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Old 01-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #1
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Lilburn , Georgia
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Hot water trouble shooting

Sometime yesterday we stopped having hot water in our 2005 trailer. We have an electric ignitor so there isn't a pilot light and we do have propane. The propane may be low, but the stove works. This is a gas only 6 gallon original equipment unit for our year trailer. Any suggestions on what to investigate? We are going camping this weekend and sure hope to have hot water.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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First suggestion....clean all the spade connections.

Ours started up again after several pull off's & push back on.
Cleaned them again later with emery cloth and sealed with dielectric grease.

Bob
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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From the way you stated the problem I assume the WH has been working up to yesterday and this isn't something as simple as the bypass valves are in the winterized mode, but the burner is not igniting. When you switch on the water heater, is there a red light next to the switch that comes on? When initially switched on, can you hear anything going on outside at the front of the WH?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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My money's also on the electrical connectors. Go to the outside water heater access door. There are several wire connectors. Pull them off (one at a time) and clean them by pushing them on and off repeatedly. This has worked for me many times.

Brian
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:43 AM   #5
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It looks like your current weather is 45-50 degrees in the daytime and 25-35 at night. Also, you indicated that your propane tank is low. The combination of freezing temperatures and low propane tank levels often results in the furnace and hot water heater cutting off. This problem is aggravated by high altitude, as we experienced in Colorado last year; although, it appears the elevation of Lilburn, GA, is only 950 feet.

Before you spend a lot of time troubleshooting and performing repairs, I suggest you fill your propane tank (or switch to the full one); and see if the problem goes away. There may be nothing wrong with your hot water heater.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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After switching propane tanks and then checking the connections, cleaning terminals and checking fuses, we made a trip to a local (non Airstream) rv place. After testing and attempts at changing the switch and the board, and about giving up, they checked the thermal cut off (a fuse like thing). That was it. I now have a spare as well. I just hope that didn't fail for its purpose, but we won't know that till we use the WH later today.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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The thermal cutoff may just fail for no reason, but to be sure it was not really activated by a flame issue, clean the burner tube that the flame goes into, as well as the burner where the air mixes with the propane (after the orifice). It is not uncommon for spider webs to block the gas flow in either location, causing the flame to boil out in the area between the cover and the heater body. That activates (blows) the thermal cutoff, which is exactly what it should do. But unless the problem is solved, it will happen again.

In the older models with pilot ignition and no electronic thermal cutoff, it is not uncommon to find melted plastic knobs and significant burning damage due to spider web or mud dauber issues.
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