Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-29-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
John Greenlee's Avatar
 
Bowie , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 54
Images: 1
Water heater Woes

Here is my situation. In my newtome 66 Overlander I have not been able to make the water heater function correctly. My original problem is that the pilot would burn but the main burner would not kick on. I came to the conclusion that a new control valve was required. I bought a new Robertson control valve with the correct size connections from Camping World. I installed it, but have not been able to make the pilot stay on consistently. (The control valve and the main burner work great now.)

I came to the conclusion that the thermocouple was not in the flame the correct amount. I had read and been told that the last 3/8" or so had to be in the flame. Mine was extending beyond the flame. I tried pulling it back some, cleaning the pilot burner, and wringing my hands. I decided, "Hey, maybe the pilot pressure is too low." I tried turning the screw this way and that, and now have it where I cannot get the pilot to light or make a flame bigger than a tiny one that only lasts a few seconds. What could I have done wrong?

What advice does this forum bring?

Thanks,

JMG
__________________

__________________
John Greenlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 02:55 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
Also following the question!

JMG -

Thanks for posting the question as I also have a WH issue so I am following your question/issue with great interest.


Not that I have ANY idea of what I am talking about, there are often lenghty discussions of 'sail switches' mentioned, when the pilot light goes on but then won't stay lit for long.....

Experts, PLEASE pile in here and save me from .....

Thanks again for posting the question we 'all' (me + JMG) want answered!!!!

Peace

Axel
__________________

__________________
SilverToy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 05:21 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
juel's Avatar

 
1976 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Chandler , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,770
Images: 24
Hey, here's the woman's point of view. Replaced the WH in my 78 Argosy with one of those new gas/electric ones. Now I just flip a switch and it's on. Of course it works perfectly on the gas too, but I hardly ever use that. I struggled with the older "original" equipment issue for several things on this Argosy, and finally decided I would replace those things that were just trouble. I decided to be "comfortable" and make my trailer what I wanted. This WH is one of my best purchases. Lots of peace of mind.
__________________
juel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 06:24 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
Sounds like dirt in the pilot light burner exit. Dismantle and see if you can blow thru it. The hole is very small but sometimes you can clear it with a single brissell from a steel wire brush. Be careful to not enlarge the hole.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 09:06 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
JMG -

Thanks for posting the question as I also have a WH issue so I am following your question/issue with great interest.


Not that I have ANY idea of what I am talking about, there are often lenghty discussions of 'sail switches' mentioned, when the pilot light goes on but then won't stay lit for long.....

Experts, PLEASE pile in here and save me from .....

Thanks again for posting the question we 'all' (me + JMG) want answered!!!!

Peace

Axel
Axel,

A sail switch is found in a furnace. It is also called an air prover switch, as it's function is to 'prove' to the igniter board (or similar componentry) that the blower is operating and moving the required amount of air before burner ignition will occur.

In a pilot model water heater, the thermocouple must be at a pre-determined (read instructions) distance and position relative to the main burner. It is the job of the thermocouple to open the gas valve when it's pre-determined temperature is achieved and allow the gas to flow to the main burner. There is also a thermostat that will tell the gas valve when to come on (when the water temp. is low and needs to be re-heated) and when to shut off (when the pre-set upper water temp. is reached.)

That's about it on pilot models. No fancy computer igniter boards. No electric elements.....just basic LP components. I would start by cleaning EVERYTHING in the burner tube and burner. Then verify that the thermocouple is operating to spec., then verify that the thermostat is working, then check the gas valve and be sure that it is opening from direction of the thermostat and thermocouple and is allowing the proper pressure of LP to the burner (11" W.G.), THEN re-assemble and light 'er up! .

If you need specific information about the operational sequence, PM me and I'll find some diagrams that I know I have in my archives.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
John Greenlee's Avatar
 
Bowie , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 54
Images: 1
I dismantled and cleaned the orifice already. Soaked it in CLR. You can see light through the tiny hole. I think I have verified that everything else you mentioned works though I have no method to measure gas pressure.

What else?

JMG
__________________
John Greenlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 06:03 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Sounds like you might need a new pilot assembly, since you already have a new t/couple. There might be the smallest internal blockage in the pilot supply tube that is preventing it from getting sufficient fuel, thus causing the t/couple to not provide any voltage and not open the gas valve......no flame.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 06:33 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
John Greenlee's Avatar
 
Bowie , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 54
Images: 1
Lew,

Are these pilot assemblies a standard off the shelf item?

Thanks,

JMG
__________________
John Greenlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 07:00 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1976 25' Caravanner
Vintage Kin Owner
Campton , New Hampshire
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,113
If the pilot was working before it should be working now. Sometimes scale or other debris gets lodged in the regulator because it has been disturbed . I believe there is an internal pilot filter in the regulator valve . If you still have the old one take it apart and see , perhaps Lew has a diagram that would help
__________________
ticki2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 08:24 PM   #10
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Greenlee
Lew,

Are these pilot assemblies a standard off the shelf item?

Thanks,

JMG
John,

What is the make and model of your heater? I'll check my resources for some diagrams and schematics.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2006, 09:37 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
John Greenlee's Avatar
 
Bowie , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 54
Images: 1
Lew,

My trailer is a 66 Overlander. The heater is the original Bowen. Is this enough information? The valve I used is not, I am sure, a direct replacement. It is simply an RV valve with the correct size fittings.

Thanks,

JMG
__________________
John Greenlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2006, 08:18 PM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
WayWard Wind's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 424
It just could be???

John
I see where you mention that you turned the pilot screw this way & that. I've seen where grease/dirt has gotten into the way for the pilot gas to flow thru to the pilot. I'd suggest that you try (backing) the pilot adjustment screw way out, press down on the control, as if you were going to light the pilot ( which by the way do not have a flame near) and then see if you can get gas to flow thru the pilot adjustment. Sounds to me that once you turned the pilot adjustment screw you lost the gas flow. If you're not comfortable working with LP, then I'd also suggest that you take it to a certified LP service.
Best
__________________

__________________
Home of the Wayward Wind

Bogfrog & Mr. Turbo

If in life you stumble, make it part of the dance
WayWard Wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Heater Craig 1978- 1979 Excella 500 7 10-01-2007 06:16 PM
Repair or Replace Original Bowen Water Heater? Andy R Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 8 11-16-2005 04:51 PM
Water Heater Woes airstreamcaravel Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 09-07-2005 10:18 PM
wiring - water heater Craig Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 12 10-02-2002 06:03 AM
Water heater work tool FrankR Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 04-09-2002 11:57 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.