Review of Atwood Marine
Water Heaters for Boats

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Atwood marine water heaters are among the favorite brands for water heating in marine and boat industry. One of the main reasons for the Atwood popularity is its lightweight design, design, which provides greater flexibility for installation and servicing, longer tank life and savings.

Great advantages of the Atwood marine water heater over other manufacturers is that Atwood is not using metal tank for storing hot water, but utilize the corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy.

The aluminum-built tanks allows Atwood the use in extreme weather conditions, and the elimination of the anode rods, which must be installed on most of the competitors' water heaters. Every model utilizes the casing, made again of the corrosion-resistant material and tough paint coating. Some models, such as EHM-6 and EHM-11 are even utilizing the stainless steel casing, which ensures durability and higher resistance to sea water and corrosion.

Review of the Atwood marine water heaters

atwood marine water heater

Atwood produces several sizes and configurations of marine water heaters where 4-gallon model is the smallest one, while the 20-gallon is the largest unit. All 4, 6, 10 and 20-gal models are electric using one 1400 kW or 1500 kW heating element and operating on 120 or 220 VAC. 

Almost all models are equipped with the heat exchanger, to utilize the heat from the engine. What is common for all the models is the recovery rate of 7.1 gallons per hour.

  • Model EHM-4

  • Model EHM-6

  • Model EHP-10

  • Model EHM-11

  • Model EH-20

atwood marine stainless steel

All the models from above are using one electric heating element and heat exchanger connected to the RV's engine, while the models E-20 are electric-powered only.

The main component of all Atwood marine water heaters is the heat exchanger that is built tough, using the double-tube construction for efficiency and superior protection, so the engine coolant doesn't pollute the fresh water.

Installation of the water heaters is easy and convenient, due to its lightweight design, which goes from 20.5 lb. for 4-gallon models to 40 lb. for 20-gal models and small size (maximum is 16x16x29"). Most of the time Atwood water heaters are installed on the floor through the brackets and due to its small square size, the water heaters are ideal where minimal floor space is available.

All water heaters are equipped with the temperature and pressure relief valves and thermostat that is factory set and is not adjustable.

Since the water heaters use the hot water coolant for heating fresh water, it is important to ensure proper connections between the water heater and the engine, otherwise leak could cause the lose of coolant, lack of hot water and eventually engine failure. Keep in mind that if the engine coolant is running through the heat exchanger for too long, the heated water might be excessively hot. One of the Atwood marine water heaters, model EHP-10, is equipped with the thermostatically controlled high-efficiency heat exchanger, which prevents water from being too hot.

When buying a new Atwood water heater, you will find needed info at the front of the unit and it includes: model number, capacity in both gallons and liters, max. watts approved, volts, availability of the energy cut off feature and the power of the heating element. All the connections and fitting are conveniently located at the front of the water heater which allows an easy approach for installation and service.

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