Originally Posted by Sovereign42
Hello. My sovereign
sits at the beach year round. Lately the Pilot light has begun to spsutter out after it seems successfully lit. I will light it and it will ignite the burner and I go inside. anywhere from two to five minutes late the Water heater shuts off. I go back out and relight and the same thing happens. This will occur two or three times and then it will remain lit and there will be no further problems until the next time we are out at the beach and then I start all over.
the WH has always been slow to lite. I usually start by turning on the propane, waiting a few minutes and then turn on the stove. Then I wat a few more minutes and light the WH. As I said before the sputtering out is now happening.
I have had several comments from neighbors with experience. On thought the gusty wind might be at fault. NOPE. Another said he thought my gas line might be clogged and interferring with propane flow. He suggested I ream out the tube or replace it.
The WH works fine once it has been successfully lit ( ie. stays on). It gives me no more problems until we return to relight on another weekend. We are often there for a week or more with no problems.
The rig is a '79 Sovereign. I hate to replace the water heater if I don't have to. It is really well built if a bit recalcitrant during lighting.
From your description, it appears that the "thermocouple" has a problem.
Remove it from the thermostat housing and gently clean the lead bead that's in the center.
Reinstall it, and make sure it's tight.
Restart the water heater, and see what happens.
If the same thing takes place, then the "thermocouple" has weakened and must be replaced.
If your Airstream in on a beach, near salt water, you will experience a number of goofy things with the trailer.
Long haul parking an Airstream near a salt water beach, will quickly cause severe rusting of the frame, and corrosion problems with the shell.
Close is a couple of miles, or less.