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Old 09-25-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Erie , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 6
Atwood Water heater problem

I have an 1981 28ft. The Red light comes on to engage the water heater, ,,,,,,,,and it stays on.
Indicating a problem,
Here is what I have done;

like to know and

what I have noticed.
Done: confirmed the board is getting power
cleaned the contacts from the wires to the circuit board. No Joy
cked for continuity front the wires to the circuit board. No Joy
Like to know. The board has power, ground, and 2 "valve" wires as well as one to the ignitor. These wires run to sensors on the tank inside coach. (I would attacha pic, but the paperclip icon above does nothing.)
Do these switches HAVE to be attached to the tank?
What I have observed.

When powered up the circuit board makes a very slight high pitched noise. I believe this quits after lockout.

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Old 09-25-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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HowieE's Avatar

1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,314
Images: 12
There are a couple of things to check.

If you just recently change the gas bottles you may have air in the lines. Check the stove and refg. to make sure they light. If the stove top has a slight delay in lighting that is a good indication of air. If the refg. comes back with a check light again this is an indication of air.

If you have air repeated attempts to light the water heater will eventually purge the air. Another method would be to crack the gas line at the heater till you smell gas and then tighten the line and try again.

While you are outside with the heater door open and a igniter wand in hand have someone turn the heater on while you hold the lighted wand in the burner at the point of the flame. If it lights then you have to check the heater igniter circuit. If it lights with a strange flame size or formation you may have spiders in the fire tube. Remove the tube and clean it. They will get way in there so do a good job.

With the door open have someone turn the heater on and watch for a spark to ignite the heater. If you have a spark and it still will not light the spark may be grounding out outside the area necessary to light the heater. You may have to move the probe to cause the spark to be in the right place.

If you do not see any spark the electronics may be at fault

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 568
Images: 1
the valve on 'Silver Bullet' water heater failed. It wouldn't shut all the way off. replace the valve and it works again. Had the same thing happen to the rear heated some years back. melted the skin on the outside, so I check the propane valves every time I turn thing off.
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