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Water heater won't lite


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Atwood GC10A-4E 10 gal propane/electric water heater will not lite on propane, but will heat on electric.

The rocker switch on EMS panel will not lite up for propane use and no sparking at water heater. What can I check before I have to pay for my ignorance? Any help appreciated. Jerry

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I agree that you may be helped by first visiting the website of Bryant RV to download a copy of the Atwood service manual as a good starting point. Based upon the model number, it seems that you have the Atwood supplied electric heating and so the temperature controls are the same for both propane and electric so we can assume that your water heater has 12V power to it. Starting on page 19 of the service manual is a trouble shooting guide for your unit.


Have you had someone turn the unit on while you stand next to the outside access panel with the cover open? If so, can you hear a snapping sound that would indicate that it is sparking to attempt to light the gas, but for some reason it isn't lighting? To check the ignition system, you could use one of the long butane lighters for a barbeque and hold the flame up into the area where the ignition probe is located and if the gas turns on as it should, you should then see evidence of the gas burning, if present. The ignition probe is very easy to remove and it could be cleaned and the gap checked to verify it is 1/8" but it might be a good idea to just replace the probe as they only cost about $30 if you do so yourself.


Have you tried lighting your stove top burners just to verify that you have propane available? That is also a good way to vent any air that might be in the propane line before you try the water heater. If propane has been off for some time, it is normal to have air in the line and you will need to vent it off before the stove will light. Once it does light and burn strongly, you can then try the water heater again, knowing that there is propane available. If you have a meter, it would also be good to verify that you have at least 11V-dc available at the water heater control circuit board. It is also possible that something has built a nest in the burner tube that would disrupt the propane flow so look it over and if you have a shop vacuum you could apply the suction to the burner area to make sure that it is clean.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That switch is just to turn on the igniter . If the light does not come on I would suspect a bad fuse in the system. Try lighting the stove first. This should get rid of any air in the system. I have never done it before but you could take a lighter out and try starting it that way. If it lights you know it is the ignition system. I would start by looking for a fuse though since the light doesn not come on with the switch

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