Suburban hot water heater will not ignite

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by Geezerbill, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. Geezerbill

    Geezerbill New Member

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    I have a 2007 Fleetwood Santa Fa with a Suburban gas only hot water heater. This week on the next to last day camping I had to switch bottles. Then my hot water heaters pilot light would stay on but the main gas burner would not ignite unless I stuck a sparkle into the burner compartment near the gas tube after considerable gas has built up. I have checked for obstructions and the tube and gas orfice are clear. This is the first time this has happened.

    Also, I tried to remove the anode to check it and even with Teflon tape on it I can’t budge it. I will get a six point socket tomorrow but I have a bad feeling wether I should continue to try and remove it.

    Any help on these two issues will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Shut off your propane tank and open again slowly.
     
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  3. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

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    Go gentle with the socket and all should be fine. No smacking it with a hammer. I use a socket to remove mine after every trip.
     
  4. Geezerbill

    Geezerbill New Member

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    Thanks, I’ll try that tomorrow.
     
  5. Geezerbill

    Geezerbill New Member

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    Ok, thank you. After all these years it’s pretty rusty looking. Should have done it years ago but I’ll try. Darn old socket size so I have to buy a socket tomorrow.
     
  6. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

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    You might try PB Blaster on it. Soak it and let it sit for an hour or so…
     
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  7. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Well-Known Member

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    Does your stove function properly? If it doesn't, it could be that the shut off on the new tank tripped. As mentioned above, close the valve, wait a minute, and open it again, slowly. It could also be a bad regulator. My water heater exhibited this behavior, and my stove wouldn't stay lit. A bad regulator was the culprit.
     
  8. Geezerbill

    Geezerbill New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. Stove, furnace, and ref all work perfectly. Here’s what I did today.
    Filled original bottle that went MT.
    Purchased and installed a new pigtail with the large knob and connected the refilled bottle. Still no start.
    Reinstalled the metal shield in front of the burner chamber and pilot light. NOW RUNS FINE. STARTED RIGHT UP. I assume the shield must create a chamber to create the gas buildup for ignition. ALL IS GOOD AND THANK YOU ALL FOR SUGGESTIONS.

    Regarding the anode. I was able to remove the old one with the 1 1/16” socket I purchased this morning. Old one was pretty bad!! Vac’d out tank with a piece of sprinkler irrigation tubing attached to vac and installed new anode. Will pressure test on next trip. THANKS TO ALL WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS. VERY HELPFUL.
     
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  9. F. Jake Glotz

    F. Jake Glotz New Member

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    You might also check and exercise the pressure relief valve when replacing the anode rod too. That is the real safety piece on the water heater.
     
  10. Geezerbill

    Geezerbill New Member

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    Yes. That’s for sure. Thanks!
     
  11. Westlake2019

    Westlake2019 New Member

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    Is there a way to have an electronic lighter on a 2010 Westlake to light the hot water heater? It is a pain to light. I have to make a tent around the outside of the camper to be able to light it. I use a torch-type lighter but I have to hold it perfect for over a minute. I would love to push a button to light.
     
  12. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

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    I would have thought that a 2010 Westlake would have had a dsi water heater. A dsi or direct spark ignition unit is flip a switch to turn it on and it lights when it needs to. So your Westie has a pilot light?
     
  13. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    If it takes a long time to light maybe its in the wrong position or the thermocouple is starting to go bad? I never had to tent off the area when i had mine, it did take a minute probably to heat up though.
     
  14. Westlake2019

    Westlake2019 New Member

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    Yes, it has a pilot light. I'm wondering if it can be converted to an electronic or do I have to get a newer hot water heater.
     
  15. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

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    A new dsi water heater would be about $250ish. When I have replaced one I always go dsi. I believe though there auto igniters that can be installed for pilot light units.
     
  16. Westlake2019

    Westlake2019 New Member

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    Looks like a new one-off Amazon is less than $350.
    Suburban Manufacturing Suburban Co 5238A Sw6D W/H 6 Gal Dsi
    Brand: Suburban Manufacturing
    List Price: $470.59 Details
    Price: $323.18
     
  17. Westlake2019

    Westlake2019 New Member

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    If there is an auto igniter for a pilot unit that is what I would go for so I will start researching that option.
    Thank you all for your input.
     
  18. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I haven't sceen one, it dosent mean they dont exist. I have seen a ellectric ellement that will go into the anoid spot that makes it ellectric. But have not heard of a conversion to auto igniting.
     
  19. Westlake2019

    Westlake2019 New Member

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    Also, does anyone have any idea why the furnace will not fire off? I set all year 2020 as we built a new home. No camping at all. The thermostat runs the fan when you switch it to fan but that is all. If you set it to say 60 degrees, nothing happens.
     
  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you problem is the propane regulater, or you turned on your tank too fast? As long as you set the thermostat higher then the ambient temps, and have it switched to on or heat, and the switch on the heater itself is on , it should light or blink a code. ( the code depends on model and year of the heater).
     

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