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Old 02-25-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
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Atwood water heater wouldn't stay lit

So I cleaned out my Atwood water heater 16GEXT as usual by draining it and hosing down the inside. Then filled it with cold water and turned on the propane. The water heater burner fired and went out after a few seconds. Fired again and went out.

I went through this several times. Then I left it alone for an hour, and tried again without success.

Finally I turned on the electric element for a while. Then switched over to LP. This time it fired up just fine and has worked OK since.



Any thoughts on what happened here? Is this a symptom of future problems? Or is it just trying to get my attention?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Corrosion on one of the many electrical connectors is usually the problem. It was on mine.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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I suspect you got something wet when you were cleaning/flushing the heater out, it could have been the burner, thermocouple or the electronics, etc . When you turned on the electric element the heat dried out whatever was wet and the problem resolved itself
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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I have had a similar problem also. Also, I believe my element is burned out. I cannot find a replacement. Any help?
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
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Hi Pete W,
Water heater elements should be industry standard. A big box store should have the element and the wrench to remove it. Before removing the element:
1, make sure you have 120 VAC to the element
2. If there is 120 VAC take an amperage reading when the water heater is calling for heat. If there are volts but no AMPS, the element is bad.

Look at the label or the manual to determine the requirements for the heating element.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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Mine sometimes does the same thing. Usually after a couple of cycles of lighting and going out it will stay lit. I kinda thought it was air in the LPG line.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Bubba View Post
I suspect you got something wet when you were cleaning/flushing the heater out, it could have been the burner, thermocouple or the electronics, etc . When you turned on the electric element the heat dried out whatever was wet and the problem resolved itself
That makes sense. Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:36 AM   #8
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Uh oh. Now going into Reset with the electric mode too.

According to the manual, the water heater will go into Reset mode, after 3 tries on propane, if it overheats. For a year or so now, I've noticed that my TPV leaks. Today, right after finally buying a new one, I returned home to find:
1 water heater in Reset mode
2 TPV leaking.

So now I'm putting 1 and 2 together, and wondering if the water heater is overheating.
Maybe a failing thermostat?
Maybe a problem in the circuit board?

Maybe?
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #9
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As I understand it after the heater fails to stay lit after 3 tries it goes into a "soft lockout" and turns on the red light between the switches. If you turn off the gas switch and then back on it will repeat the 3 tries again until it stays lit.
When you have it on electric and the red light comes on, it has gone into a "hard lockout" because of an overheat situation. Now you have to turn off the electric switch and wait for the water to cool down enough for it to reset. The question is, is it an actual overheat or a "false positive". A false positive lock out could be caused because the thermostat is not contacting the side of the tank properly due to corrosion or weak spring tension, corrosion on one of the electrical connections or a faulty thermostat.
The attached pdf does not specifically list our water heater but it is a combination gas/electric.
My $.02 worth.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Atwood furnace service manual.pdf (1.51 MB, 50 views)
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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Oops wrong attachment. Try this one.
Now you have one for the atwood furnace too
Attached Files
File Type: pdf atwoodwaterheater.pdf (981.0 KB, 114 views)
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Oops wrong attachment. Try this one.
Now you have one for the atwood furnace too
Thanks. I called Atwood. They said I need a new thermostat. Will try to tighten the current one, but likely I'll need a new one. Which only costs about $15.

And I'll replace the TPV also. It leaks even when the HWH starts to warm up.
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