Atwood hot water heater pilot problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2014, 07:27 PM   #1
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Atwood hot water heater pilot problem

I've got a Brand new Atwood gas only pilot hot water heater. It was never used before I purchased the trailer.

At first no gas was getting to the pilot. I took the end off and if was clogged. It was easy and I was so excited, but nod when I light the pilot I get a massive orange flame (as seen in the picture below). Is there too much pressure? I can't figure what the problem could be. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 04-26-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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Appears the main burner is lit.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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I can assure you that all that fame is coming only from the pilot.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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Then something is wrong for sure. The pilot is a very small blue flame that is under the thermocouple. It heats the thermocouple that In turn tells the control unit is is OK to turn on when required.

If it we're me, I would contact the manufacture and email them the picture and explain that it is the pilot that is producing the flame. I'm most confident that they will respond favorable because I think You have a dangerous situation.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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My experience with contacting the manufacturer is that they will reply that you should take it to an authorized service center.
They are not much into DIY, especially when it comes to propane.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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They may have some liability in this issue and might provide some parts to resolve it.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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New Answer: I'm working on our water heater pilot problem and here is what I found out.
I removed the pilot assembly (Tube and all) from the unit and while air blowing through the tube I found out that the end with the orifice on it slips off. Mine was dirty and slightly plunged. You can not get anything through the orifice because it is to small. I tried to use the smallest Route Canal file (Very Very small) and it would not fit. I just blew it out for a while and could see daylight through it.

I fired it up without the orifice on the end and a large flame came out. I put the unit back together with the orifice attached and all is working fine now.

One last note: I carry a small propane blow torch to use in emergency situations should the hot water heater refuse to light.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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The Rest of the Story...

I believe I've come to the conclusion of my pilot problem. Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

I e-mailed Atwood and received a very prompt reply. The suggestion was that I had damaged the orifice while trying to clean it out and that I would need to purchase a whole new pilot assembly (they only sell the pilot as an assembly with the thermocouple -$30).

Now I wasn't buying this since I had cleaned it out with a tooth pick. After a couple more e-mails the Atwood rep agreed to send me a new orifice. It arrived yesterday. As soon as I opened the package I realized my problem!

The orifice (first picture below) is not the the whole end of the gas line, it is a small part with a pin point hole that actually rests inside the pilot assembly. I learn by experience and usually mistakes: when I first took the pilot apart to clean it the orifice fell out. Sure enough when I searched the dirt, below the water heater, there it was (now I have an extra.)

Everything seems to function now - assuming that the picture of the pilot below is what it should look like.

Thanks again and maybe this will help someone else down the road.
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Orifice.jpg   Pilot.jpg  

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