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Old 03-29-2003, 03:03 PM   #1
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Unhappy Lighting Hot Water Heater

I am having difficulty lighting the water heater on my '67
Caravel. It has been off for about 8-9 mos. at least. The person that I bought it from said that it worked. The burners on the stove work fine. I can not hear any gas going to the water heater. Is there a valve of some kind that must be opened? There is a hexagonal nut in the gas line by the water heater but we cant turn it.
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Old 03-29-2003, 05:12 PM   #2
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Suggestion

Since you haven't been using your water heater for such a long time, your gas lines might still have some old residue inside of it. To resolve this problem turn the red knob to the pilot position and hold it down for at least 5 minutes. This clears out any clogs. We don't even have a bolt so I used matches to light it. (I assume that you are speaking of the ignition bolt). Put the lit match up against the smallest gas line in the hole with the knob still on pilot. As soon as pilot light ignights, turn knob from pilot to on position. Keep temperature dial on lowest position.
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Old 03-29-2003, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion. We did hold the red button down
for several minutes as least with the "pilot" turned on.
Still nothing happened. We held a stick lighter up to the pilot hole for 1-2 minutes. Should we be able to hear the gas going
thru the line? ( We definately could hear it on the stove.)
The nut that I was talking about is under the trailer in the gas line. It looks like it could be a stopcock without the lever,but it sounds like there is no way to turn off the gas supply to just the heater.
Thanks again for the help!

Heidi
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Old 03-29-2003, 06:15 PM   #4
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lighting awh ( water heater)

It sounds to me the LARGE nut you are describing is a nut you would tighten on the gas line & defintely you should NOT loosen it, because if it's what I think it is, that's your main gas feed line. The problem I feel you are having is common to LP & natural gas, is that not being used for some time & the pilot being so small, it can take a LONG LONG time ( several minutes ) to get gas through to the pilot. Also the pilot being so small you cannot hear the gas, as you can on the burners. There should be another kinda copper looking line inside the burner box, located next to the pilot light. If you have one, ( most do ) this would be the thermocouple, which needs to be heated by the pilot, so that's where you would need to hold the match & that's also why you need to hold the pilot knob down for a time. Hope this helps, if not come on back. Worked 35 years with a gas utility Co. Not a pro, but do have some insights.



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Old 03-29-2003, 06:16 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
The nut that I was talking about is under the trailer in the gas line. It looks like it could be a stopcock without the lever
Our 1974 has a shut-off valve under the water heater. Could it be that the lever is broken?
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Old 03-31-2003, 05:54 PM   #6
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Water Heater Worries

Thanks to all for your previous suggestions. Still no hot water.
I held the red button down for a long time as suggested and held lighter where I think you are supposed to put it. There is a tube with an opening in it going into a circular opening in the tank.The end of the tube is connected to the gas line. I am holding the lighter up to the opening in the tube. Its about 3 inches or so from the actual tank of the hot water heater. Absolutely nothing is happening so Im wondering if this is not the right place to put the match. At any rate it appears that no gas is going thru the tube anyway because nothing happens to the flame of the lighter.
Very frustrating. Hoping for a suggestion.

Thanks,
Heidi
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:34 PM   #7
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Heidi, I have posted the picture below in an effort to help you. When holding the red button down to start the heater hold your match or lighter between the pilot and thermocouple. Once the thermocouple is heated, you should be able to move your match or lighter inward toward the end of the main burner, and it should light. If it does not then you may have a bad thermocouple. It could also be a bad gas valve. Any RV service place should be able to replace the gas valve or thermocouple. Any gas appliance serviceman/woman should be able to replace the thermocouple, they are pretty standard. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:41 PM   #8
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Here's a another view....

of the whole heater. On mine, I have no "red button". The blue knob is rotated counterclockwise all the way to light the heater.
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:42 PM   #9
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Lighting water heater

Pick has the right idea. could be that a bug has plugged the orfice & in that case the pilot will have to be taken apart & cleaned. I'd suggest that you have a qualified service person check it over, especially if it hasn't been used for awhile. You may want to observe while it's being fixed & then ask some questions. Good luck .
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:07 PM   #10
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lighting Hot water Heater

Pick--I didn't see it right off & I'm not trying to tell you what to do , but I'd think about replacing that sweat fitting located where your line comes thru the floor to the heater, with a flared fitting. Any kind of fire & /or even some road jiggle could cause a rather BIG problem. Seen it happen b4.
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:07 PM   #11
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You guys are the best! I may still not get it lit but I think my chances will be a lot better now that I know where to light it.
It seems that once again a picture was worth 1000 words.
(I was putting the match in an opening in the burner tube.)

I realize that it still may require service but unfortunately the
very few RV dealers in the New Orleans area just want to replace anything that's over 5 years old! When I called one of them and told him I had an AS he said, "Oh yea. I saw one of those one time." True story. Thanks for the AS forums!!

Heidi
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:18 PM   #12
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Heidi

Did you turn the top knob to the pilot location ? The top of the control, where the knob is located should have markings like --off--pilot---on & there should be a marking on the knob you turn that lines up with the wording. In other words --1) turn the knob to off--- 2) wait several minutes for any gas to clear the burner area-- 3) Turn the knob to pilot & depress the red plunger, holding for some time --several minutes---then try to light the pilot. If you should get the pilot light to go--you will have to hold the red plunger down for perhaps some 30 sec. I still think you should have a qualified service person check it out.
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Old 03-31-2003, 07:31 PM   #13
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Smile

Yes i did turn that knob to pilot. I'm going to try one more time an if no luck then I will get someone to check it out.

The problem is the "qualified" part. I was thinking of a plumber perhaps. I do know of one that I could ask. I will let y'all
know the outcome of this.

Heidi
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Old 04-01-2003, 05:20 AM   #14
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A.E., thanks for the tip on the elbow. I never thought of that when I replaced the heater. As the son of a plumber, I should know better.
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