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Old 10-19-2015, 07:21 PM   #1
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automatic water heater not sparking

I just bought a 1995 Winnebago brave .I've been tinkering with everything and got most stuff working good. I had the propane system tested for leaks and now thats all good so i can check those systems. First prob is the water heater. When i turn it on and watch the heater itself out side, I can here a faint clicking sound for a few seconds and then stops but there is no spark inside the tube. the propane valve also turns on when i do this.. i am doing it with the gas off just to check that it sparks but nope... any ideas?
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:27 PM   #2
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Carbon or corrosion , on the spark probe, bad ground of the tube due to corrosion .
Can you post the brand and model of your heater ?
Do you have a users manual for the heater with the diagnostic info?
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:51 PM   #3
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im not sure what kind it is but here are some pics. should there be a ground wire going to the tube? i would think so but i never messed with one of these before
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:51 PM   #4
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That is an Atwood water heater, I have the same one in my 95 brave, coincidental I had the same problem this past weekend camping, I didn't bother with it, as I have a "Hot Rod" installed and just used electric.


When I got home, I took all those wires, and took them off the connectors one at a time, once I did that the water heater fired up.


So first thing is check all those connectors, you might even want to take some sand paper and clean them, as there is a lot of rust in there, also I would take some compressed air and blow out the flue, the part were the flame is.


The white arrows show where I took the connectors off and cleaned them.


Take some sand paper and clean the spark ignitor
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:42 AM   #5
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The most comon problem with atwood water heaters and furnace is bad connections.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:19 PM   #6
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started cleaning everything and found this part broken.. i can tig weld it back together , thats what i do for a living but just figured i'd post a pic if this means anything.. i dont think it has anything to do with not sparking but its probably needed to work properly?
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:33 PM   #7
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That part helps spread the flame out in the tube. You do need it. If you can weld it that should work, or replacement parts are easy to find and probably inexpensive.
Regarding your sparking problem, take a look at the ignitor and flame sensor rod. If there are ANY cracks in the ceramic part, junk it and order another. Amazon sells them:
http://www.amazon.com/Atwood-93868-S...atwood+ignitor

These things fail on a regular basis, I keep one as a spare. The ceramic cracks and the spark "shorts" and will not light off the burner because of a weak spark.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:16 PM   #8
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so the fridge does not light either so i started looking at it and noticed the spark box looked like the one in the water heater..same plug and all so i tried it in the water heater ..still no spark. the rv shop that checked the propane system for leaks told me the furnace worked. i will prob never use it so i checked it and pulled the spark box out of it..it has the same connections but on this one you can see all the parts inside..the other 2 were potted. hooked the furnace spark box in the water heater and it sparked away although it did nothing for about 10 seconds then the propane valve came on and it started sparking..is it ok to use this one in the water heater?
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:19 PM   #9
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Connections are the most common. Don't just look at them, take them off, clean them well, and make sure they are tight when you connect them again. While you are at it make sure the igniter is centered in the path of the gas and properly gapped.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:21 PM   #10
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i did clean all connections first. i even checked continuity from the box to the other end of the wires to make sure they were connected
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:47 PM   #11
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If it is an Atwood, the green ground wire at the top is commonly the problem. Rusted sheet metal under the lug.


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Old 10-20-2015, 07:56 PM   #12
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with the original control board installed , the valve turns on and i can here a faint click inside the board like a realy working.. being that this happens but doesnt spark could it even be anything else besides part of the board is bad? part of it works so i would think the wires are good
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:32 PM   #13
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changed spark box... good as new!
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