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Old 11-03-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
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water heater shuts off

Just got back from elk hunting, My water heater wouldn't stay on. when you hit the gas turn on button it lites and runs for a few seconds then shuts off, it will repeat this a few times then kick the fault light on. the short time it does burn the iginitor will continue to "click". is almost like the "brains" of the water heater doesn't know its already burning.
any ideas....
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:29 PM   #2
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I'm no expert here, but it sounds like maybe the thermocoupler (maybe goes by another name) has failed.

The thermocoupler is a safety device that - when working correctly - determines if you have a flame at the pilot. When working correctly it senses the heat from the pilot flame and allows the propane to continue to flow. When it senses cold, IE: it thinks the pilot light blows out, and it shuts off the propane fuel so as to not flood the cabin with unburned propane. Good sensible thing to have.

But when it fails, it remains cold, and following its programmed logic it stops the flow of propane. It won't allow propane to flow and heat the water.

Hope this makes sense, it is the best this rookie can do.

If this is the case then I believe it is an easy, and cheap, repair.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #3
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I had EXACTLY the same problem on my Atwood 10 gl water heater. At first I thought it was the board. I called Atwood and they said it was probably the igniter and that the flame sensor part of it had failed. They sent me a new one free of charge. It took a total of 20 minutes to install it and fixed the problem. Looks as if you're still under warranty. If you don't want to mess with towing it back to the dealership, the cost of fuel, down time etc., the part costs about $20 from Amazon. I have an extra one. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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yeah, its 3 hrs one way to the dealer. so like everything else so far I would like to figure it out myself. I will check on a new igniter, I didn't think it should still be trying to lite after the flame was going.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
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Members have also reported having issues with spiders and other insects in the burner area affecting performance. May not be your issue but worth a look.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:58 PM   #6
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Clean the flame sensor with a piece of emory cloth.A common problem with house furnaces.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:56 AM   #7
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We also had this problem, especially in wet/damp weather. I separated all elec. connections, cleaned with an emery board, and coated with di-electric grease. That solved the problem for the rest of the season, now I just take the 10 minutes to re-do while I'm de-winterizing. So far, so good for 2 seasons.

Chuck
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrascal View Post
I'm no expert here, but it sounds like maybe the thermocoupler (maybe goes by another name) has failed.

The thermocoupler is a safety device that - when working correctly - determines if you have a flame at the pilot. When working correctly it senses the heat from the pilot flame and allows the propane to continue to flow. When it senses cold, IE: it thinks the pilot light blows out, and it shuts off the propane fuel so as to not flood the cabin with unburned propane. Good sensible thing to have.

But when it fails, it remains cold, and following its programmed logic it stops the flow of propane. It won't allow propane to flow and heat the water.

Hope this makes sense, it is the best this rookie can do.

If this is the case then I believe it is an easy, and cheap, repair.
Thermocouple, flame sensor or pilot safety. They are all the same.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:18 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I went ahead and winterized, so cant really tell if its fixed until next spring. but I'm pretty sure it just needed the contacts clean-up.
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