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Old 05-22-2015, 10:15 AM   #1
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Someone forgot to drain the water heater

I wont mention any names but it appears the hot water heater on my 154bh has a giant crack in it. Any idea how complex the process of replacing it would be?

Is it something I can order and swap out myself? Im pretty handy and it appears to be little more than a gas line and a few water lines.

Any suggestions as to where I can obtain a new unit would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-22-2015, 10:32 AM   #2
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It does seem pretty straight forward. If you can wait for delivery, I would go to the Internet

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Old 05-22-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
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Bummer! Its been a few years, but Ive been there. If you dont have a local RV dealer/store you like, you could do a google search of the make and model of your water heater. Ive purchased several items from Etrailer.com over the winter and it included free shipping. You may also be able to just replace the tank if you look hard enough... I sent ours out when it cracked, but looking back on it, it appears that they bolt from the outside and just slide out. Im sure its a job someone could handle if they are remotely handy. Good luck! Dave
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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I had to replace the one on my 04 Jay Feather. Purchased the 04 as a handy man special. Easy to replace and I got mine thru e-bay Atwood old one was the pilot type new one has DSI was about 325.00 for the new heater. Was thinking of just replacing the tank Not an easy as it seems. Was better off in the long run with a new DSI heater.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #5
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We had a leak in the Suburban water heater in our old hybrid a few years ago, right in the middle of a week's camping. Found a replacement heater at a parts dealer about an hour away and changed it myself right in the campground. It only took about half a dozen trips to the hardware store in a nearby town to get this part or that tool. One gas line, two water lines and three wires. It's not an experience I'd want to repeat, but at least now I know how to do it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #6
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So long as you are not under the gun or having to replace it in a CG like Geoff, it's an easy DIY project.
2013 Jayco Jayfeather X20 E, 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Z71 SLE
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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Yeah I replaced the in laws last night it was very simple... However I am a licensed master plumber 😀
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:36 PM   #8
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Tbone, you must be a master, because I spent the morning wrestling the unit out of the trailer. then when it got down to pulling the tank off the shroud, started bending up the shroud and generally munging things up. My take is, buy a whole new unit, save the tank swap outs for people who have waaaay more time and patience than money. I am just going to buy a whole new unit and toss the old one. I was trying to not be wasteful, but there really isn't that much to a unit.
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Old 05-22-2015, 02:38 PM   #9
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Oh yeah, thank you everyone for your quick responses. It is very comforting to have some experienced advice in the middle of these projects.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:53 PM   #10
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I just replaced the tank on my tent trailer (Atwood 6 gallon G6A-7) - only did the tank instead of the full unit because it was half the cost...

The easy part is getting it out of the trailer. About 16 screws and disconnect the gas line and inside water lines (inlet/outlet) and then fight through the butyl putty to get it out of the trailer.

The tank is attached to the shroud with compression rings - I had to cut them to separate the two. The replacement tank included 4 new rings, foam gaskets, a new pressure release valve.

The hardest part of the assembly is the compression rings - they are a PITA to say the least to get them on. I had to file the edges of the heater/exhaust tubes to a rounded edge to get them started. Then using a 2x2 piece of wood, gently tapped them down the pipe to their final resting spot. At that, I still split two of the rings. Probably spent over 2 hours doing this.

I used teflon tape on all of the threads and had leaks on the thermostat and inlet and outlet lines. Went and got some pipe thread compound at Lowes and re-did all of the connectors with it and had no leaks.

So long story short, replacing just the tank probably took me about 8 hours between all of the putzing around. If you don't want to waste the time and have the extra couple hundred $$$...then do the whole thing and save yourself the headaches and time.

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154bh, travel trailer, water heater

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