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Old 02-22-2009, 07:03 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2009 22' Interstate
Roaming , USA
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19
Atwood water heater -- light on, no gas or spark

I've searched the forum and found a few threads on this; I believe I've tried everything and wanted to do a sanity check with the group before I buy a new circuit board.

This is an '06 International with the 6 gallon, electric ignition, LP water heater. Heater has been working fine for 6 weeks, but I flipped the switch on this morning and the light just stays on.

I've done the following:
- Checked the gas. One gas tank is full, other is about 1/3. (furnace is working, but I've even tried flipping over to the full tank on the switch in case the switch was broken)
- Checked the brown power lead (at the harness going into the circuit board). It's getting 12V. This means that the unit is indeed getting enough power, and that the thermal cutoffs are in good shape. (I tried killing the power to all other appliances just in case, but I'm on shore power, so this shoudln't really matter anyway)
- Disconnected all terminals and cleaned them with contact cleaner.
- Removed the circuit board, brought it inside, cleaned it, put it in front of a fan in case it was damp or something.
- I've left the switch on and plugged/unplugged the circuit board connector. Other threads said to listen for the gas valve opening or the spark going, neither of these happen. Nothing happens at all.
- If I disconnect everything, the light on the switch in the bathroom goes out. So I don't suspect a bad switch. It goes back on if I reconnect everything and flick it on.
- I've inspected everything for nests/bugs/etc.

So basically, I hit the switch in the bathroom, the light goes on, never goes out, and nothing happens back at the pump. I do not smell gas. It seems completely dead. It doesn't even open the gas valve or try to start.

The circuit board can't be completely dead, considering the light on the bathroom switch is still coming on correctly. But I suppose it's possible to only be semifunctional?

Anyone have any other thoughts before I blow $115 on another circuit board? This started during a rainstorm, but it has been raining here for the last couple of weeks nad I never had trouble before.

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Old 02-26-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
1 Rivet Member
2009 22' Interstate
Roaming , USA
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19
After six days of this, the water heater mysteriously started working again. This happened after I left my dog at home for the day rather than taking him to the office.

Self healing airstream? Doggie mechanic? You decide.

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Old 02-27-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Glad that you once again have hot water. Hope it continues to work without any problems.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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North Vancouver , British Columbia
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Could be that it is running too hot due to the air 'bubble' at the top of the tank filling up (there's an air buffer there for expansion). If this happens again, try draining the tank completely and then refill it with water. I find this happens more frequently when running on propane than on electric.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:51 AM   #5
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Austin , Texas
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Lucky you - my WH started doing the same thing out of the clear blue and the cost to replace the circuit board, solenoid valve and HT cutout was more than a new WH so I ordered a "direct replacement" WH. Three weeks later I finally got the SOB (the other abbreviation) installed and working because it seems that the factory suspends the WH in the air and then builds the trailer around it.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
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