Due to an erroneous thermocouple, damaged circuit board, and broken ECO, your Atwood water heater won’t turn on.

In addition, a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, or a filthy or broken igniter might also be to blame for your RV water heater not igniting.

Attempt replacing the thermocouple or cleaning the igniter first.

You may also try mending the blown fuse to restart and ignite your heater.

However, if these attempts are unsuccessful, keep reading to learn more about all the contributing elements and their straightforward fixes.

Additionally, by reading our troubleshooting guide for an Atwood water heater, you will learn why your heater clicks but does not light or spark.

Let’s begin, then.

Atwood Water Heater Won’t Light: 5 Causes And Solutions

Your Atwood Rv water heater won’t ignite for a number of reasons.

We analyze each potential cause in this chapter and provide a fix as well.

#1. Poor Thermocouple

When a thermocouple detects a pilot’s heat, it allows gas to flow to the burner.

The gas cannot flow via the burner’s pilot or burner if the thermocouple is broken.

In response, the pilot light keeps going out and won’t remain lit.

Fortunately, you can relight your electric water heater by swapping out the thermocouple with a new one without any technical expertise.

The water heater pilot light may be re-lit using the following procedure:

Step 1: Ensure you have the necessary tools available to you:

  • Tool set
  • The screwdriver
  • A flexible wrench
  • Thermocouple
  • Hand soap
  • Lengthy games

Step 2: Close both the control valve and the shut-off valve.

After that, remove the burner access cover and take a screwdriver to the nuts holding the thermocouple lines, gas, and pilot in place.

Step 3: Disassemble the unit by removing the burner for the pilot light.

The thermocouple should then be removed and replaced with one that is the same size and length as the previous one.

Step 4: Replace the old thermocouple and reassemble the parts.

The shut-off valve and the control valve should then be attached.

With the wrench, be sure to tighten the nuts uniformly.

Step 5: Relight the pilot light and then reopen the shut-off valve to do this.

Turn the control valve on next.

Apply a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent dish soap on each screw joint after that.

There is a gas leak, according to the bubbles.

#2. Faulty ECO

Your water heater is unable to start because to problematic ECO as well.

When turning on the switch, if you don’t hear the gas valve click, you can tell it’s for the ECO.

The Eco switch is connected to the gas valve and the control board.

It is linked to the thermostat as well.

If it develops a malfunction, the gas valve won’t get any electricity.

Your RV water heater won’t light as a result.


First, take one of the ECO’s wires out and use a VOM to check for continuity.

Ensure that the meter reads 12 volts.

There ought to be a short circuit.

It’s time to swap out the new ECO if it doesn’t display the precise volt.

You need also purchase a replacement thermostat since the maker only offers them in pairs.

#3. Bad Circuit Board

Water heaters made by Atwood RV are infamous for having defective circuit boards.

It’s terrible in terms of design.

Your circuit board won’t let the gas to flow if it has a problem.

The easiest approach to determine whether or not your circuit board is working properly is to use a VOM to measure the voltage on ECO.

If there is a problem with the circuit board, the meter will display a voltage that is less than 12.

It will be advisable in this situation to replace the circuit board in order to resolve the ignition lockout issue.

#4. Defective Igniter

The Atwood water heater’s malfunctioning igniter is another potential cause of the problem.

How can I know the igniter is defective, you ask.

In such case, know that the faulty ignitor is to blame if you hear the click of it but don’t see any spark.


To begin resolving the problem, loosen the nut holding the igniter.

The probe and the region where it sparks should next be cleaned using a wire brush.

After that, replace the igniter where it was and switch on your water heater to see whether it is lit.

#5. Circuit Breakers Or Fuses Trip

Make sure your circuit breaker hasn’t tripped by checking it.

It is another factor that can make your igniter inoperable.

How can you comprehend that the unit’s fuse has broken?

These three probable reasons might set off the fuse:

  • Unreliable thermostat
  • The breaker is malfunctioning
  • Water puddles on the power wires

Since a tripped fuse is often caused by the thermostat, we advise replacing it as a fix.

It would thus be better if you also changed the switch or breaker for the RV water heater.

Additionally, any leaks that enable water to flow into the electrical wires need to be fixed.

Additional Troubleshooting Manuals

The chapter will teach you about more typical problems that might cause a water heater to break down.

#1. The Electrodes Are Not Sparking

There won’t be a spark on the electrodes for the reasons listed below, including:

  • Obstructed electrodes
  • Unsecured wire connection
  • Broken circuit board

Clean the electrodes and suck out all the dirt from them to solve the issue.

Second, firmly attach the electrodes to the primary burner.

On the circuit board, check to make sure there are no loose wire connections.

Replace the board as well if it is defective.

#2. Atwood Water Heater Clicks But Is Unable To Light

An unreliable control board may be at blame for this.

Check for power on the connection that connects the board to ECO to validate this problem.

Alternately, when the igniter is clicking, inspect the wire that connects the ECO to the gas solenoid.

Your control board is faulty if the VOM doesn’t display 12 volts on the cable.

Your best option in this situation to solve the issue is to replace the board.

On the other hand, if you only get 12 volts, we advise engaging a skilled specialist to take care of the problem.

How To Troubleshoot a RV Hot Water Heater That Will Not Ignite – Homeowner Repair


The way an RV furnace works.

A forced-air heater is an RV heater.

When the RV air temperature drops below the thermostat setting, hot air is forced through the vents and into the living area.

The hot air is produced by a flame that is supplied by propane, and a blower fan pushes it out of the vents.

Can I use a tankless water heater to replace my RV’s current one?

Different sized water heater tanks are included with RVs.

Although you may go up to 12 gallons or more, a typical water heater tank capacity is either 6 gallons or 10 gallons.

The purpose of tankless water heaters is to replace the current water heaters.

The same area as your current water heater may accommodate them.

Can I use both gas and electricity to power my RV water heater?

For those who like dry camping and want to save power, a propane heater or gas furnace is the ideal option for an RV water heater.

To heat the water more quickly, you may use both gas and electricity at the same time.

How does the gas water heater for RVs function?

A gas water heater has to be manually lit.

For this, you may use a long match or striker.

Some heaters are also available with automated activation, requiring just a touch of a switch within the RV.

The burner component of this heater ignites, maintains, and produces heat.

A Hydro Flame Furnace: What Is It?

The Hydro Flame RV Furnace is a portable, lightweight variant.

Its measurements are 8-3/8′′ wide, 11-3/8′′ high, and 20-1/2′′ deep, and it weighs just 23 pounds.

Owners of smaller automobiles will find it to be quite helpful.

Piezo ignition lasts how long?

Match-free ignition systems may last a lifetime with frequent replacement or refilling of the matches and lighters.

A typical piezo lighter lasts for at least 10 years, however sometimes they do malfunction.

Water heaters: Atwood or Suburban?

Atwood employs a tank with an aluminum coating.

Therefore, it is portable.

Additionally, it costs a lot less to maintain and takes less work.

It also features a door that provides you additional benefits.

On the other hand, a Suburban water heater is hefty since it has a metal tank and an anode.

It requires no power and is simpler to install.

Their benefits include simplicity and efficiency.

Which Atwood burner model should I purchase?

Purchase the Atwood Black Dv20-b, which is a wonderful burner.

It offers the following attributes:

1. A 7200 BTU burner powered by propane

2.1- 5200 BTU Burner

3. Matchlight start-up

4. Takes up less room

Are anode rods required for Atwood RV water heaters?

Aluminum serves as the water heater’s tank material.

It doesn’t have corrosion issues.

Therefore, anode rods are not needed.

How big is an RV water heater’s drain plug?

The brand of the water heater determines the size of the drain plug.

The drain plug of a Suburban water heater is 1 & 1/16th.

The drain plug of an RV hot water heater is 7/8ths or 15/16ths in diameter.

How is the Atwood RV Furnace reset?

For reasons of troubleshooting, you may sometimes need to reset your Atwood RV furnace.

You should search the basement storage area for some red and blue cables before doing that.

Behind those cables is a little switch that you can access.

It is your Atwood Furnace’s reset switch.

How do I start the Atwood RV gas stove?

The Atwood RV gas stove cooktop is lit as follows: The LP tanks and the light switch should be turned on.
then use the knob to modify the pilot flame.

Use a match lighter by rotating the knob if your stove isn’t equipped with an ignitor.

A burner orifice is what?

In the orifice plug, there is a hole.

Gas from the pipe exits from here and enters the burner.

How is a tankless water heater bypassed?

You must insert a pipe between the hot and cold water pipes in order to bypass a water heater.

This uses two different sorts of valve arrangements.

There are three bypass valves and a three-way valve set up.

On a water heater, where is the thermal fuse located?

A water heater’s thermal fuse is often found in the main panel.

When the heat level exceeds the safe threshold, a safety mechanism shuts off electricity to the water heater.

You must replace the fuse using a correct installation procedure if it blows or trips.

How can I tell if my flame sensor is malfunctioning?

There are various indicators that your flame sensor is malfunctioning.

These are:

a) The gas burner quickly ignites and extinguishes.

b) The flame sensor tip is covered with debris, dust,

c) The sensor’s ceramic portion is chipped or fractured.


We’ve covered all the potential causes of your Atwood water heater not lighting in the paragraph above.

We also went into detail on how to solve those issues.

Apply each of the above-mentioned methods until your RV water heater starts to ignite.

We advise calling the Atwood support staff if you’ve tried all the techniques but still can’t get your water heater to ignite.

As an alternative, you might pay a skilled professional to handle the problem for you.

Finally, we can assist you with a significant problem.

Resetting your Atwood water heater can solve the problem if you notice that the water is becoming too hot.

You’ll understand the answer right away.

However, if you continue to have problems with your RV heater, please let us know in the comment section.

Our professionals would be glad to assist you.

RV Hot Water Heater Won’t Light Videos Suggestions From Youtube

RV Water Heater Not Igniting Or Staying Lit – Troubleshoot – RV Maintenance And Cleaning – RV Habit
How To Troubleshoot a RV Hot Water Heater That Will Not Ignite – Homeowner Repair
RV Water Heater Troubleshooting: Troubleshoot, Diagnose, and Repair – The Savvy Campers
RV water heater difficult to light. How to fix it. – RVtravel

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Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.