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Old 10-02-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Gas Water Heater fumes inside

98 Holiday Rambler Alumilite

Water heater is under kitchen sink cabinet at back of trailer.

Strong fume smell from water heater. It does not do this often. This only the second time in about 6 months. The last time it was really windy and thought it was blowing back end somewhere but was unable to tell where. Also the wind was blowing out the flame on occasion.

Water heater has been used almost daily with no issue.

Now 6 months later turn on water heater and get a strong fume smell. Wind is very still. One propane tank is empty and the other is low but not empty. I can't till if flame is going out as it is full sun and hard to tell if burning but water got hot as normal
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
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The water heater is supposed to be sealed to prevent exhaust from entering the RV. Inspect the WH from outside, make sure nothing is rusted or blocking air flow and exhaust. You might have to pull the WH out of it's mount and check that all is the way it should be.

Has your CO detector been checked? They are only good for 6 years, then they should be replaced.

Knowing The Lifespan Of The Detectors In Your RV May Just Improve Your Own Lifespan | TV for My RV
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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That happened to us last week. Strong wind hitting us from just the wrong direction. We just shut it down for a few hours until the wind calmed down/shifted direction.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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Co and propane detector less then 1 year old.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:41 PM   #5
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Very difficult for propane combustion gasses to get inside an RV via the water heater.
Combustion/exhaust chamber goes inside the tank which is FULL of water.

So propane combustion gasses have to be coming in thru window or vent (opening ABOVE the water heater)
That also would require poor propane combustion......orange flame, obstructed combustion/exhaust chamber, some sooting etc.

Sounds like you should do a complete burner cleaning
Pull burner tube....clean it out using small bottle brush
Remove gas valve MAIN Orifice---soak in alcohol then blow out with air pressure (don't stick anything thru orifice it is a precision hole)
Remove spark electrode & assembly---clean high tension wire contacts, clean electrode (emery cloth) and clean mounting screw area (ground source)
Clean combustion/exhaust chamber----run wire thru, tie rag to wire thru pull it back thru chamber

Reassemble and fire off.....check flame. Should be strong steady and BLUE


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Old 10-04-2016, 01:09 PM   #6
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Gas Water Heater fumes inside

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The chamber tube has shifted on the side of the water heater leaving a gap at top of chamber and small crack is side wall at borrow.

Also the screw that held the burner tube to the chamber had come out completely.

The fumes are very random
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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For some reason I thought you had a Suburban WH..........your picture shows an Atwood WH

Regardless......
The water heater has 'sagged' causing the gap at the seal ring. \

To fix you will need to disconnect and pull whole water heater out.
Then disassemble the components and separate 'pan' from tank (seal rings pried/cut off combustion tube and upper exhaust tube).
Then re-assembled using new rings/gasket kit

Then re-install water heater .....insuring floor support is strong so weight of full tank doesn't sag again

Ring/gasket kit
ATWOOD 96010 - Atwood Ring & Gasket-Standard Fit 96010 - RV Plus
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:41 AM   #8
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You make is sound very easy but to me it looks like that is a lot of work for a very old unit. Think it might be better to just replace.

Thanks for help
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawsoncb View Post
You make is sound very easy but to me it looks like that is a lot of work for a very old unit. Think it might be better to just replace.

Thanks for help
You want to replace the whole WH for a missing screw??? If you re-align the mixing tube and refasten it in place, then check the flame for proper air/fuel mix, you'll probably have a perfectly good, reliable, water heater. The WH was 'telling' you something was wrong with the "strong fume smell." When the air/fuel mix is wrong, excess exhaust results from incomplete combustion.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
For some reason I thought you had a Suburban WH..........your picture shows an Atwood WH

Regardless......
The water heater has 'sagged' causing the gap at the seal ring. \

To fix you will need to disconnect and pull whole water heater out.
Then disassemble the components and separate 'pan' from tank (seal rings pried/cut off combustion tube and upper exhaust tube).
Then re-assembled using new rings/gasket kit

Then re-install water heater .....insuring floor support is strong so weight of full tank doesn't sag again

Ring/gasket kit
ATWOOD 96010 - Atwood Ring & Gasket-Standard Fit 96010 - RV Plus

This was what I was referring to realign the chamber
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:30 AM   #11
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Pulling the WH isn't that complicated a job. Remove it, repair it (perhaps find the missing screw in the bottom of the compartment) check that the enclosure is in good shape, replace the WH and seal it in it's enclosure. Lot's cheaper than buying a new WH and having to install it.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawsoncb View Post
This was what I was referring to realign the chamber

Combustion/exhaust chamber AND tank are one/same

Tank and 'pan' are two separate pieces

To install a NEW WH you have to remove OLD WH
Remove OLD water heater....fix floor support so tank (new or old) doesn't sag and aligns with holes in pan
Install WH


Little bit more labor to remove/install rings to seal tank and pan
BUT
Cheaper to clean up burner and install rings/gaskets on old then cost of new WH

Whichever you choose...check that WH Tank floor support is good.


Atwood tank
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:31 PM   #13
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Thanks that picture explains a lot. It was blowing my mind how to replace the inside ring
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