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Old 07-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Question Lighting the Water Heater

A chap on a non-RVing forum that I'm on had an issue w/ his fridge @ the start of his weekend camping recently. W/ that in mind I figured I'd pick the minds of any other RVers on here about my appliance issue.

I've had this trailer since '09 & have a pretty good routine for lighting the water heater upon arrival @ campsite (light stove to get propane flowing back from tank). Usually I can get it lit in about 5 minutes. The trailer was last used a month ago for our MIS weekend. No problems lighting the afternoon we arrived there.

Yesterday, It probably took me close to 30 minutes to get the pilot to light. In addition to lighting the stove, I started the furnace (adjacent to water heater in back wall of trailer) still no indication of propane being present. It was obvious that air was being pushed out of line as you could see the flame from my BBQ lighter moving slightly @ a regular interval. Finally it lit the pilot & I turned it to "on".

The tank selector is showing green, but I know by weight that the tank is less than half full. Would this cause an issue (ie reduced pressure)?

Any suggestions about what I should try next time?
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:09 PM   #2
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Were you trying to light the oven or stove top? If you want to get the gas flowing faster light the stove top burners.
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:40 PM   #3
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Regulator starting to go south.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caper View Post
Were you trying to light the oven or stove top? If you want to get the gas flowing faster light the stove top burners.
I was lighting the stove top.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:51 PM   #5
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You didn't mention it but I suspect that once your stove lights it has a very pathetic flame. This would lead me to believe that "Bob Caldwell" who posted above is right about it being the LP regulator. Realistically you can't troubleshoot the regulator so just remove it and the attached hoses and take it to a trusted propane repair center or RV dealer and buy the factory same type of hose/regulator setup. Don't get talked into using something different as there are some fittings that are there for your LP Gas safety. You don't want to redesign things or you could end up with a BIG safety issue.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
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Yes...my (trailers) reg. acted like what was being described.....and it was 15F. outside. I asked OC about the reg. problem and he turned me on to Camco reg. on Amazon.....wolks better and fit was OK also...no extra fittings....went one step further, changed out both pig-tails at same time as I wanted some a little longer.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dually75019 View Post
You didn't mention it but I suspect that once your stove lights it has a very pathetic flame. This would lead me to believe that "Bob Caldwell" who posted above is right about it being the LP regulator. Realistically you can't troubleshoot the regulator so just remove it and the attached hoses and take it to a trusted propane repair center or RV dealer and buy the factory same type of hose/regulator setup. Don't get talked into using something different as there are some fittings that are there for your LP Gas safety. You don't want to redesign things or you could end up with a BIG safety issue.
The stove flame is good. The regulator was replaced 2 seasons ago. I'm pretty sure it was for poor stove operation (weak flame like you described). It was full of "oil" when I removed it from the TT. The RV dealer said that it had become contaminated w/ (from another website:
Quote:
The oily residue you find in LP tanks is a mixture of compressor oil and Ethel Mercapton which is the odorant that is injected into Propane to make it smell
A new regulator & the stove was back to proper operation.

Today when we got to our destination, I had the heater lit in less than 2 minutes. We're here for 2 night then have 1 more stop before returning home.

Chatting w/ the camper (from the non-RV forum) after I posted the question here last night. He was having issues lighting his heater in the past. Since he started doing a "dry run" the night before his departures, he hasn't had a problem
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:53 PM   #8
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Would have been caused by a bottle re-fil some where....don't think it'll flow backward with bottels on. Would check other LP items for contamination.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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How cold was it. Low temp can affect tank pressure significantly . OPD tank valves can be tricky too. Shut tank down, disconnect hose. Reconnect turn on. Bleed lines again by turning stove top burner on. Back to regulator. If it is sweating significantly there may be a flow restriction. If it is frosted big time it may be freezing up, either due to impending failure or just because gas expansion through the reg is letting it freeze up. Pilots lighting with difficulty can just be dirt or bug nest around the pilot. Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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Revrnd.......are you at a higher elevation? If so,,,,that's contributing to your problem.
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