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Old 05-15-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Water heater wont start

Hi there ,

Total newbie here, so please forgive if I'm asking something silly.

I have just taken out of storage my brand new wildwood xlite trailer. It comes with suburban gas only heater.

I have made sure the gas in on( both heater and stove work). Filled the water heater with water. (bypass disengaged).

I have installed the rod with the plug back in. Then when I follow the starting instructions nothing happens. Problem is that I can't seem to find the reset button every manual I could find talkes about. Further to that the pictures in the manuals are not representative of that the water heater controls look like....
What's worse when I flip a switch on what it looks like control board, there is some electrical arcs going from a terminal to what it looks like a small cathode lamp. I'm pretty sure that's not suppose to happen.


I could attach pictures or send video to anyone interested to help out. Via email.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Try purging gas line by lighting burner on stove first. I find fridge and water heater will time out trying to ignite.
I have to do this every time I have shut the propane tanks off.
Works every time
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:33 PM   #3
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If the picture you have posted is your heater it is a manual light unit. Turn knob to pilot position and push down while inserting a flame into the burner opening. Hold flame till pilot lights. When the pilot is lit turn to on position.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response. Like I
Mentioned the stove burners are working fine. This is a brand new tt.
Problems seems to be with the sequence of starting. Manuals I have don't correspond to what the w/h looks like.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #5
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Just above the pilot light is a small tube that needs be in the flame - it's the thermocouple.
You need to hold the pilot start button down for a bit for this to get hot, then the pilot will stay lit and and you can turn the knob to run.
It's a safety feature on all gas appliances with pilot lights so that if the pilot goes out (from wind or whatever) the thermocouple gets cold and shuts off the gas flow so you don't explode, as would happen if the water temp got cold, gas turned on full blast but w/o a pilot to light it, then the gas would just accumulate.

I have the same water heater on my TT and it's a small pain to light it and a bigger one to keep it lit. Camco sells a 400w elec element kit that you can add to your heater for about $100. It's not as much power as a true elec water heater but it will help keep the water warm, you'll just have to not do back to back showers and such.

An elec start/gas plus elec water heater is available for $375 ish. I can force myself to light the pilot for the cost (and hassle to change it over).
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:27 PM   #6
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Hey Wildthing I came here with the exact same problem! I have a 2011 26TBUD and i fought and fought with this thing ALL weekend. It was my second trip out in it and it worked fine the first time but would not stay lit this trip. Going to the dealer in the am thought because i've found a few small problems i need to get fixed before summer.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:52 PM   #7
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Ok, got the problem resolved. Well sort of. Water heater is working now, I had to light it manually as some of you indicated here. I did find out that even fought my w/t is the one with reignitor is is missing the spark cable. I'm attaching a photo from the manual suburban support had sent me in case someone else comes across this situation.
I will be following up with my dealer on the missing spark wire issue.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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More questions with this setup

Hi everyone, thanks for all the useful info.

I have the exact same setup, but am having trouble with lighting up!

If I turn the switch on, it does make a crackling noise, but...

When I hold the pilot button down, shouldn't I be able to hear the propane? I don't hear anything. Could I have a blockage somewhere?

Any other ideas, thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapman View Post
Hi everyone, thanks for all the useful info.

I have the exact same setup, but am having trouble with lighting up!

If I turn the switch on, it does make a crackling noise, but...

When I hold the pilot button down, shouldn't I be able to hear the propane? I don't hear anything. Could I have a blockage somewhere?

Any other ideas, thoughts?

Thanks!
I had that same w/h on my old camper, and I never heard the propane. Just follow the other's advice run the stove first, then try to light your w/h. I will add that I usually had to wait a bit for the gas to flow to the where you light the pilot, but when it get there you can see it "ignite" then just wait a sec or two for the thermocouple to heat up and rotate the switch to on. I doubt you have a blockage. I did notice with my old unit that even breezes that I wouldn't considder too windy would blow out the pilot so maybe you are experiencing some of that?
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
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Iriel,

You are right! I started the stove, and there was definitely air in the lines. Then, I did have to use a lighter to get it started the first time. But now, the switch does start the pilot! Awesome! Until there was flame, I could not hear or smell propane, but clearly it's there because everything works perfectly!!!!

Thanks for all the guidance.
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