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Old 12-09-2010, 04:51 AM   #1
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Bowen (Atwood) G10b won't stay lit. Help

The guys at Lone Star RV say I need a new water heater. They said "Its all rusted through and there are no repair parts available for that old thing."

I found the parts and I think it can be fixed.

I purchased a new pilot and thermocouple, gas control and burner from Crestview RV in San Antonio. I installed the new pilot and tc and got it to light. The burner lights when the valve is turned to "ON" burns for a minute or two, then I hear a click and the gas shuts off and flame goes out including the pilot. I 'm thinking it's the gas valve (control) which I would have replaced yesterday, if I could get the old one removed from the tank. Any Ideas?
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:52 AM   #2
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Lance you can use a large pair of channel locks to remove the gas valve. Disconnect the gas line,pilot tube and thermocouple. If you grasp the gas valve with the channel locks around the body of the gas valve you with enough force be able to unscrew the gas valve from the water heater. The gas valve is threaded in to the water from the back of the valve. You can see how it is attached by looking at the new one. When Installing the new one use plenty of pipe dope on the threads. Turn the valve on by hand and use the channel locks wrapped in an old towel (to prevent damaging the body of the new valve) to tighten it on.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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Chris,
Thanks for your help. I'll try that tomorrow. Would heating the threads with a torch help?
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Lance it can't hurt just be careful not to overheat and melt or warp the aluminium tank. The old pipe dope will be pretty much like cement now and dried out.
When the service outlet said " all rusted through" did they mean the aluminium tank had corrosion or wer they talking about the gas attachments. The tank may have small pinholes from corrosion and be leaking water. You've already got a couple of hun invested in the old one. Maybe it's better to return gas valve and get new heater. It would save a lot of headaches down the road.
Here is a link to a new one.
Atwood RV Water Heater on Sale
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Chris,
They were talking about the pilot/TC and control valve. There are no leaks to the tank that I can find. I know that to properly test the tank must be pressurized. I know that a new water heater would probably be the best bet in the long run, but I was trying to get hot water for this weekend's Christmas rally in Blanco, TX. (the wife wants hot water) I'll install the new control when I get a chance. I fear ruining the tank in the process, but I'm going to give it a shot. It just irks me that Lone Star RV didn't even attempt to repair it. They didn't even call me to ask what I'd like to do. They just told me when I went to pick her up. "You need a new water heater."
I called the place you linked about parts, and they too recommended a new water heater.

I like to fix things, so this trailer is definitely the one for me!
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
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I like to fix things, so this trailer is definitely the one for me!
Welcome to Airstream ownership.
I'm replacing my A/C shroud. To remove the shroud I had to remove the fan guard. The bolts were so rusted that I had to snap off the guard mounts and then grind off the bolts. Now I have to try and source the bolts,nuts, washers and rubber grommets that mount the fan. Also during the process the bolt got hot and melted some wiring which I have to repair. It never ends. Add to the fact that it was a balmy -6 F last night and my water to the house froze. I spent from midnight until 2:00 AM getting it running again.
You could always boil water on the stove in a pinch.
The pipe dope acts like thread lock, if you can break the initial seal then the gas valve should unthread easily after that. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:23 PM   #7
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Smile We have hot water!

They said it wasn't worth fixing. I fixed it! More pics and some how to advice to come after we go camping!
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:48 PM   #8
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Lance GO AIR FORCE That`s great congrats on a job well done.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:00 PM   #9
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Thanks Chris. I'm in the Army, however...lol
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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Thanks Chris. I'm in the Army, however...lol
Sorry I was going to say GO ARMY but checked your avitar and saw the plane. I had remembered you said you were a mechanic for airplanes and that confused me. I didn`t think the army would have planes. What`s next giving the Navy Battle tanks or maybe the Air Force a submarine.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:25 AM   #11
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Please don't get confused! I took that pic whole flying to Afghanistan this summer. It was at our first stop in Afghanistan. We all have our proper toys!
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:22 PM   #12
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Here is how I fixed it...

First, I replaced the pilot and thermocouple. I got the pilot light to light and stay lit. The main burner would fire up nicely but after about one minute, the controller would make an audible click and the flame would go out including the pilot light.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:30 PM   #13
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Will it work?

Since I had a new controller that I bought from Crestview RV, I figured I would install it and see what happens. Here are the pictures of the old and new units side by side.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pb379_2010 View Post
First, I replaced the pilot and thermocouple. I got the pilot light to light and stay lit. The main burner would fire up nicely but after about one minute, the controller would make an audible click and the flame would go out including the pilot light.
Did you end up changing the gas valve or was it a matter of adjusting the pilot light and thermocouple.
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:39 PM   #15
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Installed

There was a small issue with clearance when I threaded the new controller into the tank but it worked out OK. ASfter everything was installed and tightened, I fired it up. Works like a champ! There is a small gas leak on the pilot light supply tube. I tried tightening it, but I think the tube is either cut or not flanged properly. I didn't do anything to it. I came out of the box that way.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:35 PM   #16
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Update

Well, it worked for a while but now the tank is leaking water like a sieve. I guess the old girl just gave out. I think I'll get a Precision Temp RV 500.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:25 AM   #17
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Wow Lance I just checked out the PT RV 500. 2009 price $1054.00 USD. That's very pricey compared to an atwood 10 gal pilot model at $339.63 USD. Plus the dimensions are different the PT is 2.5" less wide and 2" higher and 7" less deep. Is it worth $700 plus dollars and all the mods needed to have on demand hot water. The Atwood 10 gal gas w/ electronic ignition and electric element is only $539.99 USD and will fit right in the spot of the old Bowen.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:31 AM   #18
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Hey Lance check out this ad. a used Bowen for $75.00. You could swap out the tank in yours and keep the new gas valve etc.
Airstream Appliances & Parts - $25 - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:00 AM   #19
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Thanks WC. I don't think I want to spend any more money on a thirty eight year old water heater. If it was a tank from a 2005 I might bite.
I heard about the PT RV 500 on the VAP and I think it would make our family much happier when the five of us have to get clean after a long day of hiking!
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