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Old 06-26-2020, 04:38 PM   #1
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Water Heater Question.

Just got back from a wonderful week long trip. Now to sort out the questions the trip raised.

This one is related to the Dometic 6 Gallon Gas Water heater and Unitrol pilot ignition. I am hoping other folks with the same or similar unit/trailer config can weigh in.

First, the Pilot is sort of a pain to light, but I can live with that. However, the pilot light went out twice in what I would consider mild wind conditions. (Perhaps one was mild, the second was "breezy" but less than I would expect.)

It was irritating to have to go light the pilot in that "breezy" condition after the better half informed me there was no Hot Water for an evening (dark) shower.

(At least the heater seems to respond quick. It does not take long to bring the water up to temp!)

QUESTIONS:
Is it normal for the pilot to extinguish fairly frequently on this rig / set up?
Do I need to make checking the Pilot light a twice daily task?
Sort of unrelated, is there a trick or tip people use to secure the access door clasp latch so it does not inadvertently open? I could see that happening, although it did not.
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Old 06-26-2020, 05:12 PM   #2
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I have not had a manual pilot light in years. But I do not recall ever having issues once the gas lines were purged.
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Old 06-26-2020, 05:14 PM   #3
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Lots of posts on pilot problems. At least yours lights.

One cause is that the flame is to low to keep the gas flow safety senor hot enough when it is breezy. If this is the problem then a gentle bending of the sensor slightly more into the flame.
Another reason is the pilot light is not getting enough gas flow. This can be due to low pressure. Gas regulators are known to fail for no obvious reason. If your stove burners are less than bright this could be the problem.
One of easiest to fix is a dirty or blocked pilot light. Gently clean the inside of the pilot light while it is out. Use air blast to get out any spider webs, etc. If there is a white ash like crust on the pilot clean that off gently so you don't bent the pilot light tube. Then light it and see if it brighter and hotter.
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Old 06-26-2020, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks all.

Stove burners run strong - that's confirmed by quickly boiled water for the daily coffee!

I had already sprayed the tubes with with canned air a few weeks ago when I picked it up. It looked clean already and still does.

I thought about moving the pilot closer to the thermocoupler/sensor but it seems pretty close and I didn't want to much with "safety features" right off the bat. I suppose moving it closer would delay that feature a minute or so at worst.

For now I guess I will keep an eye on it being lit now and then.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:59 AM   #5
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Most pilot light water heaters including those in a home have baffles that need to be removed when lighting the pilot light. These baffles serve a purpose and should not be permanently removed. If you bought this unit second hand, it is possible that the previous owner removed a baffle that protects the pilot light from blow out in windy conditions because the baffle made it hare to light the pilot light.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by us71na View Post
Most pilot light water heaters including those in a home have baffles that need to be removed when lighting the pilot light. These baffles serve a purpose and should not be permanently removed. If you bought this unit second hand, it is possible that the previous owner removed a baffle that protects the pilot light from blow out in windy conditions because the baffle made it hare to light the pilot light.
Hmm. Looks like the diagrams and not sure where the baffle would even be in this scenario. The pilot light extends toward the burner tube, not really a spot for baffles.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:27 PM   #7
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Hmm. Looks like the diagrams and not sure where the baffle would even be in this scenario. The pilot light extends toward the burner tube, not really a spot for baffles.
Add a washer to the latch to stiffen it up.

It sounds like the pilot light may be failing to stay lit because of a thermocouple failing or maybe marginally located where it needs to be. (I don't know be it might be worth checking on Youtube or something)
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