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Old 07-24-2015, 10:08 PM   #1
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Suburban Water Heater Problems

I have a Suburban water heater, Model SW4D, that will not heat on the gas part. I am not even getting and any attempt of the igniter to ignite the gas. I do not smell any gas. Electric heating element works fine. I checked the high temp limit switch with an Ohm Meter and also a jumper wire with no results.
I do have gas as my bottles are full and the range works fine. I have a feeling the problem is the gas valve.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me to try to verify my diagnosis?
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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Check the alignment of the igniter. There are 3 dimensions regarding the position of the wire to the sparker. I think the diagram is on pg 12 of the attached.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll look at it in the morning.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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The electrode gaping is fine. I don't have a microammeter with me so further diagnosis will wait until we return home in a couple months. I can live with just the electrical heating elements until then.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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I have a Suburban water heater, Model SW4D, that will not heat on the gas part. I am not even getting and any attempt of the igniter to ignite the gas. I do not smell any gas. Electric heating element works fine.
You say you do not smell any gas so start with the gas valve. Page 6 and 7 on that pdf. That is a good manual to keep handy.

Jim
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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I believe the gas igniter is a product of 12V circuit. Have you checked for a blown fuse? If all is well, you should hear the spark occurring at intervals.
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:08 PM   #7
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I believe the gas igniter is a product of 12V circuit. Have you checked for a blown fuse? If all is well, you should hear the spark occurring at intervals.
It is 12 volts, but would you hear it if the gas valve is off, or not working?

Jim
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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The electrode gaping is fine. I don't have a microammeter with me so further diagnosis will wait until we return home in a couple months. I can live with just the electrical heating elements until then.
Make sure the attaching screws are free of rust also. Loosen them and re-tighten them.
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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The gas part of the heater is controlled by the "control board" that routes power from a closed thermostat to the gas valve to make it open and to the igniter to spark the gas.

If you are SURE the thermostat reads "closed" and there is 12 volts available there and there is no gas smell and no sparking noise; there could be a corroded wire connection or the control board needs to be replaced.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #10
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The light should be on during the ignition cycle. If not check for power to the module. If ok then probably the module. Dinosaur boards are a good replacement.
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