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Old 04-23-2011, 06:44 PM   #1
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O'Fallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 27
Water heater won't lite

Can anyone tell me what happened?

Problem: Turned on the water heater switch (1st time in 2 weeks) the lite on the switch turned on but would not go out and the heater would not noise no igniter sound. All other gas appliances working normally.

Cicumstances: Driving rain against water heater side, other side (furnace side) sheltered by a building. Water heater compartment dripping wet. After the rain stopped and dry wind and sun today also same symptoms persisted with numerous attempts till mid day when the heater suddenly lite off and functioned normally. When I opened the compartment a steady stream of water was trickling out of the large orifice and persisted for 10 min before it dried up.

The day of the problem I called a dealer a few miles away to schedule an appointment to fix the problem and discussed this at length. The service manager had never experienced the light coming on and staying on without the igniter doing something.

I am convinced the water had something to do with it but how does it affect the igniter or glow plug? Has anyone else experienced this or can you shed some technical light on this...I am going to canx the service appointment.

'08 25' Safari SE
'13 Ford EcoBoost
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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Check to see that the gas line burner tube beyond the orifice is not obstructed by a spider web, mud dobber nests or other such insect activity. This can prevent the gas from igniting. Take off the tube and check that it is clear.

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Old 04-24-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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2010 22' Sport
Washington Township , New Jersey
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I had a similar problem and had a very easy fix: in the outside compartment look for a wire that connects something that looks like a resistor (I assume is a safety termocoupler sensor in-fact). That sensor is inside a small transparent tube. In my case, water got trapped inside that tube. Drain it, let it dry, and everything should work. After that, position this sensor such that it can't collect water but be careful not to break the wires.

Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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2008 25' Classic
Sometimes it's Heaven , USA
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Posts: 63
I have had this happen on several occasions -- Even in a period of fog and high humidity -- I agree with all of the above - you might also try pulling off the wiring plug and dry it with a hair dryer -- also these contacts can become corroded somewhat -- use a pencil eraser to carefully clean them up... Also it seems that good ol sunshine drying everything out is sometimes the best solution....
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:54 AM   #5
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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If the burner area and control circuit board were soaked, all bets are off as to how the water heater might function. I would guess the water had the control board shorted and after the area dried out, things returned to normal.

The large open tube the burner fits in is a hollow passage through which the flame and heat it generates follows from the burner to the exhaust. This pipe is inside the water tank and allows the heat generated the most surface area contact with the water inside the tank. It is open at the exhaust port and the burner.

Circuit boards that have been wet usually dry out and work ok a time or even two. The downside is that sometimes they continue to corrode and eventually fail. Might get a can of electrical part cleaner (radio shack should have it) and spray the board and connectors to displace any moisture.

Jeff & Cindy
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'91 350 LE MH
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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1992 30' Land Yacht
Hamilton , Ontario
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I hope someone can assist me. I have a '92 landyacht my water heater switch is blowing the fuse. Worked perfectly last year. Any suggestions? I have been doing some work inside, but did not remove any connecting wires in the bathroom.


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Old 06-06-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Ottawa , ON
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Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
Circuit boards that have been wet usually dry out and work ok a time or even two. The downside is that sometimes they continue to corrode and eventually fail. Might get a can of electrical part cleaner (radio shack should have it) and spray the board and connectors to displace any moisture.
I second this statement. The board cannot function when wet, and once drenched, needs to be thoroughly dried/cleaned.

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