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Old 04-08-2014, 09:22 PM   #1
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Dadblame water heater takes forever to light...

So I go and open up for the season, and I have the same problem I had all last year...it takes me about a half hour to 45 mins. to light the water heater. Valves on tank, regulator are set correctly, gas valve on heater is set to PILOT...I put my ear to the flame hole and hear....nothing....I put my lighter to the flame hole....nothing. It's the same runaround every time I turn on the gas and start up the water heater. I wait, I fiddle... I wait some more...nothin'...I turn it off, I switch regulator to the other tank...nothing...I wait...I go in, and light the stove burner...gas to it works. I go back to the water heater, and after about 45 mins....it lights...Is there a switch inside the gas valve on the water heater that won't let you light the pilot if you've turned the heater "on"...because I turn it to that position occasionally, just to see if gas will come out of it...but during its "mulish" 45 minute waiting period that won't allow gas through either. Any tips on this ? I must be screwing up the lighting of this in some way...or there is a demon in the gas line from the tank to the water heater.< ( that's the demon!)
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
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Hi Drake,

Here are some thoughts, you see which fits.

1. I’m assuming your original 88 tank connection fittings have been converted to the new green ACME right hand thread nut. Is this correct? I’m assuming it is as they will not fill the older tanks any more requiring you to convert for a safety upgrade. That new green nut has an excess flow feature to it to “limit” the amount of gas flying out of the tank in the event of an open line.

If you turn the tanks on too fast, it will slug feed the flow limiter and restrict the gas flow considerably. It will only reset itself once the downstream and upstream pressure equalize out. This is a common problem. To get around it, “slowly” open the tank valve until the pressure builds then open the rest of the way. This just got me last weekend on the BBQ grill. DW turned it on to warm it up for me to grill the steaks. I come in wash up, 15 minutes later and the thing is barley hot...OK what gives??? Tank is 3/4 full, nothing much coming out. H'mm OK it is not getting the gas. Turn the tank off, purdge the burner, turn it back on slow, light and I'm cooking with gas now.... Good thing it dawned on me as 300F is not going to grill thicks steaks that quick.

2. We do not know your piping layout. If the HW heater is the farthest from the tank it could be the last in the gas line. It will take a real longgggggg time to purge the air out of that long line using a gas pilot. Suggest “before” doing the HW heater, do the stove burners or better if your furnace has electronic ignition nd is closer to the HW heater gas tie in point. The furnace is a LP hog and it will purge the line faster than the stove top and is auto ignition. Once the furnace fires off, then try the HW heater.

Assuming that the HW heater works fine once the thing is started, then odds are high the gas pilot valve is working OK once all the air is out of the piping.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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Hi Drake and John,
I have had the same problem at times when I started the frig, water heater and stove the first time in the spring. I usually start with the furnace, since like John said it uses a lot of gas more quickly. That helps get gas through the system more quickly. I also bought a small flexible brush like those used to clean the syphon tube in some aquarium filters, usually with a brush about one half inch in diameter on one end and a slightly larger brush on the other end of a springy rod approximately 18 inches long. Shoving this spring like rod with the attached brush end through the burner tube, cleans out the burner tubes of any spider webs, etc and helps the burner light more easily. This method of cleaning the burner tubes has helped me a number of times over the years.

Hope it might help someone else.

Happy Camping!
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #4
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Thanks John and Ham Operator. I suspect the turning on the gas valve too quickly is the problem...as I just whip that bad boy around quick like a bunny. Clever devils those gas people to put that little equalizer addition on the tank valve...does look like they would have explained it in BIG LETTERS on the tank though, so I wouldn't wear out my trigger finger on my butane lighter and throw every valve in the system 15 or twenty times to every possible position thinking I might get some results, while the dadblamed pressure equalizes! ARRRGGGHHH!!! ( It's okay ...I'm calmer now)....The water heater, not electric ignition, is actually FIRST in line, about 10 feet, from the tanks. Furnace is not operational, but would be second in line, then finally the stove. And yes, the heater works fine, once the bugger fires off. And, Ham Operator, thanks for the brush tip...I'll search around for a couple of those. Once again...my Sunline friends come through!!! THANKS!!!
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:58 AM   #5
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Drake,

Let us know how your LP adventures go.

Since the opening of the tank valve may be the issue, this flow restrictor is in the actual threaded fitting on the hose, not in the tank valve. Looks like this.

250,000 BTU QCC Fitting

If you do a hit on web “LP ACME nut” the various sizes com up in a web search. The green nut which is often found on our size camper, the office size lines up to allow enough LP to pass to allow all gas devices to run at once and have some reserve capacity left. Your home BBQ grill or turkey fryer etc. will have a black nut as those 1 devices do not flow as much, has a smaller office. There are other colors as well, all for larger capacity, I have seen red and blue before.

100,000 BTU QCC Fitting

450,000 BTU QCC Fitting

Happy camping this year.
John
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:35 PM   #6
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I second the fact that the members here at sunline have been very gracious with their knowledge to help those of us either new to the sunline brand or just knowing about the systems associated with our beloved sunline. We thank you all
The Hornes
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:29 PM   #7
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John...I got no green/black/red nuts....( I am trying to keep a straight face as I write that)All I have are the brass connecting fittings attached to the regulator that connect to the tank with a wrench ( or a pair of vise grips if you are desperate. ) So now I'm wondering what the problem is if it isn't that.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:42 PM   #8
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OK you have the older left hand thread all brass male fitting. Technically they do still screw into a new tank that also accepts the new right hand thread ACME nuts... of any color

OK so the flow restricter is not in your setup. However your symptoms still point to being air bound. Trying to bleed out the air out of the piping with a pilot is like, whistling in the wind...

Suggest purging with the stove first as a first step. Once the stove is burning nice and clean, then attempt the HW heater
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:39 PM   #9
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Thanks, John. I will do that very thing and report back when I can get back to paradise.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
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Hi Drake,

I sure hope your water heater problem is soon resolved. It's been a beautiful warm day here in PA. Upper 70's to 80.

Take care!

Ham Radio Op aka Paul
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:15 AM   #11
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Yes Ham Operator but a look at the weather map shows me that a cooler snap and rain is on the way....I knew this weather was too good to be true!!!
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
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This past weekend in Central Ohio was great!!! Saturday was mid 70's, Sunday hit 80.... This morning it was 72F on the way to work at 06:10am....

We are suppose to get SXXX (aka white stuff) on Tuesday that is supose to accumulate on the lawns... but not the roads.

Ah yup, the weather is broke....
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
... SXXX (aka white stuff) ...
That is funny. ..... well, not the actual stuff, the XXX is No, I ain't gonna say the dirty word either.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:26 AM   #14
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However your symptoms still point to being air bound. Trying to bleed out the air out of the piping with a pilot is like, whistling in the wind...
Suggest purging with the stove first as a first step. Once the stove is burning nice and clean, then attempt the HW heater
He has purged the lines with the stove. But if his trailer is like mine, there's a whole trailer length between the stove and WH.
However, one thing caught my eye ... he couldn't get a flame with the valve in the "On" position.
Holding a butane lighter under the flame sensor for any length of time will fool the main control to think the pilot is lit. Turning the valve on should allow a large volume of air to escape. I did this once on the Taj. I held the lighter under the sensor, waited about a minute, then turned the gas to "On." There was a rush of air then in about 5 sec., the flame roared to life and the pilot flame came on. I was temporarily substituting for the pilot light with a butane lighter.
Drake, try purging the line that way. If it won't light, I think a tired flame sensor may also be an issue.

Teach
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