Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Dave1, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    I haven't used the gas water heater in my 1984 Fleetwood Wilderness TT in a year or so and tried to light it last night and could not get it to light. The bottles are very low on LP gas but I was able to light the burners on the kitchen stove OK.

    To light the water heater, I did the usual turning the gas control knob to "Pilot", held the red button down. I must have held the lighter flame under the pilot light element thing for 5 minutes and the pilot or burner never would fire off. Obviously there is no gas getting to the pilot or burner.

    What is wrong? Has the pilot element and/or burner gone bad or has the larger gas control regulator quit working? Is there anything I can do to get it to work again or should I start replacing stuff?

    Thanks, Dave
     
  2. jkill2001

    jkill2001 New Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    i'd fill up the tanks before i start replacing things.
     
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    Make sure you have enough gas, then you can break the joint at the water heater gas line to bleed air out of the line. After sitting for a while that is a common thing. Make sure you have NO flame nearby. After that try lighting again. If you get the pilot lit, but the main flame won't, there might be a spider web in the bend in the tube. LP is like cotton candy to a spider and they love to nest there. You will have to take it apart and clean it.
    If you cannot get the pilot lit after bleeding, you will probably have to get the valve assy. worked on, or replaced. Good Luck
     
  4. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???


    Is the valve assembly you refer to the square regulator looking thing that has the red gas control knob and red pilot button on it that the burner tube and tiny pilot tube is connected to?

    Just curious, how much is a new valve assembly and burner?

    I'll have some time to work with it this weekend and will see what I can do.

    Dave
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  5. sp

    sp Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    Dave,

    Here is a picture of the valve I had to replace on mine and yes it is what you described. It cost about $120. The pilot assembly (thermocouple, pilot, air tube) cost about $25. The "flame tube" is also sold seperatly but you may not need that.

    I'd start with the tube, then the termocouple, the pilot assembly, and the valve last, just because of the price.

    GTS: Should he bleed the line just before the inlet to the valve??

    Remember: always check your fittings for leaks. LP is no fun to mess with. Like GTS said, make sure you have enough LP so you can find any leaks.

    Hope this helps!
    sp

    http://www.robertshaw.com/gasvalves.html
    R103RV Propane
     
  6. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    check for bug/spiders/etc., in the tubing before you start spending $$$. If it is electronic ignition, make sure your aux batteries are fully charged or it won't spark.
     
  7. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    Sorry, I was not able to get on last night. Yes, you describe the gas valve correctly. I believe, from your description you have an Atwood water heater. In my book that part is $104.00 + shipping. I don't see many go bad, but sitting a while is the worst thing for them. I could ship you one if you find you need it.
    Yes, bleed the line just before the valve. Again, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO OPEN FLAMES AROUND. You have described a pilot system, you do not have electonic ignition. Again, Good Luck.
     
  8. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???


    If the pilot flame orifice is clogged with rust or ?? from sitting a while, shouldn't I be able to heat the thermocoupler element thing up well and it open the main gas valve in the regulator body and I can then turn the main gas valve knob from pilot to on and light the main burner???

    The regulator body was replaced with new one a few years ago. We had the heater working less than a year ago so I would hope it is only clogged up. I intend to look it all over today well.
     
  9. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    I think you can bypass the pilot like that. I have done in in ovens when the pilots have been stubborn. I am not saying it is a safe thing to do, but in a pinch....
    Make sure the main tube is free of spider webs or any other blockages or gas could build up and flash in your face. Been there too...
     
  10. sp

    sp Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    Dave, Any luck getting it going?
    sp
     
  11. Dave1

    Dave1 New Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???


    Thanks for your concern.

    Actually I didn't get to work on it yet. I went to my hunt lease to check on my deer hunting spots Saturday morning then it rained the rest of the afternoon.

    Sunday I worked daylight to dark on my hand me down utility building that was crushed by Oak tree during the hurricanes last year. Had to build all new trusses for the roof. Just ran out of time and daylight. I will get on the RV soon as I can this week.

    I gotta quit as this work. It is time to have some fun down here.

    Dave
     
  12. sp

    sp Senior Member

    Gas Water Heater Will Not Light???

    Dave,

    I know all about those Oak trees. They are nice when they are standing but suck when they land on something.

    sp
     

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