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Old 12-18-2020, 06:24 PM   #1
mj5150
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Check Water Heater



Every so often we have this issue in the screen shot with the hot water heater on our 2017 Raptor 412TS. I haven't been able to pin down exactly what triggers it. I am guessing it is some kind of an issue when it switches from electric to propane, but I don't know why it would need to switch between the two since we have power and we have plenty of propane.
Maybe the solution is to choose electric or propane, then manually switch it when either goes out?
I checked the heater outside in the panel itself and made sure that switch was set to on.
I would appreciate any thoughts as to what is going on here and solutions so we can leave it set to Both.
Thanks y'all.

-Mike
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Old 12-19-2020, 03:25 AM   #2
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Looking at your monitor panel .. display commander (DC) looks like you have the JRVCS2 Gen 2 In Command system

Iíd suspect the BCM is receiving a fault indication from the water heater ignitor module board when trying to run in propane mode...

The BCM on your system receives the fault signal ( failed to light ) for propane mode only...there...as far as I can tell is NO fault indicator sent if your water heater isnít working in 120 volt AC mode using the heating element..

Looks like you have the Suburban SW12DEL series water heater and schematic for the suburban shows no fault light for electric mode....

Pics show where on BCM the signal is sent to from the water heater igniter control module to the in command BCM..

Iíd remove the water heater ignitor/flame sensor and clean it and set gap at 1/8 inch and reinstall and see if water heater is actually igniting in propane mode

See pics for BCM pin out for water heater fault signal from water heater ignitor module

Last two pics show where to remove bolt to slide out the ignitor/flame sensor and gap measurement
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:52 PM   #3
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I finally had a chance to come back around to this. I pulled the igniter today. It doesn't seem 'dirty' to me. The gap is over 1/8 inch though. I tried to squeeze it back together.
Weird thing is, it will start just fine every time we start it manually on 'Both' mode.
Should I pull the igniter again and clean the ends better?
Is there something else to check?
Here are some pics of the igniter.







-Mike
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:01 PM   #4
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Never mind the igniter... two tanks are FULL -
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:16 PM   #5
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Never mind the igniter... two tanks are FULL -
Ha.
Those gauges haven't been accurate since about a year after we bought it. We don't trust them to know when the tanks are full. We've had it long enough now that we know when they are full just based on how much water we use.

-Mike
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:00 AM   #6
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The error displayed on the DC ... display commander is due to the water heater not firing off in propane mode. If hooked to RV pedestal run water heater on electric mode only and TS propane side when you have time.

If propane mode doesnít light off it locks out after 3 attempts anyway. Itís easy to TS ... either your igniter isnít firing all the time when propane mode selected or the solenoids ( two on water heater ) arenít opening allowing gas to flow.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:38 AM   #7
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I've seen more than one water heater igniter that will ground out and stop sparking once the water heater gets warm. I'd guess it's possible that one might well "ground out when cold and then start working when it gets hot"... Seems (to me) that as the metal gets hot, it expands just enough to "torque the igniter element, causing it to bend and ground out".... Might be worth a look to see if yours is shorting to ground. It'll still "click like it's sparking" but the spark is going to ground, not to the ends of the two elements and sparking between them.
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:58 AM   #8
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I've seen more than one water heater igniter that will ground out and stop sparking once the water heater gets warm. I'd guess it's possible that one might well "ground out when cold and then start working when it gets hot"... Seems (to me) that as the metal gets hot, it expands just enough to "torque the igniter element, causing it to bend and ground out".... Might be worth a look to see if yours is shorting to ground. It'll still "click like it's sparking" but the spark is going to ground, not to the ends of the two elements and sparking between them.
I'll scope it out, it's just hard to tell when it is going to try and light on it's own. We only know it fails when we notice there is no hot water.
When it's in that error mode, if I dismiss the error, then tap 'Water Heater' and choose 'Both', the hot water fires off on propane a few seconds later every time. It never fails to start when I do it that way.

-Mike
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:01 AM   #9
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If it works using that process, I'd suspect the igniter is good and working properly. That essentially leaves the control board, but I'd be reluctant to replace it as long as the "work-around keeps you in hot water"...

You might want to check the electrical connections on the water heater control board. There may be a loose or partially disconnected connection ????
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:12 AM   #10
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Since you are plugged into shore power and have the outside 120 VAC switch on water heater set to ON why is the water heater firing up in both modes?

This shouldn't occur unless you have LP mode turned on from within the In Command....

The command to run in propane mode comes off the BCM and in this post I showed where that signal comes from...

So either you have both heating modes turned on or you have an issue from within the In Command

If you set water heater mode to propane then simply TS whether the igniter is ticking and feel both solenoids at water heater to see if they open as well.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Since you are plugged into shore power and have the outside 120 VAC switch on water heater set to ON why is the water heater firing up in both modes?

This shouldn't occur unless you have LP mode turned on from within the In Command....

The command to run in propane mode comes off the BCM and in this post I showed where that signal comes from...

So either you have both heating modes turned on or you have an issue from within the In Command

If you set water heater mode to propane then simply TS whether the igniter is ticking and feel both solenoids at water heater to see if they open as well.
The water heater is designed to work on Propane, Electric or Both... So, having both heating modes turned on should not cause a "fault" to display. The In-Command system may not be "talking to the water heater properly" causing the fault, but the water heater is operating "normally" if it is in any of the three "selectable modes" (LPG, Elec or Both).

I don't have any experience with troubleshooting the In-Command/water heater interface, but it doesn't seem that it should be displaying a fault if both heat sources are selected. The water heater is designed to operate that way.

This issue shouldn't force a "limitation on the water heater operation" that restricts use of normal operation of the water heater, but stranger things have happened with "new system technology"... Hmmmmm ??????
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