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Old 05-10-2009, 04:19 PM   #1
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The old gal is cranky

In de-winterizing our '96 Southwind, we have discovered two problems.
1. The Atwood water heater will start but will not shut off.
2. The Dometic fridge will not run on gas. The fridge has been a little ornery over the past few years, not easily wanting to switch to gas. It took a few tries to get it to work when switching from electric to propane. I removed the side cover and when it is switched to gas, there is no clicking sound other than the click that turns on the check light.
Regarding the water heater, I replaced the thermostat last year and it ran fine.
And of course, starting Saturday we are going to need it for a week with everything working.
Any ideas?
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:17 PM   #2
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Hi tqracn,
With no clicking sound, your not getting a spark to light the propane. I know some of this will sound dumb, but one never knows. Especially when coming out of winter storage.

Because both appliances are having difficulty with propane,

1. Can you light the stove? If not, the problem may be sourced to the flow of propane. Did you open the propane tank valve very, very slowly. This is needed to allow the line to come under pressure without the tank thinking there is a leak because there is a rush of propane. Also, the regulator may be bad.

2. If you can light the stove, the problem is back at the refer. How old are the batteries and are they fully charged (check with meter). Even if connected to shore power the refer still needs 12 VDC to operate.

3. I you can not smell gas (at the back or the unit) the gas valve is not being opened (12 VDC or bad valve).

4. If you can smell gas then the igniter is not getting 12 VDC or is bad).

I can't help on the hot water heater, I've never had this problem.

Lastly there is always the chance insects have built nests in/near the gas orifice.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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The stove works well.The 12 volt batteries are good.No nests.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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I tryed to edit the post and could not.I recheched the house batteries and they were 8 volts.I have the RV plugged in and will check in on Monday.Thanks
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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I don't know anything but I know we had this problem once and someone showed my husband how to clean some contacts somewhere.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:52 PM   #6
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Hi tqracn,
The refer needs a minimum of 11.9 VDC to operate. I'm not sure about the hot water heater. Please let us know what happens when the batts are fully charged.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
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With the RV plugged in the Fridge is working perfectly.It read 8 volts because I have 6 volt batteries.Who would have known?apparently 8 volts in series is good.
The Hi LO themostat in the water heater is the problem .It is a very easy replacement as I changed them 2 years ago.I got this info from the service manager at McPhails Rv in Harriston Ont.He sent me the parts I need in the mail as I live 4 hours away.They are the only people I trust in the RV business.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:07 PM   #8
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IMHO, 8V is not really a good number, even if that is across one battery, unless you have a 3 stage charger with equalize and it is equalizing.

Applying 8V across one battery constantly (16V total) will boil the electrolyte out of the battery. If the 8V is across both batteries, they likely have bad cells.

What kind of charger/converter do you have?

Usually 3 stage chargers set up for vented lead acid batteries charge at about 14.4V for bulk and acceptance charging and about 13.6V for float charging, only going to 16V for equalizing. Note these voltages are measured across both 6V batteries, across one, you should read 1/2 the values.

Single stage chargers can be all over the map, depending on what design they use.

Note these are general numbers, your charger may be 0.1 or 0.2V different.

I'd check the condition of your batteries and charging system. If your batteries are vented (I assume you have 6V golf cart batteries, they will be vented), you can check the specific gravity with a hydrometer and know exactly how good the batteries are. Check them when you think they are charged.

"The 12V side of life" website has a great tutorial on batteries and charging systems, about 2/3 of the way down this page is the specific gravity chart:
http://www.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm

Good luck!
Stewart
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