Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-10-2020, 12:49 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 38
Hot water heater is possessed


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,


The Driver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2020, 12:59 PM   #2
Rivet Master
damonbeals's Avatar
1998 31' Excella 1000
1979 23' Safari
Mooresville , Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 536
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.


damonbeals is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
Rivet Master
A W Warn's Avatar

2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4,237
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.
2014 Silverado LTZ 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2020, 03:56 PM   #4
Rivet Master
2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,580
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.
BayouBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 01:36 PM   #5
1 Rivet Member
2018 22' Sport
Beaconsfield , Quebec
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 13
Had same problem. My wire connections from the thermocouple were corroded. A little cleaning as suggested solved the problem
duboismjjp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 03:51 PM   #6
:SPACE A" S/O 11 Air19745
guskmg's Avatar

2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,203
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.
guskmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
BoatNutG2's Avatar

2015 28' Flying Cloud
2013 Interstate Coach
Huntington Beach , California
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 66
Images: 4
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.
BoatNutG2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 07:49 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
1996 25' Excella
Shakopee , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 19
On my similar situation I removed the flame detection rod and cleaned it with a scotch brite pad. Has worked since.
TimeForFun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2020, 09:33 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 38
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.

The Driver is offline   Reply With Quote

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
Possessed Lights lukeysh714 2016 - Current Classic (all lengths) 2 11-07-2017 12:38 PM
Hitch light possessed! Glowing when off! larry9000 Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 3 07-18-2017 06:25 AM
Surburban Furnace Fan Possessed! Taylormade Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 2 06-13-2012 09:40 AM
suddenly possessed by 58 flying cloud 58flycloud Member Introductions 12 06-15-2010 04:50 PM
possessed heated seats boondockdad Tow Vehicles 2 05-07-2008 08:06 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.