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Old 06-11-2019, 12:34 PM   #1
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Grey Wolf 2012 Water Heater

I bought this used 2012 Grey Wolf last August. It hadn't been used since 2012 either, so a lot of little issues.


Today's project - fix the water heater.


I've read several threads about water heaters, but mine is slightly different than the threads I have read. Mine doesn't have the ON/OFF toggle switch on the heater itself, and it also doesn't have a switch on the panel where it shows the tank levels / pump switch. Does that mean it's propane only?



I have the push button pilot light, and it appears to do nothing so I assume no gas is coming out. I'll attach some pictures. I assume step #1 is remove the small valve and make sure the orafice isn't plugged, but I'll check back in 30 minutes and I bet I'll have some excellent advice!


Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSP View Post
I bought this used 2012 Grey Wolf last August. It hadn't been used since 2012 either, so a lot of little issues.


Today's project - fix the water heater.


I've read several threads about water heaters, but mine is slightly different than the threads I have read. Mine doesn't have the ON/OFF toggle switch on the heater itself, and it also doesn't have a switch on the panel where it shows the tank levels / pump switch. Does that mean it's propane only?

Actually your propane water heater doesn't have a switch for the DSI (direct spark ignitor) since it has a pilot light to ignite the propane. it also doesn't have a switch for the electric heating element, since this water heater doesn't have such.



I have the push button pilot light, and it appears to do nothing so I assume no gas is coming out. I'll attach some pictures. I assume step #1 is remove the small valve and make sure the orafice isn't plugged, but I'll check back in 30 minutes and I bet I'll have some excellent advice!

Have you read and followed the pilot lighting instructions to the right hand side of your pic of the front of the water heater?

This appears to be a Suburban SW6P model.


Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:47 PM   #3
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You can also download the service manual for the SWP models at this link, to assist in your troubleshooting

Forest River Forums - Downloads - WH_Service and Training Manual 05-18-11.pdf
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:02 PM   #4
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I was confused as to how to do this on our popup when we still had it. the video below should help.

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Old 06-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Thanks

The video is a little confusing, at 45 seconds he says something like "once it's lit keep holding the button down for 30 seconds until it's lit".


I'll give it a try. I have followed the instructions printed inside the heater, I held the pilot button down for a minute and nothing happened except some water squirted out of the button.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:44 PM   #6
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The video is a little confusing, at 45 seconds he says something like "once it's lit keep holding the button down for 30 seconds until it's lit".


I'll give it a try. I have followed the instructions printed inside the heater, I held the pilot button down for a minute and nothing happened except some water squirted out of the button.
you will have to hold the pilot button down until you get the pilot lit. once it is lit, you can try letting off the pilot button. sometimes the pilot will not stay lit unless you are holding the button down (frustrating!) but it will eventually stay lit! once the pilot stays lit, you can turn the knob and let it rip!

if you are having trouble getting it lit at all, try getting the stove to light first, that flushes out the air in the line and gets propane closer to your water heater.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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I did lite the stove first, that fired right up. I got the pilot light lit with a long lighter. I turned the heat to medium and it has been on for at least 30 min but no hot water. I now turned it to HOT and will go run some water in 30 minutes. So the pilot will go out once the water is up to the desired temperature and will restart on it's own when needed?
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
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I did lite the stove first, that fired right up. I got the pilot light lit with a long lighter. I turned the heat to medium and it has been on for at least 30 min but no hot water. I now turned it to HOT and will go run some water in 30 minutes. So the pilot will go out once the water is up to the desired temperature and will restart on it's own when needed?
Not exactly. The pilot stays on forever until you turn it (or the propane) off. The actual burner (via the thermostat) will shut off when the water gets up to temp.

The pilot is what ignites the big burner. Do you not hear/see the big burner ignite to heat the water?

Other models have what is called a DSI (Direct Spark Ignitor), which makes sparks to ignite the main burner....instead of a pilot like yours has.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSP View Post
I did lite the stove first, that fired right up. I got the pilot light lit with a long lighter. I turned the heat to medium and it has been on for at least 30 min but no hot water. I now turned it to HOT and will go run some water in 30 minutes. So the pilot will go out once the water is up to the desired temperature and will restart on it's own when needed?
you may have some bypass valves inside the trailer that are bypassing the water heater. the pilot light will stay on the entire time until you turn off the propane tank itself. it wont turn on the main burner until it needs to. you are over half way there! congrats on getting the burner to fire up and pilot light to stay on.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:18 PM   #10
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you may have some bypass valves inside the trailer that are bypassing the water heater. the pilot light will stay on the entire time until you turn off the propane tank itself. it wont turn on the main burner until it needs to. you are over half way there! congrats on getting the burner to fire up and pilot light to stay on.
Are we sure the burner fired up? He said the stove did, but I haven't confirmed the actual water heater did.

He posted pics of his bypass valves early on in the thread, and they appear correct.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:59 AM   #11
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Are we sure the burner fired up? He said the stove did, but I haven't confirmed the actual water heater did.

He posted pics of his bypass valves early on in the thread, and they appear correct.
good catch! i see now that we dont have confirmation of the main burner firing up.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:35 PM   #12
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The video is a little confusing, at 45 seconds he says something like "once it's lit keep holding the button down for 30 seconds until it's lit".


I'll give it a try. I have followed the instructions printed inside the heater, I held the pilot button down for a minute and nothing happened except some water squirted out of the button.
Back in the "old days" we had the pilot light water heater in both the house and trailer. I think what the guy meant was hold the button down until the sensor (the little tip that is in the pilot flame when it is lit) gets hot. It is a temperature sensing device that shuts off the gas if the pilot light goes off and it does this because the tip cools off. One trick I used was to light the pilot with a butane lighter like the ones you use to light a grill. I would push down the button (overrides the shut off until the tip gets hot) and with the knob set to pilot, use the lighter to light the pilot and heat the tip at the same time. When the tip was hot you could take your finger off the button much quicker than waiting for the pilot to heat the tip by itself.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:00 AM   #13
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That Is the same type of water heater I have in my 2012 grey wolf. You have to light the pilot light, itself.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:26 PM   #14
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Back in the "old days" we had the pilot light water heater in both the house and trailer. I think what the guy meant was hold the button down until the sensor (the little tip that is in the pilot flame when it is lit) gets hot. It is a temperature sensing device that shuts off the gas if the pilot light goes off and it does this because the tip cools off. One trick I used was to light the pilot with a butane lighter like the ones you use to light a grill. I would push down the button (overrides the shut off until the tip gets hot) and with the knob set to pilot, use the lighter to light the pilot and heat the tip at the same time. When the tip was hot you could take your finger off the button much quicker than waiting for the pilot to heat the tip by itself.

It rained all day yesterday so I am just getting back to this!


Heat which tip?


I can see the pilot light is lit, I manually lit it with the lighter. I also removed the piece shown in this pic and ran a very tiny metal from a dog brush through to make sure it wasn't plugged.

Even though the pliot is lit, and the heater is set to HOT, the flame is so small I believe it's just the pilot light that's lit, I do not believe the main gas is burning. Hard to see inside the tube, but the size of the flame isn't enough to heat a water tank, maybe a shot glass though
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:18 AM   #15
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I can't say for sure but based on this last photo you have the main control knob in the "off" position. The top knob reads "off" relative to the red line. If this is the same as the older piloted house water heaters the control knob has the following positions: Pilot, Off and On or Run. I could be wrong but that is what I am seeing in the recent photo.

Once the pilot stays light you would turn the control knob to the On or Run position and if everything is working the burner should ignite.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:48 AM   #16
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I can't say for sure but based on this last photo you have the main control knob in the "off" position.

This was just a random photo. It is in the off position.
I Cleaned the nozzle where the propane and the air mix (circled in red) and now it works!
Thanks for all the help. I just need to manually light the pilot light, and I assume it will stay lit until I manually turn off the gas.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:58 AM   #17
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This was just a random photo. It is in the off position.
I Cleaned the nozzle where the propane and the air mix (circled in red) and now it works!
Thanks for all the help. I just need to manually light the pilot light, and I assume it will stay lit until I manually turn off the gas.
you got it! the pilot light will stay lit until you turn off the gas. now go camping!
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:49 AM   #18
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26DJSE

Quote:
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This was just a random photo. It is in the off position.
I Cleaned the nozzle where the propane and the air mix (circled in red) and now it works!
Thanks for all the help. I just need to manually light the pilot light, and I assume it will stay lit until I manually turn off the gas.
I have a Grey Wolf 26DJSE, and I struggled to figure out what the issue was...

It seems to be a procedure to light the water heater and has to be done in the exact order to work without issues.
This is what works for me.
1) Turn on your propane tank at the nose of the trailer.
2) Head to the stove inside and light a burner to make sure the propane is running through the system correctly.
3) Run your hot water inside the trailer for a minute or 2.
4) Return to the Water heater outside and then push the Black button down, holding it in the Pilot position.
5) Light it with a long BBQ lighter, holding the button down for a 20-30sec for it to heat up. Then turn to the "On" position.
6) It should pick up the water is cold and start up the main burner, that actually heats the water. (sounds like a hot air balloon burner for taking off...lol)
7) The pilot stays on after the water has been heated and fires up every now and again to maintain the water temp.

NB*** When you are done camping, turn the Nob back to the off position
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