water heater reset button? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-22-2006, 11:20 AM   #15
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2003 Casita 16' SD
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You need to stick your long necked gas lighter into the tunnel about an inch or two while holding the button in and the rotating valve set to pilot.


The hole in the tube to the left is the air/gas mix.

Here's a free opinion:

If you hold the pilot button down with a piece of wood, you should stick the lighter in there frequently so that gas won't build up and cause a problem. Pushing the button down defeats the thermocouple to allow gas to pass(!) to the orfice(!!!). Once the pilot is lit, it heats the thermocouple which then allows you to release the button.

Have we even established yet that you have a Suburban water heater? I'm also assuming you have a manual light model and not the automatic ignition.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:04 PM   #16
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oh steve,

i just assumed (and you know the breakdown of THAT word!) that since karalyn has a 2000 casita sd that it would be the same as mine and since i have all the paperwork it would be helpful to her to have it..

i love the fact that you printed out a photo of your water heater and it shows that mine is different from it. i guess i will shut up about something i know nothing about and send everyone apologies. sorry.

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Old 05-22-2006, 12:18 PM   #17
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I made the same assumption as you did for the same reason, but it doesn't hurt to be sure.

I just found that picture of a Suburban manual light water heater out on the web. It's not exactly like my 2003 either. Frankly, upon close examination, it looks like the automatic light model but the RV parts web site I found this had it in the manual light section.

But it does show (with my artistic red arrow!) where the pilot is lit on a Suburban.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #18
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Early on, I had trouble keeping my water heater lit. I'm including a pitiful Paint illustration of the burner end. There is a little do-dad with rolled edges that is located under the pilot light and it is bent up slightly to deflect the pilot flame up onto the thermocouple. If the thermocouple is in the flame, it keeps the gas flowing. If the flame goes out, the thermocouple signals to turn the gas off right now.

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On mine, the do-dad was cock-eyed and it deflected the flame off to the right of the thermocouple. CAREFULLY, with a pair of bent nose needle nosed pliers I finessed the do-dad so that the thermocouple was centered in the deflected pilot flame. I haven't had a problem since. (OH PUL-Leeze. I used artistic license in color choices for the flame. Mine is pale blue, thank you very much.)

For Karalyn: When the pilot is lit, you will clearly see it in the "tunnel", which, technically I suppose, is called the burner tube.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #19
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Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
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REPEAT... do you want the instruction book or not?

I do have the instruction book. Thanks. The instructions just isn't working
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:41 PM   #20
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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If this water heater is a Suburban, like the one in Steve's photo, it is a newer model of the American Appliance unit in my 1979 Boler. With that design, the pilot flame is clearly visible inside the burner tube, and is deflected by that do-dad onto the thermocouple. In mine, the pilot flame is quite visible and you couldn't possibly miss the main burner firing up - it looks like someone has a flamethrower stuck just into the opening of that tube.

If the do-dad is not directing the pilot flame onto the thermocouple, then the pilot will still light, but it will go out when the button is released. Since the pilot flame is visible (again, in the American Appliance / Suburban design), this is straightforward to diagnose.

So maybe the problem has nothing to do with the controls on the appliance, and is the same thing that got me the first time I fired up my furnace: the shut-off valve. In my Boler, each appliance (range, refrigerator, furnace, water heater) has a shut-off valve in the gas line feeding the appliance. If it is closed (and no, they're not marked in any way to indicate which appliance they feed or which handle position is "open"), then there's no propane reaching the appliance.

By the way, I use the stove-for-bleeding method which Darwin described, because the stove burners are easy to light, reducing fiddling time with other appliances (especially the refrigerator).

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