Unable to light pilot on Hot Water Heater!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Systems (The Fresh, The Blue, The Grey, &' started by Coleman2012, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Coleman2012

    Coleman2012 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Just got home from our 1st camping trip with the new to us 1997 Coleman Cheyenne. I could not figure out how to light the Hot water heater. It is a Suburban Model SW6P. I have some questions?
    1) It talks about a reset button but says nothing about where it is. Is it built into the Gas Cock so when you turn it to the Pilot position it will drop down about an inch or so because it seems to go down more in that spot?
    2) If so, I have already tried holding that down for 30 seconds with a flame and no success. I can successfully light the stove inside the camper with no issues! Is there some special place that I have to place the flame in order for the propane to start flowing?
    3)There is also a small red plastic cap that covers a screw with a standard slotted end that can be turned either way. It shows minus counterclockwise and plus clockwise direction. Is this a pressure adjustment screw? If so, what is that standard position for it? Ex. turn all the way in and then back it out 2 full turns!
    I'm pretty sure that it won't light because there is no propane flowing to the opening where I'm putting the flame!
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    This may help ......

    [​IMG]

    also cut a wood dowel our pvc pipe to wedge between the top of the compartment and the pilot knob.
     
  3. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Aug 7, 2009
    Georgetown SC
    I have to hold the red button down 2-3 minutes to bleed the line enought to get the pilot lit.
     
  4. JBousselot

    JBousselot Member

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Same here. If I'm putting on a LP tank for the first time, lighting the gas water heater can take many minutes. The 3way fridge (the farthest down the line for my 2000 Utah) can take up to 5 minutes before the gas gets that far. It helps to light the stove (which can take many seconds) and then go do your other items. Get as much propane down the lines before starting those pilot lights.
     
  5. JT2

    JT2 Member

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    May 20, 2008
    "Patience in all things." As others have said, 30 seconds isn't nearly long enough, unless you perhaps used the heater yesterday. Generally the heaters are at the far end of the gas circuit (line), and it can take quite a while for the low-ish line pressure to displace all the air accumulated in the line(s).

    It can easily take a full minute or two, which seems like an eternity when you're sitting there just waiting. It's a bit shorter if the stove had been lit earlier as some of the air is already gone.

    Often, I don't even try to light mine till I've held the valve or red button open for a period of time. Don't hold it too long though, lest propane build up inside the flame tunnel. You'll get an almighty WHUMPF when that ignites. Been there, done that, eyebrows have grown back... [;)]

    /JT
     
  6. Coleman2012

    Coleman2012 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Raycfe: That helped allot. I was trying to light it up at the cutout opening of the main burner tube located almost below the low, medium, high adjuster. Yes I understand now that it is the silver color tube (small dia) right next to the brass color tube (also small dia) which is almost inside the main flame tunnel. They should have a picture like you have in the owners manual. I did make a wedge stick to hold the gas cock knob all the way down once it is in the pilot position. You should put a patent on such a tool! I guess since I had the stove running a couple of times, like other members have stated, it speeds things up as it lit up in 5 seconds. Also thanks to rjniles, JBousselot and JT2 for your input I also will not get into a rush and will light up the stove first to get the flow happening. I noticed that there is an adjustment screw on the right hand side which is the pilot adjustment screw (which I never touched) . I am now worried that the pressure adjustment screw might not be in the original position. I was pushing on the red cap which says LPG on it.....unaware at the time that it covered a slotted adjustment screw for the pressure adjustment. I remember turning it with my fingers thinking initially that maybe it was the reset button, which it's turned out not to be. I took off the red cap to note it's position, then I put it back on and turned it with my fingers and then took it off again just to see if the screw did in fact turn. It did turn almost the same amount so I am worried now it is set wrong! Is there a standard setting position for this screw (a starting point)??
     
  7. Campit

    Campit EAT SLEEP CAMP

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    Sep 16, 2011
    [LOL] [LOL] Yep, had to learn this the hard way, too! Also if spiders have invaded the area, it can cause problems in the propane flow too. Annoying little creatures, they are!

    Campit
     
  8. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Coleman2012 common mistake. We have you an expert in no time. [;)]
     
  9. SmilinBeard

    SmilinBeard Member

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    Feb 18, 2008
    That is the biggest part of the secret. My hot water heater has an electronic start, but I still need to get the propane flowing to the heater.

    My routine is to hook up the water first to make sure the tank is full and bleed the water system. If the weather is warm and i am not going to be lighting the oven or the furnace, I hook up the outside stove and bleed/light it. That gets the gas past the water heater and fridge in my layout and does it a lot faster than a little pilot light can. I use the outside stove to stay out of DW and DD's way as they work inside. Then I turn on the heater and make sure it lights.

    If it is cold, I bug the two ladies, by bleeding at the indoor stove since it is the end of the line.
     
  10. Coleman2012

    Coleman2012 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Update: Got heater fired up tonight.....works perfect now that I know where to put the flame and were the reset button is..... Jeez I feel stupid! Anyhow now that it works, I have to address a couple of leaks. I installed a new Anode Rod which seems to be leaking around the threads. I did put a couple of turns of Teflon Tape around them, but I guess not enough. The threads on the tank were a little rusty so I ran a wire brush on the end of a drill to clean them up, yet it still leaks. I'm going to try more Teflon Tape again tomorrow night. I posted the other leak as a new topic.
     
  11. SmilinBeard

    SmilinBeard Member

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    Feb 18, 2008
    Check your user manual. Mine gives a torque to tighten it to if I remember correctly, and it is pretty high. I use a deep well socket, on a 2-foot long torque wrench on mine.
     
  12. Coleman2012

    Coleman2012 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Hey Smilinbeard, could I trouble you to look up that spec for me? I have been thru my manual and am unable to find it! I went around a couple more times with the Teflon tape, however it still drips a little bit.
     
  13. SmilinBeard

    SmilinBeard Member

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    Feb 18, 2008
    I remembered wrong. I went through my manual "Suburban Water Heaters" - various models and didn't find anything. I looked to see if there was a guide for a 3/4-in NPT torque on the web and found that being a tapered thread you don't do it to a torque.
     
  14. Coleman2012

    Coleman2012 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2012
    OK, thanks anyway! :)
     
  15. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    Would you mind explaining where that reset button is ? I have the same wh and can't find it...I did finally after 3 minutes get the thing to light but still would like to know...

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. Kutseena

    Kutseena Running with the wolves

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    Nov 14, 2010
    [SUN] clean the lines with acetone. I had do do that once and then everything worked fine.
     

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