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Old 03-16-2007, 04:36 PM   #1
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1962 26' Overlander
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Water heater problems...

Hello,

My Atwood water heater seems to keep turning off it's pilot light.
Why is this happening?

It heats just fine and works perfectly 60% of the time, only just recently the pilot light seems to be going out. The trailer is well sheltered so I would think wind is not a problem. Might it be something to do with the English climate....

Thanks

tom
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Old 03-16-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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Tom,

I had that happen on my '71. The reason mine kept blowing out was because I used the original cover and neglected to add a rubber gasket across the bottom of the cover like the new one had that came with the heater.

After I added that it worked much better. At the time I was researching it I found that Atwood offerred a automatic re-ignighter that runs on a 9vdc battery.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:28 PM   #3
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Talking hi

HI, It sounds like your temocouple is going bad.
Regards from Russell in sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayamtom
Hello,

My Atwood water heater seems to keep turning off it's pilot light.
Why is this happening?

It heats just fine and works perfectly 60% of the time, only just recently the pilot light seems to be going out. The trailer is well sheltered so I would think wind is not a problem. Might it be something to do with the English climate....

Thanks

tom
Is your pilot line clear of any obstructions, as your burner supply line should be? Clean burner? Is your thermocouple working properly?

All of this will effect the pilot, as well as the condition of your LP supply.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:34 PM   #5
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Sounds like you got them there little bitty spiders filling up your combustion gas supply tube or what ever you call it. get your noise in there and poke around. You'll see them if that's it.
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Hellooo,

Thanks for the reply. What is the thermocouple? I have been trawling through the web looking for diagrams of Atwood heaters but there seem to only be wiring diagrams. Is is the thermostat? the part with the gas knob on it?

Any pointers to pdf"s on a website somewhere much appreciated.

Thanks again.
t
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:26 PM   #7
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Hello in sunny Arizona.

I would swap at the drop of a hat right now, the snow and sleet is being driven rather relentlessly into the side of the trailer right now.
Chilly, what?
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayamtom
Hellooo,

Thanks for the reply. What is the thermocouple? I have been trawling through the web looking for diagrams of Atwood heaters but there seem to only be wiring diagrams. Is is the thermostat? the part with the gas knob on it?
It's the little copper line that goes to the heat area of the pilot flame.
It looks as if it does not go anywhere or do anything - It is a safety shutdown device - with the loss of the flame the copper tube cools off, and shuts down the pilot AND the main burner.

The actual thermocouple is Number 12 in the diagram below -



Double click on the image below to blow it up wait until the image opens in a new screen AND the "box arrow" indicator comes on - click on the "max view" icon.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:12 PM   #9
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Don't try this at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Is your pilot line clear of any obstructions ...
In what will probably put most people on edge, I am coming up on my fourth season camping with my '67 Airstream's original Bowen/Atwood water heater. It still works like a champ.

During the Airstream's refurb, the water heater had to be removed to work on the floor. During bench testing of the unit, many repair techniques were performed which I have never seen covered on the forum. For one, the LPG control unit was totally disassembled to determine why the main jet would not completely shut off.

During the exploratory surgery, I noticed that the pilot light had its own filter on the gas supply before the gas was delivered to the orifice. I wonder if modern-day units still have that filter? I will bet they do not, and your pilot light orifice is dirty. FWIW, I have battled a dirty pilot light jet on my original Suburban furnace not once but twice.

I kind of doubt your thermocouple is the problem. Thermocouples are simple devices made by welding two dissimilar metals together. When they quit, they quit, and do not usually provide intermittent operation.

I think (All rissssse...) Ambassador Tim's suggestion about the cover is an excellent place to start, though.

Tom
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:22 PM   #10
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hmmmm ha
Would any type of seal do on the furnace door?
I am asuming that so long as it is sealed it will do?
no specific profile needed?...
It would be very handy if it mattered not as things take a while to get over the water, and are then often withheld at HER MAJESTYS PLEASURE, hem hem, until I pay more than the item is worth in tax to release it.

I'll have the thing apart this week so as I can clean the thing and see what results I can get.

Thanks for the diagram, Dennis, and I remember visiting your website (Tom) whilst researching my trip to the USA to purchase my own Overlander.

thanks again,
tom.
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