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Old 08-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #1
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Water heater lights then turns off immediately

I searched, I really did (maybe I'm search challenged).

Today, for the first time, the water heater will not light - and stay Iit - on propane.

The lighter appears to work fine: it click-clicks-spark-sparks and I get a nice blue flame for a second or so. A couple of those, and it's done trying... red light comes on.

Yesterday, as I was sitting outside the trailer close to the water heater, it lit, but the flame was not consistent... it kind of "blurbled" and the flame pulsated. I gave the gas valve a rap with a ratchet handle and it started working perfectly: steady, blue flame and consistent gas flow sound.

The water heater is working perfectly on shore power, so, this is not a trip stopper, but I'd like to know what to do when I get back home.

Thanks so much.

Robert
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
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Blow out the combustion chamber and clean the orfice. Also confirm that the thermocouple has not been moved out of the flame or jarred loose when you gave the gas valve a "rap" !!
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
Blow out the combustion chamber and clean the orfice. Also confirm that the thermocouple has not been moved out of the flame or jarred loose when you gave the gas valve a "rap" !!
Thank you for your reply, I appreciate you giving my problem consideration.

I did the things you suggested, and after I read your reply I did it again. No help.

Well, if the thing will continue to work on 'shore power,' I'll be OK for the remainder of this trip.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:48 PM   #4
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Yep, clean everything out good, and make sure there is nothing blocking the tubes.

Wasps like to build nests in our propane tubing.

Maybe turn your propane burners in the galley on for a few seconds, be sure everything is flowing properly.

I just had some kind of wire replaced on my hot water heater...couldnít name it, but now it works like a charm.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:51 PM   #5
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Do a google search, Suburban water heater trouble shooting. It is a PDF file that gives lots of information and hints to solve your problem. Also check out Atwood water heater troubleshooting. Both sites are great!! One other thought, is your 12volt supply good? Also mentioned that if the water is hot, having been heated with electrical element, the sequence will not work properly until water temp drops below 100 degrees1
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:01 PM   #6
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Your water heater is not detecting the presence of flame, so it shuts off the propane.
Either the flame sensor is not in the flame where it belongs, or it needs to be replaced with one that works. Eezy Peezy
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:45 PM   #7
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This usually means your Atwood circuit board for the hot water heater has gone bad. There are numerous threads on the forum discussing this issue. Replace with a Dinosaur brand circuit board and this will never be a problem again.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
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If you rapped on the gas valve (do you mean the one in the heater, or the regulator) and it got well I'd start with the valve.

Al
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:29 PM   #9
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The most common problem and the cheapest fix to see if it is the solution is to replace the Thermocoupler. Had the exact same problem on my home water heater- this solved it.

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Old 08-26-2019, 10:04 AM   #10
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Ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Your water heater is not detecting the presence of flame, so it shuts off the propane.
Either the flame sensor is not in the flame where it belongs, or it needs to be replaced with one that works. Eezy Peezy
I had this precise issue this summer. It was an alignment/proximity issue of the flame in the tube to the sensor. Too many pothole hits? It sounds like you may have checked this RFP, so other posts may id the fix you your problem, but for people using this thread for research, check the flame first.

Also... could be low gas pressure in the feed line. I didn't see that mentioned above. Low LP level in the active tank or failing regulator could do that... and the water heater may just be the first gas appliance to complain.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:18 AM   #11
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This has happened to me many times. The bracket that holds the igniter / flame sensor gets corroded and does not make a good ground connection. Take off the bracket and clean up the surface where it is mounted and the surface of the bracket that touches. The ignition is high voltage and conquers the poor ground, but the flame sensor needs a good ground. If the control board does not detect a flame, it shuts down the gas for safety.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:14 PM   #12
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happened to me twice. its likely a bad Atwood circuit board for the hot water heater

There are many threads discussing this issue.
Get a Dinosaur brand circuit board and you'll never have a problem again
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:10 PM   #13
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If you have cleaned the igniter and sensor, but its still not working properly; like PencilPusher said.....its the circuit board. Before my water heater problems, my gas furnace and gas 3-way frig stopped working. All 3 appliances needed a board replacement. Like the frig...if its working on electric but not gas....that's a big clue.

Let us know how it gets resolved.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Yep, clean everything out good, and make sure there is nothing blocking the tubes.

Wasps like to build nests in our propane tubing.

Maybe turn your propane burners in the galley on for a few seconds, be sure everything is flowing properly.

I just had some kind of wire replaced on my hot water heater...couldnít name it, but now it works like a charm.

Good luck,

Maggie
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Install standard metal screening on the inside of all exterior vent panels. Water heater and both refrigerator panels. And purchased a bug screen for the heater exhaust.
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