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Old 08-31-2013, 07:47 AM   #1
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1995 34' Excella
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Fire in the Hole

Hello all,

I need a little advice on our Water Heater in our 1968 Trade Wind,it is the original. While camping this Labor Day, was trying to light the Pilot and unable to do so until a fellow Airstreamer helped me out and made an adjustment to the Air/Gas mixture. The problem is now the large flame does not go back to pilot and if you manually adjust from on to Pilot the flame is about 2-2 1/2" long and yellow. The side panel above my water heater opening is also getting very hot. I am wondering if I should try cleaning the tube and orifice, installing a Hot Rod or if it is time to consider replacing with a new water heater? All advice and help will be greatly appreciated, would really like to hold off on replacing the water heater if I have any other options.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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It sounds like the burner controller/thermostat is giving up. The valve that closes the gas feed to the main burner is not closing all the way, and it's been so long since I've worked on one of them I don't remember how to take it apart, or even if you can.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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You could be looking at a large pilot flame. Not one that dose not go back down.

A yellow flame would mean the air shutter is out of adjustment. The pilot flame could also be turned down. It only has to heat the thermocoupling.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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I replaced our '66 original water heater 6 years ago with an Atwood 6 gallon. I got the Atwood with the additional electric option. I am really happy that I did as with electric hookup I just switch it on. The 6 gallon tank is plenty for us even with showers. The reheat turn around time is quick. As for the original I was having similar problems as you are with your burner. I could not find a replacement burner to which I was eventually happy. When I removed the old tank I discovered the beginnings of a rusted hole on it's bottom.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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I replace my original water heater with a 10 gallon Atwood but a 6 gallon would have been plenty big. I used the bigger unit because the opening in the side of the trailer was much bigger than what is needed for the newer heaters and the 10 gallon filled the space better. I still had to make a filler piece and rivet it in place to fill the hole. If you do replace your heater the extra cost of the electric/LP with auto ignition is well worth it. PPL RV in Houston TX has good prices.I just flip a switch to have hot water with from either electric or propane or you can use both at the same time to heat the water very quickly.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the very valuable info. I guess I should probably plan on replacing the WH in the very near future. All the best!
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