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Old 03-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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newbie question water heater

I have a 79' Sovereign... my water heater doesn't work (the water doesn't heat up), but i figured out how to turn the pump on. Is there a pilot I have to manually light or??? I also have a thermostat in the bedroom that I have NO idea what it is for, since my heater is propane and my ceramic one is electric... Help please??!!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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Things to check:

Is the gas turned on at the tanks and regulator,and if your rig is like mine, there is another spigot under the trailer as well (it's just below the water heater).

There is a pilot if your water heater is original, and yes, that's going to need being lit.

And lastly: do you have gas? Those tanks will run out, y'know..

Do you have an Owner's Manual, by the way? If not, that is definitely something to invest in..
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
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Oh, and the wall thermostat in the sleeping area is for the LP gas furnace.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Most trailers of that vintage. Had external valves for each appliance. Water heater, furnace and cook top/range.
The valves are located near the location of the gas line to each appliance. External of the belly pan.
The handle of the valve should be turned so it is inline with the gas line to be in the ON position.
It will take a considerable amount of time to light the pilot in the water heater. Since all of the air in the line must be pushed out by the gas thru the small pilot line and orifice.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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Do I have an option of just electric???
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Can you locate the Manufacturer and model of the water heater. If it is original, it may be a Bowen. They are no longer. But Atwood makes a replacement.
The are dual fuel (propane/electric) units out there that are new.
Have you put water in the existing water heater? You do not want to fire the burner for other than a few seconds without water in the water heater. You can damage it. But it is best to make sure that it doesn't leak when pressurized by either the house pump or when on city water. If it leaks, there is not much choice but to replace it. Replacement tanks are available for some models. But with the old burner etc. It would not be worth trying to repair.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
Do I have an option of just electric???
As Twinkie said, not if it's original. But if you get a new one, just buy one that is electric start. That one, all you have to do if flick a switch that is inside the trailer, and the water heater starts up.

And, it will work anywhere, no need for plug-in electrical power.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #8
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I think Grapes was asking if there is one that has an electric heating element. Meaning it would require
120 volt AC power.
There are models available that are basic (manual ignition) propane only. The next step up would be propane
only (electronic ignition), this requires 12 volts DC for the ignition module. The next step is propane/electric or dual fuel which would require propane/120 volts AC and 12 volts DC. Some have Auto switch over I believe.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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I still haven't figured it out. The manual doesn't exactly show how to do it and for some reason the pilot won't stay lit...
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
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It could e something as simple as a defective thermocouple....if so, that's a cheap fix....Just make sure you hold the "Pilot" knob down long enough for the thermocouple to hear up..
Good luck





Quote:
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I still haven't figured it out. The manual doesn't exactly show how to do it and for some reason the pilot won't stay lit...
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #11
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Newbie Question About Water Heater

Greetings Grapes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
I still haven't figured it out. The manual doesn't exactly show how to do it and for some reason the pilot won't stay lit...
A problem that I frequently run into with both my Airstream and Argosy water heaters is a spider nest or mud dauber nest in the part labeled 9A in the illustration below:


I carry a set of small and very small screw drivers to address this problem in both of my coaches as well as a flexible bottle brush to remove the offending insect nest. There is typically one set screw that holds the tube to the water heater and once removed, the tube can be pulled far enough away from the water heater to clean the interior of the tube with the bottle brush. The fitting on the end closest to the fuel control is a mixture adjustment . . . if it is too rich (partially or fully closed) or too lean (fully open) it can also be difficult to get the water heater to perform properly . . . I find that mine must be adjusted to lean out the mixture whenever I travel to the Rocky Mountains from my home in the Midwest.

Good luck in finding the issue with your water heater!

Kevin
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