RV at Sunset

Is Your RV Water Heater Too Hot?

Every week we take a look back at the RV Doctor Gary Bunzer's answers to your tough questions. He has been providing insight into troubleshooting, repair and preventative RV maintenance since 1968.

My Wife Is Complaining That the Hot Water in Our RV Is Too Hot!

Dear Gary, I need help with Atwood GC6AA 10E troubleshooting, please. It’s a six-gallon gas/electric combination unit. My wife is complaining that the hot water is too hot. I have read the manual and done a lot of internet research, but cannot figure out if or how I can turn the temperature down. What I read on the Internet is that you cannot, but the manual also says I can turn down the temperature control lever (White Rodgers) or dial (Robertshaw). Problem is it doesn’t say where these are located or which one I have. Any suggestions? — Jason B.

The RV Doctor's Orders

Jason, your water heater is a direct-spark-ignited model, which does not have an adjustable thermostat; it has a pre-set, thermal disc thermostat. The White Rodgers and Robertshaw (see photo), gas valves you mention are for pilot models that indeed have an adjustable dial/ lever thermostat. Though the set thermostats on the electronic models are non-adjustable, an adjustable direct replacement thermostat for your Atwood is available through any reliable RV dealer or accessory store. I cannot recall the actual part number of the replacement thermostat, but any knowledgeable service shop should be able to order one for you. Or to be sure, contact Atwood customer service directly.

A quick note: If your RV is equipped with OneControl® Wireless™ by Lippert, then you can monitor many of your RV systems, including your RV hot water heater, right your RV’s digital touchscreen or your smartphone. Plus, if you add the OneControl® ConnectAnywhere™ Cellular Upgrade Kit, you can receive advanced diagnostic information from anywhere in the world. But, your RV needs to come pre-equipped. You can find a list of ConnectAnywhere-prepped models here.

Thanks again for your post. Let us know how it works out.

All effort is made to ensure the correctness of Gary’s responses; however, not all responses will apply in every instance. Some situations may mandate a visual inspection and further hands-on testing. It is imperative that if you choose to follow any instructions or procedures outlined in The Doctor’s Orders column, you must first satisfy yourself thoroughly that neither personal nor product safety will be compromised or jeopardized. If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. Remember, the advice, recommendations and procedures offered by The RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of Lippert, this publication or any of its advertisers.

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Pictured: OneControl® ConnectAnywhere™ Cellular Upgrade Kit

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