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Old 09-21-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Question Lighting the Pilot Light

Can someone help a newbie out? We bought a new never been titled 2006 Salem LE and I've tried everything to light the water heater pilot light, even asked family members for help. I've got two full tanks of propane and they are turned on, cleaned out the pilot tubing and have followed the instructions as I understand them ie., I turned the knob to pilot and held it down for 5 minutes and then tried to light it but I can't get it to light. The guy at the dealer made it seem so easy but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, maybe not holding my mouth right!!??? Thanks in advance every body.

Dave
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
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Do you have the LP Detector turned on inside? Not sure on yours but mine will not allow any gas from the tank to proceed to any appliance unless it is turned on. Also there could be some clutter inside the tubing going to the pilot. It doesn't take much to block it. Remove the assembly and tap it and see if anything comes back out. Clean up anything that is dirty before reassembling it. There could be a spider web inside so you may want to take a small piece of wire and fish it into the tubing carefully to remove the web if that's the problem. Good luck, let us know what you find!
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
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To begin with, read the directions again. NO way should you hold the knob down for 5 minutes before you try to light the pilot. Holding the knob down bypasses the thermocouple, which shuts the gas off if the pilot goes out. Make sure you have the knob in the right place. Turn it to off, and press down. It may move a little. Now turn to pilot and press down, should move a lot more. Sometimes the marks are hard to see and distinguish. Once you have that figured out, get your flame at the pilot tube before you mash the button. Once lit you may have to continue to hold the button down for 30 seconds or so. Once you can release the button, and the pilot stays lit, then you can turn the control to on. Don't forget to have your heater full of water.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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We had a 2004 Wildwood LE that did the same exact thing you are describing.

I would turn on propane bottles and then it would take well over five minutes to get the water heater pilot lit.

After a couple of very frustrating camping outings, I figured out that I could go inside the camper and turn on one of the burners to the stove and purge the air from the lines, then my propane would light on the burner. Once I did that, It took less than 30 seconds to get the pilot lit.

After a few more trips, I figured out that in the summer the fridge ran cooler on propane than electricity, so I would start the fridge on gas and it accomplished the same thing for the pilot.

My rig now has the electric ignition on the hot water heater and I could not be happier.

Hope those tips help,

Matt
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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Windrider, I may print off your instructions before our next trip. Lighting my Suburban heater is a PITA. Even w/ lighting a stove burner, it seems to be a long time in getting propane back to the heater.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slpybeartx View Post
We had a 2004 Wildwood LE that did the same exact thing you are describing.

I would turn on propane bottles and then it would take well over five minutes to get the water heater pilot lit.

After a couple of very frustrating camping outings, I figured out that I could go inside the camper and turn on one of the burners to the stove and purge the air from the lines, then my propane would light on the burner. Once I did that, It took less than 30 seconds to get the pilot lit.

After a few more trips, I figured out that in the summer the fridge ran cooler on propane than electricity, so I would start the fridge on gas and it accomplished the same thing for the pilot.

My rig now has the electric ignition on the hot water heater and I could not be happier.

Hope those tips help,

Matt
We use that same trick of lighting a stove burner first. Works great. We usually have to do it to get the oven pilot to light.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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Something to consider.

Some newer propane tanks have overfill prevention devices and leak shutoff valves.

The shutoff valves kill the propane flow except for a VERY weak flow (even if the valves are WIDE OPEN).

If the lines are empty, (Coming out of winter storage; valves shut off for any great length of time) you MUST "crack" the valve VERY slowly to allow gas to enter the regulator and lines and build up pressure BEFORE you open the valve fully.

If gas leaves the cylinder too quickly the shutoff valve will think there is a massive leak and stop the flow.

What you will see if you open the valve fully before the lines have a chance to fill to full pressure.

1) The "green bar" will become green showing pressure from the selected tank BUT as soon as any demand is placed on the system (water heater or furnace) the bar will flip red since the shutoff valve is closed inside the tank.

2) The stove will light, since the valve DOES bypass a VERY small amount of gas in order to charge the lines BUT the flame will be TINY.

3) Trying to light a second burner will make the first burner's flame smaller and may put it out all together.

The solution to the above is to turn off all users of propane in the camper. CLOSE BOTH bottles and then select the tank you are going to open and select the OPPOSITE TANK on the selector. WAIT ONE MINUTE. CRACK the valve about 1/10 of a turn. You should hear gas flow strongly and stop as it fills the line. Slowly continue to open the valve till its fully open.

Rotate the selector to the open tank and it should flip green. Then CRACK the valve on the other tank the same way. Rotate the selector back and make sure it stays green.

Done.
You should now have full pressure from either tank until they empty.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by slpybeartx View Post
After a couple of very frustrating camping outings, I figured out that I could go inside the camper and turn on one of the burners to the stove and purge the air from the lines, then my propane would light on the burner. Once I did that, It took less than 30 seconds to get the pilot lit.
Matt
I also agree with purging the gas lines via the stove top.
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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I also agree with purging the gas lines via the stove top.
I do the same so my fridge will run on propane. I turn on my tanks, then I use a stove burner to purge the air out. Works every time to get my fridge going on gas.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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I run gas up to the stove burners and light one. It STILL takes forever for my oven pilot to light. Hate the thing. Most of the time I'm well over 5 minutes. My wife holds the pilot knob in while I use a "sparker" at the pilot light. Major PITA. Eventually it will light. So, if I'm doing something wrong, please let me know.
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