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Old 05-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
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Water heater not working

Hello,
Can anyone help? My water heater was working just fine a couple of days ago, now, not so much! I have a suburban, model SW6D I believe it is. It was working just fine, then the reset light next to the switch came on. I have pushed the reset switch on the heater, still nothing. It doesn't even attempt to ignite. Thought maybe since my propane was running low that maybe there wasn't enough pressure, but have since ruled that out, as I put a full tank on. And to be honest, I am not sure that the reset button is even working. Everything else in the trailer seems to be working just fine. Does anyone have any thoughts before I call in for service?

Thanks very much!
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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So it would even try to light? No ticking or gas valve or anything?
If that's the case, then you aren't getting 12V to the control board or out of it to tell it to do anything. Could be a bad t-stat or eco.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:25 AM   #3
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The reset button is on the high temperature limit. If it were tripped you would hear a noticeable "click" when pushing it back in. If there is no click then it most likely is not your problem. As jesilvas mentions above, there should be an audible ticking sound from the ignitor as it's trying to start. Most RV LP appliances will try 3 times over a few minute period to light themselves before giving up.

Do all of your 12V lights appear to be as bright as usual? Have you used the rangetop stove yet since having the propane refilled? If not, I suggest lighting all the burners on the stove for a few minutes. Do you have good strong flame from each burner? If so, then turn the water heater LP/Gas switch off first then re-try the water heater. Make sure to turn the switch inside off and on each time you attempt to bring the water heater up - this resets the "3 try" timeout. As soon as you flip the water heaters LP/Gas switch back to on, hurry outside to the access door and listen for the ignitor.. is it making snapping noises every 15-30 seconds or so? It will try 3 times over a couple of minutes before giving up.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Water heater

Thanks for your responses. No the reset button doesn't click when pressed. I have used the range top burners and they are working fine. I am plugged in and not using battery power. I have tried disconnecting all power to the trailer, turned of the gas, drained the heater, then started over, still the reset light stays on, and no attempt to ignite at all. Does the 12v battery factor in to the igniter? Also, I have seen the Eco term used, but I am not sure what that refers to.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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You are using 12V power, but the converter is supplying the majority of it.
The Thermostat allows power to pass or not pass to the board, depending on the temp of the water. Lower temp, it allows power to pass, turning on the heating process. The E.C.O. does the same thing, just at a much higher temp.
So, like I said, you need to find where you are losing power. Either not leaving the switch, not going through the ECO or t-stat, or the board having issues. My bet is on the ECO/tstat assy.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for your help! I will let you know how it works out!
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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Look for a diode looking fuse that is encased in a plastic tube by the burner intake. My high temp diode tripped the power supply when a wind gust pulled the flame out of the burner tube. If you have this diode thermal switch you can disconnect the wire & plug the wire straight into the control board. Suggest that if this was you problem you only use the electric portion of you HWH until you get the part. They are inexpensive & I now carry a spare.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
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If it's a Suburban, he shouldn't have the fusible link, but anything is possible I guess. Those were for Atwoods.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:18 AM   #9
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jesilvas is correct.
Have you cleaned the tube and ceramic flame sensor over the flame?
It needs a clean sensor to detect a flame and if there is a lot of rust may not have the ground necessary to ignite the flame with spark.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Yes, it's a Suburban, so no fuse as was mentioned. I did pull everything apart as best I could and everything looks pretty clean. I appreciate all the input, I will be back out to the camper next week. ( it's on a seasonal site) I will check more then!
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Take a look at this Suburban service manual. It should keep you busy for a while.

Otherwise, a little googling will bring up all sorts of troubleshooting info.

My first thought was there is air in the line still, but it could be a number of things.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:35 PM   #12
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Water heater

Hey, thanks all for your responses, I actually got it fixed on my own. Kind of embarrassed to admit it, but it was the connector to the electrode that wasn't on all the way. After taking it off 3 times, that's when I realized that I was putting it back on correctly. Live and learn I guess!
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