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Old 06-23-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Water Heater Help

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same issue we have had a few time now. On two of our last four trips our water heater has basically backfired while in LP operation. Our friends who had witnessed the "explosion" said a 2 foot blue flame shot out of the grille. The only thing that I had noticed was that both time this happened it was pretty windy out.

So, I guess my question is, is this a problem with the water heater or most likely due to the burner not lighting due to the wind and having gas build to the point it explodes?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like the wind is blowing it out after it lights. A good cleaning of the burner tube and venturi assembly wouldn't hurt. The wind would have to be blowing in exactly right direction to cause a problem like that. If that is the case, you might be able to install some metal screen over the grill to help the wind situation or even a metal baffle would help. Be sure not to restrict the air flow what ever you do.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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A good cleaning of the tube assembly is more than likely in order. Spiders love to build their egg sacks and weave webs in those things. Mud daubers as well. That would cause a build up of gas and therefore cause the blowout when it does light up.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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The pilot light is at the bottom and the exhaust is at the top where the cheesy screen (if you can call it that) is located. I'd doubt the wind is blowing it out.
I'd say it's more likely the air fuel mixture. On the fuel line going into where the pilot is just at the plenum, there is a screen tube used for adjustment of the air fuel. Don't mess with it unless you mark the location of it. Take a wire clothes hanger and cut out the long straight piece then bend one end back at 180 degrees so you can reach back into the port. Use a mirror and flashlight first if you want to so you'll get an idea of what's there. You'll probably see a dirt dauber nest in there blocking the flow.
Once you get it cleaned up adding a screen will help prevent them from getting in there. You can buy a screen made to be attached to it, or you can cut a piece of metal screen and attach it inside the panel with epoxy resin.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate it. I will check for critters making a home in the tube.

If there were some sort of blockage though, wouldn't the flame be discolored or weak? When the water heater is actually running on propane it has a nice strong blue flame. Just asking.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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Sometimes it'll be a pretty blue flame but it just won't sound right. It's hard to explain but if you've ever heard a proper flame you'll know the difference.
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