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Old 09-20-2017, 11:07 AM   #1
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Water heater keeps going off

I have a 1998 Winnebago Brave with a 6 gal, gas only water heater. When I turn on the switch inside the coach it fires up pretty good. But after about 5 or 10 minutes it goes out and the pl light comes on inside the coach indicating a lock out. I've checked the burner tube and chamber for blockage and found none. I've adjusted the flame to approx. 1/4 open and I can barely hear it from 6 to 7 feet away. I've replaced the thermal cutoff service kit (sensors) and the ECO thermostat service kit so far but it keeps going off. It stays on long enough to have hot water. When operating properly, should it turn off at set temperature? When it turns itself off should the pl light turn on at the switch? If so, maybe I don't have a problem. FYI my furnace, kitchen stove and refridge seem to work fine on propane.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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You didn't identify make and model of water heater, so you'll have to search online yourself for a service and troubleshooting guide yourself to narrow down the problem. Yes, the water heater should turn off the burner when a preset high temperature is reached, then turn on again when it drops below the low temperature. A service manual will help you trace the problem down, I suspect a bad connection or sensor.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:22 AM   #3
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Water heater keeps going off

Sorry for forgetting that info. It is an Atwood, model no. GH6-8E. I bought the motor home last year, stayed in last winter in Florida and have never experienced normal operation of the water heater. This morning I turned it on and it lasted 10 min. before the lock out light came on and it went out. The only sensors that I am aware of are the ECO thermostat service kit and I just replaced them 2 days ago. I also have searched the web for help.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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I had the same type issue awhile back with my unit (10 gal gas or elect) chased it down for a week or so. I removed all the plugs/connectors cleaned them and then coated them with "electric" grease I got at walmart in the bulb section. I think it's called dielectric but not sure. Anyway that solved my issue. Hope this helps you out.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:57 PM   #5
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As mentioned clean the connectors on the board. This is such a common mode of failure that my water heater even has a sticker on the inside saying to do this as the first diagnostic.

Turn off the power, unplug and plug the connectors in four or five times. That should clean the contacts well enough.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennwhite View Post
I have a 1998 Winnebago Brave with a 6 gal, gas only water heater. When I turn on the switch inside the coach it fires up pretty good. But after about 5 or 10 minutes it goes out and the pl light comes on inside the coach indicating a lock out. I've checked the burner tube and chamber for blockage and found none. I've adjusted the flame to approx. 1/4 open and I can barely hear it from 6 to 7 feet away. I've replaced the thermal cutoff service kit (sensors) and the ECO thermostat service kit so far but it keeps going off. It stays on long enough to have hot water. When operating properly, should it turn off at set temperature? When it turns itself off should the pl light turn on at the switch? If so, maybe I don't have a problem. FYI my furnace, kitchen stove and refridge seem to work fine on propane.


Make sure your Bypass Valve is not in the Bypass mode. That would prevent fresh water from entering the Hot Water tank, and the Flame would shut itself off from overheating.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:26 AM   #7
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I have the same problem on gas only. Haven't tracked it down yet. It flames and heats, thought maybe it was an overheat condition but last time I tried it it barely got warm and locked the water heater out.

Thanks for the info, will certainly start on the connectors and work up from there. Haven't been too concerned since we usually use electric to heat the water.
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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I've been down with lower back pain but I'm better now. I've been fighting with this water heater for over a year now. The first thing that I tried was checking and cleaning the burner tube and chamber, without using compressed air. I got my compressor back today and found a good sized wasp nest in the burner tube while blowing it out. Hopefully it is my problem
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:37 PM   #9
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Sounds like you might have a bad thermostat, or you got the two 'stats switched around when you replaced them. The ECO should have a higher temp rating than the regular 'stat. First thing I'd do is pull them and check their temp ratings. If they're correct, then replace the regular 'stat. This is, of course, assuming they are both already making good contact with the tank.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:12 PM   #10
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O.K. The water heater has been on for over 48 hrs. and has not gone into lockout. I think it is working properly now. I blew compressed air alternating between the burner chamber and then back through the exhaust tube repeatedly. And then I could see the wasp nest back in the burner chamber where I could work it out with a long screwdriver. I want to thank everyone on here that commented and made suggestions. It was very encouraging and helpful.
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