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Old 09-06-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
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2005 22' Safari
san diego , California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 28
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Water Heater is flaming!

i full-time in my 2005 safari, and it has been overall perfect. until yesterday i nioticed the water heater seemed to be heating poorly/slowly. when i went to look at it, there was black smoke all around it, and the pilot light was a huge flame filling the interior. i tried shutting the lp tanks, and then slowing turning the propane back on, as thr owner's manual suggested, but the pilot light looked the same when i flipped the switch. does anyone know if this might be a simple fix, or do i need to haul her to the repair shop? thank you.

i am free in all the ways that you are not. -fight club
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
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I've seen this and it is disgusting how sooty the side of your beloved Safari can get.

This might be simple... Check for spider webs or nests interfering with flow inside the air blender (lower middle in the pic). Take note of it's position so that you can return it to the same mix after a full inspection & cleaning. It doesn't take much to affect good combustion -- so use some good lighting & careful checking.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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Fix it before you use it again. Mine flamed and sputtered and I did not get it corrected properly. It caught on fire. The new wh works fine. If it sputters and then catches it can blow back enough to catch the electronic piece above the flame on fire.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Most likely there is a cobweb in the burner tube (the tube the flame normally comes from with the adjustable air slots). This forces the combustion to occur outside the normal combustion chamber and produces a sooty mess on the side of the trailer. Don't operate the water heater till this is fixed.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:08 AM   #5
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2005 22' Safari
san diego , California
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 28
Images: 7
thank you, everyone! i'm definitely not using it, and going to call in a professional for this firey speed bump. the positive there is that i can watch and learn over his shoulder. -anj
i am free in all the ways that you are not. -fight club
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:16 AM   #6
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2011 28' International
Chatham , Ontario
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Great pic from Canoestream. We had a spider's nest in the tube, the propane didn't flow properly and it burned out the fuse thingy that you can see above the tube. That fuse is supposed to melt in such a situation and shuts the heater down but, as it was only our second run out we were a bit bemused. Fortunately we were able to call out an expert from our dealer and he showed me how to dismantle the tubes, clean them then rebuild. He fitted a new few fuse thing and I bought a couple of spares just in case. Each time we start the heater now, I open the access panel and watch it fire whilst Mrs T stands ready to switch off if required, although it's not happened since.

Our friendly expert did reduce the the amount of air going into the tube by adjusting the slide collar that's ringed on the pic. He did it to reduce the burning noise but it also increased the soot given out by the exhaust and blackened the panel nicely. I put the collar back to it's original position and it burns much cleaner again now.

Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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