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Old 11-19-2017, 06:02 PM   #1
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Can't fix my water heater!! GOING INSANE!

I own a 1996 Holiday Rambler Vacationer SE, Class A motorhome. This is my first RV and I've been fixing any issues (LOTS OF ISSUES! -.-) by myself to save money. I was having an issue with my water heater (before I fixed anything) where I would switch the switch on and it would be in lockout mode and I'd have to switch it on and off for like 40 minutes before it'd kick on. Sometimes it'd stay on, sometimes it wouldn't. Sometimes it would reheat properly, sometimes it wouldn't. Sometimes I just couldn't get it out of lockout and I'd have to try the next day.

Fast forward. I want to fix this thing. I bought all new parts on Amazon. This included, new control board, new eco and thermo, and new thermal cutoff. I replaced everything and finally got to the wiring where I was confused. The connector was different then the one I had on before but I was assured this control panel would work with my model, the G6A-8E. After TONS of trial and error switching the cables in different spots (probably not the best idea, I know) I finally found a wire sequence where the igniter would start sparking and the lockout light would stay off. (I looked in the manual for the wiring sequence. The one it showed didn't work. I looked everywhere online, couldn't find anything and the sequence of wiring before I switched out the board didn't work either). After buttoning everything up and a very long day I went inside and held my breath as I pressed the switch.

BOOM! IGNITION! FLAWLESSLY!

I can't tell you how happy I was, let alone my wife. I took a super hot amazing shower. As soon as the hot water in the tank dropped I heard it kick back on, beautifully. My wife took a shower; kicked right back on. Dishes were next; kicked right on. I thought this was the end of the hot water fiasco. Another challenge triumphed. Wellllllllllllllll, I was wrong.

The next night my wife went to switch on the water heater so we could do dishes. Then came the dreaded, "Juuuuuuusssssstinnn........... The water heater isn't turning on". I always assume she messes something up so I go and check but low and behold; not working. I go outside do my normal checks, wires, connections, etc. I have her try it a couple of times and I realize the igniter is still sparking but I don't hear propane spraying at all. The other strange thing is the lockout light didn't come on (which makes me wonder if my wiring sequence is still wrong). I've tried all sorts of things, checked everything I could on the internet, check my manual, but I can not figure this out. I'm hoping it is the stupid wiring sequence but I am just confused why it worked flawless just for the next day it not to work at all. I have propane and the stove tops have been working fine. This is my last resort before calling a tech, which I don't want to do.

Pictures attached of Before/After

https://imgur.com/a/x5FEA

So I have an UPDATE

Doesn't help me much, but maybe it'll point to the problem. I changed the wiring sequence up some more.

The first two pictures of the wiring sequence the PROPANE STARTING FLOWING AGAIN! WHOOOOOOO! But now no spark. -.-
The last picture with the brown cable in the middle, guess what? NO PROPANE NOW! But I have a spark. -.-

Guys, I'm going insane.

https://imgur.com/a/ePN21


Also, food for thought. I switched out the rocker switch for the water heater. Could these three prongs be in the wrong spot now? I don't think that's the case but it's another variable.

https://imgur.com/a/NgynY
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

Well, having the propane 'flowing' without a spark is not good. If there's no spark the propane valve shouldn't be opening. For obvious reasons you don't want a large volume of propane present if and when there is a spark.

As for the spark check the electrode gap. It may be too small or too large for proper ignition. On my last trailer the furnace's electrodes were too close preventing the furnace from lighting properly. Widening the gap fixed the issue. You might have the same situation with your HWT. Just a thought.

Edit: While I admire your willingness to try and find the problem yourself it may be wiser and safer to let a qualified person work on it. I wouldn't want you to blow yourself up.
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 60sumtin View Post
Welcome to iRV2.

Well, having the propane 'flowing' without a spark is not good. If there's no spark the propane valve shouldn't be opening. For obvious reasons you don't want a large volume of propane present if and when there is a spark.

As for the spark check the electrode gap. It may be too small or too large for proper ignition. On my last trailer the furnace's electrodes were too close preventing the furnace from lighting properly. Widening the gap fixed the issue. You might have the same situation with your HWT. Just a thought.
With the manuals wiring of
Brown
-
Blue
Red
-
Green

I get propane, no spark, and lockout.

If I move the wires around I can get the igniter to spark but then no propane so I'm assuming the igniter spacing would be fine but I will try that and let you know!
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:56 PM   #4
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There are 643 wiring combinations left to try before you have been through every single one and the chances are very high that you skipped the one combination that is correct.

Do you have a circuit diagram?

BTW the earthing of all the components is quite primitive and relies on conduction through some fairly sketchy mechanical fixings. I had intermittent operation and it was fixed by running a ground wire from the solenoid assembly to the burner assembly and then tying both to the incoming ground wire.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:25 AM   #5
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Have you tried the electric element while you figure this out?
BTW, you have some shorts across the wiring in some of those pics. Is that a Suburban heater?
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:07 AM   #6
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BTW...do yourself a favor by putting your MH and Toad information into your signature
This will really help in all your future posts, so you won't have to type it in each time.
You do this by:
1) Going to the top of this page and click the top left tab named “User CP”
2) Look at the menu on the left and scroll down to “Settings & Options” and click “Edit Signature”
3) In that text box type all the information about your MH, Year, model, length, mileage, any aftermarket extras installed, your toad and so on. You’ll be limited to 3 lines unless you become a IRV2 supporter.
Consider signing up and becoming a IRV2 supporter. It’s a small way to give back to what we all reap here.

Also, instead of using another website to post your pictures, try this. It's usually a lot easier:
To attach photos when you make a post:

Right below where you type your post/reply are "additional options". In that area there is a "attach files" section with a manage attachment button. Click that button and a little window will open up where you can find your photos, attach them, then click "upload". Then go back up to your post and click "Submit Reply". Your photos will then show up with your post.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Lee View Post
BTW the earthing of all the components is quite primitive and relies on conduction through some fairly sketchy mechanical fixings. I had intermittent operation and it was fixed by running a ground wire from the solenoid assembly to the burner assembly and then tying both to the incoming ground wire.
Mine to, had to run a ground to the gas valve.

I would go back to the wiring you had where it worked 3 times and run ground wires.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:52 AM   #8
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry I can't offer suggestions. Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:24 AM   #9
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Recheck your thermostats I had a problem with mine and spent hours on it I found the original problem was not lighting and if it did some times it would burn for a while and shut off and some times it would light and heat great but would no relight when needed, I replaced thermostats (got them on amazon) and it worked for one trip and went back to what it was doing before, it turned out to be the thermostats again even tho they were new I replaced them a second time and the problem was gone.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:49 AM   #10
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I think it's time for a trip to the repair shop. By now the controls may be bad due to the wiring changes. All it taks is being connected wrong once to blow the controls.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:14 PM   #11
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I think it's time for a trip to the repair shop. By now the controls may be bad due to the wiring changes. All it takes is being connected wrong once to blow the controls.
Thank You, my thoughts exactly, stop the madness, that board is probably fried from all the different configurations. If you have everything else right physically, let a shop do the last part,,, the board wiring, of installing yet another new board.

I know you want to do it, but without proper wiring diagram,, that you know is right. You're just taking a chance of blowing out the chips on the new board.

Also group all the hardest, last problems into a group so you can have the shop knock out all the ducks in a row, Say, heater control board, Inspection, fridg fan. And you pick up everything else.

You do the 80% of the fixes, then leave the last 20% to the pro's, (along with inspection badges) you will live a much more peaceful life.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:28 AM   #12
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Hamel,
I like this resource for troubleshooting:

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Old 11-26-2017, 07:28 AM   #13
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I think it is time to stay out of this one. LoL. The clue - boards did not match up correctly.
second back to switching things around
third - will I don't know
same problem
Now, if you really want a other thought - just buy a new WH and replace with a complete new one. Around 450 to 600
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:49 AM   #14
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I'm just going to point out that in your last pic, the way you just stuck the wires in, it allows some of the wiring to not go into the socket, and it looks like the green and blue wires are shorting. Time to get a pro involved methinks. Sorry for your troubles . . .
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