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Old 09-08-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Water heater issue

Camping up on the Kettle River.
Couple times that I've turned on the water heater there is a small explosion as it catches. Sometime it lights, but more often not ( as if the pop blew out any flame ). I has lit on the next cycle or two.

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Old 09-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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Sounds like too much propane is let go before the igniter fires off. Definitely worth a trip soon to your favorite RV service center.

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Hey,

I would suggest a Service Center too however, you state your camping. turn off your gas and then popp the water heater cover off check for spider webs or other critters impeding the gas flow, check the ignitor by turning the water heater on ( Make Sure The Gas is Off) for a few seconds. You should see a good spark if not the contacts maybe dirty or it the ground is not making full contact. After you clean it all out and such put the cover back on turn on the gas and try it then. BUT GET IT CHECKED BY SERVICE TECH.

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Couple times that I've turned on the water heater there is a small explosion as it catches. Sometime it lights, but more often not ( as if the pop blew out any flame ). I has lit on the next cycle or two.

Comments?
Not sure how severe this small explosion you describe really is, but ours does this too, and is more like the pop you describe. It is usually just when it is lit for the first time after setting up, and not if it runs another cycle. I think this is could be due to the fact the gas lines were someone purged, and at first did not have enough gas to light, and when it does there is an excess floating about. This is akin to the big swoosh you can get with a BBQ when lighting with an igniter and it doesn't take first try. With a furnace the firebox is first purged by the fan before it lights. No fan on the water heater though.

If it really is a big explosion, it should be checked out.

Just thoughts from me wee brane working too hard on a Sunday.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I think this is could be due to the fact the gas lines were someone purged, and at first did not have enough gas to light, and when it does there is an excess floating about. This is akin to the big swoosh you can get with a BBQ when lighting with an igniter and it doesn't take first try. With a furnace the firebox is first purged by the fan before it lights. No fan on the water heater though.
This makes perfect sense to me, and matches what I have observed with our direct spark ignition water heaters and furnaces in two larger RVs.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Not sure how severe this small explosion you describe really is, but ours does this too, and is more like the pop you describe. It is usually just when it is lit for the first time after setting up, and not if it runs another cycle. I think this is could be due to the fact the gas lines were someone purged, and at first did not have enough gas to light, and when it does there is an excess floating about. This is akin to the big swoosh you can get with a BBQ when lighting with an igniter and it doesn't take first try. With a furnace the firebox is first purged by the fan before it lights. No fan on the water heater though.

If it really is a big explosion, it should be checked out.

Just thoughts from me wee brane working too hard on a Sunday.
I think that ours does also, and Jim's explanation makes sense to me -- but then lots of things do that ain't necessarily correct.....
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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I think Jim nailed it. I ran out of gas, both tanks ( explain how I managed that ). This issue came up after I connected two full tanks and turned on the gas. After trying to start it the first time ( with the 'pop' ) I turned it off for a while and when I started it later, there was no 'pop'.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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The pop is also a great way to clean the burner area of the hot water tank ;-) when I open the outside burner cover to investigate after the big bang I generally find lots of combustion debris that has been knocked loose and is easily swept up. The spiders and their webs have been incinerated :-)
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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I have had similar occurrences. The water heater generally operates normally. Occasionally it dies and the light comes on, for no obvious reason. And sometimes it won't ignite, even with repeated cycles. Occasionally, we get the "pop" during the ignition cycles - sometimes more than once. I shut it off, try later, and all is usually well. Gremlins again? But I plan on having it checked during maintenance services this off-season.
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