Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-08-2007, 08:47 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,313
Images: 4
Soot from Atwood water heater pilot light

There's always some little issue with our trailer when I get back to it after abandoning it for 8 months in FL, and this year was no exception.
The water heater started and ran perfectly, with a good blue flame, but the pilot light was yellow, large, and lazy. After a day there was enough soot build-up to fill a teaspoon. This cool flame was insufficiently hot to quieten the automatic re-lighter, and this was sparking constantly.
On the front of the gas valve is a screw marked "pilot adjust", but when I removed the Torx screw, as instructed in the manual, there was no adjuster screw underneath. I searched this forum, but could find no mention of this precise issue. A Google search revealed one suggestion that a dirty main burner tube could upset the air flows and cause the yellow pilot; however, I had dismantled and cleaned the main burner tube. The Google search also revealed on the Atwood site that "no attempt should be made to adjust the pilot flame."
I therefore again dismantled the main burner and pilot assembly for inspection. I noticed that the pilot light tube was constructed as a Bunsen Burner, with a small fixed size air hole in the side of the pilot tube. This hole was normally concealed from view. I deduced that if this hole was partially blocked, then the symptoms would be as described. I could see no blockage, but the tube is narrow, and the partial flap at the flame end makes it difficult to inspect. I therefore dismantled the pilot tube using a wrench, and laid the tube on the bench for inspection. I used a wooden toothpick to slide down the tube to clean it, and then blew down it from both ends.
I reassembled the pilot and burner tube. The water heater pilot is now blue, the automatic re-lighter is content, and so am I. I suspect this problem has been gradually building up for a few years. I report this isssue in case there are others with soot building up from an air-starved pilot light.
Nick.
__________________

__________________
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
nickcrowhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 09:07 AM   #2
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Hi Nick. Did you look in the air inlet for a spider web? I watched Jack do this fix last June. That was a very sooty problem until he cleaned it out. There's not much room and it takes a very small box wrench to reassemble.

Let us know ... but then you would!
__________________

__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 02:57 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,279
Nice job Nick!

You did a fine job with your oxygen starved diagnosis, and you method of cleaning the pilot delivery tube was spot-on. Good on ya!
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
I can tell I was in a hurry this morning... Should have known better with Nick. He's an excellent sleuth!
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2007, 01:29 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,313
Images: 4
[quote=CanoeStream]Hi Nick. Did you look in the air inlet for a spider web? /quote]

Bob, I suspect you are right about a web in the small pilot tube. Whatever was causing it was invisible, and very small. I wish I could share some of this heat with you. My son tells me it was 4 degrees your way yesterday, and I'm sheltering from 81 in a public library with AC here in FL. Lewster, thank you. you are too kind, as ever.
Nick.
__________________
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
nickcrowhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Heater Pilot Won't Light SteveH Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 11 10-20-2007 07:50 AM
Atwood water heater pilot replacement ? Davis Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 6 04-23-2007 04:39 PM
Water heater soot bkahler Airstream Motorhome Forums 4 02-24-2007 08:43 AM
water heater pilot light help? PolisherGuy Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 5 05-13-2006 09:41 AM
pilot light on water heater kthomson Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 2 12-30-2003 09:38 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.