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Old 07-30-2016, 12:28 AM   #1
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Water Heater Question - 16XRB

New trailer - picked up in the spring.

De-winterized in May and tested all the plumbing including the water heater. Purged the gas lines and the heater lit and "ran" fine. Shut everything down and drained everything.

A few weeks later we took it out for it's maiden trip. We chilled the fridge on electric the night before we left and then ran it on propane for the 90 minute-ish trip to the campground. Got set up, switched the fridge to electric and my wife fired up the outside stove.

I went through the steps to light the water heater (purged the gas line, purged the water lines, lit the pilot and held the button for 30 seconds. Turned the knob to the "on" position. Waited another 30 seconds and turned the temp knob to halfway between warm and hot. The burner did not fire up like a jet but the lazy flame did flare up a bit and then backed down the burner tube and was flaming out the vent hole at the base of the tube. It startled me and I immediately blew it out and shut off the knob. Tried two more times and it did the same thing. So, no hot water for the weekend.

Fast forward to last week. Decided to try it again in the driveway. Fired up the inside stove to purge the lines. Went thru the same sequence with the water heater and experienced the same issue. Called our dealer and they said to blow air thru the burner tube. Burner tube is clear.

Any other suggestions? Maybe let the pilot burn for 5-10 minutes (for a longer purge) before turning up the temp control?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:35 AM   #2
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The burner tube and all inside will need to be taken apart enough to find out what is affecting the air gas mixture. In mine it was a spider web that pressure would not touch. Another time the orifice was open to the eye but running a thin strand of copper wire cleaned out whatever it was and it worked perfectly afterward. I was able to remove the gas line and take the whole end out from the regulator to the orifice for inspection and cleaning.

One caution, do not enlarge the orifice opening.

I have heard of dirt dauber nests in there also after a winter storage.

Sounds like it needs a little elbow grease applied to it.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:38 PM   #3
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I have exactally the same problem on mine. There seems to be a crimp on the pilot line and I'm not sure of that's the issue, but i have to flip my gas to on for 10-15 min, then to pilot and hold the red button down for annother 5-10. And if I'm lucky it may fire and may not. If not I leave it on again for a while and try over.

I took it to the dealer and had them look it over, they said they cleaned it all up (we used it once wtf) and it was good to go now. still have the same problem and have not had time to figure it out yet.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:59 AM   #4
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Spiders love LP lines. One may have made a home in yours. You may have to pull it a part and try the air on it. It was the heater in my popup that I found this out on. I seemed to have provided a condo for a spider and had to evict him to get my heater to work.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:49 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Fixed!!

Had some spare time during our Labor Day weekend campout. Tried to light water heater again with the same results. Removed the "J" tube and found a big, puffy, sticky spider cocoon blocking the tube. Cleaned it out, reassembled and lo-and-behold, it fired right up!!

Thanks everyone for the hints.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:59 AM   #6
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Great. You are now an expert and qualified to pay it forward!
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:01 PM   #7
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Glad to see the spider home was cleaned out and heater is working.
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