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Old 11-17-2006, 02:00 PM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
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water heater question

Hi folks. I've been the owner of an 83 Excella 31' for about a year now. I'm still getting aquainted with all of the systems it has and ran into a problem with the water heater. When I hook up to city water, I open all the faucets in the trailer to remove any air. Once this is done I light the pilot on the water heater and the burner fires up. After a few minutes the burner goes off leaving the pilot on as it should. Back inside the trailer theres plenty of cold water available, but only a trickle of hot water. What could be causing this? There are no bypasses in the hot water system that I know of, and I know the tank on the water heater is full and without air. Any advice would help greatly. Thanks Mark
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:13 PM   #2
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Trace The Lines

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Originally Posted by tiki trailer
Hi folks. I've been the owner of an 83 Excella 31' for about a year now. I'm still getting aquainted with all of the systems it has and ran into a problem with the water heater. When I hook up to city water, I open all the faucets in the trailer to remove any air. Once this is done I light the pilot on the water heater and the burner fires up. After a few minutes the burner goes off leaving the pilot on as it should. Back inside the trailer theres plenty of cold water available, but only a trickle of hot water. What could be causing this? There are no bypasses in the hot water system that I know of, and I know the tank on the water heater is full and without air. Any advice would help greatly. Thanks Mark
Trace the hot water lines. Inspect the valves closely as one may have a broken stem and the seat is stuck in the down postion. The outlet from the heater could have a blockage. Remove the bonnets from the valves and inspect. Turn the water off and drain the lines first. The valve on the inlet could be stuck also not letting enough water pass thru the heater.

Hope this helps Jim
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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You say the burner fires up for a few minutes. How long is that? It takes mine quite a while to heat up from cold. Is it on long enough to produce hot water? Maybe a thermostat problem? I'm not an appliance guy, sorry I can't offer more...
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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Low Flow

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Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
You say the burner fires up for a few minutes. How long is that? It takes mine quite a while to heat up from cold. Is it on long enough to produce hot water? Maybe a thermostat problem? I'm not an appliance guy, sorry I can't offer more...
I may be incorrect but I think it is a low flow problem. The heater shuts down because the water in the tank heats up and not is being replaced by cold water due to the low flow. He could have a bad control valve but you can't tell until the flow problem is corrected. The thermocouple should be good as the burner stays on.

Jim
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:55 AM   #5
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In security ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiki trailer
Hi folks. I've been the owner of an 83 Excella 31' for about a year now. I'm still getting aquainted with all of the systems it has and ran into a problem with the water heater. When I hook up to city water, I open all the faucets in the trailer to remove any air. Once this is done I light the pilot on the water heater and the burner fires up. After a few minutes the burner goes off leaving the pilot on as it should. Back inside the trailer theres plenty of cold water available, but only a trickle of hot water. What could be causing this? There are no bypasses in the hot water system that I know of, and I know the tank on the water heater is full and without air. Any advice would help greatly. Thanks Mark
After you've lighted the pilot, is the system gone in security and stop, by this the light ?
If yes, it's because when the burner is going to warm your water tank with pressure, the thermocontact is no more so hot as there was only the pilot. i explain: with the pilot , the little flame is on the thermocontact and the burner system works as log as the flame is on; When you began to warm the water, the flame, with the pressure is no more on the thermocontact and after a short time, the system goes in security and stop the gaz as he detected no more fire.
Simply you have to move in twisting the thermocontact near the flame pilot and check that it is always IN the flame, in the pilot position AND WARMING position.

I've done that and that works great now.

Bruno.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:00 AM   #6
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As posted earlier, the pilot is staying on, so it wouldn't seem like a thermo-couple problem.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:56 AM   #7
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The problem sounds like a water flow problem into the water heater. Try to isolate the flow problem first and then worry about the flame problem. Even with the gas turned off you should have the same flow of water from the hot and cold valves. I would shut off the gas and the city water and pull the drain valve from the water heater. When you turn the city water back on, the water should gush out of the drain valve. If it does not find out where the blockage is. If you don't want to pull the drain valve you could do the same test with the pressure relief valve on the water heater. Once you have the water flow issue resolved, the heating will most likely be fine.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:05 AM   #8
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A couple of questions:

Is the low flow consistent with bath and kitchen sinks?
Have you turned both on at the same time?

Has there been a time when the flow from both hot and cold faucets where equal or working normally?

Did this problem appear suddenly? (i.e. working fine last week or month but not now)

You may have a heater served with both gas and 110v elec. service.
Does your heater have a 110v cord plugged into an elec. outlet?
You may have to look inside the trailer (at the tank side of the heater) to see if this cord is there. If there is a cord & if it is plugged in; are you keeping the AS's main elec. service connected? This would explain the gas not needing to stay on.

Hope this helps with the research.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
The problem sounds like a water flow problem into the water heater. Try to isolate the flow problem first and then worry about the flame problem. Even with the gas turned off you should have the same flow of water from the hot and cold valves. I would shut off the gas and the city water and pull the drain valve from the water heater. When you turn the city water back on, the water should gush out of the drain valve. If it does not find out where the blockage is. If you don't want to pull the drain valve you could do the same test with the pressure relief valve on the water heater. Once you have the water flow issue resolved, the heating will most likely be fine.
I would add if you have no flow look at the inlet/supply if you have flow look at the outlet side of the heater for the blockage.

Jim
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:21 AM   #10
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My water heater has a pair of isolation valve, one for the inlet, and one for the outlet. One or both of yours may be partly turned off, if you have them. They should be very close to the water heater. You didn't say if the water flow is reduced when you first turn on the water to ensure the heater is full. Is the flow reduced then, or only after the water gets hot?
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:54 AM   #11
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On one accasion, I put in 2 gals. of vinigar into the tank, through the pop off valve, for the trip home from a camp ground for the same problem. I drained it and flushed it with a tank cleaner on the end of a water hose, removed the filters from the shower flex line, bathroom and kitchen faucets, to clean and replace. Hope this will help, it did for me
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:46 PM   #12
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there is a bypass valve and it is in the bypass position. Finger trace the lines and find the valve and reposition. In the bypass position you will get a water flow but the heater has been bypassed therefore you will not get hotwater. I would start looking under the bathroom sink. Your valve line up for winterizing should show the location. Best of luck.
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:35 PM   #13
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1983 31' Excella
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problem solved!

Thanks everyone. The problem is solved. It was nothing more than a bad valve at the discharge of the tank that I didn't see. A short trip to the plumbing supply store and a few bucks was all it took. I had nice steaming hot water this past weekend on our Va Beach campout. Thanks again! Oh and by the way, In the next few days or hours, be sure to look for my furnace question, as I can't get that to work now! Mark
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:12 PM   #14
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Mark the next time you get into the Virginia Beach area give us a call. We are withing 45 minutes of the beach and would love to show you the town.
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