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Old 08-22-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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hot water - gas heating issues

My hot water tank doesn't work right when I set it to gas mode. Initially, the pilot light will fire up but eventually it will go out and the RESET light comes on. The water doesn't even get hot. This was happening last year and this year I have freshly filled propane tanks and I have the same issue. Any ideas on how I can trouble shoot this issue?
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:55 AM   #2
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should be a little rod that the pilot light (flame) heats up
sometimes some light cleanning of the rod with a small wire brush
and then blow out everthing with some compressed air
at least this is a good starting point
worked for me many times

check visable connections for tight connection


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Old 08-22-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
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Need to know the brand and model of the water heater. You say the pilot lights, but you mention a red light. If you are using gas with nothing but the switch inside, (which is correct), then there is no pilot. The water heater is DSI, direct Spark Ignition, so no pilot light. The light will come on, and if.when it lights, will go out. Now if something causes it to not stay lit, or relight, the red light will come back on and stay on, meaning trouble. Check the tube for spider webs, usually a common problem. Do a search on here, might include brand, many helpful troubleshooting guides. Now, don't you wish you would have fixed this in the off season?
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #4
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Another possible problem could be your propane tank safety valve.

Propane 101 - Promoting Propane Safety Through Understanding

New tank connection systems are equipped with a shutoff to prevent a catastrophic release of propane gas in an accident where the rubber line is severed (called a free flow shutoff). This emergency shutoff does not completely shut off the gas but allows a very low pressure to bypass so the lines can be filled when you first open the valve.

If the tank is opened too quickly and the lines are empty, the tank valve may detect an emergency situation and shut off the majority of the pressure. The remaining pressure may be enough to fill the lines and run the pilot light and even a single stove burner on low flame, but not enough to run the furnace, fridge, or water heater.

Try this:

1) Close all propane tank valves - make sure pigtail is TIGHT.
2) shut off or turn off all gas users inside the camper.
3) WAIT at least 5 minutes - WAIT
4) Select the FAR tank on the selector regulator
5) WE ARE GOING TO OPEN THE CLOSE TANK
6) SLOWLY (about 30 slow count from closed to open) open the Close tank valve. This should charge the short hose up to the regulator to full pressure without tripping the shutoff.
7) SLOWLY rotate the selector to the tank that is open and observe the red indicator goes green
8) Enter the camper and turn on 1 small stove burner. (Have a match ready in case your sparker is not set up properly)
9) try to light it until it lights or you smell gas. (If you smell gas and the sparker won't ignite the burner use the match.)
10) Once you have a good burner on high with a nice blue flame open the other burners and start them. ALL burners should light and run on high. If the burners go out, the OPD valve on the tank has shut off the gas. You should observe that the red bar is again showing. Repeat the above from step one.

11) Assuming the burners are running, you can shut them off and start up the water heater and see if the problem you are having repeats or is solved.

If this fixes your water heater issue, then SLOWLY open the FAR bottle and rotate the selector to the newly open tank. Go back inside and light one burner. It should light immediately and "blip" as the air in the line leans out the propane; then return strong. Go outside and examine the regulator and it should show green no matter which tank is selected.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Hi

I was having the same problem with my 281QBXL. When we had the slide in it worked no problems, but when the slide was out nothing. What it turned out to be the gas line was getting kinked against the stop for the slide. So far FR has not come up with a fix but all I do is before the slide is fully extended I just pull on the line to keep it away from the stop...One other problem is the breaker switch was loose in the panel. Whenever someone walked and the camper shook the breaker would pop so all I did was to tighten the screws..
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Correct, I don't have 'pilot light because the heater is electric ignition... I'll have to take pics to explain better. Yes, the light comes on and stays on.

Thanks for all the ideas everyone. I'll do some more trouble shooting next year. The camper is winterized and in storage already.

This summer the hot water electric element died. So, we had to use the propane. Toggling the propane button OFF/ON every time the light stayed on did the trick. We had to follow this process to warm the water. So, for some reason it works for the first time after I turn it ON but then it doesn't...

I don't know if the propane lines are visible underneath the trailer. I'll have to check in the spring.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoSheriff View Post
Toggling the propane button OFF/ON every time the light stayed on did the trick.
This sounds like a mixture problem.
Either the flue or the burner tube is blocked.
If it lights at all the electronics are working and propane is available.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Suburban Water Heater Repair and Operation.pdf (3.60 MB, 136 views)
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