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Old 11-07-2005, 08:40 PM   #1
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grantb4's Avatar
2005 22' Safari
San Juan Capistrano , California
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 85
Question Water Heater black smoke


Total newbie here with a new A/S and a strange problem. First of all, we are in the middle of nowhere so I want to try and fiddle with it myself before sragging it halfway around the planet to a shop. Anyway, the water heater works, as in it produces hot water. But when we use it a black smoke come out of the water heater vent. It's quite dramatic and is starting to discolor the vent door and beyond (meaning the side of the trailer proper). So we
've pretty much stopped using it. All of the other LP stuff works great. Is there an adjustment? Any other things I should look at?? Thanks!

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Old 11-07-2005, 08:46 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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I'd make sure that the burner is correctly adjusted. I found that ours would make a bunch of noise when the black soot would happen. I cleaned out the burner, it became quiet and then the bulk of the black soot went away.

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Old 11-07-2005, 08:50 PM   #3
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1971 31' Sovereign
Tahlequah , Oklahoma
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Smile Water Heater black smoke

Hi, I had the same problem. I found that I had some dirt dobber nest in the heater tube and also some dirt in the the orfice tube. Cleaned both and eliminated the problem. Good Luck.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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I had that same problem & it was spider webs in the gas line from the control going to where the flame comes out. I had a little bottle brush that I pushed & pulled thru the tube & it fixed the problem. You might try that, It is a easy fix if thats the problem. Good luck!
SF CA area
77/31' Airstream
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:56 PM   #5
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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There is an adjustment. If you open the water heater access door, you will find a tube going into where the burner is, with several slotted vents along the circumference. You need to loosen the set screw, and slide the tube back and forth until the black smoke stops, and the roaring sound is somewhat muted.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:18 PM   #6
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Black smoke indicates incomplete combustion caused by insufficient air (oxygen, to be more precise). If you follow the excellent advice from the previous posts, you will increase the air supply, and all should be well.

Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
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