Soot from water heater - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-27-2015, 02:46 PM   #1
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
Posts: 828
Soot from water heater

I've started to have soot buildup on the outside of my water heater vent.
I assume it means I need to clean the orifice but would appreciate learning anything from other's experiences.


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Old 05-28-2015, 03:31 AM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,072
Had a little bit of that too 30 years ago. If I remember right, the air mix slide on the burner moved a bit and changed the burner enough to cause a dirty flame. I know I didn't clean anything out, just moved the gap cover until the flame was the right color. May or may not be your problem. Kind of surprised no one has got back to you yet.

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Old 05-28-2015, 05:01 AM   #3
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Name: Kenji
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 117
I agree, adjust the air intake tube. Soot indicates to me that the flame is running rich rather than lean. This means that your orifice is not plugged, but the air intake may be.
I know that a spider had made a nest inside of my air tube and plugged it up completely.

You can take the tube off and blast it out with compressed air. Once you know it's clean re-install it and light the heater.
Adjust the air intake so that the flame is mostly blue, with a slight roar to it. Not a loud one that you can hear from inside the trailer, but not quite silent either.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:40 AM   #4
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
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Thanks both. Sounds very helpful.

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Old 05-28-2015, 09:28 AM   #5
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Name: kevin
Trailer: Miti-Lite
Posts: 50
I agree. Also blow out burn chamber/heat exchanger as something also could be in there burning up. If not getting that nice blue gental jet flame with minimal Orange coloing at tip as they were talking about after adjusting air mixture tube you will want to check lp pressure to your valve. If you don't take your Rv to a service center regularly and like to do your own service work you will want to own an Manometer to regularly check your lp system for safe and proper operation. A great artical everyone who owns and Rv with an lp system should read is this : The RV Doctor: What the Pro's Do - Propane System
In short for your water heater to have a good flame and all your lp systems to work properly and safely you need to make sure your lp regulator is providing 11" w.c under system load. There is a gas tap on the w.h. Gas valve (flush mount allen head screw) you can tap into and hook your manometer to it and see what the pressure is like with the valve in opeation. I hope you get that sucker roaring for you soon!
"Always look on the Lite side of life" - Eric Idle
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