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Old 05-19-2014, 06:13 AM   #1
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"Chimney" fire in water heater?

The other day I noticed something I'd never seen before. Flame in the "exhaust" vent of my water heater. It was enough to scorch and soot up the guard and grill on the flip-down door. Being overly cautious and not a big fan of m/h blazes, I shut off the heater and turned off the gas for the duration of the weekend.

Sources have blamed this on spider webs in the vent, "bad" propane, water in the propane, and various other sources. Recommendations were to "just burn off the gas a bit." I did fill the tank at P/FJ about two weeks ago, as the tank probably had not been topped off for five years or so,

Any thoughts from the populace? Do I need to dismantle things and send a very small chimney sweep into the vent? Chim-chiminey chim chim cher-ee...
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:48 AM   #2
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Could easily be a nest in there as you mentioned. I had a similar problem and pulled a bottle brush through a few times, nothing there. So I removed the burner and cleaned it, all good now. Readjusting is a little tedious just take your time, hardest part is getting it set so it relights immediately, try it several times to be sure.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:00 AM   #3
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We just fired ours up yesterday.I took my air hose and blew it all out. Some junk fell out not much though. I always use a brush on the end of a flexible rod and put it up the shoot to clean it, after and during each use.
I wish the electric worked
I left it on over night and put 2 ice cube trays in the freezer and this AM we had Ice Cubes.
Maintenance is the key.
Tim,
Are you referring to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? (sp)

Dang it, your referring to your water heater, Sorry I thought it was the Re-fridge/Freezer. Water heater worked fine.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:03 AM   #4
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Had the same thing happen on my old Norcold, and about every season on my propane patio heater. Spiders love to get into the nozzles and block things up. Causes all kinds of weird flame patterns. Just a quick shot from an air hose usually cleans things out.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
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Wasps are famous for building in porpane air. May have just a starter nest that burned out completely. I'd run a brush through it, add a good airgun cleaning, and maybe a brushing of the burner. Don't touch up the paint until you are sure it's cleaned.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spritz View Post
Are you referring to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? (sp)
No, actually that's from Mary Poppins - the DW and DGD have watched it about 4,295 times recently. It's Dick Van Dyke's song as the chimney sweep....

All fixed - took the venturi tube out, blew it clean, blew some air though the combustion chamber, re-installed the tube and adjusted the air mix, and we get a nice 90% blue/10% yellow flame now, with no flame in the vent either.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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Got the same surprise last year. I thought the side of the camper was going to catch fire. It was only a tiny spider that caused the problem. All's well after re-homing it.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:41 AM   #8
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Still working, and that was a great movie, saw it as a child in the theaters but still love it.
Tim
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