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Old 09-19-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
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Water Heater didn't ignite ?

I have a gas electric water heater Atwood , When I went to start it it wouldn't ignite on gas the red light didn't come on and it didn't even try to light . So I switched it to electric and it warmed up right away . This was at 10pm when I wanted to take a shower . After I took my shower I turned off the electric and it fired right up . I left it on gas for the 3 days I was camping and had hot water all weekend . It sounds to me that maybe the switch on the wall is bad anybody have any ideas ? it's in my 2000 Excella and I'm sure it's original to the coach.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #2
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If it is like most of the WH I have seen the red light only comes on when the gas does not light. It is a fault light. Not sure what happened the first time you tried it. If the light did not come on in 2 min or so it should be heating. Maybe they have changed. I guess I am current to 1988.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:13 PM   #3
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The light should come on and then turn off upon ignition. If it fails to ignite, the light comes back on, and the cycle repeats. If it does not ignite after a few cycles, the light comes on and stays on until you turn the switch off and try the sequence over again. Failure of the initial red light could be a switch or the wiring to the board. Try cleaning the connections and see if the problem continues. Could be a failing board as well.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
The light should come on and then turn off upon ignition. If it fails to ignite, the light comes back on, and the cycle repeats. If it does not ignite after a few cycles, the light comes on and stays on until you turn the switch off and try the sequence over again. Failure of the initial red light could be a switch or the wiring to the board. Try cleaning the connections and see if the problem continues. Could be a failing board as well.
I'll need to check things out I just down loader the manual so I know what I'm looking at when I work on it .
Thanks for the reply . Les
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
The light should come on and then turn off upon ignition. If it fails to ignite, the light comes back on, and the cycle repeats. If it does not ignite after a few cycles, the light comes on and stays on until you turn the switch off and try the sequence over again. Failure of the initial red light could be a switch or the wiring to the board. Try cleaning the connections and see if the problem continues. Could be a failing board as well.
Good advice esp loose or corroded connections everywhere.

What does the owner's manual say?
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:43 AM   #6
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You may just have air in our line. I have the problem some times and I just try the water heater again, maybe 3 times and it always lights. Lighting the stove helps.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:14 PM   #7
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There a thermal coupler in the Elric line that can go bad. Spade connesters at either end. If I remember right the red light didn't come on at all if that was bad and the water heater would not even try to light. We have a spare now. Need a multi meter to check for sure. Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:39 PM   #8
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Mine won't start if it is real humid outside. Shorts out the sparker.

Perry
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste and Bre View Post
There a thermal coupler in the Elric line that can go bad. Spade connesters at either end. If I remember right the red light didn't come on at all if that was bad and the water heater would not even try to light. We have a spare now. Need a multi meter to check for sure. Good luck.
This is what he's talking about.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007XXTVC/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I1RBC3JKTBTWOL&colid=S6UTLHJ PD6G8

You can test by taking it out and using a wire to temporarily connect the input and output and see if it works. Then you know if you need to get new one. Went through this a couple months ago and this is what it was for me. My water heater relief valve dripped on it and the hot water was enough to cause it to melt.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:16 AM   #10
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Thanks for the link, here is a hot version.

Not sure if the OP's 2000 Excella water heater has one, but a friend's thermal cut-off went bad, so we got an extra for our parts bin:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007XXTVC...6UTLHJ%20PD6G8

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- woodfox45, if you continue to have problems with ignition on propane, you might want to search above, in the blue search box, for "spider insect nest flue problem" as nests there can affect ignition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste and Bre View Post
There a thermal coupler in the Elric line that can go bad. Spade connesters at either end. If I remember right the red light didn't come on at all if that was bad and the water heater would not even try to light. We have a spare now. Need a multi meter to check for sure. Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
This is what he's talking about.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007XXTVC...d=S6UTLHJPD6G8

You can test by taking it out and using a wire to temporarily connect the input and output and see if it works. Then you know if you need to get new one. Went through this a couple months ago and this is what it was for me. My water heater relief valve dripped on it and the hot water was enough to cause it to melt.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:51 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the tips It's at the storage lot will be bringing it home next week when it gets cooler to give it it's fall clean up and wax job . And check out the water heater problem .
Les
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:16 AM   #12
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Sorry for the spelling. That's what I get for posting at the camp fire. Vacation is over tomorrow. Leaving Mueller state park tomorrow. 5 Airstreams were here during our time. Aspens almost fully turned.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:52 PM   #13
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I brought it home this week to wax and winterize the water heater started up several times so until it happens again I'll leave it be .
Thanks to all ,
Les
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:18 PM   #14
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Atwood control board can fail in wet weather...

Elsewhere in the forums I read that if the water heater won't light in wet weather and will light in dry weather that either dirty connector contacts or the controller itself may be faulty.

I bought a new controller to solve my problem last summer, but this year the old water heater started to leak and I replaced it.

If you want a circuit board that's practically new (Dinosaur UIB S) you can check out eBay. I have mine listed there right now. I'm Richard319 on eBay.
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