water heater won't work. HELP!!!!!!

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by tatertot, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. tatertot

    tatertot New Member

    I have an 85 alumalite TT. I can not get the water heater to light. I've checked fuses, connections, I don't know what else to do. The control panel over the entry door isn't lighting up anymore when you try to test the battery or the holding tanks but the water pump will still turning on using it' switch. I'm getting gas to the water heater but no further. The furnace will blow air but it doesn't seem to be lighting either. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: water heater won't work. HELP!!!!!!

    What brand and model of furnace do you have? Is it one that uses a pilot or does it have a direct spark ignition (DSI) furnace? Have you checked the thermostat? Does the thermostat have 12V power? What is the voltage to the furnace? If it is less than 11V it becomes questionable and if less than 10.5V the blower will not turn fast enough to close the sail switch and the furnace will not light.

    The fact that the control panel is not lighting would seem to indicate a lack of power to it. Have you used a meter to check if it is available? Is there some connection between that panel and the furnace?

    What is the voltage measured across the battery posts? Are you connected to shore power? If so, have you tried checking your converter? If not, have you tried connecting to the tow vehicle with the engine running to see if that will supply power to things? Have you tried charging the trailer battery with a standard battery charger?

    We need a lot more information to do anything more than just guess what the problem might be.
     
  3. tatertot

    tatertot New Member

    Re: water heater won't work. HELP!!!!!!

    Thank you for the reply back. I have the trailer plugged in inside the garage. It's an american appliance water heater. It has direct spark on water heater, stove and furnace. I checked the battery voltage and it read 12.3V. The panel above the door has 5 buttons on it. 1 Tanks 2 Test 3 Battery 4Water pump 5 Water heater. I'm sure you probably already know this but I'm trying to explain it better. You light the water heater from the panel by pushing up on the water heater button then you push down on the test button in which the light comes on if the light goes out you repeat the same steps until it stays lit meaning the pilot is burning. The water heater button reads 12+V. The water pump button reads 12+V. The test button reads 7+V. I checked the fuse panel where the main power come in. I checked the furnace, the fan turns on but the pilot will not light. The eye burners on the stove will light but the pilot for the oven will not. I don't know how to check the converter. I checked the fuse panel again but nothing is label to tell you what fuse runs what. It sounds to me like I may have a short or something of that nature going to the ignitors don't know just a guess. I'm by far any kind of electrician but I don't like to have someone else fix something. I'm trying to sell this camper and I would like to get it fixed before I sell it to someone.

    Thanks
     
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: water heater won't work. HELP!!!!!!

    Where neither the water heater nor the furnace work, it seems likely that there is some problem that is common to both. The only things that I can think of in common would be the propane or the 12V power. American Appliance was purchased by Suburban back in 1987 and is basically the same water heater as the one sold as Suburban today. You should be able to get Suburban parts that will work on it.

    You didn't say what make/model your furnace is, but since neither light, I would first check with the water heater, since it is probably easiest to work with. When you turn on the water heater, check right away to see if the igniter circuit board is getting 12V power at the board. If it isn't then we trace back from there to see where it is getting lost. But I suspect that it is getting power. If so, check to see if you can hear the igniter snapping as it sparks. If you check after dark you can see the sparking. It should try about three or four times.

    I would also check for power to the gas valve, and use a lighter to see if there is any propane going through at all. It could be a problem with too little propane pressure. You can ball park test that by turning on the stove top and watch the flames. They should burn blue, with slight yellow tips to some of the flames. Once you have one burner lighted, start the second and then third and each one should have no effect on the already burning ones. If the color is not right, or if the second one effects the flame of the first, you probably have low propane pressure.

    I assume that you know that you have a good supply of propane?
     

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