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Old 05-14-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
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Converting Atwood Hot water heater to DSI

Anyone convert their standard non dsi hot water heater to an electric dsi model? I have a 2007 17c and was thinking about doing this. It appears rather than finding parts or kits that I am better off buying a new hot water heater?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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What problem are you trying to solve? Wanting the DSI or to heat using electricity? or Both?

I have seen both ignitor kits for the gas as well as rods that convert you to electric heat. I would say it really depends on how much you use the unit. If you are a weekend warrior, it could take quite a bit of time to get a payback. A new full blown DSI/Electric heater is not cheap and you would have to run the new control wiring and 120V which could get expensive if you are not a do-it-yourself person.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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We want to be able to light the hot water heater from inside via switch rather than going out all the time to light it or sometimes relight it and check it. I'm totally a do it yourself person who can do just about everything on the trailer. Not really interested in using the electric rod. Gas works just fine for us. If I go with a dsi unit would I have to wire it to the fuse block tapping into the 120v?
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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They sell a wide range of water heaters -- some have just pilot light, some have DSI (spark) and need 12 volt, and some have DSI and Electric which needs the 120V.

Someone else jump in here, but it sounds like to you have two options -- install a pilot relight kit or put in a new water heater.

The pilot relight kit sounds like what you are looking for, although I don't think you have the ability to turn the water heater on/off from inside. It is a small device that takes a 9 volt battery and will "re-light" the pilot should it go out.

I did a quick search and they appeared to be anywhere from $55 to $155 for the same part - so go figure. A new water heater with DSI is going to run you $400 - $500 plus all the added labor on your part.

Hope that help!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Yeah I've seen the 9volt mod before thanks for the suggestion.

I've seen some new dsi Atwood tanks for $330ish. Really just want to be able to light the water heater by a switch in a full hookup situation and for 12volt action when dry camping. Is the hot water dsi typically on the fuse panel in models with factory dsi tanks? Cosmetically the swap looks pretty straight forward. I'm quite baffled with the wiring if I wanted it to work both off of ac and dc. Maybe just splicing it to a dc source provided that the dsi hot water heater is not required or recommended to be on a breaker. I need a electrical guru to chime in...
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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I understand how you feel. A DSI water heater was on my list of items I wanted in a new trailer. It was not an option on my 17Z, so I had the dealer swap out the water heater that came with the 17Z for a DSI. I paid the difference between the price of the 2 units and for the instantiation cost. I wish Jayco would offer things like this as options. It would have saved me some money.
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Nights Camping 132 - Nights Camping in My Z 102
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:39 PM   #7
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that too and an electric awning!!
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