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Old 05-22-2010, 06:56 PM   #1
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Water heater.... leak or condensation

I just replaced the circuit board for the water heater. After the propane finally made it to the line, she started right up and the flame looks good.

After running for a bit, I noticed water comming from the large tube that the burner is afixed and goes into....

My first thought was that I have a leak, then I guessed that this water could be condensation from the heat. It would sure help me to know if this small abount of water is normal.

Also, about how long should the heater burn before cycling off??? After running for about 15 minutes without shutting down, I got nervious--shut it down and came in to type this.

Thank you for any help.... my nerves thank you too.

Dan
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #2
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I seem to remember a new water heater being installed in a house we lived in, and after filling with water and lighting it off, there was the sound of water dripping into the burner. After that first time I never heard it again, probably because it was hot after that. I was told that was normal. Wonder if something like that is the deal with yours?

My water heater in the AS has a safety valve that's supposed to go off at something over 100lbs water pressure. I was told the water system ought to be good up to there.

My 2 cents worth.
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
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I've noticed stains in that location; assumed it was condensation. And, if you're starting out with cold water, I don't think it's unusual for it to run longer than 15 minutes.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:02 PM   #4
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Mine will run longer than 15 minutes started cold.

It also drips a little out of the lower tube on cool damp days with a tank of cold water. I've attributed it to condensation from the combustion. It's done it since new.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:04 PM   #5
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I've noticed stains in that location; assumed it was condensation. And, if you're starting out with cold water, I don't think it's unusual for it to run longer than 15 minutes.
Agreed. We installed a new WH last December, never used it, then filled and turned it on for the first time last week.

After what seemed like an eternity for the gas line to fill so it would light, it took aff with a bigger louder whoosh than the old WH ever made.

I went back inside after watching it for a minute or two (no water in the combustion tube, btw) and was surprised that after what seemed a good ten-fifteen minutes, the water was only lukewarm. Then I realized that I had just filled it with ice-cold water.

Checked it again 15 minutes later and it was boiling hot. In fact, I've got to remember to turn the temp lower when I'm there tomorrow.

All that to say, turn it on and use it. If you are going to have a problem, it will happen, but you'll never know if you leave it off...
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone....Perhaps I worry too much. I just started it up again. I'll let you know if she blows. LOL

Update: It worked!!! It didn't blow. LOL

All is right with the world again.

Now I'll go find something else that's not broke and try to fix it.

I have decided that I didn't buy an Airstream, I bought an Airstream starter kit. ;>)
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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This winter my water pump would cycle on every 15-20 minutes for a couple of seconds. I had not apparent leaks inside the or outside the trailer. After closer inspection this spring, I found I had a pin hole leak from the lower portion combustion chamber tube. Replaced the water heater. When cold water was added there was a lot if condensation coming out of the combustion chamber tube. Two days later the thermostat stopping working. Lucky I stripped everything out of the old HW. Atwood sent me a new thermostat ASAP and a UPS tag to return the old out of warranty WH. The tech at Atwood wanted to examine it. The combustion tube is out sourced. It is welded to the tank during assembly.

Mark
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:59 PM   #8
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I have decided that I didn't buy an Airstream, I bought an Airstream starter kit. ;>)
What a sage observation.....
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:41 AM   #9
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I have decided that I didn't buy an Airstream, I bought an Airstream starter kit. ;>)
Are you going to collect the whole series?


Seriously, the condensation happens fairly regularly to me when I light off water heaters at the shop. I've only ever had one that did that that was really a leak, and it was the original in a '75 model trailer.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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Has the original Wally Byam take-home/do-it-yourself trailer kit come full circle?
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