Water heater on strike - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-14-2017, 07:21 PM   #1
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Water heater on strike

It's been an interesting summer. My 1988 Bigfoot's 3-way fridge gave up the ghost, I had to replace the regulator for the propane tanks, the thermocoupler on the water heater needed replacing, and now it appears the (water heater) thermostat needs replacing.

One friend said to replace just the main burner; another said to "bite the bullet" and install a new thermostat. Apparently "biting the bullet" refers to the pain-in-the-neck task of removing the old thermo & replacing it with a new one.

Has anyone tried one of these fix-its? This is the original 1988 Atwood gas water heater, 6-1/2 gallons, that has been working like a champ so far.

I do have good news: I finally finished hand-waxing the exterior last week. It ONLY took me all summer, and it looks bew-tee-full.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:26 PM   #2
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:54 PM   #3
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Did I miss something? Did you say what’s wrong with it?
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:55 PM   #4
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Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmartin748 View Post
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mszabo View Post
Did I miss something? Did you say whatís wrong with it?
Oops, sorry! Problem: No hot water. I installed a new pilot assy about a month ago that has been working fine, but now the burner won't stay lit. The normal blow-torch flame coming out of the burner won't stay lit or even ignite. And, yes, I have plenty of propane
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
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Let me see that I have this right. You changed the pilot Assy and pilot stays lit.
The burner will come on and then goes out.
Is that correct? If so, two things could be wrong.
The thermostat the lever above the valve may need to be turned up higher.
Move to left I believe.
Second problem you have wasp/bees nest in your exhaust chamber part.
Which cause the exhaust to backup and the flame goes out due to lack of oxygen.
If your pilot doesn’t stay lite, then that’s another problem.
Let us know.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:32 AM   #7
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Also, make sure that the entire tip of the thermocouple is engulfed in the pilot flame.Sometimes, if the flame is too small or the thermocouple is not positioned right, the main burner will "pull" the pilot flame away from the thermocouple and cause it to go out.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:55 AM   #8
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I vote that it is the thermocouple. Should be inexpensive and DIYable. Look for how to videos on YouTube.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
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She said she had replaced the thermocouple in the first post.
We are all guessing here, until we find out what model heater she has.
Great video but, I donít think see has that model heater.
We donít know if the pilot is staying lite or not.
When we have answers to all these questions, maybe then we can help her.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:17 PM   #10
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More details

Sorry for the delay in getting back here. The wifi can be a bit cranky at times.

This may end up being more info than you asked for, but here goes:

The water heater is an Atwood model G6A3, gas only. It's not exactly the same as Charles's heater in the video, but it's 99% close.

About a week before it quit, there were several times when I had only lukewarm water, no matter how long I let the hot water tap run. Other times, it'd get hot like it should. I hadn't touched the lever that controls the temp, so I figured that wasn't the issue.

When I was finally able to check on it between rainstorms, I discovered the main burner wouldn't stay lit. (Pilot light was fine.) It would stay lit for a minute or so, but then go out. It did this 3-4 times. The last time I tried, the flame was just lightly "floating" about with no particular destination in mind. (Pilot light still fine.) After it "floated" itself out, I couldn't get the burner to come back on again at all. And, pilot light still fine.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:09 AM   #11
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Make sure your burner air adjustment tube is open about a quarter of the way. If your not getting enough air and or fuel could be your problem.
Myself, I would take the burner assembly apart and clean everything.
Compressed air works best.
You have a pilot that stays lit, thatís half the battle.
Spiders love to nest in that tube. That sticky nest will stop the gas flow.
Once lite you will have to adjust your air gap. Until your flame is blue.
You can go too utube and find several videoís on how to clean your heater.
A good cleaning will most likely fix your problem.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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all of the above sounds like an obstruction
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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Just another thought here. If the propane tank valve is opened to quickly, sometimes the safety valve is activated and wonít let a good flow of propane to happen. Check to see if all your stove top burners work and your furnace. If this happened, just turn off the propane valve again, then slowly reopen the valve and all should be well. Best of luck to you.
Dave & Paula
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:09 PM   #14
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Thank you

Wow, so much good advice. I'll be investigating what's-what and checking out all the potential problems that you folks have suggested. That'll be after the pet-sitting gig next week, then working at my part-time job for a few days after that. I'm hoping the sun will be a-shining when I'm ready to tackle the water heater.

What else would we rather be doing than keeping our FG trailers in tip-top shape?

Have a wonderful family- and friend-filled Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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