Atwood water heater ignition problem

#1
A little over two years ago the water heater in our motorhome began having problems. I bought a new Atwood (now Dometic) G6A-8E water heater on eBay and installed it myself with the help of a local handyman. It worked fine for just over two years, then, just after the warranty expired, it sprung a leak on the top of the tank.

I tried to seal it with JB Weld. It held until the water got hot, then the JB Weld got rubbery and started to leak. At about the same time, the tank sprung another pinpoint leak a few inches from the first.

On 4/5/18 I bought another new water heater on eBay, again installing it with the help of the handy man. The new heater worked for two days, then it quit. It would turn on the gas, but there was no spark for ignition, and it shut off the gas again (at least that safety feature still worked).

We replaced the electronic ignition module with the module from the old leaky heater, and it worked fine.

On 4/10/18 I wrote Dometic support with the above info, requesting a replacement ignition module. Instead they sent a thermostat kit. As expected, it did not fix the problem. I wrote again asking for a replacement electronic module. They refused, saying it had to go through an authorized dealer.

The eBay dealer would not help, only giving me Dometic contact information. I took the module in to Johnnie Walker RV in Las Vegas. They tested it and confirmed that it would turn on the gas but gave no ignition. I told Dometic service about that, but they still insisted it must be serviced by a Dometic authorized dealer.

I explained that we are full time in the motorhome, and it takes a couple hours to disconnect everything and put stuff away so we can move, then a couple more hours to set back up later, but they didn’t care about the gross inconvenience.

I finally had to pay a mobile service man $60 to come out and confirm what we already knew. He called Dometic, and two days later he received a new module and came out and installed it.

The heater worked for a few days, then quit again the same way. Again I replaced the electronic module with the old one from the leaky heater, and it works fine, proving that the problem is nowhere else but in faulty new electronic modules. If there was a problem with something else in the water heater or in the installation then the old ignition module would fail the same way as the new ones.

Dometic wants me to waste another $60 to get their authorized service man to verify what we already know.

It’s hard to imagine worse customer support. If I ever have to replace another appliance, it most definitely will NOT be Atwood/Dometic if at all possible. I hope I can find one that’s not made in China.
 
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