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Old 06-19-2008, 09:08 PM   #1
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Hot Water heater trouble

Hi, I am new at this, so I hope this is not something stupid. I just bought an 86 Sovereign, and I cannot get the hot water to work. The man I bought it from said it was an automatic pilot, but noting seems to work. Ideas or advice?
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:15 PM   #2
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Hi, I am new at this, so I hope this is not something stupid. I just bought an 86 Sovereign, and I cannot get the hot water to work. The man I bought it from said it was an automatic pilot, but noting seems to work. Ideas or advice?
If you open the outside door to the 'WATER HEATER' (it doesn't heat hot water.....) you'll see a label and model #. Post it and let's see what we can find out.

And BTW............WELCOME to the Forums!!!
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Checklist:

1. Propane is on
2. Water Heater cutoff valve (under the belly) is open
3. Water in the water heater tank (don't know it this has any effect)
4. Water pressure (don't know if this has any effect)
5. Power to auto-ignition is available (is this 12V or 110V?) yes, I have heard the snap, snap, snap of the auto-ignition
6. Yes, I did tap the main valve very lighty with a mallet

Yes, the stove works
Yes, the fridge is working on propane
Yes, I have propane
Yes, we have both 110V and 12V power

If you've done all this, it's time to worry.

Zep
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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Air in the lines ?????

I always run the all burners on my stove to perge the air from the lines.
For me it is the easiest, best way. Also check the heater burner nozzle. Spiders like the propane smell and often make homes in my nozzles. Dave
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:06 PM   #5
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Great idea Mandolindave, Frscott, congrads on the new airstream, I'm in Wichita Falls as well!, put a electric heating element in my water heater so I would not have to always mess with the gas. By the way there are no silly questions except the ones not asked.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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Hey, Thanks to all for the replies, I am on the road, and internet access is sporadic. I found a bypass valve that let water into the heater tank, and I then heard the tank light, but after an hour all I got was foamy luke warm water. I let it run for about 5 minutes and nothing but luke warm foam. Any ideas?
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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Antifreeze in the tank

If your heater is the same as the one in my M/H than it is about 4-6 gallons in size. Sometimes owners will put potable antifreeze in the water heater to keep it from cracking/freezing. When it is heated it can come out milky like you stated. Another cause can be air in the tank. Unlike an electric water heater with an element inside in direct contact with the water, the propane heater heats the water from the outside the tank, if air is in the tank with the water, and the system is closed, pressure builds up in the tank and will actually drive the air into the water. when you open the valve and let the water and pressure out the air will cause the water to appear milky. If you fill a glass and let it set the milkiness should go away. If it does, open the hot valves on ALL your outlets (sink, shower, etc.. ) and let the water run until you no longer have any air in the system. It might be a combo of both antifreeze and air. If you are using the water pump to pump water, there may be antifreeze in your fresh water holding tank. A good indicator would be if the tank water appears to have a pink tint and a chemical smell to it. Try running the system after flushing it with the water supply from hose connection.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quick way to get the air out is to lift the pop off valve near the top of the tank until just water comes out.

Garry
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by frscott View Post
Hey, Thanks to all for the replies, I am on the road, and internet access is sporadic. I found a bypass valve that let water into the heater tank, and I then heard the tank light, but after an hour all I got was foamy luke warm water. I let it run for about 5 minutes and nothing but luke warm foam. Any ideas?
Ours is always white & foamy the first time we open the trailer for the year (even after the antifreeze is flushed from the lines). As mentioned before I just pop open the pressure / temperature safety valve and let it open until I get clear water. You could also let the kitchen and bath faucets open until it clears up.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
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Hot water heater control, Honeywell.

I am searching for help on a hot water heater problem. WBCCI # 2240
The control knob on my Honeywell gas valve on my 1965 Caravel has broken. The gas valve seems to be fine but I have no way of keeping the valve activated with the knob broken. Does anyone know where I might get a replacement or has anyone out there removed their water heater and have the knob. I have pictures of the valve if that helps and you can let me know how to get the pic to you.

Help, Help

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Old 08-28-2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Hi, I am new at this, so I hope this is not something stupid. I just bought an 86 Sovereign, and I cannot get the hot water to work. The man I bought it from said it was an automatic pilot, but noting seems to work. Ideas or advice?
Welcome to Airstreaming.

Airstreams don't use "hot water heaters."

They use "cold water heaters" and have for many years.

They insist that you never heat "hot water."

Andy
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:46 AM   #12
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cold water heater!!

Point well taken. I have searched for the model # and didn't find it but will look further. I talked to Honeywell and they indicated the model # would be on the back of the control valve. I got a mirror and was not able to read anything on the back. I feel certain if I take the valve out, after 43 years, I will break it then it will mean a complete new unit.

I'll get back to you.

D.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #13
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Point well taken. I have searched for the model # and didn't find it but will look further. I talked to Honeywell and they indicated the model # would be on the back of the control valve. I got a mirror and was not able to read anything on the back. I feel certain if I take the valve out, after 43 years, I will break it then it will mean a complete new unit.

I'll get back to you.

D.
Usually attempting to remove the gas control valve on a water heater thats 25 years old or more, results in twisting the tank fitting, which ruins the tank.

After 43 years, I believe you got your moneys worth, since that appliance has out lasted it's life expectancy.

Replacing the complete water heater, at this point, will save you some gray hair.

If you purchase a valve for the water heater now, and then find out that you need the entire water heater, you will be stuck with the valve, since old parts like that are hard to find, and are not usually returnable since it would be a special order.

If not already done so, you should address the axle. If it's the original, please be informed that 1968 and older Bambi and Caravel axles, because of the small spindle, are failing to a high degree. We replace them better than one per week.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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I agree that taking the valve out is a very problematic approach. I did manage to find the model # etc. The print had faded so badly I couldn't read it in poor light. I got it out in direct sunlight and with a magnefying glass I was able to read. It is a Bowen G 1067. Serial # 12632. I found a good picture of the part I need on another restoration site. I have e-mailed that site asking if they saved the knob I need when they replaced their heater. I haven't heard back from them. I can't figure out how to attach the picture to this file. Everything on the present heater is fine and worked last week until the knob broke. It seems a shame to spend all the money and time to completely replace the heater if I don't have to.

D
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