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Old 10-28-2015, 09:04 AM   #1
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Atwood hot water heater

I have a 2003 Dutch Star with a traditional gas/electric water heater. The electric works fine but the propane side has started giving me problems. The heater igniter works when a demand for heat is sensed. The burner comes on as it should but seconds into the burn, the igniter comes on again and then the gas valve shuts off. It will cycle through this process two or three times and then trigger the reset button inside the coach. Does anyone have a thought on what to check? Is there a control board somewhere I am not seeing? If I turn off the switch, wait two minutes, and turn it back on it will go through the same process again. Sometimes it will stay on and operate as it should. I'm confused
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG Chuck View Post
I have a 2003 Dutch Star with a traditional gas/electric water heater. The electric works fine but the propane side has started giving me problems. The heater igniter works when a demand for heat is sensed. The burner comes on as it should but seconds into the burn, the igniter comes on again and then the gas valve shuts off. It will cycle through this process two or three times and then trigger the reset button inside the coach. Does anyone have a thought on what to check? Is there a control board somewhere I am not seeing? If I turn off the switch, wait two minutes, and turn it back on it will go through the same process again. Sometimes it will stay on and operate as it should. I'm confused
MSG Chuck
What model is your Atwood water heater?

I suspect that the combination "Spark and Sense Electrode" is sometimes failing to sense the burn.
You may find the part number for yours in your water heater "Installation and Operation Manual".

Most RV shops have them in stock... (mine cost me <$20).
Here's one for an Atwood:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/23813721.cfm

See also this discussion:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/23813721.cfm

Mel
'96 Safari, (with a Suberban SW10D WH)
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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The igniter wire and probe act as the flame sensor after the spark cycle.
The controller will try three times to ignite the flame and if it sees no input from the sensor or doesn't react to the signal, it will shut down until re-started.
The control is mounted to the side of the heater, inside the coach on some brands , follow the igniter wire.
You could try cleaning the probe, carbon build up can lead to slow reaction to the heat. If that doesn't help then remove the control for testing.
Most RV parts places can bench test the control board if you carry it in.

EDIT: I see Mel and I were typing at the same time , and he posted first, sorry if the info is duplicated.
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
The igniter wire and probe act as the flame sensor after the spark cycle.
The controller will try three times to ignite the flame and if it sees no input from the sensor or doesn't react to the signal, it will shut down until re-started.
The control is mounted to the side of the heater, inside the coach on some brands , follow the igniter wire.
You could try cleaning the probe, carbon build up can lead to slow reaction to the heat. If that doesn't help then remove the control for testing.
Most RV parts places can bench test the control board if you carry it in.

EDIT: I see Mel and I were typing at the same time , and he posted first, sorry if the info is duplicated.
Skip426
IMO when there's a problem bad enough to post, one can't get too many correct answers.
Mel
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick response. I misquoted the manufacturer. Mine is a Suburban, model number SW10(?) I think. I took both your advice and have cleaned the igniter/spark sensor. I will wait and see if that works. If not, I guess I'll have to pull the heater to get to the control board. Hope the cleaning works!
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MSG Chuck View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I misquoted the manufacturer. Mine is a Suburban, model number SW10(?) I think. I took both your advice and have cleaned the igniter/spark sensor. I will wait and see if that works. If not, I guess I'll have to pull the heater to get to the control board. Hope the cleaning works!
MSG Chuck
If cleaning the igniter/sensor does not work I suggest you replace the igniter/sensor, (mine cost <$18), before you spend the $80-$150 for a new control board.
Simply replacing only the igniter/spark sensor fixed my 19 year old Suberban when an RV reair shop said that I would "most likely need both a new igniter/sensor AND a new board".

BTW on my coach it's not necessary to "pull the WH heater" to remove and replace the WH control board.
The control board for my WH is located in a kitchen cabinet a few feet from the WH itself)...yours may be similar ??

Mel
'96 Safari, Suberban SW10D water heater
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