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Old 06-19-2011, 08:38 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Okotoks, Ab
Posts: 48
Hot water tank wont light

Well this is our third weekend out with our trailer and the first time we dry camped. My wife went to turn the hot water tank on to give our son a bath... tick tick tick tick..... tick tick tick tick..... tick tick BOOOM!!

Flames shot out of the tank!! I quickly shut it off before it started the cycle again. Scared the crap out of us. I can light it if I stick a lighter in it... but wont self ignite.

Any suggestions? It is brand new so I could drop it off at the dealer... but we all know how much fun it is to get service done on ours trailers this time of year.


2012 Ford F150 Crew Cab 4x4 EcoBoost
2011 Windjammer 3006W
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeast Wisconsin
Posts: 6,951
Mine did that exactly the same thing this weekend, too...

tick tick tick tick..... tick tick tick tick..... tick tick BOOOM

My best guess is that it was a spider's nest, but I'm not positive. Ashes everywhere in the compartment. The difference is that mine is still working fine after the "kaboom". I have a list of things for the dealer to look at so I'll just add it.

DW, 3 Kids and our Goldens

2012 Shamrock 233S
2008 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L 4WD
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Well what you have is the typical delayed ignition. Unfortunately what you have seen can be hazardous to your health. Be careful. It can be several reasons for this issue. Spark ignitor in poor location, spider web, bad spark cable, gas pressure problem etc. I would recommend you take it to the dealer and let them singe their eyebrows. Propane can be quite exciting if you are not sure of your troubleshooting skills.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:51 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 855
Don't forget the simplest answer. Air in the gas lines that needed to be purged before it could fire off. It happens, but if you purge your gas lines before leaving home it should not happen again.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lafayette, Colorado
Posts: 98
This happened to me over the weekend as well. I couldn't get the thing to light at all, had the tick, tick, tick, whoosh several times.

It's almost as if there's a breeze that will blow the flame out when it tries to run.

My solution was to replace the external water heater cover and try again, lit off fine and has been working great since. I learned that it just won't run when the cover is off.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 47
Had the same problem with my new unit. Pull the cover back and check the ignitor tightness to the tube. 1/4" nut driver will work. The spark is generated by the board thru the wire to the ignitor but must have a good ground to actually spark. Once I tightened mine I have not had the problem since.

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