Hello. Went for the first trip of the season this past weekend, and having a bit of an issue with the water heater. It is a Springdale camper, with a Suburban propane water heater - either a SW6D / DE / DM / DEM (the instructions I have list those models). The lighting of the heater was a little erratic last season, where it needed to go through a cycle or two to actually light, but we really dont use it all that much when we are camping, and we dont camp as much as we would like to, so always just kind of figured there was air in the lines.
The first day, I turned the heater on to take a shower. It fired right up on the first ignition sequence, no problem. After I was done I heard it clicking again, but as I was done with it I turned the heater off and didn't really think about it.
This morning I turned on the heater to clean some stuff before we left. Clicking through the first cycle. Second cycle of clicking and I hear a "poof" outside. Shut the heater off, look outside, etc, no obvious signs of problems, no gas smell. Waited 10 minutes and repeated, watching outside of the door. First series of clicks, not lighting, second series, and "ppof" there is a quick burst of fireball out of the heater exhaust and it lights. Immediately turn it off.
Obviously the gas is getting there if there was the fireball, and my gut tells me there is just a problem wit the spark, maybe corroded or something. My question is 1) is this something a relative newbie to RV maintenance but relatively handy around the house can attempt to fix? The whole propane, fireball thing is a little worrisome 2) where would I even begin to look? Can I shut the gas, turn on the heater, and look to see the spark without damaging anything?
Thanks for any feedback - sorry for the long post!
A can of compressed air would likely fix you right up. Spray it really good to try to clean out anything that might be in there. I've also in the past taken a bent coat hanger and poked lightly to see if any mud dobber nests or cobwebs can be removed. Then set the spouse out there with some hotdogs and a stick and try it again. ;-)
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Hope your travels are safe and the friendships made camping are lasting.
That scared me big time on where my heater outside outlet is mounted when we first got the POPUP. It is just below the fabic top window areas and actually the fabric can lay very close to the heater outside vent.
I definately will keep an eye on my top fabric after hearing about fireballs coming out of the heater outside outlets... geeesch...
I had to look see about my comments above on the trailer. It is the WATER HEATER Door vent that is real close to the top tent fabric. The furnace heater vent is mounted near the bottom of the trailer wall. I'm guessing either vent could have a fireball come out of it...
We dont use out hot water heater anyway. It is just as easy to heat up a pot of water on the stove to use for washing dishes. The on-board POPUP shower is a sit down shower and I just could never get used to the idea of sitting on the pottie lid to take a sit down shower. Never knew if the lid was suppose to be up or down hehe...
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
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Thanks all, I'll give a check to all of these spots next weekend when we get back up to the campsite (left it there for a special they were offering). It is most worrisome especially since the vents are pretty much right where you would put the picnic table, I can only imagine if someone is sitting there while the heater is trying to fire...