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Old 05-17-2013, 10:39 AM   #1
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Our first hiccup.....

So this weekend was scheduled to be our shakedown weekend in the N2U RV.

DW, DD, and DS are all loading items into the MH putting clothes into the closets, and food into the pantry.

As part of my maintenance, it was time to sterilize the freshwater tank for mainly two reasons... 1. it was our first outing of the season and 2. the previous owner never used it, and just ran on city hookups.

I ran a hose from the stick house down to the MH and connected to the city inlet, pressurized the system and verified there were no leaks.

Then I turned the valve to divert water to the FW tank.... <sound of running water coming from underneath the coach> I turn the water back off and investigate..... This could be a show-stopper for the weekend.

Somewhere along the line, a previous owner must have had an issue with the pipes freezing, because there were two open ends of piping where a T fitting and petcock should have been. From what I can tell, it was a straight razor knife cut and they were gone.

Realizing that this would bring our schedule weekend to a screeching halt, I headed up to our local big-box hardware store where i got a few 90* elbows, a "t" fitting and a brass 1/4 turn ball valve, a dozen small hose clamps and 5 feet of PEX plumbing (mainly because that was the shortest length they would sell me) and returned back home.

I plumbed the connection and tightened everything up. No drips... yet.

Restarted the hose and began filling the tank with water. At last! The sound of water in the tank, rising.....

I filled it about a quarter of the way up, and turned on the pump...... silence.

Checked inline fuse at pump and had 12v power..... Great.... another item needing replacement due to lack of use....

I picked the pump in and gave it a thump. WHIRRRRR!!!!

So apparently, like most other electrical motors, when they don't get used regularly, you have to give them a little persuasion.

Next on the agenda is the HWH which fires, runs for about 4-5 seconds then shuts the gas off. I can restart the heater, and the process repeats. But the heater never stays fired for more than 5 seconds. I have checked for obstructions in the vent pipe, and its clear. Anyone have an idea?

I have LP (albeit less than 1/4 tank according to the gauge on the tank) and the stove-top, oven and LP fridge all fire and operate normally. I have not even ventured to the furnace at this point. Its going to be near 80* this weekend. I don't think I'm gonna need it. But we wont have hot water yet either...

So our shakedown run is back on....., but with cautious optimism.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Hang in there Pete! Sounds like you have the know-how to take care of the minor problems you may have.

I don't have a clue about the HWH problem. Maybe someone else will jump in and help with that!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!


Remember, the difficult we handle immediately, the impossible takes a little longer!
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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I'm not sure about how different your water heater works than mine, but you may not want to get too excited yet.

First, if you're going to have shore power then you should be able to have hot water using the electrical heating element, even if the gas furnace heater is not working.

Second, sometimes it takes several tries for the LP gas water heater to light if it has not been used for a while. I have even gotten a DSI light a couple of times. Regardless, I went ahead and filled up the LP gas tank. Then I started the stove top burners to get the gas flowing through the pipes. I leveled the RV and then started the LP gas water heater. It has worked since then.

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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I should also note, that while the HWH is fired.... the DSI continues to ignite.... making me think that somewhere in the circuitry, it still thinks it hasnt lit... and then shuts itself off for safety..
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #5
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The only time we ever had a problem with an LP hot water heater - a spider had built a web inside the air intake tube.

Check that, and the burner tube as well, for possible blockage.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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Again, I would not be overly concerned about the water heater. Especially if you're going to have shore power at the camp site. The electrical water heater element works fine to heat the water, it just sometimes may take a little bit longer to get the water temp you want.

Go ahead and fill up the LP tank and drive to the park. Make sure the RV is leveled. Then start all burners on the stove. Start the refrigerator and put it on the LP gas. Then try to start the WH on LP gas. I assume you have two switches for the HWH, one for 12v, one for 120v. I would turn both on. It does not cause a problem for me to have both of them on. When both of them are on the gas heater will only come on if the water temperature drops too low, but the majority of the time after the water reaches temp the electric heating element will keep it hot.

In other words go have some fun and enjoy your time and find the other little things that may need to be fixing. I assume you're not going far away from home anyway, as this is simply a way to check everything out.

Just my thoughts for whatever they are worth.

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnp_macklin View Post
I should also note, that while the HWH is fired.... the DSI continues to ignite.... making me think that somewhere in the circuitry, it still thinks it hasnt lit... and then shuts itself off for safety..
Btw, IMO the least likely issue would be an issue in the circuitry.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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I almost forgot, welcome to the site!!

There are a lot of great people here that seem to be very interested in helping the rest of us...

Enjoy RVing and keep us informed on your progress. I hope some of these suggestions help you out.

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #9
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If the HWH is actually firing and then goes out, check the thermocoupler. That is a safety device that tells the LP gas valve to close if it does not detect flame. I've replaced one on our S/B HWH and one on our S/B furnace.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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One more thing make sure the water heater is full of water or you'll burn the elements out.

Simply turn on the hot water faucets to bleed the lines and fill the tank.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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I was thinking that due to low levels of LP might contribute to the issue....

We do have an AC "hot stick" (Thats covered in calcium deposits) for the HWH but it was an after-market thought from a previous owner... trying to connect that, means I have to leave door to HWH open for clearance. The original anode rod was removed for the hot stick, so its already there , so if we really get in a bind, it might be a plausible use as back-up.

Thanks for all the suggestions..... I think I will try and get the tank filled up, and see where we are from there.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
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One more thing make sure the water heater is full of water or you'll burn the elements out.

Simply turn on the hot water faucets to bleed the lines and fill the tank.
Properly bled..... verified by water coming out of vented pressure fitting at top of HWH.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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I believe Playtime III has it right. Also make sure you have good air flow. try running the HWH with the doors/cover open. Good Luck
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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I also agree with Playtime III. In a pinch you can use sand paper on the thermocoupler( the end of it will be crusty) to clean it off. Should work for the weekend.
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