water heater problems

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water heater problems

Post  SouthWestyKim on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:49 pm

Last weekend camping I noticed the water heater wouldnt stay lit. Pilot light kept going out, in the middle of a heat up. I lit the pilot light, it would fire the burner, run for a couple of minutes then poof, nothing. I re lit…rang for a few more minutes then out again. This happened three times until finally it seemed to run long enough to heat the water to normal operating temperture. I checked my propane level when I got home and its almost full, so low gas couldnt be the culprit..any ideas on what I should look into? Its an atwood 5 gallon, manual light.
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Re: water heater problems

Post  chuck on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:31 pm

I had the same problem on my JAYCO..  I remember reading a bunch of opinions on the internet.  I finally ended up replacing something called the thermocouple ...  Can't remember all the details.. but it was not very hard to do.

Apparently the thermocouple is a safety device that will shut off the gas if the pilot gets blown out.. Sometimes they go bad,,  they think the flame is out..  and shut off the gas.  Of course when the gas is shut off.. the flame goes out.

here's more http://www.trails.com/how_39257_replace-rv-water-heater-thermocouple.html

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Re: water heater problems

Post  SouthWestyKim on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:23 pm

Thanks Chuck!!! Very Happy
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Re: water heater problems

Post  coolbreeze1 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:05 am

chuck wrote:I had the same problem on my JAYCO..  I remember reading a bunch of opinions on the internet.  I finally ended up replacing something called the thermocouple ...  Can't remember all the details.. but it was not very hard to do.

Apparently the thermocouple is a safety device that will shut off the gas if the pilot gets blown out.. Sometimes they go bad,,  they think the flame is out..  and shut off the gas.  Of course when the gas is shut off.. the flame goes out.

here's more http://www.trails.com/how_39257_replace-rv-water-heater-thermocouple.html

I am with Chuck. I have also read that you can clean the thermocouple and that will work.
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Re: water heater problems

Post  SouthWestyKim on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:37 pm

Well I tried lighting the heater when I got home and it seems to be working fine, but I didnt stand there for 15 minutes to heat the entire 6 gallons. I will have to wait till next camping trip to see if the problem continues. I did notice when lighting it this last time the pilot light was blue instead of orange like it was at the campsite, which leads me to believe there was on obstruction that has now cleared. Thankyou for your suggestions and hopefully the problem resolved itself.
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Re: water heater problems

Post  chuck on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:56 pm

good deal...hope it's fixed!

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Re: water heater problems

Post  Helmsey on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:35 pm

An orange or yellow flame is an indication that the air\fuel ratio is off at the pilot. This could be caused by something blocking flow of gas, or if your burner tube has an adjustable slide on it, it could be lose.
You can see the air adjustment here, and the bolt that keeps it tight just to the right of the air opening. I have had that bolt work its way lose and the burner tube would move back and forth, adjusting the air flow and cause me MAJOR headaches trying to track down that particular issue.



Also, if your flame is not burning correctly it can damage the thermocouple. That is easy enough to replace if it comes down to that though.

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