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Old 06-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
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Hot water heater won't ignite

Works fine on the AC side. Igniter clicks, fuse looks good, just no propane to system. Tried several times a day during last weeks' dry camp outing. Pain in the neck to run the generator for hot water. Any magical solutions before I notify the dealer?
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
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You can ensure you have DC voltage.. Unplug an reseat the electrical connector. Have you verified other gas appliances work?
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #3
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You can ensure you have DC voltage.. Unplug an reseat the electrical connector. Have you verified other gas appliances work?
Thanks. Will reset the electrical connector. All other propane appliances work.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
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If propane there that's not problem.

Can you observe the burner while someone else turns on the WH?

Ours would fire up briefly then shut down. Red indicator came on. I removed the spark device inside the burner then cleaned it up with my wife's fingernail emery board. Reassembled and all works great now.

As the burner runs, carbon is produced and builds up on the igniter. The spark flows fine. However, the second purpose of the igniter is to test for a flame being present. If no flame after a couple seconds, the circuit board shuts off the propane to keep from exploding your trailer. The carbon is not conductive enough...

Seems strange, but you can get continuity through a flame. That is what the board tests for.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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I can diagnose this easily. You are trying to heat hot water. It just wants to heat cold water. That is what water heaters do.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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I can diagnose this easily. You are trying to heat hot water. It just wants to heat cold water. That is what water heaters do.
Just discovered what's up. Altitude was the issue. I dry camped in the High Okanogan of Washington State in an area about 4600 feet above sea level. The propane would not ignite (even with cold water). Parked at sea level today, 1st click, propane ignited (12V and shore) and all is well with the hot water heater. Just need to research how to adjust the ignition for altitude if possible. Will check Atwood site.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Just discovered what's up. Altitude was the issue. I dry camped in the High Okanogan of Washington State in an area about 4600 feet above sea level. The propane would not ignite (even with cold water). Parked at sea level today, 1st click, propane ignited (12V and shore) and all is well with the hot water heater. Just need to research how to adjust the ignition for altitude if possible. Will check Atwood site.
Humm, I live at 4500 feet and frequently drive to higher altitudes and never had any problems. The water heater may need adjusting, but I'm wondering whether it's due to something quite different like the propane pressure, i.e. regulator. I think you should have that tested out.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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I tow mine from Miami to Yellowstone. Sea level to 7800 feet. Never had my Atwood fail to ignite so I'm thinking you have an intermittent open somewhere...

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:41 PM   #9
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Humm, I live at 4500 feet and frequently drive to higher altitudes and never had any problems. The water heater may need adjusting, but I'm wondering whether it's due to something quite different like the propane pressure, i.e. regulator. I think you should have that tested out.
Thanks a bunch. Will have it checked out during my upcoming dealer visit. The propane regulator recall was performed and all other propane functions work fine (except for the part about crawling out at 5 a.m. like a reptile in the pouring rain, 40 degrees with sandals on, to get down on one knee, undo the propane cover and flip the switch so I can turn the heat on). That part needs adjustment and is on my short list of upcoming mods (LED inside toggle switch).
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:37 PM   #10
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(except for the part about crawling out at 5 a.m. like a reptile in the pouring rain, 40 degrees with sandals on, to get down on one knee, undo the propane cover and flip the switch so I can turn the heat on)
Trying to find a serious solution for you here: don't you have a significant other who can do all this for you?
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
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Trying to find a serious solution for you here: don't you have a significant other who can do all this for you?
I was solo last week. My solution goes along on our next outing to the Oregon Coast. Better have it fixed by then or who knows.......
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:06 AM   #12
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Just discovered what's up. Will check Atwood site.
No, actually you didn't. I was pointing out the oxymoron that a huge number of people suffer through(including my wife)… It is a water heater. You heat water with it. It is not a hot water heater. Why would you heat hot water? it is hot already and does not need heating.

I think your problem is a ground issue or lack of proper gas pressure. I also think being so new, your water heater is still under warranty.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:13 PM   #13
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I was pointing out the oxymoron that a huge number of people suffer through(including my wife)…
I thought it was a tautology, not an oxymoron. But anyway…
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:36 AM   #14
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I thought it was a tautology, not an oxymoron. But anyway…

Yes, for grammar sticklers, it is a redundant use of words vs. a contradictory use of words.
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