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Old 06-11-2024, 09:41 PM   #1
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Water heater won't kick on

Hi all!

I recently got a 2004 flagstaff 625d camper. I've gone thru and gotten the 12v system, the shore power, the burners, the fridge, and the furnace all working. Water thru city water works as does the self contained system. I even figured out the toilet.

My last issue is with the suburban brand water heater. This thing is old. It's gas only and uses a pilot light. I can get the pilot lit fairly easily but this thing just will not kick on and actually heat the water.

Temp is set to med-high and water temp is around 50 degrees in the tank. I have a few theories but basically no knowledge about this thing.

Could the gas control unit be clogged up? The pilot works thru it but no main gas.

Could the thermostat be bad? I don't even know how to test it.

I've attached some pics for reference. Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-11-2024, 09:56 PM   #2
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Thread has been moved from the General Community Discussions forum to the Propane Systems forum.
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:18 AM   #3
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More pics of the inside of the gas valve. Perceptive users will see that I screwed myself with a stuck bolt
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:31 AM   #4
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I was going to say "replace the thermocouple" but now you need to replace
the gas valve and thermocouple.
My 2
Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I was going to say "replace the thermocouple" but now you need to replace
the gas valve and thermocouple.
My 2
Good luck!
Assuming I can get that screw out and pop the controller back together, where is the thermocouple that I need to replace?

Edit: I think you mean the thermocouple on the pilot light assembly. I assumed it was working properly because the pilot light stays on. Is it possible it is good enough for the pilot but not good enough for the main burner?
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Old 06-12-2024, 05:22 PM   #6
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I'm inclined...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004flagstaff625d View Post
Assuming I can get that screw out and pop the controller back together, where is the thermocouple that I need to replace?

Edit: I think you mean the thermocouple on the pilot light assembly. I assumed it was working properly because the pilot light stays on. Is it possible it is good enough for the pilot but not good enough for the main burner?
I'm inclined to agree with you--the thermocouple seems to be alright, since the pilot persists when you take away the flame source. It is successfully indicating the flame to the gas valve.

It's possible that either the gas valve or thermostat are bad.

I am guessing that your water heater is an SW6P, but there were three other models that also used a pilot light. Can you confirm which make and model you have?

Attached is a service manual that is old enough to cover all the pilot light models, and to provide part numbers if you need to order anything. Just be sure to stick to the pages for your "P" model and don't get confused by the newer models.
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Old 06-12-2024, 07:18 PM   #7
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I'm inclined to agree with you--the thermocouple seems to be alright, since the pilot persists when you take away the flame source. It is successfully indicating the flame to the gas valve.

It's possible that either the gas valve or thermostat are bad.

I am guessing that your water heater is an SW6P, but there were three other models that also used a pilot light. Can you confirm which make and model you have?

Attached is a service manual that is old enough to cover all the pilot light models, and to provide part numbers if you need to order anything. Just be sure to stick to the pages for your "P" model and don't get confused by the newer models.
I cannot seem to find the model number anywhere I do have an update though. I drilled out and ran a tap through the hole with the broken screw. Put everything back together and smacked it with a hammer extra hard a couple times. Works like a champ now.
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Old 06-13-2024, 05:31 AM   #8
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All else fails, beat it to death lol
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Old 06-13-2024, 07:03 AM   #9
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Search the following on YouTube. You will find several good videos that may help

suburban water heater troubleshooting
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Old 06-13-2024, 07:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004flagstaff625d View Post
I cannot seem to find the model number anywhere I do have an update though. I drilled out and ran a tap through the hole with the broken screw. Put everything back together and smacked it with a hammer extra hard a couple times. Works like a champ now.

See last line. ^^^^^^
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Old 06-13-2024, 09:08 AM   #11
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Read the manual?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004flagstaff625d View Post
I cannot seem to find the model number anywhere I do have an update though. I drilled out and ran a tap through the hole with the broken screw. Put everything back together and smacked it with a hammer extra hard a couple times. Works like a champ now.
Page 33 shows you that the model/serial plate is on the outside, on the right side of the faceplate mounting flange for your unit.
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