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Old 06-06-2018, 11:29 AM   #1
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Water heater won't light consistently

I have a new problem with my water heater. Some times, when I switch it on, I hear clicks and smell propane but it doesn't light. Then I will switch it off and wait a bit, then try again, and it will light on the first click. This first happened at the Customer Appreciation Rally after the thunderstorm moved through, so I thought it might be related to that. Reace happened by and I asked him to look at it and of course, it operated normally. But on the rest of the trip, it happened several more times. Any ideas what might be happening?
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:08 PM   #2
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A couple of possibilities - the electrode for the spark lighter may be slightly out of the gas stream, failing to ignite it, may be too far away so there is no spark, or it may be dirty. If you open the cover you can watch the ignition process for a clue.

A far more distant possibility is there is a very slow gas leak that drains the gas from the water heater. The second try lets the plumbing refill. In this case I suspect you would smell the gas after shutting down the water heater.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:48 PM   #3
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Check the burn chamber for soot or debris as well. The cover is only held on by a couple of screws.
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:32 PM   #4
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Update: I had an RV technician check the heater. The electrode seems to be in just the right place. There was no debris in the burn chamber. The water heater is working every time right now. His only advice was to be ready to replace the control board if it should fail again. He said that 99 times of 100 with the Suburban water heater, the control board is the problem, and Reace told me that when he looked at it. I have a spare ready if needed.
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