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Old 07-10-2020, 12:49 PM   #1
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 38
Hot water heater is possessed

Greetings,

My water heater developed a new "quirk" in that it would light, then turn off. This happened several times. I would flick the switch, the light would go out and I could hear the roar of the flame, then click the light comes back on the roar stops and I can hear a series of clicking sounds.

When this happened, I managed to run out to the heater, and "Tweaked" the metal plate that holds the thermocouple and sensor (I think) and covers the flame tube and got it to stay on. I had to do this several times when firing up the water heater.

Then on our camping trip last weekend (When I was expecting either cold water or more "Tweaking"). my wife turns on the water heater and it runs, turns on stays on.

So now I am wondering what the true issue is, is my circuit board going bad? or is it a thermocouple(r?)/sensor issue? I'm leaning toward the thermocouple(r?) as I believe if the circuit board is bad it wouldn't start in the first place. But you folks are the experts, you've helped me fix everything else. As usual, any and all help/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Take care everyone,

Pat
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:59 PM   #2
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1998 31' Excella 1000
1979 23' Safari
Mooresville , Indiana
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Pat, it could be either the Thermocouple or the board. When our water heater started acting up it was the board. The Thermocouple only generates a few milli volts when it heats up so you might want to make sure the Thermocouple has a good ground before you start buying parts.



I went ahead and bought both parts but only needed the board. I would avoid a factory board and get a Dinosaur board, built better and last longer.


https://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Ignitor_boards.htm

Damon
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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Intermittent ignition could be either of the items you mentioned, but it could be corrosion.

Look for a green wire that is connected to the water heater with a sheet metal screw. remove the screw, clean, and reconnect
Where all the wires merge into the connector at the control module, unplug the multi wire connector and reconnect it a few times. If it is corroded badly, use a pencil eraser to remove the corrosion.
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Old 07-10-2020, 03:56 PM   #4
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I concur. A poor connection is likely, common and easy to fix. A bit of vinegar and salt followed by dielectric grease or CorrosionX would be firs on my list for the flame detector components and anything else that is handy.
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:36 PM   #5
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Had same problem. My wire connections from the thermocouple were corroded. A little cleaning as suggested solved the problem
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:51 PM   #6
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Fort Worth , Texas
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When trouble shooting the WH you can use a propane hand held lighter to ignite the flame and to heat the gas supply thermal strip to see what's gone bad. If you smell gas don't do it until the gas dissipates. If in doubt, stand to one side in case the built up gas ignites just to be safe.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
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Huntington Beach , California
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We had a similar problem. If the outside compartment lid was open it would work great. If the lid is closed it would not stay lite. There is a black rubber insulator on the igniter wire that hits against the door. I re-positioned the rubber insulator and now the hot water heater works great.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:49 AM   #8
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1996 25' Excella
Shakopee , Minnesota
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On my similar situation I removed the flame detection rod and cleaned it with a scotch brite pad. Has worked since.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:33 AM   #9
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Wheat Ridge , Colorado
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I am ordering a new thermocouple and circuit board for insurance (the water heater is 15 years old), but I went ahead and cleaned the connections and checked the gap and its still working.
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