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Old 05-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #1
Kelvininin
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Water heater slowly dies on gas.

Second time using the RV. Fired the water heater on propane, it ran for about 10-15 mins then the flame slowly tapered off like we were running out of propane. The heater would attempt to refire but only produce a small lazy flame. After the unit sat for a while it would refire fine. Connections are clean, the orifice on the valve assembly is clean, tanks are full, all other appliances fire fine at the same time. The controller is behaving as I would expect it would.

The Trailer is a 2006 Outback 28KRS, the water heater is an Atwood GC6AA-10E

Any ideas? I have never seen solenoid valves fail like this.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:43 AM   #2
jsmith948
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Could be your gas supply. Does your stove and furnace operate ok? If the tanks were not turned on slowly, the flow limiting safety devices may be keeping the heater from getting enough gas. Just something you might check in order to rule it out. We had to replace both propane pigtails (about $30). You might try a forum search about WHs. Good luck
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:49 AM   #3
Kelvininin
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Originally Posted by jsmith948 View Post
Could be your gas supply. Does your stove and furnace operate ok? If the tanks were not turned on slowly, the flow limiting safety devices may be keeping the heater from getting enough gas. Just something you might check in order to rule it out. We had to replace both propane pigtails (about $30). You might try a forum search about WHs. Good luck

I have run all other gas appliances on gas at the same time without an issue.

I have searched multiple forums for water heater issues similar to mine without any luck, hence this post.

I was hoping to avoid the trial and error process of swapping parts but at this point I believe its unavoidable.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:07 AM   #4
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There was a recent thread in which the problem with the water heater was attributed to a loose connection on the control board located behind the interior access panel.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:12 AM   #5
Kelvininin
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There was a recent thread in which the problem with the water heater was attributed to a loose connection on the control board located behind the interior access panel.
Already checked, and cleaned all electrical connections. That was the first thing I did.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:39 PM   #6
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Well, you stated that the W/H fires up on propane and then slowly dies as if you were running out of propane. You also stated that all of your other appliances work ok. Since the W/H will fire again after sitting for awhile, it still seems like a gas volume/flow issue to me. Either a regulator issue, safety valve issue or perhaps some sort of debris is restricting the flow of gas. I'm assuming you have already checked for spider webs or bugs in the gas orifice. I'm out of ideas. Hopefully someone will jump in with your answer
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:22 PM   #7
Kelvininin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith948 View Post
Well, you stated that the W/H fires up on propane and then slowly dies as if you were running out of propane. You also stated that all of your other appliances work ok. Since the W/H will fire again after sitting for awhile, it still seems like a gas volume/flow issue to me. Either a regulator issue, safety valve issue or perhaps some sort of debris is restricting the flow of gas. I'm assuming you have already checked for spider webs or bugs in the gas orifice. I'm out of ideas. Hopefully someone will jump in with your answer
I can fire all other appliances at the same time while this issue is occurring.

I have already partially disassembled the valve assembly, the orifice is clean, the burner is clean. The furnace is fired off of the same T as the water heater, furnace is fine. My current assumption is there is something going on in the tubing going from the T to the water heater. I am going to replace it tomorrow, and run it a route where it can't hang up on anything. We are dry camping next weekend, hopefully I will get this figure out by then. If the line proves clean, I may replace the regulator anyway, just to eliminate it as a potential issue.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:13 PM   #8
ksbowman
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You could also have mud dauber nest/nests in the combustion tube. After the initial ignition the oxygen is used up causing the flame to reduce and eventually run out of oxygen.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:55 PM   #9
Kelvininin
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The water heater is fixed and you'll never guess what was causing the trouble.

during my troubleshooting process I replaced the copper tuning gas supply line since the existing line had a small kink. That didn't fix the problem. The heater was getting gas, plenty of it, the burner and tube assembly where clean. So logic dictated that there was something not right with the gas valve assembly.

So I did what any mechanically inclined cheap butthead would do... I serviced the non-serviceable valve. The valve is in great shape, diaphragm is perfect, seats are clean and no indication of wear, springs are good.... When inspecting the vent cap for the regulator, I found it was not properly machined leaving no flow path to equalize the atmospheric side of the regulator. Simple fix with a drill bit.

I now have a fully functioning water heater.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
jtyphoid
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I'll be darned. Good job figuring it out.

P.S. It's nice to know that someone else services non-serviceable assemblies.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:51 PM   #11
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Heck I do it all the time, but I usually end up with a few "extra parts" and the darn thing never works again
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:51 AM   #12
Kelvininin
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I'll be darned. Good job figuring it out.

P.S. It's nice to know that someone else services non-serviceable assemblies.

Its good to know that I am not alone. Not sure why they classify the valve as non-serviceable. Stuff like this is very serviceable.

I must have rebuilt hundreds of regulators in my last job.
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:40 PM   #13
B-O-B'03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvininin View Post
Its good to know that I am not alone. Not sure why they classify the valve as non-serviceable. Stuff like this is very serviceable.

I must have rebuilt hundreds of regulators in my last job.
They sell more replacement valves, since they are not "serviceable"

Nice job on figuring it out, I bet it helps others down the road.

-Brian
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