Watergate won't stay lit

Discussion in 'Plumbing Systems (The Fresh, The Blue, The Grey, &' started by lucky13don, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. lucky13don

    lucky13don Member

    173
    5
    Jul 13, 2016
    sf bay area
    So on this past trip the water heater wouldn't stay lit for more than a hour or so..it's a Atwood 6 gal lp gas. Never saw a pilot light when I kicked the gas on the sucker shot a flame out of the burn tube a foot long.o_O. Then worked for a hour or so. So what am I doing wrong here?
     
  2. lucky13don

    lucky13don Member

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    5
    Jul 13, 2016
    sf bay area
    Watergate??? Ugh...water heater
     
  3. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Jun 5, 2014
    You could start by telling the brand and model number so we know what you are working on.
     
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  4. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

    2,352
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    Aug 22, 2013
    San Diego via MN
    Ensure the intake and exhaust are clear.

    I have heard multiple people have issues with spiders and such plugging stuff up.
     
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  5. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    You have to get the pilot to work; if that doesn't work you'll be lighting the full burner by hand each time. Probably not a desirable activity.

    I have a Suburban SW6P and couldn't get the pilot to stay on consistently, probably due to a weak thermocouple. I replaced the pilot/thermocouple assembly and it now works like a charm. Not sure how your Atwood is configured, but many times you can find a maintenance manual at the Atwood web site or at least some tips online.
     
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  6. lucky13don

    lucky13don Member

    173
    5
    Jul 13, 2016
    sf bay area
    atwood 6 gal g6a-7? have the install manaul, but not much in it for trouble shooting. looks like intake and exhaust are clear.pilot light never lights,so i go to burner and goose the gas and bang we have hot water. think i might swap out the white rodgers thermostat. if a good deep cleaning doesnt fix the issuse.
     
  7. lucky13don

    lucky13don Member

    173
    5
    Jul 13, 2016
    sf bay area
    thats what im doing..lol. upside no hairy knuckles now
     
  8. lucky13don

    lucky13don Member

    173
    5
    Jul 13, 2016
    sf bay area
    check this out,,
     

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  9. world traveler

    world traveler Member

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    Oct 23, 2015
    clean it up first, and if it shuts off after working for a while, it's probably too hot so might change the thermostat. My manual says keep the pilot on for 30 sec or so, and I light up the stove first to get the gas in the lines. I keep mine on pilot most of the time and the water is hot enough for regular face/handwashing etc. turn it on if more than one person shower.
     
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  10. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

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    87
    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    I agree with Haybale. It sounds similar to how my fridge behaves when orifice is plugged with spider cocoons. It will let some gas out, but not enough to function right, then when you try to relight it rolls out.

    On residential water heaters, flame roll out is usually caused by soot build up in the flue, which is caused by poor flame quality, which is caused by debris in burner or poor combustion air.
     
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  11. outdoorboy

    outdoorboy New Member

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    0
    Jan 16, 2017
    I'd be interested to know if you were able to find a solution. I have a 6 gal that will not stay lit for more than a min. I've lit and held in the pilot position for 30 sec and the burner tube will light and burn for about 1 min and then everything goes out. It will light right back up, but again only stays lit for about 1 min. I can't see any spider webs or anything blocking the gas flow. The stove and furnace work great. Any thoughts?
     
  12. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

    815
    87
    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Thermocouple
     
  13. world traveler

    world traveler Member

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    Oct 23, 2015
    Light up the stove first so you get enough propane in the lines.
     
  14. outdoorboy

    outdoorboy New Member

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    Jan 16, 2017
    This is the medal pin above the pilot, Correct?
     
  15. outdoorboy

    outdoorboy New Member

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    Jan 16, 2017
    The stove and furnace both work great.
     
  16. Fless

    Fless Active Member

    Outdoorboy, it might look like a pin. What make and model is your water heater?

    The pilot flame has to warm up the thermocouple, which allows the gas valve to send full gas to the burners. If the pilot is not warming up the thermocouple due to mis-alignment (flame not hitting it), or if the thermocouple is weak, the gas valve will shut off (or not even start) gas flow to the burner. Think of the thermocouple as switch: if it's not warmed up, it turns off the gas valve. Safety precaution so that gas doesn't continue to flow in a non-burn situation.
     
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  17. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

    1,281
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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    My water heater would run long enough to heat the water for the first cycle, and then would often drop out. It would light right back up manually, but wouldn't come on automatically after the first burn. I replaced the thermocouple on my water heater on my last trip (while I was in the campground; not the best decision I've ever made. I would STRONGLY recommend doing it at home before you leave, but I digress...). Solved my problem. A thermocouple wasn't expensive from Amazon. Amazon lists two for Atwood; check your manual for a part number to make sure you get the right one.

    As a side note, I was just trying to find a thermocouple link for you and stumbled across a "thermal cutoff switch" on Amazon. I'm not sure how to test that for function, but several people gave it good reviews and said things like "solved my problem", etc. You might consider that first; it's certainly a lot cheaper. Search Amazon for "Atwood thermocouple" and you'll get both items in the results. Make sure anything you order fits your water heater by part number.
     
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  18. outdoorboy

    outdoorboy New Member

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    Jan 16, 2017
    Thanks BelchFire and Fless. Just ordered it from Amazon. Hope this does the trick.
     

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