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Old 01-12-2020, 06:21 PM   #1
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Electronic ignition water heater always flame?

Hello all -

I’m having a problem with my water heater in my rig. It’s an electronic ignition model (Atwood G6A-7E) and has done us well for a couple of years.

I’m doing my weekly walkthrough, I found black soot around the water heater exhaust. I opened the cover and found there was flame present at the end of the burner tube even though the water heater was off. Yellow flame, about 2-3” out from end of the burner tube.

I have previously replaced the propane regulator due to age (replacement due on a maintenance schedule) about a month prior to this problem occurring. Since I had a spare, replaced the burner tube and thermostats. I removed and cleaned the orifice, cleaned the burner exhaust tube thoroughly, and cleaned all electrical connections.

My assumption is that the propane valve on the water heater is going out, allowing gas flow when the unit is off. We’ve been turning the gas on long enough to cook and/or heat up the water, then turning it back off so that I’m not continuing to heat the water in the tank and sooting up the exterior of my rig.

Has anyone had a similar experience and can give some advice? I hate to spend money on incorrect parts, hence putting out this question.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and/or reply!

Drew
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:51 PM   #2
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I think you are on the right track, sounds like a faulty gas valve to me.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:53 PM   #3
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Had a similar issue on a 07 class , could smell propane on outside of rig when water heater was off, removed valve and found white particles on the setting surface if the solenoids, cleaned and reassembled and no more propane smell, note you have to buy tamper proof torx bits to service the solenoids I got mine at o rilerys.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:05 AM   #4
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I hadnít even thought of pulling the valve and cleaning it First real break in the rain today Iíll pull the valve and clean it. Iíll keep you posted. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigBaer View Post
Hello all -

Iím having a problem with my water heater in my rig. Itís an electronic ignition model (Atwood G6A-7E) and has done us well for a couple of years.

Iím doing my weekly walkthrough, I found black soot around the water heater exhaust. I opened the cover and found there was flame present at the end of the burner tube even though the water heater was off. Yellow flame, about 2-3Ē out from end of the burner tube.

I have previously replaced the propane regulator due to age (replacement due on a maintenance schedule) about a month prior to this problem occurring. Since I had a spare, replaced the burner tube and thermostats. I removed and cleaned the orifice, cleaned the burner exhaust tube thoroughly, and cleaned all electrical connections.

My assumption is that the propane valve on the water heater is going out, allowing gas flow when the unit is off. Weíve been turning the gas on long enough to cook and/or heat up the water, then turning it back off so that Iím not continuing to heat the water in the tank and sooting up the exterior of my rig.

Has anyone had a similar experience and can give some advice? I hate to spend money on incorrect parts, hence putting out this question.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and/or reply!

Drew
My Mom's rig has a Suburban WH with a similar solenoid gas valve. We filled her propane tank earlier last year and within a few months, found the tank almost empty. She hadn't used it near enough during that time. I found she hadn't turned the tank valve off so figured there was a leak someplace down the line. Got to looking around and smelled propane at the WH. It smelled at the burner so I knew it was the solenoid valve. First verified with soapy water and since was was minor, held a lit match at the burner. Yep, had a pilot light that wasn't supposed to be. Bought a new valve, installed, then checked for leaks and proper operation. Took care of that problem!
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:15 AM   #6
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The rain stopped here in Oregon long enough for me to pull the propane valve off yesterday and give it a thorough cleaning. Nothing inside the valve gave me reason to think it may be the problem, but I cleaned every metal surface well and cleaned the rubber stops. Put it back together and installed, checked for leaks and fired up the water heater. Let it get up to temp and shut off, and *woo-hoo* it is working correctly again.

Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated.

Iím still going to order a new valve to have in the spare parts, just in case. Seems like one of those things thatíll die on me sometime when weíre boondocking.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:40 PM   #7
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Might be good to verify no voltage at gas solendoid, e.g. low voltage (4-8-volts?) from bad circuit board? Otherwise, I agree on bad gas solenoid.... unless (new?) regulator throwing 30psi instead of 11-inches?
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:43 AM   #8
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while replacing the water heater valve, be sure to clean the flue. carbon build up has probably accumulated there also.
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