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Old 09-13-2008, 11:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Toronto_Guy View Post
I've tried every other tip and trick that the kind folks on this forum suggested, and several hours spent "googling" with no luck so I think you're right.

I will probably only have one more trip this season, and I think I can get by without the heater. One annoying thing here... a replacement part is $115 but should be under warranty. However, the dealership where I purchased the RV is two hours from my house, and the service department is only open on week days. I'd have to take a day off of work, spend at least 5 hours in traffic and probably $60-$80 in gas, plus whatever time I have to spend at the service department waiting.

I will be passing a Camping World on the way home tomorrow, I might stop off to see if they have the part in stock. Instead of getting a refund from Atwood, maybe I can get them to send me a replacement board and I'll keep it as a spare. ;-)
TG,

You either have no power going to the igniter circuit (but if you have a red light on your interior switch, then in all likelihood, you DO have 12VDC present), or you have bad contacts to the igniter board or a bad board.

First, you should check the condition of the ECO and thermostat that are right in the front of the heater....under the foam rectangle. Check to see that the t/stat is not tripped (there is a little re-set button in between the electrical contact pads. If you have a VOM meter, you should disconnect the wires going into these components and check for continuity on both, as either may be defective, and your unit will not ignite without voltage passing thru these (safety issues). Water contact does not negatively affect these.

Next, there is a little thermal fuse that's covered in a clear plastic tube going into the ECO that might be shorted. You can also check this for continuity (once disconnected). If no continuity...it should be replaced.

Next, remove the flat connector plug from the igniter board and using a pencil eraser, clean the contacts. Then, replace and remove this plug on the board several times just to be sure that it is making good contact. Also, check that the orange hi-voltage wire that feeds the igniter (like a spark plug wire) is fully inserted into the coil on the igniter board.

If all of the above fails and you have the proper continuity that I described, you have a bad igniter board. I WOULD NOT REPLACE IT WITH AN OEM BOARD!!!!!!!! Get a Dinosaur Electronics 'UIB-Small' board with weather cover, and you'll never have another board problem with your water heater again! 3 year warranty too!

Let me know if you have any other questions...............
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #16
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Perhaps you're having the same problem I had. If I have too many 12VDC lights on, the water heater doesn't get enough power to light. Perhaps try turning off all other 12VDC fixures and try again.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:57 PM   #17
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Here's my follow up.

I took off the circuit board last night and brought it in the AS to dry out. I replaced it in the morning, and still no luck. Actually, other than at the connectors, the board looks pretty water proof.

I packed up, and drove towards home. At the first pit stop I figured what the hell, and I flipped the switch... and it worked fine!

When I got it home I tried again, and it's still working. It must have been the moisture... and the continuing humidity that wouldn't let it dry out. Either I have to invest in a cheap hair dryer as some have suggested, or figure out a way to weather proof the unit.

On the bright side, as a result of all the research I did to troubleshoot this problem, I now know quite a bit about my hot water heater! :-)

Thanks to all who offered their advice. :-)
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Toronto_Guy View Post
Here's my follow up.

I took off the circuit board last night and brought it in the AS to dry out. I replaced it in the morning, and still no luck. Actually, other than at the connectors, the board looks pretty water proof.

I packed up, and drove towards home. At the first pit stop I figured what the hell, and I flipped the switch... and it worked fine!

When I got it home I tried again, and it's still working. It must have been the moisture... and the continuing humidity that wouldn't let it dry out. Either I have to invest in a cheap hair dryer as some have suggested, or figure out a way to weather proof the unit.

On the bright side, as a result of all the research I did to troubleshoot this problem, I now know quite a bit about my hot water heater! :-)

Thanks to all who offered their advice. :-)
TG,

Glad it's working!!!! Sounds like you might have had some moisture in the igniter coil, and drying it our did the trick! A hair dryer might be a required addition to your Airstream tool kit.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:54 PM   #19
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Hey congratulations...ain't it grand when something works out?? And now you'll be able to pass your experience along to others down the road who have similar troubles...because it will happen again to someone. Sometimes having a problem and going through the pains of figuring it out is the best teacher...I know I've picked up a lot of tips that way.

See you down the road...
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:24 AM   #20
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Hey congratulations...ain't it grand when something works out?? And now you'll be able to pass your experience along to others down the road who have similar troubles...because it will happen again to someone. Sometimes having a problem and going through the pains of figuring it out is the best teacher...I know I've picked up a lot of tips that way.

See you down the road...
TBTich,
Yeah, but why does the opporutnity to learn about one's Airstream systems come at the most opportune time???

I am intimately familiar with my water heater in the '87 becuase I spent an entire rainy Saturday outside replacing the gas solenoid valve, the ignitor, the burner tube, thermostat, and ECO. I was going to replacre it this winter, but now I am thinking why? It is basically a new water heater. The only thing that was not replaces was the circuit board.

Toronto Guy,
I am glad to hear that your able to get hot water again.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Toronto_Guy View Post
On the bright side, as a result of all the research I did to troubleshoot this problem, I now know quite a bit about my hot water heater! :-)
Thanks to all who offered their advice. :-)
ok, one more tip i learned.......
it's a water heater, not a hot water heater, unless your ambient temp is over 100 ;-)

good job!
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #22
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The worst part is that I teased my wife about wanting to bring a hair dryer camping, so she left it at home! ;-)

I was actually excited to be on full hook ups for the first time. I've had water and electric before, but not sewage. My wife's showers can fill up the grey tank very quickly. I had told her that she didn't have to limit her showers for once! Luckily, the campground's showers were just across the road from our site.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #23
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Atwood water heater problem

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Hello all,

I'm on my second trip in my 2008 Safari SE and I can't get my hot water heater to work. The red light on the switch in the washroom stays on. I have run the trouble shooting routine in the manual, and from the Atwood home page with no luck.

I'm not sure if this is important or not, but the red "no ignition" light on the circuit board of the water heater comes on and stays on the moment the switch in the washroom is put to the "on" position.

I've been outside watching the heater as my wife turns the switch on, and I don't hear or smell any evidence that LP is going through the system at all. Nor do I hear any noises or notice any sparks.

Earlier in the day, I towed my Safari in some fairly heavy rain for over 4 hours. The water heater seems to have gotten wet. Not sure if this would have any impact or not.

Some water has even got inside the plastic protective covering on the thermal cut off. Not a clue if this matters, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Does anyone have any suggestions that might get me up and running tonight? I'm not sure when I'd be able to get the unit serviced. Certainly not on this trip. Is there a way to start it manually?
I had a similar problem with a Nomad trailer. I even had an Atwood certified repair specialist look at it and he told me my circuit board (big black box in the water heater) had gone bad. He charged me for the labor as well as $140 for the new board. Over a two year span, i had purchased 3 of those circuit boards based on the previous repair claiming the circuit board would solve the problem. It didn't. Not long after the last board purchase, the trailer had to go in for some recall work and since this was a different dealership, I asked them to check the heater. The problem was a quick cheap fix.....the LP gas wasn't turned up enough to remain on. I am happy to say it is running great and there was no need for the nearly 600 dollars that was spent on all the replacement boards. I am not a technician and not diagnosing your specific problem just passing information for possible quick and cheap fixes that could have saved me a lot of money!!!
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