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Old 06-29-2020, 09:20 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2002 25' Safari
Salisbury , Maryland
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 31
Is the hot water tank ignitor supposed to continuously click?

So I have a new to me 2002 Safari with an Atwood G6A-8E 6 gallon lp water heater.
Ok so, it has been back firing when I have been trying to light it so I cleaned all the connections (they are pretty bad) as best I could at the time. Nothing really happened. Then I started messing with the airflow pipe and I got it to light a nice blue flame. The only problem is that the ignitor keeps on clicking like it's trying to ignite the lp even though it's already produced ignition. You can hear it every couple seconds.... Click click click click. Then stop, then a few seconds later click click click click. Now I'm 99 percent sure this is not normal operation and my automotive experience would point to the electric box the ignitor is plugged into? Am I on the right track here? I don't like throwing parts(spell check said throwing farts for some reason) at broken objects so any guidance would be appreciated.


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Old 06-29-2020, 10:16 PM   #2
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,034
It should not keep clicking. Checking the airflow was a good thing to do. I suggest making sure there are no spider webs in the burner area. The control board may be shot. If so, consider installing a Dinosaur board instead of one from the manufacturer.


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Old 06-29-2020, 10:40 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
2002 25' Safari
Salisbury , Maryland
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 31
Originally there was a wasps nest in there but I took it apart and cleared the inlet tube. I had read a small amount about the dino board. Thanks for the info. I'll make sure to order that board soon
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:53 AM   #4
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,627

Not firing up the parts cannon? Good. This might give you some suggested reading. WaterHeaterManual.pdf My RV works has additional docs.

In the sequence of operation (see page 16) the control board opens gas valve and sends power to make the spark, flame starts and then the same thing that made the spark senses the heat from the flame and sends signal back to board ALL's OK keep the gas on. But sounds like your's is keeping the gas valve open and continuing the spark ?

Just as a can do w/o any $$$ power off to tank, see the connections that go to the $$$ control board? pull each off carefully and very light (pencil eraser) cleaning of the terminals on the boards and reinstall the connectors. Can't hurt.

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Old 06-30-2020, 04:57 AM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 13,359
Check the location of your thermocouple, the small metal probe which sticks into the flame to alert the "brain" if the flame goes out. Sometimes the support arm gets bent out of place during maintenance work.

Good luck,
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:38 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
2010 19' International
Bellevue , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 9
Flame on sensor

The control board senses that the flame is on by passing an electric current through the carbon rich flame according to a uTube video. Here are links to two I found helpful. One of the videos is specifically about the Atwood 6 gal water heater in the Airstream. Dometic/Atwood RV Water Heater Overview, Burp, And Backflush Here is the other: Broken Atwood RV Water Heater (Troubleshooting and Repair) You are already on the right track but these two videos are interesting. The control board is likely bad but it could be the wire from the flame sensor to the control board.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:54 PM   #7
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2019 20' Flying Cloud
Eau Claire , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 67
I had the same trouble on the same Atwater water heater. Every time I fooled with it I had a different system. I replaced the control board with the Dinosaur board and has been working well now for 3 years. Try it, you’ll like it. Easy to install. There is one jumper on it that you plug for a gas/electric or just a electric only!
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:33 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
2002 25' Safari
Salisbury , Maryland
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 31
Awesome info. Thanks for the videos too.
I removed and cleaned to connections and no change. I cleaned the ignitor and no change. Next step is to order the Dino board.

Thanks again

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