Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-02-2017, 08:25 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
Water Heater Go Boom

The last couple of trips we have been experiencing an intermittent situation that has been happening to our Suburban water heater when it is lighting. This doesn't happen every time but only 2-3 times on a week long trip. I flip the switch on the control panel for the water heater to light on gas. Let me go back here and say that during the summer months I use the fridge and water heater on gas and let the AC have all the amps it wants. With a tv, lights, fans and such I doubt I rarely hit 25 amps but just want to be on the safe side. Now back to the story; on flipping the switch and just after the burner lights, there is, for lack of a better word, an explosion in the burner chamber of the water heater. The burner usually lights fine and heats the water good. It's the explosion and an extra "smell" of gas that is concerning. Attached is some pics I took today with the shield or exhaust deflector(whatever it's called) already taken off. Inside the burner tube is a good bit of corrosion. Is this normal? The flame is the orange/blue color that is what is expected. I can never be outside and catch it doing this. It never does it while I'm standing there watching it so I can't say for sure that it is happening in the burner tube or where the gas comes out of the manifold. I plan on using a shop vac and clean as much of the rust up I can get to. Is there some kind of brush that I can run thru the brass tube to clean out dust or possibly a spider web that could be partially blocking the gas flow to the igniter? The BOSS said that I will get this problem corrected before the next trip.

So what advice does the congregation have to offer? I really don't want it to sit at the dealer for 2 months and them to say I need a new heater.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1442.jpg
Views:	121
Size:	291.1 KB
ID:	146912   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1441.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	320.7 KB
ID:	146913   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1429.jpg
Views:	133
Size:	276.2 KB
ID:	146914   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1435.jpg
Views:	123
Size:	285.3 KB
ID:	146915   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1440.jpg
Views:	140
Size:	280.3 KB
ID:	146916  

__________________

__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 03:26 AM   #2
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 21,737
The actual tube (pic #1 above) may be partially clogged and not allowing a proper air/fuel mixture. This is a known problem area for spider webs, dirt dobber nests, and soot in general. Some people have had success blowing some compressed air thru it, to blow out problems... while others have had to remove the tube itself to get the problem cleared out (which also isn't hard to do)

They also make a flexible brush designed for this cleaning purpose that you can use.

https://www.makariosrv.com/water-hea...cleaner-09103/
__________________

__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

Geaux Tigers!!!!
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 04:28 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
Thanks for the reply. I figured I could probably take the tube off and clean it thoroughly but I didn't want to mess with the adjustments that might have to be made once I take it off. I thought about making a little homemade brush with a coat hanger with a piece of cloth tied to it and run it back and forth through there. Is there anything in the tube that could be messed up if I pushed something through there?
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 08:52 AM   #4
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 11,176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timex View Post
Thanks for the reply. I figured I could probably take the tube off and clean it thoroughly but I didn't want to mess with the adjustments that might have to be made once I take it off. I thought about making a little homemade brush with a coat hanger with a piece of cloth tied to it and run it back and forth through there. Is there anything in the tube that could be messed up if I pushed something through there?
Shouldn't hurt a thing.
They actually make a cleaning brush to be used to push through there similar to a gun cleaning brush.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=14
5picker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 09:35 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
I looked up the link that Bobby posted earlier but that link said it was unavailable at the time. I now have found some flu brushes on Amazon that will probably work as well. I'll get them ordered and then try it out with the Shop-Vac. I'll also after I get everything cleaned up will use the soapy water test to see if there might be some leaks in the gas line. Is the corrosion and the burner chamber a usual occurrence?
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 09:45 AM   #6
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 11,176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timex View Post
I looked up the link that Bobby posted earlier but that link said it was unavailable at the time. I now have found some flu brushes on Amazon that will probably work as well. I'll get them ordered and then try it out with the Shop-Vac. I'll also after I get everything cleaned up will use the soapy water test to see if there might be some leaks in the gas line. Is the corrosion and the burner chamber a usual occurrence?
Looks similar to all the water heaters I've seen.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=14
5picker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 10:37 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Minnesota ( wishing we were boondocking in the New York Catskills )
Posts: 567
X2 on what WMTIRE and 5PICKER said ...

Be careful with the cleaning, obviously don't want to pierce the flue tube, but it is metal and God only knows what has tried to build a home in there.

Shop-vac is a great way to get stuff out.

The Atwood on our previous TC looked like hell at 21-years old, and still worked like a champ. The inside of the flue was downright ugly, plenty of rust on the exhaust and enough corrosion on the gas side and regulator/valve.

Don't know that we would call it an explosion, but there were lighting episodes where there was a sufficient "Pop" obviously caused by gas build-up in the flue between valve opening and ignition.

"Generally" Propane has this deliberately limited fuel-air range that is combustible, point being that it is pretty darn safe.

If you get the loose stuff outta the gas venturi and the flue, and it burns with a mostly blue flame, you are good to go.
__________________

Jeff and Abby
Fur Babies - Xandra Sophia (GSD) and Neo (Min-Pin Mutt who thinks he is a cat)
2015 Tracer Air 235 (previous 1994 Veri-Lite 1130 TC)
1998 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab - 360 - 46RE (Built)
Jeff_and_Abby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 10:45 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
When I call an explosion sounds almost like someone is on the outside of the trailer and they hit it with something. Sometimes it doesn't light immediately and has to go through a cycle. The last time it happened my wife was in the shower and it apparently was going to light and run again and that's when the explosion happened again. I smelled gas and the fault light was on. Immediately turn the switch off and opened a vent to get the smell out. I'll do some cleanup and take more pictures and run the system again to see how things work. I'll post results after that.
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:18 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Stockdale Texas
Posts: 337
Had an older 5er years ago that when the water heater lit would actually shoot a flame out the side of the trailer about 8-10", along with the explosion sound. It was scary. TT dealer, ended up after taking it there 3 times, replacing the gas valve itself. Hope yours works after the cleaning.
ard58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,343
I had explosions like that. The ignitor wasn't firing the gas every time. Sometimes it would fire after a few tries when there was gas in the flue, and it would ignite with a pop. Adjusting the ignitor electrodes fixed it.

If cleaning it doesn't cure the problem, try adjusting the ignitor electrodes until you get a strong spark every time. (With the gas tank valve off, of course.)
__________________
RamblerGuy
2011 Sunseeker 3100
2016 Ford Edge Toad
RamblerGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 01:22 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
How do you adjust the igniter electrodes?
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 02:26 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,343
I removed the burner, and was able to reach in with some pliers and squeeze the electrodes closer. The pliers I had just barely fit. You may have to remove the electrodes to adjust them. The manual may have guidance on the desired gap. I just squeezed them and after a try or two I got a good spark every time.
__________________
RamblerGuy
2011 Sunseeker 3100
2016 Ford Edge Toad
RamblerGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 02:29 PM   #13
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 11,176
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblerGuy View Post
I removed the burner, and was able to reach in with some pliers and squeeze the electrodes closer. The pliers I had just barely fit. You may have to remove the electrodes to adjust them. The manual may have guidance on the desired gap. I just squeezed them and after a try or two I got a good spark every time.
Be careful squeezing the electrodes with pliers. They are housed in ceramic which can break/crack easily.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '17=30 '18=51 '19=58 '20=14
5picker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 02:46 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,343
Good suggestion. Reminds me that I was a bit nervous doing it.
__________________
RamblerGuy
2011 Sunseeker 3100
2016 Ford Edge Toad
RamblerGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 02:51 PM   #15
Old Enough to Know Better
 
gasman6674's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greenwood, In
Posts: 507
Its called delayed ignition. Make sure you have a good strong pilot when it lights, if not try to clean it. If it sparks direct to the burner make sure you have a strong spark and adjust the electrode (which you have ) improve it. Clean the area with a small brush and canned air if you can. There are a bunch of videos and articles on you tube to show you pictures and how to

Good Luck
__________________
Jim & Debbie England
Do you have Gas? 2015 F350 6.2L CCLB DRW 4.30 axle. 2012 Yellowstone Ridgeline 34RLT Fifth Wheel
Coming Soon: 2020 Keystone Cougar 364BHL
gasman6674 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 03:11 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
Are the electrodes similar to the end of a spark plug that needs a little sanding to clean the tips up?
Or just wipe them to clean them?
If they are ceramic, I don't want to hear that fateful crack.
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 03:24 PM   #17
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 21,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timex View Post
Are the electrodes similar to the end of a spark plug that needs a little sanding to clean the tips up?
Or just wipe them to clean them?
If they are ceramic, I don't want to hear that fateful crack.
Actually it's an electrode assembly, as in one.




If you will look at your posted pics in the OP, the rust color wire (I think it's the third or fourth pic, is connected to the electrode assembly spade terminal like in the above pic. This is what makes the electric spark. If you look at the pic above, there needs to be certain proper gap between the two ends, for a good spark.... and you can also adjust the entire assembly a hair using the set screw to make sure it aligns at the right place at the end of the burner tube.
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

Geaux Tigers!!!!
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2017, 03:32 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
I'm kind of leery about turning those rusty screws and what might happen. It will take me a week or two to get the materials and have some time to work on them. Thanks for all the advice. I'll come back with some more pictures and hopefully some good results. Thanks.🔥
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2017, 04:30 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
Ok ya'll, I took the burner flue off and cleaned it real good inside. There was nothing that I could see(shining a light thru 1 end) but I wiped it good with a nylon brush.
Reached in with a stiff brush as far as I could reach in the burn chamber and cleaned as best I could.
Vacuumed all the loose rust debris, wiped the igniter electrodes, then used my leaf blower to blow everything else out.
Turned the switch on to see the spark for the igniter. Looked good to me. Went thru 2 cycles and it sparked each time.
Connected the flue back up.
Turned the gas on and it lit up like a champ.
Turned it off and then back on to relight.
Worked as it should.
No blow out. And no boom.
Attached is more pics.
The igniter tips are a lighter color in 1 pic because of the light I was using was shining on them.
I did find a screw loose on the bracket that holds the manifold in place. I don't believe that has anything to do with my problem though.
I don't know if anything I did made a difference. It might not do it again or it might do it again on the next trip out.
Granted, I didn't run it for complete cycles but only to see if it was lighting correctly.
If I have more time, I'll hook up a hose and run the water thru the faucets and really give it a workout.

My new pics aren't showing up in my post preview. I may have to repost.
__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2017, 04:49 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Timex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 1,658
2nd try

For some reason my pics(5) are not coming thru.

I'll try 1 at a time.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1443.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	338.1 KB
ID:	147825   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1447.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	289.7 KB
ID:	147826   Click image for larger version

Name:	0808171501a.jpg
Views:	41
Size:	224.6 KB
ID:	147827   Click image for larger version

Name:	0808171521.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	197.1 KB
ID:	147828   Click image for larger version

Name:	0808171538.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	168.0 KB
ID:	147829  

__________________

__________________
2012 Flagstaff V Lite 30 WRLTS
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.7 Mag Hemi 3.72 Rearaxle
Nights camped 2015 = 23
Nights camped 2016 = 25
Nights camped 2017 = 13
Nights camped 2018 = 3
Timex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heater, water, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:51 PM.


×