Water heater trouble shooting (Suburban 6 gallon) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2003, 02:38 PM   #1
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Water heater trouble shooting (Suburban 6 gallon)

Hi everyone,
Anyone have any tips on trouble shooting the hot water heater in a Casita? My pilot light works fine but after I switch it over to "ON" (all the way to the line when pressed down) the main burner never kicks on?

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:23 PM   #2
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first guess. the sensor isn't close enough to the flame to register the pilot is on. If the pilot doesn't register the burner won't light.

second guess. spider web or dauber in burner not letting the gas through. so again burner won't light.
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:07 AM   #3
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Sensor OK

It's not the sensor since the pilot is burning. It would go out if it was bad.

I would turn it off and tap the area around the control with a screwdriver handle lightly. Then try it again. Do the same thing on the regulator at the tanks, sometimes they stick. Can't think of anything else to do yourself.
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Old 02-11-2003, 10:21 AM   #4
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I don't think I'm explaining this well or I'm using the wrong words. there is a stick like thing that is put close to the flame of the pilot. it tells the burner there is fire there. if the distance is too great it can't *feel* the fire so burner won't come on. the pilot flame will burn with or without this thing in the correct spot.

course if there is crud in the lines, there could be blockage somewhere.
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Old 02-11-2003, 11:55 AM   #5
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thermocouple

Sensor/thermocouple?!

The purpose of the pilot light is:

1. to provide flame for the burner.

2. heat the thermocouple (sensor?) so that it opens the burners' gas valve.

If the thermocouple is bad, even tho the pilot flame is present, gas won't flow to the burner. Replace the thermocouple.:)
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Old 02-11-2003, 02:03 PM   #6
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Thank you Don. :wave there are the words. I remember one time though the thermocoupler just needed moved over toward the flame and all worked.
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Old 02-11-2003, 02:09 PM   #7
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Jana
I thought you explained very well that stick thingy.At least you didn't use big words that I don't know how to spell.;)
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Old 02-11-2003, 02:59 PM   #8
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Bill, I agree ... in order of probable causes:

1. Spider webs in venturi pipe, blocking gas flow (you'd smell this, or hear an occasional pop of a flash-back). Clean with a couple of pipe cleaners twisted together.

2. Bad thermocouple. Make sure thermocouple is well placed into pilot light before you replace it.

3. Bad gas valve. Rap on the valve a couple of times. They occasionally stick.

All three are fairly easy to fix and/or replace.
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:55 PM   #9
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Good water heaters gone bad.

The thermocoupler is definitely in the flame and everything looks pretty clean. I smacked the control unit around a few times and it failed to respond (after a passive, non-aggressive approach failed). I'll keep you updated on step three.


Thanks again.
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Old 02-11-2003, 10:47 PM   #10
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Bill,

Have you checked to see if the stove or furnace works. Sounds dumb but it'll make sure you have a good gas supply. If they work, then I would try a new thermocouple.

Good luck
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Old 02-13-2003, 02:54 PM   #11
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Thanks again!

In a moment of weakness I broke down and took it into the RV shop today. It turned out to be the thermostat/Controller unit. The previous owner had installed a Hot Rodd which I was having a hard time removing so I had the Tech. also install a new anode. It turns out that the Hot Rodd had ruptured in two places so it wouldn't pull out and allow access to the adapter fitting.
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Old 02-13-2003, 05:50 PM   #12
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>>It turns out that the Hot Rodd had ruptured in two places so it wouldn't pull out and allow access to the adapter fitting<<
So Bill could they fix it or did you just buy a whole new water tank?
I guess if it didn't pull out means *they* couldn't get it out either, you bought a new one. bummer. But it will work now.:)
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:06 AM   #13
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More tools.

Actually they out tool me by a long shot so they had something that they were able to use to get the hot rodd out. It was close though. It was just under $200 bucks (the controller is around $100.00) to get everything done. I was also able to get other various questions answered and checked out their store in the process. Hopefully I won't be getting to know them too well! Back to waxing!
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