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Old 10-18-2016, 03:05 PM   #1
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Holiday Rambler water heater fire

Well, fired up the water heater and didn't know it had something in the burner area (wasp nest or spider webs) and they caught on fire and damaged the exterior vent grill and door and also blacked up the coach above it. Now it seems the heater will fire up but wont cut off before the pop off valve starts leaking. Could the sensor now be damaged? since 12 years old, should I try to check and repair or should I just change the whole unit out? especially since the 110V unit was burnt out and didn't work when I bought it and don't know how long ago it quit working.... thx for feedback

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Old 10-18-2016, 04:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need a new circuit board and electric element. I would think about replacing the whole unit if it were me.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #3
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You should have a failsafe heat fuse that may be bypassed; it shouldn't run at all after having a fire inside the cover. Do NOT run it again before getting it checked out.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:35 PM   #4
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Brand? Just replaced my 11 year old Suburban gas/electric DSI water heater because of electrical issues. It only cost me around 400 dollars and a couple hours of time. Once they hit 10 years old its just not worth trying to fix any longer.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grthigpen View Post
Well, fired up the water heater and didn't know it had something in the burner area (wasp nest or spider webs) and they caught on fire and damaged the exterior vent grill and door and also blacked up the coach above it. Now it seems the heater will fire up but wont cut off before the pop off valve starts leaking. Could the sensor now be damaged? since 12 years old, should I try to check and repair or should I just change the whole unit out? especially since the 110V unit was burnt out and didn't work when I bought it and don't know how long ago it quit working.... thx for feedback
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Have you tried re-establishing the air expansion pocket at the top of the water heater tank to give the water some place to expand to when it is heated?

(Whenever the "relief valve", (aka: pop off valve or T&P valve), on my WH starts to leak re-establishing that air pocket has always stopped the leak).



Here's how to re-establish the air pocket in a water heater:

1.) Turn the heater heater OFF, (both gas and electric).
2.) Shut off the water supply.
3.) Open the relief valve until water stops coming out.
4.) Close the relief valve.
5.) Turn the water supply on.
6.) Turn the water heater ON.

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Old 10-18-2016, 07:35 PM   #6
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Agree with Mel. Would add that on initial warm up it's not that unusual to see the pop off valve dripping a little as it relieves pressure. The water in that tank expands as it warms (by quite a bit in the case of 10-12 gal. heaters), and unless your system has a leak, there's nowhere else for that expanding water to go.

Mel's solution, making sure there is some air in the top of the tank, especially on initial fire up, is how the system is designed to work. The expanding water can compress that air. Unfortunately, on rigs that are seldom drained, that air at the top of the tank often doesn't exist, having been absorbed by the water flowing through the tank - the reason Mel is making sure there is some air present.

All that said, in your case, nor sure I would scrap it or replace any parts just yet, but I'd surely keep an eye on it, watch it as it goes through a couple of cycles.
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