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Old 10-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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2010 19' Flying Cloud
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Need help - water heater not heating water

Hi all,

I have a 2010 Flying Cloud that I didn't use for about a year. I've taken it out for a few weeks' travel, and after refilling the propane tanks, everything seems to be working right except for the water heater. When I turn on the switch above the vanity, the red light goes on and I hear the familiar "woosh/pop" in the area of the water heater. However, after a few minutes the red light goes off and when I run the water, it isn't hot. This happens whether I am hooked up to city water or the self-contained water tank.

Any suggestions for anything I can do before I take the trailer into the shop to get it looked at by professionals?
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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I guess the easiest thing to do first would be to check the thermostat on the water heater; it could conceivably just be set too low.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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If the red light does not go off within a second or two of the Whosh/Pop then the burner has not lighted and remained on. It could be a whole bunch of things. I would go outside and open the water heater cover and have someone else turn it on. See what is happening out there. Is it lighting and going out quickly? Is it not really lighting at all? I had one which would light and run if the cover was dropped down but not when closed. Go figure that one out. Basically we need more information to help further.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone for your input. The heater seems to be lighting fine, it's just that after 20 mins or so, no hot water when I turn on the tap. I've decided to call an RV repair guy to look at it as it seems like it's probably some mysterious issue to difficult to decipher on my own. But thank you everyone!
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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You will find that the by-pass valves haven't been switched back to in use. The water can't heat as the heater is empty.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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If there's no water in the heater, fill it by changing the valves and make sure it hasn't cracked from being heated when empty.

If it isn't lighting, clean off all the electrical contacts with WD-40 or scrape them with some sandpaper or a knife blade. The contacts will corrode over a period of time and the fix for that is simple. Sometimes taking them off and putting them back on will do it, and clean it thoroughly later.

Are you sure the main burner is lit? I don't known whether there is a valve to turn off the propane to the heater on yours, but there should be and it should be open (usually a gas valve points parallel to the gas line when open and perpendicular when closed).

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macofpei View Post
You will find that the by-pass valves haven't been switched back to in use. The water can't heat as the heater is empty.
Or it is full but the valves bypass the cold water around to the hot water side, and not through the heater. At any rate, simple problem to fix, find the pipe side of the water heater, Turn the two valves, top and bottom to the horizontal position so the water flows in and out of the heater, and the center valve on the pipe between the two also horizontal so it stops the by pass flow.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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This has happened three times in three years to me.
Same problem each time. See post #5.
I need to make myself a sign.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Hi all,

Thanks for the ideas again. I'm pretty sure that you all are right that it has something to do with the valves bypassing the heater. However, the Airstream manual is terrible at explaining to me the right position of the valves. I know where the valves are located (under the bed, I have a 19" Bambi), but I don't know the right position for them in order to make sure the water heater isn't being bypassed. Can someone tell me exactly what position each of the three valves is supposed to be? Please describe in relation to the line, like should the long side of the valve be along the line or perpendicular to it?
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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Usually the direction of the handle indicates the direction of the water flow. Parallel to the pipe is open, perpendicular is closed. With a 3 pipe valve, if the handle is parallel to the pipe that indicates the two pipes the water will flow through, if it is perpendicular, it indicates the water is making a 90 degree turn.

Other than that, someone may show a photo of your specific trailer model with the valves set in both normal flow and bypass.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Remove drain plug on water heater(30 seconds) if no water comes out you will know what is up.Feel water heater first to make sure it is not hot.
Open your owners manual and look at the valve positions.
Don't feel bad I had the same problem my first time out,
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #12
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It should be a H pattern(3 Valves) open the two outside valves running parallel to one another close the other one.Good to go
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
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Yayyyyyy! I followed these instructions and got the valves in the right position and now I've got hot water. Back in business! Thank you all, it's wonderful to know that there are people online who want to help out. Now that I've got hot water, I feel like spending another month traveling around in the trailer!
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:37 AM   #14
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You are welcome
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