I posted this on the other forum last week but I wanted to bring it up here too. Anyway, here's my post on the other forum from last Thursday.
We can run our water heater on gas or electric. We took the TT out about 4 weeks ago for the first trip of the year and all was well. No problems at all.
Today is the first day of the second trip of the year and we ran into a problem with the water heater when running on gas. It lights up but you don't hear the loud roar you would normally hear when you swing the door down. There's a burning kind of smell with some smoke and a little flame coming out of the what I assume is the exhaust.
The electric is not a problem so that's what we are running on. The furnace works fine and the oven works fine.
Any ideas? Maybe a spider web or something?
The consensus was that a spider or something had built a nest in the tube. The responses I received were to remove the stuff from the entrance and exit of the water heater. Then to snake a wire through the tube, tie a rag around the wire and then pull the rag through the other side of the tube. Well, we brought the TT home yesterday and I was finally able to take a look at it after work today. Here is the update.
OK, I'm home now and finally looked at it today. I'll give you a picture of my water heater with a description of what I did, followed by the video aftermath. I don't know the technical names of everything so please just play along with me.
1) The first thing I did was remove the big panel labeled #1.
2) I then took off the half circle piece of sheet metal #2 that is behind the bigger panel.
3) I then took out the screw on top there.
4) I took off the top screw holding the piece to the side
5) I then took off the bottom screw holding the piece to the side.
Once this was done I had fully exposed, round openings at the top and bottom of the large tube. I put a flashlight in the tube and didn't notice any obstructions or debris, other then maybe a few granules of sand or sheet metal shavings or something. I then put a piece of coated wire into the bottom tube until it came out the top hole. Once it came out the top, I tied a rag onto the wire and then pulled the rag into the top hole and then out the bottom hole. The rag came out clean with the exception of some black marks and the sand/sheet metal shavings I originally saw, nothing spectacular. To be on the safe side, I ran the wire and rag through the tube again and got the same result. I then put everything back together, turned the gas on and then flipped the LP water switch. Here is the result.
It's the same result I had over the weekend. You don't hear that loud "roar" that you should be hearing with the front door down. The flame is kind of lazy. It behaves kind of like those tiki torches you might have in your backyard. You can see some remnants of the flame when you look down the top tube. Hopefully you can see the white smoke coming out from the top tube. It's not a lot but it is noticeable. There is also a slight burning smell.
Any more ideas?
The water heater works fine on electric. The stove and furnace work fine on gas. The water heater was working fine on gas in April but started acting up on Thursday after it was sitting in my driveway for a month or so.
The problem began upon initial setup at the CG last Thursday so it's not like the water was hot and that's why the gas wasn't doing what I expected. I say this because someone chimed in on the other board thinking the water was hot because the electric was on.