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Old 05-03-2015, 02:09 PM   #1
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1999 19' Bambi
Phillips , Wisconsin
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Water Heater not lighting

I have a 1999 Bambi that has a persnickety water heater. The factor label inside
the flip-down door says, "before ordering a new computer board, clean the contacts on the connector."
So I clean the contacts on the 4 wire connector, then put it back together and
wiggle and jiggle and cajole the thing into lighting. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Cool temperatures really exacerbate the problem.
Does anyone out there know of a REAL fix to this problem??

Thanks for your help..........RIC
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:17 PM   #2
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I needed to replace the PC board in my 2012.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:41 PM   #3
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Before replacing anything tell us what it is like when it is light. Flame color, steady flame.

The most common problem with heaters is spiders nests in the burner tube. Stink bugs have now discovered these condo quaters also. Remove the burner tube and clean of nests or bugs paying attention not to change the air adjustment collar setting.

Once cleaned and reassembled watch the spark as it attempts to light. Is thee spark? Is it hitting the burner close to the pilot orifice.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:14 PM   #4
cwf
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It could be many things.. you know that... on our 1999 we found the probe that is in the fire plume was carbon covered and corroded. I cleaned, replaced, ensured it was in the plume when burning and close to the flame jet.. eventually I replaced and it works fine..

However, I do have to 'adjust' the probe alignment occasionally. Make sure you have good 'grounds'... not by looking and shaking but by removing, cleaning up then reattaching.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:09 PM   #5
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Caledonia , Michigan
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Atwood 93866 Water Heater Thermal Cut-Off Kit

If it appears that the water heater is not doing anything, It is likely that you should replace your Thermal Cut-Off. I have had this happen on two different travel trailers. The symptom is that the water heater will not attempt to light. The kit comes with two cut-offs and takes about two minutes to install.

Here is what to search for: Atwood 93866 Water Heater Thermal Cut-Off Kit

If your heater is clicking, i.e. attempting to light with a spark, but not sparking, then try cleaning off your igniter.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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If it is the thermal cut off then you can check by jumping the terminals. I had this problem with my '89 and purchased the kit which gives you both the thermostat and the Hi temp cut-off. Plus you get the little spring mounts that keep the sensors tight to the hot water tank wall. Getting them of is a bit tricky but then you will know how they reassemble.

JCW
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:20 PM   #7
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricnjane View Post
I have a 1999 Bambi that has a persnickety water heater. The factor label inside
the flip-down door says, "before ordering a new computer board, clean the contacts on the connector."
So I clean the contacts on the 4 wire connector, then put it back together and
wiggle and jiggle and cajole the thing into lighting. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Cool temperatures really exacerbate the problem.
Does anyone out there know of a REAL fix to this problem??

Thanks for your help..........RIC
I have been having lighting issues with our Atwood 6 gal electronic ignition water heater for almost a year. I removed and cleaned the igniter assembly which is mounted onto the burner with a sheet metal screw (note: I am making up names for these parts based upon what they appear to do functionally as I am not going to look up a diagram for this post). This worked - for a short period of time, maybe a few days. Then, I would periodically work a toothbrush inside the burner to clean the anode/cathode spark gap of the igniter of carbon deposits. Oh yes, and I also had gently tweaked the alignment adjusting the gap spacing in a random way which seemed logical for a spark gap. This too helped but inevitably, the trouble would resume and the failure to ignite lamp would be on frequently.
Recently I decided to replace the igniter assembly but when we drove up to the RV parts place it had just closed - DOH! So, I cleaned the old parts thoroughly and re-installed. Now, 2 weeks later, there has not been a single failure to ignite! Wah?
I assume this: I very carefully made sure that the igniter connector contacts were properly mated and had good contact. I pulled the rubber boot back to make sure that I was aligning the connectors properly. It is entirely possible that when I pushed the connectors together previously, I did not make a good connection as I could not see it with the rubber boot in place. Other than using a Scotchbrite type sponge to clean the anode/cathode, I think that the connector was the problem and for now anyway, everything is fine. Prior to this, a daily failure to ignite many times was normal.
Glad the store was closed... $$
I trust this helps.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:29 PM   #8
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Calgary , Alberta
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It's 16 years old. Get a new one. There are a lot of different water heaters that will fit the space and it takes about 3 hr to replace. All the time you waste trying to get it to work is not worth it. Did that done that. Had mine shipped from the east coast of Maine to my house in west Canada for 350 bucks including shipping. for you shipping will be free. Shop around there are great deals to be found


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Old 05-07-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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It is a lot easier to clean the burner tube than replace the heater.

Just replaced my 1991 heater. Not because the heater was faulty. The face plate had rusted through allowing drained water to reach the floor.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:12 PM   #10
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+ 2 for HowieE - Mine had stopped igniting, and after changing the blown thermal cutoff, I managed to get a weak flame. So I shut it all off and used the nozzle from my air compressor to blow out the burner tube. Good thing I was wearing glasses, because I got a big glob of spiders' web blown into my face from the exhaust port. After that the water heater worked like a charm. Spiders just love the residual smell of propane!

So now I regularly blow air through the burner tube (and I don't look into it at the same time).
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:46 PM   #11
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Maineyak

Last year my '07 Safari needed the $30 or $40 in-line fuse replaced along with the $103 labor charge for the first hour--it took the tech about 10 minutes to find the problem. All systems "go" ever since.

Maineyak
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frechettec View Post
Last year my '07 Safari needed the $30 or $40 in-line fuse replaced along with the $103 labor charge for the first hour--it took the tech about 10 minutes to find the problem. All systems "go" ever since.

Maineyak
Find another shop.
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