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Old 06-03-2020, 12:29 AM   #1
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Water Heater not Igniting

I have a 2013 Coachmen Freelander which I bought last Fall. The water heater worked fine the one time we had it out last Fall. When I took it out last weekend, the water heater worked for a few hours then stopped working. I can see that the electronic ignition is working but it is not lighting. Would appreciate suggestions on troubleshooting. (I do have propane in the tank) Thanks
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Old 06-03-2020, 05:59 AM   #2
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I know to troubleshoot, a model no. will be asked for. That way some problems that may be common to that model can be brought up.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:44 AM   #3
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We need to know the make and model of your water heater. The only thing we are sure of by your post is your water heaters Temperature/Hi-Limit switch is ok because you are getting power to direct spark ignition.


First, always be sure there is water in the water heater by opening the temperature & pressure release valve (t&p valve).
Bleed the air out of the lp system by lighting a stove top burner for a minute or two.
Use canned air or an air compressor to blow bugs, dirt, soot and spider webs from the burner tube and flue. Spiders love the scent of LP gas.
Open the outside access panel and make sure the wires going to the gas valve are connected fully, they should fit tight.
Do you have access to a multimeter and know how to use it? If so, have a helper turn on the wh while you check the gas valve for 12vdc power when it tries to light. - If you don't have 12vdc at the valve you may have a bad control board. If you have voltage then you might have a bad gas valve or another problem getting sufficient gas to the wh.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:46 AM   #4
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Spiders and such like to make their home in the gas/air tube during dormant periods. Runs then stops indicates fuel delivery problems.

Assuming you have enough propane as you’ve stated, does your stove or fridge work ok on propane?

As mentioned.....
Is your heater an Atwood or Suburban?

Scrapper types faster than me (lol)
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:56 PM   #5
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Suburbans are know for bad control boards - had to replace mine in less than a year b ut I was in Mexico at the time so couldn't get warranty - board cost was under $100 on Amazon and son-in-law installed it for me.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:34 AM   #6
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Out of curiosity, how did you know it was the control board and not something else?
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:55 AM   #7
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My dear Friend and fellow camper; I can't remember yesterday let alone 2 years ago LOL - my son-in-law may have checked it with a volt meter but more likely he'd had the same problem on his camper and made the deduction my problem was the same as what he'd had. As I remember the spark igniter would momentarily ignite the pilot but the minute the unit was turned on the pilot would go out or the whole unit would shut down after several moments of attempting to ignite the burner. All I can tell you is it is a very common failure.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasch View Post
My dear Friend and fellow camper; I can't remember yesterday let alone 2 years ago LOL - my son-in-law may have checked it with a volt meter but more likely he'd had the same problem on his camper and made the deduction my problem was the same as what he'd had. As I remember the spark igniter would momentarily ignite the pilot but the minute the unit was turned on the pilot would go out or the whole unit would shut down after several moments of attempting to ignite the burner. All I can tell you is it is a very common failure.
Your heater had a spark igniter AND a pilot light? That's an odd set-up. A spark igniter (DSI) ignites the main burner, not a pilot.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:31 AM   #9
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My error - spark igniter No Pilot.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sasch View Post
My dear Friend and fellow camper; I can't remember yesterday let alone 2 years ago LOL - my son-in-law may have checked it with a volt meter but more likely he'd had the same problem on his camper and made the deduction my problem was the same as what he'd had. As I remember the spark igniter would momentarily ignite the pilot but the minute the unit was turned on the pilot would go out or the whole unit would shut down after several moments of attempting to ignite the burner. All I can tell you is it is a very common failure.
So your saying the burner would light as long as the DSI was working but went out when the DSI stopped. That sounds like a flame sense problem to me. That could be caused by the wire to the spark igniter/flame sense was loose or dirty. When your son changed the board the cause was resolved.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:10 AM   #11
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Yes - completely and back to good working order since We replaced the board
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:27 AM   #12
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Many times with the surburban board you will get spark but the board will not send voltage to the gas valve turning it on . best to replace with the dinosaur small board .
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:44 AM   #13
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So your saying the burner would light as long as the DSI was working but went out when the DSI stopped. That sounds like a flame sense problem to me. That could be caused by the wire to the spark igniter/flame sense was loose or dirty. When your son changed the board the cause was resolved.
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Yes - completely and back to good working order since We replaced the board
What I was implying at is the board may have not been the problem. Removing the wires from your original board, then reinstalling may have been all that was needed.


That worked for me when my refrigerator would not stay working on electric or gas.
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