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Old 06-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Question 1984 chieftain. Newbie here and I need help!

I was given a 27' chieftain that was my grandfathers. Me and my 3 children are living in it right now because I am going through a divorce. I have ran into many problems but the latest is this: the water pump was busted to I removed it and just joined the two hoses and no leaks but then in the morning I wake up to a lake. I have the hose hooked up to city water and it is coming out the potable outlet on the side of the rv. Is there a shut off valve or something. I have looked for hours and can't find what to do. Pleas help :/
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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The pump you removed is the culprit. The city water feed causes the pump not to operate (due to backpreassure) and at the same time keeps it from feeding water into the onboard water tank. When you removed the pump and joined the two pipes then the city water is flowing into the onboard tank causing the overflow. You should plug the hose that was the output from the pump. Or hook the pump back up until you can get it replaced.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thank you so much! I will close off the hose tomorrow
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Ok I did what you said and now everything works perfectly now another question. I don't know how to turn on the hot water heater. It appears to be a dsi type or dni whatever it's called. The gas is on because I can use my stove. I cant find where to light it or where the switch is to light it. I don't even know if it is getting gas. Is there a valve somewhere else that I need to turn on?
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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Your water heater should be self lighting (electric spark). There are valves to turn on but I do not know which system you have. Make? Model?
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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On my 87 the switch is in the kitchen next to the sink. It is a 3 position switch, down is on/start middle is run and up is off. It has a light that tells you it is on.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:32 PM   #7
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DSI = Direct Spark Ignition.
If it is this type, there should be an ON switch inside the motorhome. If you have a panel that shows battery charge & propane level & holding tank level then the water heater switch is usually there as well. However, on that old of a coach, your water heater may be manual-light or the ignitor broken, in which case you might be able to manually light it. If you open the outside access door of the water heater and you see a red knob on the propane controller then you have a manual-light model. You can press down on the knob and turn to the LIGHT or PILOT position and use an extended, BBQ type lighter to light the pilot flame inside the big round opening. Give it a minute to warm up the thermocouple finger then turn to ON. Keep your face away or risk toasting your eyebrows!
Good luck! Sounds like you need plenty of it in your life right now.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #8
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Yes it is dsi. The panel above the stove has all that stuff on it but it doesn't work. I'm assuming it's no good. I can see where the spark on the outside would turn on but I don't smell gas and I have put a lighter to it to see if I can light it. Am I out of luck since the control panel doesn't work ?
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #9
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Could be the gas valve, the ignitor or the controler board (most likely).
Google and YouTube are your friend in diagnosing this quickly. Here are a couple of links to get you started.
Water Heaters
DIY RV Water Heater Maintenance and Repair - YouTube
Owners Manuals
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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I couldn't get the video to open. One more question. Is the control board powered only by battery power. All my batteries are dead cuz they sat up for about 15 years. I really don't want to replace them unless I have to cuz we are plugged in and running on the electric power. I was just wondering if that is maybe the reason?
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #11
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My 85 winnebego chieftian is very similar. I have to turn the hot water heater on at the control panel or it will not light. My control panel is just like yours, above the stove top range. Do any of the lights work on it? I'd turn the hot water heater on regardless if any of the lights work. My control panel all works with the exception of setting the clock. It shows time but can't get it to set. I'm assuming your hot water heater is an electric start like mine, you don't have to light it manually.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rjess7832 View Post
I couldn't get the video to open. One more question. Is the control board powered only by battery power. All my batteries are dead cuz they sat up for about 15 years. I really don't want to replace them unless I have to cuz we are plugged in and running on the electric power. I was just wondering if that is maybe the reason?
The old batteries could be shorted and you converter may be loaded down trying to charge dead batteries-have you measured the voltage at the batteries? You are going to need batteries but for now disconnect all the batteries.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:33 PM   #13
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I haven't measured the voltage but they were plugged up and showed no sign of charging. They are the sealed type. So without the control panel working I can not light the hot water heater?
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:48 PM   #14
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Without 12 volts you will not get much of anything to work, maybe the fridge on 120 volts AC. You need to check for 12 volts at the battery cables without the batteries hooked up. You may want to check all the fuses as well.
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