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Old 06-11-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Austin , Texas
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INTERSTATE SPRINTER- Propane Gas Heater Issue

Hey Mates, hope you can help me figure out this one. I have a 2014 Interstate 3500 Sprinter. Just filled up propane and parked with trickle charge 4 weeks ago. I have both water heater switches (electric and gas) turned OFF. However, I thought I heard the water heater fire up a few weeks ago when checking on my coach. Today I go by and propane down to less than 1/4 - in the red zone! I know I left the PROPANE TOGGLE SWITCH "ON" where you connect when filling up.

How did my water heater turn on and use propane if interior water heater switches were both turned off inside my coach?

I am sure I have no leak, so I am assuming this water heater was the culprit.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks guys.

Kevin
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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First question that comes to my mind is did you actually check to see if any hot water was present at the time you thought the water heater was running? If you wanted by and heard it, did you stop and check it then? Hopefully if by some chance the water heater did run, there was water in the heater. Running the water heater with no water in it is not a good thing for the water heater itself. Also, did you possibly have the master electric switch turned off because if you did its basically impossible for the propane water heater to operate as it is 12volts, unless it was somehow operating on the 115volts from shore power.

And if you had a leak inside at the stove, it should have set off the propane alarm and shut down the propane electric valve.

This is one of the reasons I added a second, inside electric switch for the propane valve. Easier to see and turn on-off without getting down to that stupid screw cover on the propane filler box to turn on-off the propane switch provided by Airstream.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TexasJudge View Post
Hey Mates, hope you can help me figure out this one. I have a 2014 Interstate 3500 Sprinter. Just filled up propane and parked with trickle charge 4 weeks ago. I have both water heater switches (electric and gas) turned OFF. However, I thought I heard the water heater fire up a few weeks ago when checking on my coach. Today I go by and propane down to less than 1/4 - in the red zone! I know I left the PROPANE TOGGLE SWITCH "ON" where you connect when filling up.

How did my water heater turn on and use propane if interior water heater switches were both turned off inside my coach?

I am sure I have no leak, so I am assuming this water heater was the culprit.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks guys.

Kevin
You could have a short in switch or wiring to water heater. ... or you mistakenly left the water heater switches in the opposite position you thought they were in. Attached page from Atwood manual shows switches in off position and how they are wired.

Was the water hot when you checked on your van and found the propane low?

Lesson learned -- don't leave that propane switch at fill panel on when not planning to use propane or when leaving your van anywhere. With that switch on all propane lines in the van a charged with propane at low pressure.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Atwood WaterHeaterPartsList page 39.pdf (127.1 KB, 43 views)
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:53 PM   #4
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Don't forget… You may not actually be down to 1/4 tank of propane. The gauge could be faulty. You won't know for sure until you go to refill the tank and you see how much (or how little) is left.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
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Don't forget there was a recall for the regulator not long ago (mine was replaced). I would ask the dealer to look into whether yours needs to be replaced, and at the same time check out this problem.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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We always turn the propane off when the Interstate is parked and not in use.


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Old 06-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #7
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parked with trickle charge 4 weeks ago.
Not sure what you meant by this statement. Was the RV just plugged into shore power or did you add a separate charger?

If you have a solar panel, it will maintain the chassis and house batteries if everything is turned off if parked outside, even on cloudy days. No need for shore power.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thank you for your suggestions and comments! I will make sure my propane toggle switch valve is turned OFF every time I store my coach.

Kevin
"TexasJudge"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerbill View Post
First question that comes to my mind is did you actually check to see if any hot water was present at the time you thought the water heater was running? If you wanted by and heard it, did you stop and check it then? Hopefully if by some chance the water heater did run, there was water in the heater. Running the water heater with no water in it is not a good thing for the water heater itself. Also, did you possibly have the master electric switch turned off because if you did its basically impossible for the propane water heater to operate as it is 12volts, unless it was somehow operating on the 115volts from shore power.

And if you had a leak inside at the stove, it should have set off the propane alarm and shut down the propane electric valve.

This is one of the reasons I added a second, inside electric switch for the propane valve. Easier to see and turn on-off without getting down to that stupid screw cover on the propane filler box to turn on-off the propane switch provided by Airstream.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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Dear Protagonist,

Just filled coach propane tank yesterday and she took 11.9 gallons! I will keep that toggle switch turned off from now on!

Thanks,
Kevin
"Texas Judge"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Don't forget… You may not actually be down to 1/4 tank of propane. The gauge could be faulty. You won't know for sure until you go to refill the tank and you see how much (or how little) is left.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:19 PM   #10
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Dear Protagonist,

Just filled coach propane tank yesterday and she took 11.9 gallons! I will keep that toggle switch turned off from now on!

Thanks,
Kevin
"Texas Judge"
That means your gauge is working fine. One worry off the table. Now to track down the source of the leak…

Probably a faulty regulator, which others have already commented on. UKDUDE indicated there was a recall on that issue, and if so then it's best to take it to the dealer and have them address it. Don't delay; a leaking regulator can be hazardous.
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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We always turn the propane off when the Interstate is parked and not in use.


Maggie
I turn it off, now, every time not in use! Thanks!!
Kevin
TexcasJudge
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:22 PM   #12
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Still important to have the regulator checked even if you turn it off when not in use. BUT when it is on so that you can USE it there is the possibility that it is in fact leaking propane. Not a good idea. Mine was defective and it is store inside and never smelled any gas leaking.Dealer swapped it out no charge.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:34 PM   #13
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Normally, I turn off the propane switch if it is not in use. When I left the AI at my dealer for installation of battery monitor et al....I left it on by accident. When I picked it up, three weeks later, I had lost most of a tank of propane. I discovered it on the way home and did a U-turn for the dealer....to find a leak. They had smelled it earlier in the week and repaired it.....did not tell me until I asked WTF... They did refill the tank FREE.


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