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Old 04-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
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1994 21' Sovereign
(West) Seattle , Washington
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Refer not working.

Hello,
I am currently on the maiden voyage with my 1994 21' sovereign. I am hooked up to shore power, I have LPG, and my Refer isn't working. I have read the manual (several times), and I can't even get power to light up either the aes, or the gas light.
Any suggestion?
Thanks,
Frank.

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Old 04-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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1981 31' Excella II
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Did you check the breakers to see if you have power to it? I believe they work off the 12V system so make sure your 12V system power is working then start looking for a blown fuse. The newer fridges won't work without 12V to run the control board.

Perry
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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Ok, found breaker, refer is now on...thank-you.

Now, any idea on how I turn on the hot water tank?
Thanks In advance!
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Refer not working.

Greetings AirSeattle!

Welcome to the world of Airstreaming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirSeattle View Post
Ok, found breaker, refer is now on...thank-you.

Now, any idea on how I turn on the hot water tank?
Thanks In advance!
Unless your coach has been upgraded, it likely has a manual ignition water heater. To light the heater, it is necessary to open exterior access door after checking to be sure that the main propane supply valve(s) is(are) open. Prior to attempting to light the pilot, it is a good idea to light all of your stovetop burners and wait for the flames to stabalize (consistent color, height, etc.) . . . then turn off the burners and proceed to water heater. Visually examine the opening for evidence of wasp nests, mud dauber nests, and/or spider nests . . . carefully remove any that you find before attempting to light. Ideally, you will want a long-handled lighter for this project. Turn the gas control valve and depress . . . hold the lighted wand in the chamber . . . when the pilot lights continue pushing the pilot button in for about 30-seconds . . . then release and turn the knob to heat position. Your water heater should be supplying hot water to the faucets in less than 30 minutes. Be prepared that you may need to adjust the air mixture if the mixture is too rich (black sooting around exhaust) or too lean (difficulty keeping burner going) . . . there is a device held with a phillips head screw with small fins around its barrell . . . moving this device up and down the pipe adjusts the mixture. The mixture usually only has to be adjusted when there is a significant change in elevation such as you encounter when traveling in the mountains.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin

P.S.: You may aslo find that there is an LP gas valve for your water heater that may need to be opened before you will be able to light the pilot. This valve, if present, it typically found on the bellypan almost immediately below the water heater.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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1994 21' Sovereign
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Ok, I have no indicators that I can light something outside, although I did find a switch and light that says heater in the bathroom area. I switched it in the in position and the light came on. The manual says to turn it off if the light for heater comes on and repeat in 5 minutes. It doesn't seem super clear what the problem
Is?

Any help would be appreciated.

So, with this being LP, how much fuel does it take to have this going for say two days? I'm just curious.
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:35 PM   #6
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Refer not working.

Greetings AirSeattle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirSeattle View Post
Ok, I have no indicators that I can light something outside, although I did find a switch and light that says heater in the bathroom area. I switched it in the in position and the light came on. The manual says to turn it off if the light for heater comes on and repeat in 5 minutes. It doesn't seem super clear what the problem
Is?

Any help would be appreciated.

So, with this being LP, how much fuel does it take to have this going for say two days? I'm just curious.


There are a number of potential problems that you can check to locate the difficulty getting your water heater going. I would suggest trying the following:
  • Check to be sure that the gas valves on both of your LP tanks are fully open and that the active arrow on the regulator is firmly pushed toward the tank you wish to have the gas drawn from.
  • Light all three (or four if so equipped) burners on your range and observe the flame . . . are all flames of consistent height? . . . . is there any noticeable hissing/roaring that can be heard? . . . . are any or all of the flames excessively yellow? . . . . as each burner was ignited did the flame height remain constant . . . or diminish?
    • If the flame height decreases with the number of burners lighted, you may either have an issue with your LP Regulator or you have an LP tank that is nearing empty.
    • If the flames are excessively yellow/orange, you either have a mixture problem on the range or a possible problem with the regulator.
    • If you can hear a hissing/roaring noise, you may be running low on propane or you may have an issue with your LP Regulator.
  • Once you have made this check, move to the exterior of your coach and look for a gas valve below the wate heater on the banana wrap . . . turn it so that it is in-line with the gas line to open the valve . . . if it appears frozen, try soaking with PB Blaster and try opening it in 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Once you are sure that the gas valve is open, open the water heater door and examine the interior compartment. Evict/remove and wast nests, mud dauber nests, or spider nests that you find.
  • While the door is opne look to be sure that the white nylon drain "bolt" is in the tank and secure . . . then verify that water is flowing through the water heater by opening a hot water valve inside the trailer.
  • Try using the automatic light feature and see if it now works. If it doesn't, it may be something as simples as the ignitor not being aligned with the pilote gently moving the wire may bring it into alignment and allow the pilot/burner to light.
  • If the above doesn't work, you may have a defective ignitor or problems with the control board for the water heater. I believe that there are directions for manually lighting the water heater if the ignitor ceases to function . . . these should be in your manual . . . or I suspect that they should be available on-line as well.
So far as the length of time that an LP tank will last operating the water heater is a variable. My best answer reflects when I was a Free Wheeler traveling alone, I could go to a 12-day rally and I would light my 10 gallon Bowne water heater on the first day and run it continually throughout the 12-day rally and still have enough fuel in my 30-pound tank to travel for at least one more week. The length of time that the tank lasts is in part determined by use . . . and LP use will go up with the number of campers in your rig demanding hot water.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin

The Atwood Electronic Ignition Water Heater Trouble Shooting Guide on the Bryant RV website might help you in locating your water heater difficulty if the above simple checks don't reveal your problem.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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If the control board in the water heater is working it will make a ticking sounds as it tries to light the burner. Mine keeps ticking periodically even when it is lit. If everything is working right it will light and run till the water is hot or you turn off the switch in the bathroom. Make sure you have water in the heater before lighting it.

Perry
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:10 AM   #8
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1994 21' Sovereign
(West) Seattle , Washington
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Wow, I got both the hot water tank and the refer going thanks to the help of people on this forum.
Thank-you.
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