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Old 11-27-2018, 06:23 PM   #1
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Water heater vent black soot

Hi, I hope someone can guide me in the right direction. Iíve attached a picture of what the water heater vents look like. Does anyone know what would cause this to happen and also, could it have anything to do with an occasional water leak on the floor,,, canít seem to see where the leak comes from either. This is a 2017 Coachmen Freelander 26rs. Just wanted to see what to expect before o take it to the mechanic. Thanks for any input
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:39 PM   #2
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Hi, I hope someone can guide me in the right direction. Iíve attached a picture of what the water heater vents look like. Does anyone know what would cause this to happen and also, could it have anything to do with an occasional water leak on the floor,,, canít seem to see where the leak comes from either. This is a 2017 Coachmen Freelander 26rs. Just wanted to see what to expect before o take it to the mechanic. Thanks for any input
My first thoughts are something plastic too close to the heat, which could also be your occasional leak. Other issues could be a nest being burnt off, or the tank being run empty.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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More then likely its a dirty dirty nozzle or spider webs causing improper gas air mixture. Clean things up and check the color of the flame.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:49 PM   #4
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Bad flame due to lack of air. That is soot from lack of air. Check the mixture port and the burn chimney for an obstruction spider web or mud dauber.
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
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Bad flame due to lack of air. That is soot from lack of air. Check the mixture port and the burn chimney for an obstruction spider web or mud dauber.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:17 AM   #6
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Bad flame due to lack of air. That is soot from lack of air. Check the mixture port
Yep! Adjust your flame to be as blue as you can get it.

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Old 11-28-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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water heater inside picture - possible obstruction

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Can I do this myself? checking the mixture port and burn chimney for an obstruction? and this could also attribute to the mysterious leak? Thanks, I'm attaching a new photo
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:03 PM   #8
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The leak and the soot are probably not related... but never say never.

The soot is likely because the burner tube and chamber need cleaned.

The water leak could be any number of things and you are going to have to pinpoint the leak.

They make burner tube cleaning brushes and are available at R/V supply stores and online.

Compressed air can clean out a burner tube and chamber too. The flame adjustment usually doesn't need adjusted unless you went form sea level to high altitude.





Here's a video that may be helpful as well. (note: the video talks about many things INCLUDING cleaning the burner tube/chamber)
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=nomad297;1980795]Yep! Adjust your flame to be as blue as you can get it.

X3 Some sort of blockage in the air passage, causing flame to be more orange/yellow. This happens on my outside burner all the time. Video should get you through it.
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Old 11-28-2018, 03:15 PM   #10
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The leak is easy...

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Can I do this myself? checking the mixture port and burn chimney for an obstruction? and this could also attribute to the mysterious leak? Thanks, I'm attaching a new photo
The leak is easy to understand. All water heaters (residential and RV) have an over-pressure/over-temperature valve, usually abbreviated as OPV.

It looks like the attached photo. It's the first thing you will see, right at the top, when you open the heater door.

In the winter, the water heater gets filled with cold water. When the water is heated, it expands. Fifteen years ago, the expanded volume of water would simply push back into the campground water system. But now every place has installed backflow preventers so the expanded water volume has no place to go. The pressure rises to the threshold of the OPV and it releases a little bit of water.

Suburban claims that an air bubble at the top of the heater, by design, compresses enough that the OPV should not release. IMHO, the bubble is not big enough, especially if the water is really cold and the campground water pressure is on the high side.

If you want to test that it's the OPV,
  1. Put a cloth on the OPV outlet (It's hot, don't use fingers) and see if it comes away wet, oe
  2. Release a little water from a tap to eliminate excess pressure. (You will still be at campground pressure.) Then dry everything around the heater. Do not run any hot water. The area should remain dry.

Larry
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