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Old 08-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #1
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Noticed this weekend that the water heater would light up and run strong for about 30 seconds and than slowly die out. Open the lid and it ran fine. Joe K mentioned something about a mod you guys had performed to let air into the compartment but I could not find it in a search.

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:00 AM   #2
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Noticed this weekend that the water heater would light up and run strong for about 30 seconds and than slowly die out. Open the lid and it ran fine. Joe K mentioned something about a mod you guys had performed to let air into the compartment but I could not find it in a search.

Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks
Bill
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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OK Bill; take a look here:

Water Heater Bumpers

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Old 08-07-2006, 01:07 PM   #4
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Warpath, you need to get more air to the burnerby moving the bottom of the access door out about 1/4". They have a kit for that as well as you'll need extra thermo fuses also.

I solved that problem when we got our new Dynasty with Aqua Hot, endless hot water and I mean hot water.

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Old 08-07-2006, 04:46 PM   #5
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radarr.....GREAT mod, I did it myself as well but look what the mod cost us!!
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:47 PM   #6
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Warpath: After boondocking for the last three days, having the same issue with my water heater, I turned to irv2 once again for a solution. You had just posted the same issue and others quickly answered. How good is that! Thank you all.
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:19 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys!

My rig is at the dealers this week having a few things fixed and I threw the hot water tank on the list. Wanted to see what they came up with.

To be honest if the fridge wasn't crapping out I would have started to repair everything else myself. I hate having someone working on my stuff when I ain't there.

Bill
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:09 PM   #8
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Great idea about cutting gap at corners of metal drop down door. I haven't had any trouble with thermo fuses but it won't stay lit in higher altitudes (7,000-9,000 ft) unless I open the outside door. This was suggested by Atwood when I called them, it works but doesn't look very good to people walking or driving by. I'm going the try cutting the gaps. Good info.
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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Over the years I have found that the described problem is generally caused by an obstruction in the burner tube, mostly spider webs. Had to clear mine just the other day.
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:35 PM   #10
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I have also had the same problem with the hot water heater -- it was eating thermal couplings. I cut the sides of the inner door as has been suggested here and also installed a small computer fan (dc powered). When the heater cuts on the fan comes on and helps to circulate the air in the compartment. Since this install, I have not had any problems with the thermo couplings going out and the improved air flow has seemed to solve my problem. You can splice the wire for the fan into one of the wires in the compartment that becomes "hot" when the heater is switched on. The fan only runs when the heater is on and working.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:58 AM   #11
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You know Gentleman I am a dumb truck driver but could one of you be so kind as to state what a Thermal fitting so I will know and can correct my problem also
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:13 AM   #12
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Bob, welcome to the forum.com. We are glad to have you join us here and look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. A thermal fuse is a fuse that is temperature sensative. If fire was to roll backward out of the Atwood water heater the thermal fuse would be in it's path and open the circuit feeding power to the control board. This would shut off the gas valve and extinguish the fire. It is a safety device and should never be bypassed. Suburban does not use and due to it's design is not needed. Good luck and enjoy the forum.
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:32 PM   #13
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RV Wizard -- thanks for the super explanation for the thermal fuse. I guess I need to properly replace mine!!! I've found a site on-line that offers thermo fuses for various temps. I don' recall seeing a specific temp listed on the wiring diagram. What temp is recommended?

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Old 01-01-2007, 12:31 AM   #14
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I don't remember the temp rating and don't have any with me now. It is printed on the fuse body. I have to have a magifying glass to read them; they are usually in celcius degrees.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:14 PM   #15
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The temp is 98 degrees celsus on the thermal coupling. Do a little looking around, like at Radio Shack and you can find the thermal fuse there and it is much less to buy. You install the couplings on the ends of the fuse (crimp fitting -- I do not solder as you can destroy the thermal fuse with the gun heat). I actually found a sale of 100 of the thermal links on ebay for $16.00 (included the cost of shipping also). By going to RS you can probabaly make the thermal coupling up for around $2.50 vs the $10.00 each to buy at a dealer. With the Ebay purchase, I am making mine for about $.50 each. I carry spares with me all the time now.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:31 PM   #16
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Gentlemen: I had the same symptoms as mentioned in the first entry. I vented the waterheater door as suggested by 3T's. Several months later the problem started again. My brother-in-law fixed the problem with a Q-Tip and alcohol. He cleaned the gas jet at the opening of the air tube. There was a lot of debris on the Q-Tip just from the face of the brass jet. We then left for 3 days of dry camping and the water heater ran like new. Clean the dust and dirt out of the water heater compartment and clean the jet. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:04 PM   #17
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Excel Bob:
You know Gentleman I am a dumb truck driver but could one of you be so kind as to state what a Thermal fitting so I will know and can correct my problem also </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I believe although a variety of terms are being used here all are refering to a fuseable link that is connected to the thermostat block inside the water heater. It is located so that part of it is above the burner tube area so that any flame that back fires out of the burner will melt the fuseable link and shut down the gas valve. It is a sacrificial part and must be replaced afterwards.

I have seen some people try to move it away from the burner tube because conventional wisdom would indicate that a wire should not be that close to the burner or because it does not seem neat and orderly to their eye but it is there to get hot, fail and protect your coach from getting scorched during a back flame situation.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:25 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by David K:
I cut the sides of the inner door as has been suggested here and also installed a small computer fan (dc powered). When the heater cuts on the fan comes on and helps to circulate the air in the compartment. Since this install, I have not had any problems with the thermo couplings going out and the improved air flow has seemed to solve my problem. You can splice the wire for the fan into one of the wires in the compartment that becomes "hot" when the heater is switched on. The fan only runs when the heater is on and working. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where did you put the fan? Any pictures?
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:51 PM   #19
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This is a really common problem with a really cheezy fix from Atwood that is only a band aid. I had the MH into the dealer and watched them change out every piece in the WH except the tank... TWICE.

Atwood recommends 2 things:
1- Remove the foam weather stripping on the bottom of the door.
2- "Kink" the door in a 'V' groove outward in the center of the door, along the bottom to give it additional air to breathe. That helped mine, but I could clearly hear that it was still starved for air, so...

On the Meridian, and I assume all other like rigs, Winnebago has cut a slot in the outside door (FYI- The reason this issue exists is because the intake/ exhaust vent is now 2+' deeper than a "stock" water heater, and the exhaust CO2 air is getting back into the burner and starving it), but if you look at the Atwood door, it's a stock door.

What I did was punch 4ea. 3/4" (or 1", don't remember) holes in a row, in the door with a chassis punch, just above the factory slot. This has completely solved the problem, AND the burner is considerably quieter since it's not starved for air and sounding like a turbine.
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:25 PM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SCVJeff:
What I did was punch 4ea. 3/4" (or 1", don't remember) holes in a row, in the door with a chassis punch, just above the factory slot.. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A "Chassis Punch" - THAT's how you got the nice clean cuts I saw you post a few months ago. Thanks for that.
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