Black soot from water heater - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #1
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Black soot from water heater

Most folks here know this already, but I figured it's worth a short post for some.

I recently noticed a soot buildup on the fiberglass above the water heater. This is almost surely the result of a clogged gas tube causing inefficient burning of the propane. It doesn't take much of a restriction to cause that, and it's often just a spider web as it was in this case. It's easy to remove the tube and run something through it to remove the restriction. If this has not happened to you yet, chances are it will at some point and you can quickly correct it without a time consuming, costly visit to the shop.

All I had readily available to ream out the curved tube was a large cable tie, but that was enough to bring me back to a nice, blue, clean flame.

Walt
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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Adjust your flame to put out a blue color and that will stop the suit buildup.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Adjust your flame to put out a blue color and that will stop the suit buildup.
Sorry, but that won't help, if you have an obstruction in the gas tube. As I said, cleaning out the tube brought me back to a pure, blue flame.

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Old 07-02-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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Hi Walt,

Thank you for posting this. I've been looking for a thread about cleaning out spider webs. Although not a concern right now, it seems to be written about enough here to be a future little problem for me.

Just ran into a spiders nest into my vent tube for fresh water tank. Couldn't figure out why fill neck kept back sloshing and sucking air till I got under the trailer and there it was!

Would you be willing to write a step by step numbered thing or/and show photos of this? Mostly, I also wondered Walt if the process would be similar on my Suburban Furnace? I use that way more than my water heater. I have big ole cable ties. In my simple brain you're just sticking it in the vent tube and swirling around, but I'm sure there's more to it!

Cheers,

Wendy


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Old 07-02-2015, 08:01 AM   #5
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Wendy
Yes, that's exactly what I did. The gas tube is L-shaped and held in place with 2 screws. I just removed the screws to get access to the open end and as you say, took a large cable tie and swirled it around in the tube. The cable tie was just the only long, narrow, flexible thing I had close by. A narrow bottle brush or a pipe cleaner might have been better, but the tie did fine. It can happen to any narrow orifice on our trailers but as long as access is easy, it's an easily fixed problem. I'm just glad I don't live in an area that has mud daubers.

Walt
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:25 AM   #6
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Thanks Walt! On furnace, you can't take tube out from outside as vent is riveted on. I guess I could just use the cable tie or pipe cleaner to swirl around in there and catch any surprises?


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Old 07-02-2015, 09:06 AM   #7
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Yeah, I like rivets okay, but they don't belong everywhere.

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