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Old 07-14-2006, 02:18 PM   #1
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2005 Bambi Hotwater Heater Doesn't Ignite

I have a 2005 Airstream Bambi 19' w/many problems. Latest two are:

#1 Hot water heater won't ignite (just clicks and then red light goes back on). This started a week ago, and now will not ignite at all.

#2 Shower temp control not functing anymore. Only get very hot water, unless almost turned to off position.

I am in Sterling, AK and have a RV Repair shop who has been working w/me to fix issues. Can not get in until late next week. Maybe someone can help.

Airstream service has been very poor. They keep pushing it off to Atwood, and they are pretty much useless unless I sit on the phone 24x7.

There are 3 or 4 other major issues, and will post them later.

When I get back to Colorado, I will have to see about invoking the LEMON LAW on this unit. I really like the Bambi, but MUST CALL A LEMON WHEN IT IS A LEMON!!

I am not a whiner, but this has been a problem unit since the day I pulled it off the Dealer's lot in Lakewood, CO.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:40 PM   #2
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No Gas...

DVA-

As for problem #1, the water heater appears to not be getting propane.. Could be clogged line, problem with cutoff in leak detector warning system, or valve on water heater... (or lack of propane in tank or main valve or cutover valve?) Are other propane appliances working well? Stove and refrigerator on propane? Could you have someone next to Water Heater and listen for valve opening when you turn on the switch? Have either thermostat or "overheat" switch/sensor on side of heater failed or locked out the start sequence? There are several failure modes, and if quick trouble shooting dosn't fix, it may take a shop to diagnose..

Problem # 2 is likely in cartridge of shower mix valve, where cold side may be clogged with dirt or gook from fresh tank. I'd try removing cartridge and cleaning or flushing the cold side to see if that clears up and restores water flow on that side.

Sorry you're having problems, but clogged shower valve not factory/warranty issue, and water heater problem may be separate from heater itself...

John McG
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:22 PM   #3
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John thks for the advice. I am going to have someone listen for the gas valve to open (no one here now). The stove & furnace work fine, but we did have recent issues with gas pressure for furnace and water heater, but it appears could be back again.

Is there any way to reset the sensors/trip devices on the HW heater?

Shower - I can pull that apart and likely fix it (too).

As to overall (many issues) AS has finally agreed to pay a repair shop up here to fix everything - a real pain.

Thks again,

Dave
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Old 07-14-2006, 08:31 PM   #4
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Well have hot water heater KINDA WORKING. Filled the propane tanks, ran stove awhile, and then hot water heater fired up (One tank almost empty, other 50%). However, it is back to problem of not AWAYS FIRING UP. Hopefully w/advice received, can limp through for a week, then get into the shop.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dva1946
Well have hot water heater KINDA WORKING. Filled the propane tanks, ran stove awhile, and then hot water heater fired up (One tank almost empty, other 50%). However, it is back to problem of not AWAYS FIRING UP. Hopefully w/advice received, can limp through for a week, then get into the shop.
Two areas to check beside the good advice from Condo (need a job, Condo? ).

Have your main propane regulator checked. They do go bad and could be causing some problems. If you have access to another 12V battery (does not have to be a big one, a cordless drill battery will work.) use jumper wires to connect the + to + and the - to - on the gas valve of the water heater. You will hear an audible click. If not, it probably should be replaced. Also, check your LP orifice and LP feed lines up to the burner from the gas valve. They might have debris or insects in them that would inhibit proper operation.
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Old 07-15-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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Sensors not adjustible..

DVA-

Just to close loop, the two sensors I referred to above aren't adjustable...

Both come from Atwood in replacement repair kit, and are approx the size of very thick nickel coins. The thermostat is on/off switch that signals gas valve to open when temp on side of water tank (where it mounts and senses temp of tank wall) falls below pre-set temp. I think Atwood sets them at ~170 to 180 degrees. The other one is part of the overheat protection circuit, and is a cutout to shutoff gas if it senses significant overtemp, in range of 200 degrees plus... Once it shuts off, it should rest once all has cooled down, but both are prone to age failures (including corrosion on terminal blades for wire connections).

And it sounds reasonable after description of "limping" that propane regulator might be keeping pressure in line too low. Water heater often at "end of the line" and if pressure too low, unit won't light quickly enough to prevent shutoff of valve and redlight...

(and Thanks Lew for vote of confidence!! I'd never give up amateur status... After almost 20 years of owning a pair of trailers, with help like the Forms one learns to diagnose and fix a lot of the little stuff)

John McG
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