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Old 03-27-2006, 05:44 AM   #1
drhowell
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Fort Jones
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M.O.C. #3628
Propane water heater fix

After sitting all winter, I had trouble getting the water heater propane burner to light. When I was able to get it to light the flame was very weak and would only heat the water slightly.

My first thought was a bad propane control valve. I tried several things but no improvement. I finally removed the burner tube and checked the small burner orifice. Inside there was a very tiny piece of rust or dirt that was partially blocking the burner. I removed it and everything is working properly again. Saved myself the $90 cost of a new valve.
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Old 03-27-2006, 06:05 PM   #2
JH Sechelt
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M.O.C. #4976
Good Fix Don,

You also have to watch for spiders. They like to get in that area and makes nests and what ever.

J & D
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:49 PM   #3
stiles watson
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I have a small flexibe brush, sold to me by a RV store to use in regular cleaning of that particular orfice. Glad you found an inexpensive "fix". Those are the best kind.
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:01 PM   #4
harleyrider
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I am wondering if you could just blow out the junk with an air compressor?
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:12 AM   #5
drhowell
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I may have misled you. The problem was not in the fire tube itself but in the small brass fitting that the gas tube connects to. That gas jet has a small orifice about the size of a paper clip. You have to disassemble it to clean it. I doubt you can get a brush that small, perhaps one whisker from a brush would work. It wouldn't do any good to blow or push the object back into the pipeline as it would just move back to the orifice when you turn on the gas. It isn't a big Job to remove the tube from the pipe. One gas line connection and one nut holding the tube in place. You don't even have to remove the brass jet from the tube. Once I found the problem it was a 10 minute job with a 7/16" wrench.
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:26 AM   #6
RonS
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Mine was also acting up - I took the tube w/brass fitting off, and just blew it all out with my air compressor. Been working ever since.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:44 AM   #7
sreigle
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Good catch, Don. I've had spiders build webs in the burner tube, the larger one. Cleaning that out fixed our problem.
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:51 PM   #8
steves
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I just dissembled and cleaned my water heater today...as drhowell said it was a 10 minute job. Work much better now!
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