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Old 04-13-2015, 03:53 PM   #1
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Question Suburban Hot water heater

I have a 2008 Georgetown with a Suburban DSI SW6d water heater. It is Propane only, with DSI. We are full timers and we have been in Arizona for 6 months. Everything was fine until this morning. My water heater fires off, but shuts down in 5 seconds. It relights right away but goes out again. I've reset the one reset button but no change. The flame is normal when it lights but something must be telling it to shut down. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rvpezzano View Post
I have a 2008 Georgetown with a Suburban DSI SW6d water heater. It is Propane only, with DSI. We are full timers and we have been in Arizona for 6 months. Everything was fine until this morning. My water heater fires off, but shuts down in 5 seconds. It relights right away but goes out again. I've reset the one reset button but no change. The flame is normal when it lights but something must be telling it to shut down. Any thoughts?
How's your propane supply?
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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How clean is the burner flue?

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Old 04-13-2015, 04:16 PM   #4
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water heater

I have propane, the stove works fine, the flu looks OK.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:04 PM   #5
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If the flame sensor looks tarnished, you can clean it with Scotchbrite or some fine sandpaper. Be very careful to not crack the porcelain. The flame signal is very low level signal.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
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If the flame sensor looks tarnished, you can clean it with Scotchbrite or some fine sandpaper. Be very careful to not crack the porcelain. The flame signal is very low level signal.
Thinking in this direction as well. Flame sensor or control board.
Though to be complete, low propane pressure could also cause initial light; then flame failure.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:40 PM   #7
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I removed the burner and does the spark ignitor double as a flame sensor? there is nothing else in the chamber.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #8
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I removed the burner and does the spark ignitor double as a flame sensor? there is nothing else in the chamber.
Yes; there is a low current (1.5 MICRO amps) that passes through the ionized gas in the flame to ground. No current; no flame; the control board shuts the gas off.

Cleaning the electrode might help by exposing unoxidized metal so there is more "good" surface area to expose to the flame.

Might want to check the spark gap too. The tip may be burnt off and the gap is too large.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:32 PM   #9
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Thanks to all. I removed the burner assembly, steel wooled the electrode, checked the gap, reinstall it, and BINGO. I guess they had enough build up to reduce the amps to the board.
I'll know next time.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:42 PM   #10
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Could be the grounding of the burner assembly. The spark has plenty of voltage but the sense circuit not so much. Quite possibly removal and install was the fix.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:41 PM   #11
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I de-winterized on Friday. Too cold to do it any sooner. We left on vacation Sunday morning. When I attempted to fill the Suburban hot water tank Friday, I would keep trying the pressure relief valve to see if water was in the tank. The PR valve never released any water. After about an hour I began to suspect the the valve was not functioning and removed the anode rod and found that the tank was full of water. I believe the PR valve has failed. I had no time to replace the valve before we left.

When we got to our CG monday I hooked up to the CG water supply and shore power. I set the hot water tank for electric. Monday evening I took a nice warm shower but when my wife went to shower several hours later she had only cold water. (I heard about that!) I was not running the pump because I am on the CG water system. I suspect that we drained the HW tank empty.

1) Is it possible that the hot water tank did not fill without the pump because of a defective PR valve? I'm pretty sure I burned the heating element. Today I checked the "reset" elements and they appear undamaged.

2) I wanted to turn the electric switch off and just use propane. I could hardly move the switch. Is there some way to damage the switch if the heating element is burned out?

Because of this forum I have learned how to replace the heating element. I don't understand why the switch will barely budge. The propane heating is working fine.

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:06 AM   #12
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Some switches are hard to flip. And some wear out. Had to change at least five on this unit. One was the ceiling lights on the control panel and others on the lights themselves.


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Old 04-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #13
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Suburban switches seize all the time...
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