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Old 06-04-2015, 10:37 PM   #1
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winnebago water heater

I have an 1987 Winnebago Itasca and I am not sure how to get my water heater going. I have a control panel and I turned the water heater on but the pilot light won't light. The stove and fridge are both working off the gas now, so I know there's gas. Am I not doing something? I have not checked the electrical yet as I think there is a step that I did not take. Thanks.

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Old 06-04-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
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Can you post a brand and model number for the heater.
There are some manuals in the drop box in the blue bar , below your welcome message " Files "

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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Without knowing the actual brand of the water heater, it is hard to tell. Check to ensure that you have water in it (it should have a air release valve near the top of it. Open the water heater panel and check to see if you can hear it sparking when you first turn it on. Also just check to make sure some animal or bug hasn't taken up residence. Give us more information based on what you see and have tried.

Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:23 PM   #4
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Basically, there two types of pilot ignition ...one is manual and the other DSI (direct spark ignition). On an older RV like yours, you could very well have a manual pilot where you actually have to light the pilot manually. With a DSI, it's just a flip of a switch.

As others have said, check your documentation as to the type you have.

Let's assume you have a manual pilot. In this case, you'll need to light the pilot using a long match or a striker tool. Again, your documentation guides should give instructions on how to do that.

Most RV water heaters are either Suburban or Atwood. If you do have a manual pilot light, the procedure should be similar as to how to light the pilot.

If you can't find your user guide to the water heater, here's a video that shows how to light a manual pilot light on a Suburban water heater that might help. If it doesn't, like others have said, post the make and model of your water heater and maybe we can help you find the owner manual for that particular model.

ETA: After I watched the entire video, they give instructions on how to light the pilot on both the Suburban and Atwood water heaters. Suburban is first and toward the end of the video, they will show how to light an Atwood pilot. Chances are, yours should be be either one of those two procedures assuming you have a manual pilot and not a DSI.
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:18 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. When I changed the continuous duty solenoid the mechanic saw two small wires, one red and one green. I told him that the red one was attached to the left side of the solenoid and the green one was just loose. He attached the red one to left side and green to the right side. I figured that the green one was the ground and therefore it should not be attached to other side of the solenoid as this was just a switch. So I cut the green one off and by luck I just tried the hot water switch and lo and behold the heater fired up. The trouble is that the heater used so much propane that I now switched it off, lol. I'm learning but have miles to go before I sleep. My next challenge is the gen set but I want to fool around with it first. It is an onan emerald 1 and it won't start up when I hit the switch. I'm thinking of biting the bullet and buy Winnebago manual for that year for about 140 bucks. I should have done that sooner as the solenoid cost me 52 dollars and he charged me 2 hrs labour which I know was a complete rip off. Total cost was 252 bucks, wow. Thanks again guys.
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