How to Fix Atwood RV Water Heater Not Working on Electric?

Imagine you’re on a picturesque RV trip, looking forward to a soothing shower after a day of exploration. But as you turn on the Atwood RV Water Heater in electric mode, disappointment sets in when you discover it’s not working.

The Atwood RV Water Heater not working on electric mode due to various factors. Potential causes include faulty electronic ignition, loose parts, and wiring problems. Additionally, corrosion, poor water pressure, excessive sediment buildup, and a tripped high-limit switch can contribute to the problem.

Continue reading this guide on Atwood RV Water Heater’s electric mode problem. Then ensure your trip remains enjoyable and comfortable.

Atwood RV Water Heater Not Working on Electric

Why is My Atwood RV Water Heater not Working on Electric?

Before solving the Atwood RV water heater that is not working on electricity will be easier if you identify the source of the problem. Also, it will help you proceed with the precise repair process.

Here are some reasons why the Atwood RV water heater is not working correctly on Electric.

  • Faulty Electronic Ignition

Atwood RC water heater models need a flick of a switch for precise functioning. Sadly, the electronic starter may damage, resulting in the Atwood RV water heater failing.

Emergency cutoff feature or the incorporated thermostat can also be the culprit. Electronic ignition can fail because of the faulty emergency cutoff feature.

After replacing the components, Atwood RV water heater water heating capabilities can be restored.

  • Loose Parts

Atwood water heaters with bolts, nuts, and screws are installed in the framework. If the connections are loose, the RV heater will fail to heat water.

Examine the fixtures and make sure all the fasteners are well-tightened. Also, pipeline connections are as tight as possible.

At the same time, look for leaks in the RV plumbing lines. Leaks can reduce the amount of heated water. Thus, you will not get heated water.

  • Wrong Wiring

Faulty, wrong, or frayed wiring is another culprit. Atwood RV water heater may fail to heat water because of worn-out parts or broken connections. Consider checking all the wirings before solving the issue. Replace the parts if required.

  • Corrosion

Atwood RV water heater not working on electricity can happen due to corrosion. It can occur If any metallic parts or components get exposed to excessive humidity and temperature for a prolonged time.

In that case, check for corroded parts and replace them without fail.

  • Incorrect Settings

Did you check the settings when the Atwood RV water heater failed to function on electricity?

If not, then check the settings if you encounter such a problem. The settings need to be corrected for an electric power source. So, look at the settings and then do the needful.

  • Poor Water Pressure

Have you ever wondered how poor water pressure can cause the Atwood RV water heater to not function on electricity?

Yes, it can happen. Check the incoming water pressure and adjust it accordingly. This way, you will get the best result for your device.

  • Blocked Air Intake

Blocked air intake can cause improper heat up when running on electricity. You must be wondering how air intake can be stopped.

Well, dirt, debris, and lint can block the internal filter of the unit. In order to solve the issue, try cleaning the filter and removing any blockages. Then check whether the problem exists.

Read Also: All About RV Water Heater (9 Things You Should Know)

Solution for Atwood RV Water Heater Not Working on Electric:

Let’s explore step-by-step solutions to fix an Atwood RV Water Heater not working in electric mode. The solutions will ensure that you can enjoy hot water during your travels.

Solution 01: Refer to the Atwood RV Water Heater Manual

The first step of fixing the Atwood camping car RV water heater not working electric is to refer to the manual.

Although it is obvious. Unfortunately, many of us forget to do this obvious thing.

You will find a list of troubleshooting steps in your user manual. Follow them carefully; the user manual is the best place to start.

Don’t have the user manual?

No worries! There are solutions.

You can find the manual online. All you need to do is type “Atwood (Model Number) Owner’s Manual.”

It would be best if you download the manual and look for the solution to the problem.

Read Also: Where is the RV Water Heater Reset Button and How To Use It?

Solution 02: Replace the RV Water Heater Pilot Light

Atwood camping vehicle water heater pilot light location can differ from model to model. So, locate the pilot light by reading the owner’s manual.

After locating the Atwood RV water heater pilot light, follow the below steps.

Step 01: Uninstall the RV water-heating system’s cover.

Step 02: Find the pilot knob that mentions “Pilot” and turn it.

Step 03: Push the pilot knob down.

Step 04: Grab a lighter to ignite the pilot light. At the same time, maintain proper pressure on the pilot knob.

Step 05: Constantly press the pilot knob until you see a stable pilot light.

Step 06: Release pressure from the pilot knob. Then rotate it to the “ON” position.

Read Also: RV Water Heater Drain Plug Size: Everything you need to know

Solution 03: Replace the Thermocouple

Is the pilot light going out?

If yes, then there is something wrong with the thermocouple. Replacing the thermocouple is the best solution. When buying a thermocouple, ensure the model is compatible with your Atwood RV water heater. Otherwise, your valuable money, time, and effort will be wasted.

After buying the new thermocouple, follow the below steps to complete the replacement procedure.

Step 01: Expose the framework of the water heater by opening the latch.

Step 02: Disconnect the old connection of the faulty thermocouple by pulling the wires out.

Step 03: Nuts hold the other end of the thermocouple in place. Unfasten them using a wrench and remove the thermocouple.

Step 04: Install the new thermocouple. In this case, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 05: Finally, turn the pilot light on to test whether the Atwood trailer water heater works.

Read Also: 7 Easy Solutions For RV Water Heater Igniter Not Clicking

Solution 04: Check the Bypass Valve

Did you sanitize the RV water system? Or did you winterize the RV for the season?

Generally, we close the water heater bypass valves during sanitizing or winterizing. It permits the water heater to be bypassed in the procedure.

Make sure to examine those valves and that they are positioned correctly to give you hot water. Forgetting about the bypass valve is common when troubleshooting an RV water heater not working on electricity.

I recommend checking the bypass valve to help you sort out the problem effortlessly.

Solution 05: Check the Circuit Board

The next thing is to check the circuit board. The circuit board powers the relay switch located behind the power heater.

Make sure the thermostat is getting power and working perfectly.

Read Also: How To Tell If Your RV Tank Heaters Are Working?

Solution 06: Check the RV Water Heater Valve

Are you getting low water pressure at your hot water sources?

In this case, your water heater check valve has malfunctioned.

The responsibility of the check valve is to ensure hot water flow in a single direction. Simultaneously, it stops the backflow of cold water. For low water pressure, be sure that the check valve has a problem.

Replace the check valve following the below steps.

Step 01: Drain water from the hot water tank.

Step 02: Pull off the defective valve by unscrewing it.

Step 03: Finally, install the new one.


How can I determine if the thermostat’s fault is causing the electric mode to malfunction on my Atwood water heater?

To determine if the thermostat is causing the electric mode malfunction on your Atwood water heater, you can use a multimeter to check for continuity across the thermostat terminals. If there is no continuity, the thermostat may be faulty and need replacement.

Can an improper voltage supply impact the electric functionality of my Atwood RV water heater?

Yes, an improper voltage supply can significantly impact the electric functionality of your Atwood RV water heater. If the voltage is too low, the heater may not function properly, and if it’s too high, it could cause damage to the heater’s components, leading to malfunctions or even complete failure. Always ensure a stable and correct voltage supply.

Can I convert my Atwood water heater from electric to propane mode if the electric functionality cannot be restored?

Yes, in many cases, you can convert your Atwood water heater from electric to propane mode if the electric functionality cannot be restored. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek professional assistance to ensure a safe and proper conversion process, as it may involve modifying the heater and its components.

Last Words

When facing issues with an Atwood RV Water Heater not working on electricity, troubleshooting becomes essential to identify and resolve the problem. 

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent such problems, including flushing the tank periodically and inspecting electrical connections. Maintaining the thermostat and ensuring a stable voltage supply can also improve the heater’s performance. Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek professional help. 

Following these maintenance tips and promptly addressing any concerns, RV owners can enjoy reliable and efficient electric water heater functionality on their Atwood units.

Read Also: RV Water Heater Works On Propane But Not On Electric – Why?

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