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Old 06-25-2014, 02:42 PM   #1
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Water Heater on Fire!

My son had our trailer this weekend and the second night his neighbor came over and told him he should turn off his gas as the water heater was blazing up the side of the trailer. He shut it down and when he got it back home I checked it out, expecting something in the heat tube, but found nothing and it ran fine all day. Any one have any ideas what could cause that? I have had flame back out at the burner, but this fire was out the exhaust and up the side of the trailer.

TIA!

Tim
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
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Mine looked just like that back from a trip a couple of years ago.

The burner tube/air adjustment needed adjusting and needed all the cruddy stuff cleaned out and serviced.

Whem2Fish serviced it and no more soot/smoke!!

I can't imagine what would have caused yours, but something is sure not right. Sorry I can't help more...
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:51 AM   #3
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It's soot from unburned propane; too little air. It needs a proper cleaning.

Could have been some nest in the exhaust too.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:29 AM   #4
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Check your water heater manual. It should describe the color of a correct flame. The burner tube has a feature that allows the amount of air to be adjusted and this should correct your "rich" mixture.

Or, if like mine, your water heater doesn't have an adjustable burner tube, buying a new tube, with a new gas orifice, should solve your problem. It did for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timay View Post
My son had our trailer this weekend and the second night his neighbor came over and told him he should turn off his gas as the water heater was blazing up the side of the trailer. He shut it down and when he got it back home I checked it out, expecting something in the heat tube, but found nothing and it ran fine all day. Any one have any ideas what could cause that? I have had flame back out at the burner, but this fire was out the exhaust and up the side of the trailer.

TIA!

Tim
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:52 AM   #5
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Don't all of them have that diode that cuts gas off if the diode gets too hot (fire)?
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #6
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Don't all of them have that diode that cuts gas off if the diode gets too hot (fire)?
I don't know about a "diode" but an orange SOOTY LP flame is NOT as hot as a properly operating LP flame.
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My son had our trailer this weekend and the second night his neighbor came over and told him he should turn off his gas as the water heater was blazing up the side of the trailer. He shut it down and when he got it back home I checked it out, expecting something in the heat tube, but found nothing and it ran fine all day. Any one have any ideas what could cause that?
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:03 PM   #7
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Don't all of them have that diode that cuts gas off if the diode gets too hot (fire)?
Atwood's do, but it may not have been hot enough.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:36 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies! I took the burner assembly off and blew out the heat exchanger with a compressor...nothing in there except soot. Took the orifice off and was gonna clean it but it was fine...put it all back together and adjusted the flame and it ran fine. I shut the door of the water heater and shortly after the roar of the flame changed, like it was running too lean. Got it as best as I could and it has been running all day and all night - no more soot.

Oh - the 'diode' is really a thermal switch, just a fuse that melts when it gets hot. Mine went on one of the first trips I took with the rig and I bought 5 for about 5 bux and now have spares. Seems like if this thing is blowing the over-heat devices and sooting, something is amiss! Just finding what it is can be tough!

Tim
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #9
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Mine did that. A spider set up housekeeping in the burner tube. Glad it was an easy fix...
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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I'd suggest getting a couple new fire extinguishers.

The one that came with the RV is tiny and old.

Looks to me like you are going to need it.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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I'd suggest getting a couple new fire extinguishers.

The one that came with the RV is tiny and old.

Looks to me like you are going to need it.
LOL! I have a new one and it is bigger...I sure would rather not need it!
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:53 PM   #12
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Mud daubers got into mine, took out the circuit board, solenoid valve and wiring. I had the big cover over the louvers, but now I have the other vent cover on also.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:53 PM   #13
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Mud daubers got into mine, took out the circuit board, solenoid valve and wiring. I had the big cover over the louvers, but now I have the other vent cover on also.
Wow, did they eat wires?
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