Fire Breathing Hot Water Heater - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-10-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
Name: Jan
Trailer: '96 Scamp 5th Wheel
Posts: 95
Fire Breathing Hot Water Heater

Took my 5er out from its winter cover to prep for the first trip of the season. All systems seem a go except for the hot water heater. The pilot lights fine (it's an Atwood) but instead of the usual whoosh that sounds like a jet plane taking off I'm getting flame running down the tube and I can see flame in the vent that comes out of the unit! Tried it more than once with the same result. Shut it off and am wondering what I should be looking at first. I'd appreciate any thoughts - I'd prefer not to blow up the trailer or myself!

The Gypsy Wagon
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:22 PM   #2
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Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Posts: 5,861
Spider nests. A lot of propane appliances failures are due to spiders.

Work your way into the burner and look for a generally white spider nest.

Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:00 AM   #3
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 478
My Atwood did the same two years ago and yes it was spiders, cleaned them out and everything is fine.
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:15 AM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,081
Yup, the others got it. Clean it out and get rid of the webs and you should be fine.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:52 AM   #5
Name: Jan
Trailer: '96 Scamp 5th Wheel
Posts: 95
Great! That sounds easier than what I was worrying about. I'll get on it. Thanks.
The Gypsy Wagon
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:17 PM   #6
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Posts: 324
The Spiders may have gotten into the "carburator" where the gas jet is inside the little cage that draws in air to mix with the gas./wc
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:40 PM   #7
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Name: Herman & Ann
Trailer: Scamp 5th Wheel
Pensacola Florida
Posts: 112
If you get a very weak flame after you have cleaned out everything the problem is usually very small spiders that have crawled thru the gas orifice and died in the piping. Just pull the orifice and clean the little critters out. This is a ongoing problem here in North Florida.

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