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Old 09-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #1
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Fire Hazard

So I lit up my water heater on my 88' Seville this week end and the darn thing nearly lit me up instead. This trailer had been unused for several years when I bought it, so I had much ( and still have much) to do in terms of getting it operating and fixed up. I hooked up the propane, sniffed for leaks, set the control to pilot and lit the pilot light. So far so good. When I turned the control knob to "on" flame shot back down the burner tube to the control box. After putting out the hair fire on my arm, I turned the control back to pilot...no problems. To make a long story short. I eventually took off the burner tube/thermocouple assembly and shone a light inside the tube...nothing showed at the curved end closest to the burner chamber. After running a stick up the tube and watching chunks of a mud dauber nest fall out, I reassembled the tube assemble and lit the pilot. This time when I turned the dial on the control to "on"...the flame went in the right direction and I had hot water in a jiffy.

I write this hear as a precaution to those who, like me are new to RV'ing and those who buy an RV that has "sat" a spell.

Cheers.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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Drake,

Thank goodness that you didn't have any greater troubles than some singed arm hair.

That burner tube in the HW heater is basically shaped like a U laying on its side. If you can rig up something to push or pull through the entire tube to clean it out, it would be a good thing to do every once in a while. (Perhaps the best analogy I can think of is that you want to clean it in the same manner that you'd clean the bore of a rifle - a round wire brush or wad of cloth attached to a flexible rod of some kind.)

Two other places in most RV's need the same kind of cleaning: the fridge and the furnace. If I remember right, you're replacing the propane fridge with a 110vac only unit so not a problem for your situation. But for others who read this, the chimney stack on the fridge should be cleaned the same way.

And same for the furnace. Clean out that combustion chamber.

I usually do all three in the spring as part of de-winterizing.

Spiders and such seem to like the propane for some reason and like to nest in there.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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Yes Steve, I will be looking out for the stoppages next time!!!

This trip I disconnected the fridge as we discussed in a previous thread about removing the fridge. I capped off the LP line, unplugged the 110, and disconnected and wire-nutted the 12 volt + and - lines to the fridge wiring connection. Then I removed two gigantic screws that anchored the unit into the outside access area. Wrestling that fridge monster out of the hole in the wall will be my next foray.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Hi Drake

Glad your OK. Since you are new and it appears the prior owner may not have known either, they sell stainless screens to go over the HW heater vent, the furnace vent and the fridge vent. They help keep the bees out and on the fridge the mice too.

Another heads up is look into doing a LP pressure drop test on the plumbing. Your local gas guy can do this or you can make a water manometer to do it yourself. This will show up the slightest leak and tell if the stove and main tank regulator are working correct. Annual Propane System Checks

Also crawl under and look up at the main LP gas pipe. The newer units use 1/2" sch 40 black iron pipe which is totally OK for this use. Then they have copper tubing feeders. BUT they do not paint the main pipe it and it rusts. The older the TT and not even paint on that pipe the threaded areas first may be problematic.

Hope this helps and good luck

John
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
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Jon and Steve,

Thanks for being on the lookout for hapless newbies such as I! Yes I noticed that LP pipe and it is indeed rusty. I guess I'll try to replace it, but there is a good chance it will twist off. I'll coat the thread area with rust dissolver prior to an attempt.

Oh Jon, I located the mfg tag on the trailer, and it was indeed manufactured in Sept. of '87.
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