Atwood Water Heater Reviews – Best Water Softerner Reviews
Meta: What makes an Atwood Water Heater so highly recommended? We're taking an in-depth review of Atwood water heaters and why you should get one today.
If you’re familiar with RVs and have even owned one before, then there’s a good chance that your RV had an Atwood water heater installed in it. The Atwood brand is well known as one of the largest manufacturers for RV water heaters and other mobile conditions that require it.
They provide hot water for showers and the tap and will provide unobstructed flow of hot water when you need it. Atwood is only one of two models that can perform this task, so it’s not much of a surprise that they’re a quality brand.
We’ll look at some of the top models for Atwood water heaters and give you valuable insight into why this brand is known for its quality products and how their integrity shows through on each of their water heater models. In the end, you’ll be able to come to a solid conclusion on what model will work the best as your next water heater purchase for your RV.
What Are Atwood Water Heaters and How Does It Work?
- Atwood Water Heaters feature a patented 'through-tube' combustion chamber, utilizing the pilot flame to help maintain water temperature rather than losing this heat energy into the atmosphere
- All units are lightweight and compact, with easily accessible controls for servicing
- FUEL-SAVING FLEXIBILITY Atwood water heaters operate on LP gas
- Microprocessor technology and versatile heaters
Atwood as a company had its origins deep set into vacuum machines when they were founded in 1909 by James and Seth Atwood. It wouldn’t be until 1936 that they would enter the RV market when travel trailers first became popular, creating their version of trailer coupler and then creating a trailer jack in 1949.
When they bought out Bowen just fifteen years later, they began to specialize in RV water heaters, gas ranges, and cooktops in the 80s and hydro flame furnaces in the early 90s. Utilizing the new technology that came to them from different companies that merged, they were able to outweigh the competition in performance and craftsmanship.
Today, Atwood is owned by Dometic; however, the name carries on in all of their water heaters for high-end RVs and other portable housing situations. Currently, there are three essential types of tank water heaters that Atwood has designed, and they’re all different in their respects. You’ll have the option of using:
Atwood water heaters don't have restrictions to tank based units. If you have the money for the installation, you’ll also have the option to go tankless which will provide a longer and more consistent hot water source while staying energy efficient.
What Makes The Atwood Water Heaters Unique?
Atwood heaters are known for their resilience and durable construction. Choosing an Atwood water heater guarantees performance that meets and exceeds your needs and they come with a large assortment of modern features that make using their products simple.
If we take the Atwood six-gallon model as an example, this model holds an advantage explicitly over others firstly because it can use LP gas or it can convert into an electric water heater. LP gas heats water at a much faster rate than electric water heating. However, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll always have access to gas.
As a result, having a combination of the two will create advantages no matter where you decide to go. The gas burner gives you 8800 BTU’s of heating which is good for its size and has direct spark ignition built into its design so you won't have to light the pilot flame every time manually. When using LP gas, you’ll be able to get a recovery rate of about 11.6 gallons per hour which puts it at about 30 minutes before the whole tank is at the proper temperature. You’ll be able to take a shower with a minimal wait time, and you’ll have hot water through the entire time.
The electronic side of the heater gives out about 1400W which is just as impressive as the rates on the LP Gas side of things. With electric heating, you’re looking at about six gallons per hour on the recovery rate which extends your reheat time to a full hour before the tank is at temperature.
Despite these numbers, the recovery rates on this model are better than the Suburban, equivalent model. When you combine the two and use them both at the same time, you’ll have a recovery time of 17.8 gallons per hour and your wait time will drastically reduce to 20 minutes tops.
Being able to use both forms of heaters at the same time hold other benefits beyond reducing the recovery time on your hot water. On days where the weather is mild, the combi heating mode will allow your shower time to be extended by keeping it warm enough for much longer.
On colder days, it will enable your heated water to be accessible whenever you’re in need. Atwood also takes pride in its unit’s durability and the ability to service it without too much struggle. The tank is made out of aluminum and has an access door that allows you to change out faulty parts and repair it from the outside.
The dimensions are relatively universal, just sitting at just over a foot in height with a width of 16 inches and a depth of nearly 17 inches. These dimensions should fit in almost any RV with minimal effort.
Atwood water heaters come in a large assortment of prices and styles so instead of going over every product that Atwood has produced, we’ll be taking the top three highest-rated units and going over their pricing and what you get for the value of the product.
The first unit we’re going to look at is the Atwood EHM6 water heater. This unit is corrosion resistant and has a six-gallon tank for all of your water needs. It uses 110-volt power support which allows the unit to heat the water faster than any other group in its class. This fact also makes it one of the most reliable from this manufacturer.
The dominant heat exchanger is customized to increase the heating ability of this systems by six times. Its design also features a double tube which prevents the fresh water system from mixing with the engine coolant by mistake.
While this unit is corrosion-resistant, it’s also strong thanks to the stainless steel that's used to build it. Your water heater will have a long life of service because it’s made with the best of materials. Despite its durability, it’s also lightweight and attractive in design. Overall this is a great system and runs for about $939.99 on Amazon.
The Atwood GC10A-4E Water heater is another highly rated model that features the patented through-tube combustion chamber that retains heat when the power source is activated. This model gives its users a faster heating time on the water which reduces the cost of energy on the next bill.
Surprisingly, this powerful unit only weighs just under five ounces and measures out to be 22.8 inches by 8.1 inches by 17.5 inches. With specs like that, you’ll be able to pick it up and install it easily without sacrificing the power needed to work your hot water system.
The feature that makes this system shine the most is the fact that this water heater is capable of running off of gas and electricity. Thanks to this excellent feature, you’ll never have to take a cold shower or go without warm water in the event of a power outage, and it further increases your savings.
The Atwood Gc was made to go even further with your energy savings by implementing a heat exchanger which makes conservation of energy much easier to manage. The heat exchanger’s primary purpose is to take heat produced from the engine coolant and uses it to help heat the water without intermingling the two.
This unit works well with RV’s thanks to the heat exchanging unit implemented into its design as your drive to your next destination will be enough to keep your water warm even before you take your first shower for the day. This model has a current listing on Amazon for $635.49.
The Atwood XT 10- Gallon water heater provides an advanced heating system that works by utilizing an exothermic mechanism and runs as efficiently as a standard 16-gallon unit would with the bonus of not taking up as much space. Its build incorporates a pre-configured bypass kit into the design.
Thanks to the gas and electric direct, quick mechanism, you’ll never have to light the pilot manually, and you’ll have hot water immediately available. Despite all of its benefits, the unit is quite heavy it’s one of the heavier models ever made by Atwood sitting at 50 pounds.
Like the other Atwood models mentioned in this article, this model comes with the heat exchanging technology that helps with your energy bill savings by preventing wasted heat from the coolant of the engine. Currently, this model is available on Amazon for $807.99.
Public Perception (Other Atwood Water Heater Reviews)
When it comes to choosing a proper water heater for an RV or even a small home, Atwood has been the staple choice for a long while. Generally speaking, when it comes to Atwood made models, the public has rated Atwood highly for many years.
Atwood utilizes all of these positive features well in every model that is produced and thus has gained the trust of its loyal consumers.
Most consumers who buy an Atwood water heater know that they’re getting a product that not only functions as advertised, but they’re getting a unit that will last them many years down the road. It’s a reliable brand, and that’s what keeps consumers coming back to Atwood products over and over again.
The units are relatively easy to install as long as you follow the directions or watch an
appropriate video, which is a big plus for individuals who like to personally oversee that their investment is working correctly and to the standards, they’ve set. Atwood also supplies replaceable parts that are just as easy to install.
How It Compares
If you’re looking to compare Atwood brand water heaters to another product, the only brand that even cuts close to the mark would be a Suburban brand water heater. Suburban has been at ties with Atwood for some time now as far as quality and functionality is concerned.
When it comes to functionality and features, Atwood and Suburban come out evenly matched. Both brands offer energy efficient functions such as utilizing gas and electricity or a combo of the two to further extend savings on energy bills. Most of the more popular models from both companies provide sleek designs and ease of use.
The most significant difference between the two models is that Atwood tends to favor aluminum clad tanks which will eliminate any dependency for an anode rod and overall makes them a lighter weight as a whole. The Suburban models tend to use metal tanks and use the anode rod to prevent corrosion.
Suburban offers more sizing options as far as these water heaters are concerned, giving you up to five different sizes between four to 16-gallon tanks while Atwood only contains two sizing options which are the six and the ten gallon sized tanks. Suburban tends to be cheaper depending on the models that are compared as well.
What We Think
It’s clear that Atwood water heaters are quality units that are worth their salt as far as bringing efficient heating to your water while you’re using your RV. These models don’t need to remain in an RV setting either, as they can be used in small homes for basic heating requirements to extend energy savings further.
Investing in one of these water heaters if you’re in the market would be a wise choice. Many consumers prefer Atwood water heaters because they prove to be dependable and long-lasting no matter how many years seem to pass by. As long as you’re taking steps to take care of your water heating unit, it will continue to work efficiently for a very long time.