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Old 03-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
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New Catalina water heater failure

Just got a new Catalina 27' bunkhouse model and the water heater won't work. It worked ok at first, but last trip out was troubling. The first day, when I switched in on, it gave a couple of big "poof" fireballs but eventually went to work. The second day, I switched it on and heard the lighter popping, but nothing else. It went through the 3 cycles and then stopped. The small red failure light on the interior panel stayed on. Gas is on, because stove works. Where should I start to fix this?
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radman74 View Post
it gave a couple of big "poof" fireballs but eventually went to work.


for starters
doubt this is the fix
but
I would blow some compressed air
all around and threw the unit
have found in the past
a dead bug in the wrong (right) spot
can bring everyTHING to a stop
MM
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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There are 2 push button breakers on the hot water heater that can some time trip. Open up the outside panel and feel around and push those buttons in. This may work.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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bob is right------------

The gas tube that goes from the GAS VALVE BODY to the burner hole (where you normally see the flame), the tube will get a bug or spider in it, this will cause ignition failure. An air hose to blow the tube out may help or you may have to remove the tube to clean it out. The gas hole in the tube is a very small hole, doesn't take much to plug it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
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Excellent! Thanks for these suggestions. Compressed air is no problem, so I'll try that and check the breakers this weekend and then post another reply here.
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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It sounds like your igniter is not in the correct position. The boom you heard is delayed ignition. In other words as it sparks it not hitting the pilot hood, that small chamber will fill with pilot gas and then delayed ignition occurs. turn your gas off let it try to ignite and watch where the spark is hitting. You can bend the probe closer when off it should be no closer then a quarter of inch away. Also check your reset buttons. Stay away so it will not flash in your face. I have lost alot of eyebrow hairs adjusting them.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:27 PM   #7
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Update: I spent some time on this today, and y'all were right, the problem was a simple one. Orifice was blocked. There were flakes of some kind everywhere. It looked to me like the remnants of corrosion inhibitor from the internals of the unit. My theory is that the dealer-prep operations were the first time it had seen real hot temps, and that caused the coating to loosen. Then during transit in the following week, the stuff flaked off. Anyway, a bit of compressed air cleaned the burner, tube, and orifice right up and also knocked loose a good bit from places that couldn't be seen. I looked at the spark gap, and it seemed about right. I put gas back on it, flipped the switch, and it fired up on the first try.

Bottom line: water is hot, and you guys are cool. Thanks for all the input!
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:07 AM   #8
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Radman74---------

Radman74, you are now officially the "FIXER". Congrats on the orifice clean out. The silver flakes may be a paint that is sprayed into the heat tube for rust preventive until the hot water tank is installed and used.

Again Congrats
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