephole or opening the cover.
What am I missing here?

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Old 12-14-2005, 02:43 PM   #3
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Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
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My guess is it's just a matchless lighter. There is no connection to the gas valve so it would not be able to work like the automatic ones.

The one I used to have, on an old trailer, I wouldn't want my hand anywhere near there anyways ( loss of hair, etc.) so I could have used it back then. I used those long fireplace matches. Currently I have no fancy amenities.

The bypass would be to stick a match in there.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:33 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1999 Scamp 16 ft
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With the exception of the electrical it appears identical to the burner on our 99 Scamp water heater. Ours is a manual ignition with pilot light. It's been quite easily lit with a barbeque type lighter. I havn't a clue how the electronic part of yours would work as the switch for the gas (on ours at least) is held in the "pilot" position to ignite the pilot and has to stay in that positon until it heats up the thermocouple. It's hard to see the pilot flame in the daylight but, other than that, has worked quite reliably.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:12 AM   #5
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 73
hi there,
Does anyone out there own this type of heater or can explain to me its operation, installing a bypass and what the battery is for? Appreciate it,

My money goes with pjanits Use a good battery and pres the button and see if it glows or sparks at the gas.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:55 AM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
Posts: 1,652
I agree that it's just a manual sparker to light the pilot. If it still works and the battery's good, just sliding the switch on top to the right should make it spark repeatedly.

I did a quick search and found an Atwood manual right away.

I expect you could just remove the two screws holding the sparker on, read the instructions and reattach the sparker. Water heaters aren't very complicated.

Follow the pilot lighting procedure and then instead of sticking a match or lighter in the tube, just turn the clicker on until you hear/see the pilot light. Then turn the sparker off again.

I'll pass by on the bypass. We've just had a long discussion about them within the last month or so.
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:35 PM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,908
Here's an Atwood link from the Helpful-Links Resources pages: Atwood

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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