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Old 08-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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Atwood Water Heater won't re light

Hello all:

I have a 2003 Itasca Horizon 34 HD with an Atwood, electronic ignition water heater.

When I initially turn on the water heater from the switch inside the coach, it fires right up and heats as it should. Once the temp has been reached, and the water heater shuts off, the red "pilot light out" light on the switch inside the coach eliminates, which is not normal. When the water heater attempts to re light, it will not. The gas valve opens, but the igniter does not spark. It attempts twice, and then goes into shut down mode. If I go back inside the coach, shut the water heater completely off with the switch, and then turn back on, the water heater will light as it should, get back to temp, and then go through the same failure to light once again.

I have cleaned all the terminals, replaced the t stat and eco, and when burning, it burns perfectly. I fear it is the board.

Is there one who has experienced this particular problem and knows the solution? I will try calling Atwood on Monday, but am on a roll today!

Thanks for any assistance. John
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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Hi John,

Tough problem. Have you set the point gap? This is a common problem. I hope you have the engine heater feature in your tank. Sometimes the valve won't always open. When you are starting the heater try to be at the valve to hear it open.

Check the heat exchange tube. If you have not cleaned it do so. Mud dobbers could cause a poor draft at ignition. Too much gas won't light correctly.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Rick....everything physically (mechanically) I have gone through. It burns like a champ, just won't relight because the igniter will not spark, but only under the conditions as stated above.

John.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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First, you say it reaches temp then shuts off. You sure it's up to normal temp? You tell by testing for 12V on both sides of the thermostat and ECO.
If the gas valve opens, then the ECO is good. ECO open would kill 12V to valve.
If you're not sparking, I'd try the electrode. If that doesn't work, sounds like a board to me.
I think the reason that it cuts off is not due to temp being reached, but either board or electrode having a fit and not detecting flame anymore.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:48 AM   #5
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Try operation with the access door open. If it operates properly; you probably have a bad high tension igniter wire but you will have to replace the igniter as the wire is not replaceable.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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If you run your hot water till it is cool and you have no relight it does sound like a board. If a RV parts store or service center is available see if they have a board tester. That is the quickest way to find out. You seem to have touched all bases except for this test. No spark, no light. T-stat and ECO being new should rule them out unless they did not make good thermal contact with the tank or are factory defective. By chance do you have a fine crack in the ceramic insulators of the points? I have had this problem and the spark never made it to the gap.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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Try sanding the electrode with either steel wool or sandpaper.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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I have had a similar problem after winterization, I unplugged the connector to the board and rubbed over the connector with a lead pencil. Works every time over the last 2 years
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