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RE: Dometic Water Heater quit working

Our 2022 dual-heat WH-6GEA water heater quit working midway thru our second outing of the season. There is no firing under gas-mode, nor heating under electric-mode. The OM speaks of a red fault indicator light but I find none on the until or the central control panel. I expected a reset button but there doesn't appear to be one. Service Departments are booked for +3 months now. Any troubleshooting tips for a semi-capable RV owner suggested? 2022 JayCo Whitehawk 30Z The part number you listed points to the new style Dometic water heater. They still use the older style control board. First off, the red fault light which is normally inside on a tank panel next to the gas mode switch, is only for a LP gas mode ignition fault. There is no fault light for the electric mode. The DSI fault (direct spark ignition) means on gas mode, the flame did not start when it was supposed to, or the flame went out once started when it was not supposed to. There is no reset button, you turn the heater off, then back on and it resets the fault. Since you have no electric and no gas mode working, it could be a few things. Here is a quick way to help narrow things down. Put the system in LP gas mode, have 12 volt power on naturally, and turn on the heater. Listen for a clunk (the gas valve opening) and click click click the igniter sparking. It will take a few seconds after you turn it on, but if there is no clunk and no click click click, then it can point to these simpler things first. The safeties are not made. There is a thermal fuse in series with the main T stat. On older models, corrosion on the terminals of the any of the safety circuit connections prevents that circuit from making and it will not allow either the gas mode or electric mode to start. Many times, unplugging and re-plugging breaks up the corrosion and the circuit then makes. There is also the connections on the main control board that corrosion or a loose connection goofs up the circuit connections. Same thing here, unplug and re-plug and try again. Clean up any corrosion if you see it. Loose connections act like corrosion, the circuit does not make. If you still have no clicks and clunks when starting on LP gas mode, then it's time to break out a 12 VDC meter and see if 12 VDC is going to the heater. While the electric element needs 120 VAC, the rest of the heater all works on 12 VDC and LP gas. So you can use the gas mode to test out the controls for both electric mode or gas mode to see of the safety circuit is working, but if you have no 12 volts going to the heater, nothing will work, the same if the safety circuit above does not make. Since you camper is new, it does not mean corrosion or a loose connection is not in play. There is also a small fuse on the control board, it should not be blown, but check it. If you have 12 VDC going to the heater control board, you checked the connections for being loose or corrosion, you might have the T stat, the thermal fuse not making the circuit. It is a normally closed circuit and doing a continuity check can prove it out. To check it, turn the 12 volt power off, unplug the wiring on the safety circuit from the main control board. The wiring from the control board and back to the control board and do a continuity check on those two wire would prove out the circuit is made or not. If it is not, then figure out what is breaking the circuit. This takes a little more skill with an ohm meter, but it is basic control troubleshooting. Or you have a bad control board. Hope this helps John
JBarca 05/20/22 09:59am Tech Issues
RE: Explain how emergency trailer brake gets power?

To clarify, I confirmed that the brakes are wired to operate off of the trailer battery. But the trailer does not have a separate battery dedicated to brakes. In a previous job I drove a work truck hauling an equipment trailer and that trailer had a small battery on the tongue that was only for the emergency brake system. Yes, you are correct. Equipment trailers, cargo trailers, any trailer with brakes has to have a means of applying the brakes in the event of a disconnection from the tow vehicle. Each state in the US may differ on the weight rating, here in OH it is anything over 2,000 # must have brakes. Even hydraulic surge brakes have a setup to create an emergency break away with a chain or cable that pulls on the coupler which pulls on the master cylinder. Since campers have an on board battery for 12 VDC items on the tongue or close to it, that battery serves as the brake emergency power. Equipment trailers or other trailers with no other need for a battery, those have the separate little mini battery. If I recall correct, the size of the battery, has to be able to hold enough power to support full braking for 15 minutes. Also to note, if your camper has a battery disconnect, the breakaway power should be tied in upstream of the disconnect, not down stream. The breakaway power has to be live all the time. Many campers only have one large wire to the battery, and if it has the disconnect, they tap in on the upstream lug of the disconnect so you will not see a separate little black wire to the battery just for the breakaway power. And while we are on this topic, many breakaway switch manufactures recommend their "standard" switch be changed, every 3 to 5 years. Look up yours, I'm sure it's in there instructions. Some picked 3, some 5. The issue is, water can get in, corrodes things and then the switch will freeze up or not pass full current due to the corrosion, then burn up in some cases. This switch is a much forgotten safety item. You should pull it to check at least once a year that the O ring has not swelled, dried up , cracked and can leak and then sometimes the pin won't come out. Spraying with liquid silicone on the O ring once a year to helps for that. Anyone buying a used camper over 3 to 5 year old most likely has the original switch on it. And this really does not change much if the camper is 10 or 20 years old etc. It just gets forgotten. Some states require trailer inspection and that inspection will catch some of the non working switches, but some state have no trailer inspection, you will get a ticket if stopped and not in full compliance. Have fun with your new camper. John
JBarca 05/20/22 06:32am Towing
RE: No gas to cook top

Your welcome Shane, Glad to try and help. And really curious on how this comes out. If your R60 stove regulator does not open after your testing at higher altitude, I have a surplus of new ones that do not close up... PM me I'll send you one. For sure, report back your findings. John
JBarca 04/29/22 07:09am Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

Ok, you interpolated. I was going on the words you posted. I looked up a Yellowjacket Tester, I'm assuming it is this one? Did you tap the gauge lightly once the pressure was to be read? These types of gauges need a light tap to settle them, then read the number. Many times they drop slightly, but not always. There is also the regulator itself and it's repeatability. Before declaring what it is set for, shut the tank off, bleeding out the pressure, then bring the pressure back up and see if the setpoint changes. Three try's should be about what it is set for on average. You do need to check the pressure when the system is operating, the furnace is a big draw and see how the regulator reacts and then when the furnace shuts off where the regulator comes back to. Make sure the pressure does not exceed 14" WC when the system is under load or at rest. If it does exceed 14" WC, and it started at 11" WC, then all you can do is get another regulator. You may find, these RV main regulators may shift slightly on setpoint, even in a resting situation. They are only so good at repeatability for the price point they are made to. Remember, they are rated in 1" WC increments, not on the 0.1 or 0.2 "WC actual. Depending on the company you work for, when reading whole numbers on a gauge with no decimal point, you do not interpolate, you round up or down to the next whole number when the needle is slightly above or below. More then 1/2 way above, round up. More then half way under, round down. I'm not sure what the RV industry follows, but if it industry standard practice, you round up or down the next whole number. Hope this helps. John
JBarca 04/27/22 09:45pm Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

What I am stating below, is from my background in industrial pressure controls in gaseous pressures (N2, Air etc), steam, and water. I a not a certified LP gas tech, but this is what I have found on RV systems I restore. The main tank regulator normally has a 11" WC setpoint with no load. There is also regulator droop when an appliances kicks on. There may be a slight dip, then rise above 11 " WC. It should not exceed 14" WC when appliances are on, like the furnace and other large or small volume appliances. With the quality of standard RV gas regulators, (throw away devices, not repairable) it is getting harder to find a new one to hold between 11" WC and 12" WC when running. This may be considered normal in the RV world, again the 14" WC high limit. Also, there is a tolerance on this, your 10.8" WC and 10.9" WC is an 11" WC in the eyes of many gas gauges with dial increments of 1" WC". In order to read 0.1" WC and be considered accurate, and traceable to the NIST (National Institute of of Standards) you need to buy a very expensive calibrated meter in a calibration program. And then there is how "accurate" +/- the meter is from it's reading. Trying to dial in a RV gas regulator from 10.8 or 10.9 to 11.0" WC and the regulator be repeatable, is not practical from what I have found. The RV main tank gas regulators in general, again from what I have found, are rated in whole numbers for setpoint of 11" WC. There are not listing decimal points. If someone knows of a quality RV brand gas regulator rated in 0.1 decimal places that is repeatable to those decimal places, please let us know. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/27/22 06:21am Tech Issues
RE: Need help finding an interior wall outlet...

deleted- double post by accident
JBarca 04/22/22 08:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Need help finding an interior wall outlet...

See if this will help. It is called a box extender. They are used in the more traditional campers when you have to install a GFIC into a shallow/old work box. This goes on the outside of the wall, over the top of the wallboard. The box extender will give you more room on the box. You still have to have enough wire to splice/attach to a standard receptacle. I'm not saying this will fix your issue, just throwing out options in case it can help. It creates more room. This is not the best pic of the extender, I was troubleshooting the KIB tank panel, but the GFIC is just below it with the extender cover on it. width=640 Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/22/22 08:51pm Tech Issues
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

JBarca: good info that seems to shed light on the changing recomendations. I'll also add my experience related to 4 people I've helped set up a WD hitch. This was after they complained to me that they felt the trailer was giving them sway and didn't feel comfortable with the way the combo handled. In each case looking at front "rise" measurements and rear "Sag" measurments I found that the front was always high compared to unloaded and not bringing the front back to even 1/2 the difference. Once I adjusted the setup to bring the front back to at least half or more of the distance (I was shooting for close to unloaded) the problems went away and they were amazed at the difference in handling. At the time my thought was that with the front end rising they were getting more camber on the front axle which coupled with a lighter front end, heavy back end was letting the front end be to sensitive to steering correction. Yes, in the extreme it would probably oversteer rather then understeer. My conclusion after helping all the folks I did adjustment for was to keep increasing front load (dropping the front) till the wander problem disapeared. it seem to take bringing it back to at least 1/2 the difference to be effective. Now all this was done on smaller lighter vehicles, <1/2 ton trucks, Suburbans etc. Hi ktmrsf, By chance were your friends who you helped, first time TT owners, or their first time using or adjusting a WD hitch? Yes, I agree, many first time TT owners, never had some one explain to them or did they understand what a WD hitch is supposed to do. The dealer setup the tow rig with an empty trailer, and many times, an empty truck and down the road the new owner goes. Then the new TT owner, loads the camper and the truck. The TT tongue weight changes, the truck suspension changes, yet the WD settings are left from an empty camper. Then there is the misunderstanding on how to hitch up when using a WD hitch and how to use the trailer tongue jack to lift the camper way up, then snap up the WD bars. This adds up to, the new owner thinking, wow these WD bars are really tight, they for sure do not need any more adjustment. And they end up with the front end of the truck being very light and the rear axle, very heavy. The truck handling is bad, and having a lighter truck can make it all that much worse as the the lighter truck really needs the benefit of a WD hitch adjusted correctly. Close to the same thing above happened to me on my first TT. While I had towed many trailers, open deck, sail boat, enclosed cargo trailers, I never towed a TT needing a WD hitch. So I asked the shop PDI person, what do I need to understand or do to adjust this WD hitch? He stated, just take up a link if you want to move more weight. They wanted to explain more on how to work the appliances inside the camper then a WD hitch or trailer running gear. I was green enough then to not ask further when, why and how do you know what to adjust on a WD hitch? Then the learning started. My one year old 2002 1/2 ton Tahoe was out of cargo capacity the day I filled the camper with cargo. And the 800# WD bars the dealer gave me on an 800# dry tongue weight camper were also, very wrong even after I stated, are you sure I do not need the 1,200# bars? He said no, I would not send you down the road with a miss matched setup. When I got home and started loading the camper, I realized my mistake as tow ratings are very misunderstood if the truck can't handle the loaded tongue weight of a TT. Before I got myself into an bad situation, I fixed the weight issue changing the truck to a 2003 K2500 Suburban and then even more learning started.. GM torsion bar front ends will not drop once the yellow jounce bumpers hit. I have always said, you learn a lot more when things go wrong... It too have since helped many, many fellow camping friends understand the same error of my ways and adjusted them back into a very stable towing setup. Some though had to change the truck too. Point: It is common to have handling issues from the WD hitch being very out of adjustment. And the WD hitch is only one of many factors in a stable towing rig. But it starts with proper TW on the camper, then proper WD adjustment, then comes all the other factors, tire pressures, trailer towing stance, is the truck overloaded and the list goes on. Experience is something that is learned, over time, you are not born with it. :)
JBarca 04/17/22 09:33am Towing
RE: Vehicle "rise" while towing.

I'll add some to what I learned along the way on why "now" the automakers are recommending the front axle of the truck be lighter when using a WD hitch setup. The NHTSA in the mid 70's hired an engineering firm to study the effects of towing trailers with different sized tow vehicles when towing on the ball behind the vehicle. This was aimed at both cars and trucks of the time as there where many accidents involved while towing a trailer. I printed out that almost 1" thick report back I think around 2005 ish time frame. It was public information you could find on the web, if you knew to look for it. A point I picked up on in the report, the engineering firm was recommending when using a WD hitch, the front of the tow vehicle should be lighter then when unhitch to help ward off "oversteer" which can lead very quickly to jackknife and loss of control of the vehicle. See here what oversteer is. A prime example given was, on dry pavement, the grip of the tires on dry pavement is increased when towing a trailer due to the increased vehicle weight. When heading downhill (trailer inertia is pushing the truck) and the driver makes a quick steering maneuver (for what ever reason) the front tires could bite in so to speak creating an oversteer situation and the tow vehicle can quickly go into an uncontrollably jackknife. To help ward off, oversteer, the lighter front axle will help slide the truck rather then bite in and go into jack knife. That was mid 70's recommendations. Then I forget exactly when, the SAE maybe 2010 to ~ 2012 ish, started talking about Front Axle Load Restoration (FALR) and they recommended the front axle of the truck be lighter then unhitched when using a WD hitch. But they never stated why, I connected the dots that it may be due the oversteer concern. Soon after the SAE came out with their recommendation, after a while GM was first, then Ford, then Dodge started to put in their manuals to have the front axle lighter when using a WD hitch. I have not found there is total agreement on how light, light is supposed to be. This change in thinking also went into the WD hitch manufactures and it took them a long time to change their older ways of level truck or equal squat on all 4 wheels was the right way to set WD on a tow vehicle. I'm sure there are still some WD makers that have not changed their instructions. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 04/16/22 08:35am Towing
RE: Putty or butyl tape?

snip.. On the other side of this, I once had the misfortune of taking out an entry door I had sealed in place with butyl. What a chore, what a mess, and as you say, the bond held fast to both surfaces while I had to break the butyl itself apart. I had a miserable time getting the door out, but not one drop of water made it past my sealing job. Thanks for the good words Bob. Much appreciated. The heat gun is your friend and a real need in doing camper repair work dealing with putty tape or butyl. Like you said, the butyl bond is really good, you have to warm it enough to help it let go and not mess up the moldings in the process. Then it is not so bad. To get the butyl off the molding or siding once they are apart, warm it then scrape. Get the butyl or putty tape as thin as you can with the scrapers. Then with a rag and mineral spirts, soak a little and rub. The mineral spirts will softened up and start dissolving the butyl/putty tape and not harm the paint. A side effect though of mineral sprits (MS) is it leaves a film. Before I reassemble the parts I clean off the surfaces with a high flash cleaner, one that works to remove the MS film, any tiny bits of butyl or putty tape left, evaporates off fast, and not affect the paint. I use Naphtha as it will cut any tiny bits of left over tape, take the grim off and evaporate quick. Aluminum siding or fiberglass I work the same way. Some have used denatured alcohol (DA) as the high flash cleaner, and it will work to take the oil film off from the MS, but it will not touch any tiny left over bits of butyl or putty tape. I tried DA, but went back to the Naphtha. The little in cost difference for the Naphtha is not that much. I use this brand, SunnySide For sure do not use acetone, that is too powerful, it will take the paint right off the aluminum siding unless you are after the Air Stream look;).
JBarca 04/15/22 09:33pm Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

This is the Dwyer gauge I use. I also built a water manometer. The accuracy of the home made manometer is hard to beat, it just takes some time to get it setup, where the gauge is quick. I check the gauge against the manometer.
JBarca 04/15/22 02:03pm Tech Issues
RE: Putty or butyl tape?

^Excellent post, John - Thank you! Great write-up John. Excellent! :) Nice to see someone knowledgeable post good sound info with pics to support it. Thankyou Skibane and Bob. Bob, I do remember you rebuilding your camper from years ago. Since we are on the topic of butyl versus putty tape, to help the cause, I'll add some more info I have found in my camper restoration efforts on the differences between butyl and putty tape. Doing total camper restorations from water damage is a very large time-consuming process. There is a great learning in how all these leaks come about, and then how to make what was originally there, last longer, as there is too much work that has been done to not make it better, repeating what the RV industry used when the camper was built, is not good enough in my point of view. There is a very large difference in bonding strength between putty tape and butyl. Think of this like wood glue, wood glue done right between two pieces of wood is stronger than the wood itself. If you try and break the glue joint, the wood will fracture before the glue lets go. I have found this very same difference between putty tape and high-quality butyl, the bond to the siding or molding/flange is very different. Where the bond is poor, leaks can more easily happen. A little background to my learnings. This first camper I am going to show you, is the mine, the one in my sig. I had read the horror stories of failing siding seals on a camper in the 2007-time frame, and I tried to do something to slow it down on my camper. I started back in 2009-time frame using Dicor non-sag/non leveling caulk to caulk the moldings to the siding and windows and doors flanged etc. to the siding. I cleaned the black mold and dirt away from the exposed putty tape, once it dried, I caulked the exposed putty tape on front and rear corners, doors, and some windows of my 2004 T310SR Sunline camper. Little did I know back then how effective just caulking the exposed putty tape would be. I also had no clue how far advanced the putty tape failures already were ongoing, just not yet leaking too badly into the camper yet on my then 6-year-old camper. This camper was too big for the barn I had at the time to store inside. So, this data is from a camper living outdoors in the mid-west of central Ohio until 2013 when the new barn came. In Aug. 2016 I retired and took up a new somewhat extreme hobby. Restoring older water infected campers. I guess I like the smell of mildew wet wood…(yuk) I had no idea how far into this I would get as I am today as I now have done 15 water damaged campers being repaired for close friends and family. I was also buying project campers for a song, 10-to-12-year campers that were from 2004 vintage when I started up to now, 2007 vintage. I now own 5 campers myself. These 5 campers were made at the same factory, and the same approximate time, using the same methods of putty tape on the siding seals. The difference was the owners who had them. All of them other then myself had no idea they were supposed to do roof maintenance, not alone siding leaks, as the owner’s manuals of the time never talked about siding leaks. The campers were in real bad shape water wise. The insides of the campers were good shape, but the walls, floor and ceiling were bad. Little did I realize how much my efforts to stop siding leaks in 2009 had such a positive effect on the life of a camper. I already did Eternabond on the roof of all the seams in 2009, so the roof has always been good on my T310SR. And the siding too other then a slide floor leak I inherited when I bought the camper used in 2007 and a lower front left corner leak that I stopped the leak in 2009. I’ll explain in pictures as they speak for themselves. You will see the white Dicor next to the failing putty tape, the Dicor saved me in this case. Three years ago, I took this front left corner apart to add diamond plate to the bottom siding section and deal with what little rot was in that lower corner from long ago. I am heating the molding and joint as I remove the corner molding. You can see the Dicro on the edge and the putty tape unfolding from the corner seam. width=640 width=640 width=640 width=640 Now lets look at the front side where roof water runs down the left corner. width=640 width=640 You can see, I stopped an active leak path in the corner in 2009 with the Dirco. That putty tape shrunk and released from the siding and the molding in 6 years time and a leak path was well on the way to letting a lot of water into that corner. If it was not for the Dicor I did to stop the leak, I would have had a real mess in a few years. Here is the back side of the molding. You can see the black mold/dirt water path. And the molding where the putty tape totally released from the molding when I took the molding off. width=640 The point I want to make, putty tape does not create a strong long term bond to the moldings/flanges or the siding. It unfolds intact in chucks when you take the joint apart. A large percentage of the putty tape is totally intact from the siding or molding when you dismantle the camper. The bond to the siding and the molding is poor. Now, lets look at the same type of corner on the camper I am restoring right now. This friend of mines camper is a 2007 model on a seasonal site. It did get covered every winter for the last 6 years he owned it, no idea what the prior owner did. Four years ago I told him if he wanted to keep his camper a long time, ideally you start with the corner moldings, remove them, scrape off the old putty tape and install new fresh butyl. Then work your way around to every siding seal. Sadly he was late in the game, he only pulled the front two corners off at age 11 years and reset the putty to butyl. He had a lot of water in the camper at that point and he never made it to the rear corners, cargo doors, slide etc. thus why I am restoring it now. This is what commercial grade butyl looks like when you remove it from a corner joint at 4 years of age. I told him to use Permatite 250-H Butyl and he did as that was what I could get at that time. width=640 width=640 Here, I'm in the process of opening up the front wall. width=640 As you can see, the butyl bonded very strong to the siding and the molding. The butyl had to rip itself apart for the molding to come apart. The bond to the siding and the molding is stronger then the butyl itself. This is why I say, use good commercial grade steel building butyl. This is not sold in the RV stores, they sell it in the building industry. The butyl is cheaper then the putty tape at the RV store and the performance is superior. Here are the back corners of that same camper, still on putty tape, he never made it to changing them. width=640 width=640 width=640 While I only have a sample set of 15 campers I have taken took apart, including, Keystone, Coachman, Gulfstream, and Sunline, all of them used putty tape, and all of them had putty tape failures that had broking bonds to the molding or siding. None of them showed the bond to the siding or molding like the butyl I showed above. I have lots of end results of failed putty tape pictures if you want to see them. Here is some of them online in my Flick'r photo site. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 04/15/22 12:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

Sooo, got the new part and pulled the cooktop. The new part was ordered because Dometic told me that the old part was defective and had been replaced by a new item. They sent a schematic of the original part and it is clearly different than the new part. Too, they indicated that the new part would be covered by warranty. Turns out that the new part and the part in the cooktop are the same. And the only way Dometic will apply a warranty is to have an official Dometic center declare the old part defective — which, under the best of circumstances, is only possible at high elevation. As for Escape, the trailer manufacturer, appliances are warrantied by their manufacturers! They were of no help on an RV that is billed as high quality and only several months old. Why am I not surprised! Oh great. It appears there might be 3 - 4 options to resolving this. Or at least the 4 that come to mind. 1. Find someone near you with a lab and a vacuum chamber to put the whole stove in and create 4,500 ft elevation's conditions. Most likely not an option... 2. Go on a camping trip with the camper the way it is now to a place out west at 4,500 ft elevation and re-create the problem. Then find a Dometic authorized repair shop out there, have them install the new one and declare the old one bad and maybe the new one too. Then sort out what ever that outcome is. This option is complex and may not happen. 3. Install the new parts, hope for the best and you end up eating the cost of the parts. This may or may not work. 4. You are not really in a good spot unless you can find a Dometic repair shop that has dealt with these before and can comment on if they have found this same issue and what they did to resolve it. A bunch of calling to shops in the area your relative was camping at, may turn up something. This option might help give you the best hope for a resolution. From what I have experienced, anyone other then a Dometic authorized shop trying to get any traction on warranty resolution just does not happen. They will not even talk technical with you or accept new still in the package parts to test themselves. Hope this turns your positive for you, somehow. Let us know how this comes out.
JBarca 04/14/22 12:41pm Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

your instincts are corect in that atmospheric pressure plays a part but non of your calculations will work if you us 0 as a atmospheric pressure. it is 14.7psia or 101kPa at sea level and at 4500 feet it is aproximatly 12.5psia or 85.7kPa and 10 to 11" of watter colume is 0.36 to 0.4psi so realy at 4500 feet there should still be plenty of differential for it to work, maybe a slight yellowing at the tips of the flames. the problem with atmospheric relief regulators is they do use atmospheric pressure to act on the diaphram, the intent is to prevent an air lock from forming above it and preventing it from closing and it has a neglagable effect, but it is also much cheeper than using a pressure ballanced regulator set up. myself I would remove the regulator , make a fitting to bridge the gap and try the stove, if it works put a new regulator in. mind you this might be more than you want to do while camping. the other option is to change it out and see how it works next time your camping. this thread has me wondering if mine is starting to get week, I changed out my main regulator and everything got better but I do have a flame that is a little two yellow but I am under 1000 feet and even when I am at 4500-5000 feet it doesnt change realy, hmm something else to updte now I guess... thanks ;) Thank you. You are correct, I forgot the 14.7 psi at sea level. Thanks to reminding me what I forgot.... no worries, I have been working with PSIa for 35 years now and I still have a momentary laps when I look at mormal pressur guages and try to plug the 0 into an equasion :B We have a common thing going on, we are only 14.7 psi apart...LOL I have been working with PSIg for 40 years and forgot about normal atmospheric pressure at sea level:R What's a few psi amongst camper buds...other then the wrong answer :)
JBarca 04/14/22 12:23pm Tech Issues
RE: Putty or butyl tape?

Found a leak around my outside kitchen compartment door. Planning to remove the door, check for any damage and reinstall the door. Should I use putty tape or butyl tape around the door frame and TT side? Thinking the putty tape would compress and spread, allowing me to trim the part that oozes out. Butyl tape is stickier but wouldn’t squish like the putty tape. Can’t decide which is better?! Hi, I have some info that may help you make a decision. I have dealt with a great number of putty tape failures, I restore older campers in the 10 to 15 year range so far. I'm now on my 15th camper rot repair so I have seen first hand the damage from failed putty tape. Siding leaks can be as bad, and in many some cases, worse then roof leaks as there are so many holes in the siding. This is what a putty tape failure looks like. This was a 13 year old camper at the time of the pics. This is a front window but cargo doors, corner moldings, entry doors or any siding leak failure looks the same when putty tape gets older. It did not take 13 years to get to the stage, the leak started years before. Putty tape is easy to trim, that is a fact. They alter the sealing compound to make it trim easier on purpose, the side effect is less performance over time. What you are seeing in these pics is when the putty tape shrinks. And it does shrink, and the UV from the sun accelerates it. When the tape shrinks, it will split in the middle or pull away/separate from the siding or the cargo door flange etc. That starts a leak path. Slowly over time the leak path keeps getting bigger, you can see the water and dirt staining in the putty tape. The tape lifted that is how the dirt was driven into the joint. When the leak path gets long enough, water enters the wall cavities and it is down hill from there. width=640 Close ups width=640 width=640 Here is a slide flange removed on a 6 year old camper where the same putty tape failure had started. You can see how the putty tape tears apart when you remove the flange. I caught this leak path just in time before it leaked inside. width=640 width=640 width=640 width=640 width=640 Commercial steel building butyl tape is different then putty tape. When you are putting up a million dollar building you do not want leaks in 3 to 5 years like can happen on putty tape. You want 20 year plus quality sealing tape. I use the GSSI brand, MB-10A part number for their butyl tape. I buy it here. $6.50 a 50 ft roll. for 1/8" thick 1" wide I buy it by the case and I go through 3 to 4 cases a year. The case size is cheaper and I have higher odds of it being shipped and not damaged. If you do not want to order it online, then find a building/roof supply place in your area and ask them for their best butyl sealing tape. I have learned how to trim the butyl, it's not hard to do, but there is a learning curve. Temperature plays a big role in the learning. Too much heat, it is bubble gum, to little and it is harder to trim. A heat gun is your friend, both in removing the old putty tape flange seal and putting new butyl down. Keep the heat gun moving, do not stand still with it. Pending the outside temps will guide you as to use a lot of heat or not much. In the winter months, my shop is 55F and I need to warm the molding and the butyl to flow on purpose as I tighten the screws, Here is a corner molding. On metal corrugated siding I add extra butyl strips in the valleys of the siding and I fully line the molding. As I tighten the screws, the butyl will ozz and I want it to flow everywhere in that corner. width=640 To trim, I use plastic scrapers from Harbor freight to not scratch the siding. I get the right temp and I can push the scraper right up the joint and trim. I add a little heat is I have to, but not much while trimming or it gets too goo'ey width=640 width=640 To clean up any stingers, I use Naphtha on a rag and lightly wipe away stringers to create a clean trim. width=640 If you want close to a bullet proof seal, after a day or two if I used Naphtha, I go back with Proflex RV sealant over the top of the exposed butyl. It creates a 2nd seal and keeps any dirt from sticking to the butyl. There are tricks on how to tool out, smooth out Proflex too, it comes out really smooth and you can push it where you want it. Just do not apply in long lengths, 2 to 3 feet and they tool it out. You have to work quick as once it start to set, it will all glob up. Use a wet soapy finger you will not have any on your fingers. Do not apply in hot sun or sun hot siding, it dries too fast on you. If you plan to keep your camper 5 to 20 years, use the butyl, it's worth it. If you are going to sell the camper in 3 years, well putty tape will get you through that much. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/13/22 10:00pm Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

your instincts are corect in that atmospheric pressure plays a part but non of your calculations will work if you us 0 as a atmospheric pressure. it is 14.7psia or 101kPa at sea level and at 4500 feet it is aproximatly 12.5psia or 85.7kPa and 10 to 11" of watter colume is 0.36 to 0.4psi so realy at 4500 feet there should still be plenty of differential for it to work, maybe a slight yellowing at the tips of the flames. the problem with atmospheric relief regulators is they do use atmospheric pressure to act on the diaphram, the intent is to prevent an air lock from forming above it and preventing it from closing and it has a neglagable effect, but it is also much cheeper than using a pressure ballanced regulator set up. myself I would remove the regulator , make a fitting to bridge the gap and try the stove, if it works put a new regulator in. mind you this might be more than you want to do while camping. the other option is to change it out and see how it works next time your camping. this thread has me wondering if mine is starting to get week, I changed out my main regulator and everything got better but I do have a flame that is a little two yellow but I am under 1000 feet and even when I am at 4500-5000 feet it doesnt change realy, hmm something else to updte now I guess... thanks ;) Thank you. You are correct, I forgot the 14.7 psi at sea level. Thanks to reminding me what I forgot....
JBarca 04/10/22 06:50pm Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

I am also wondering whether any of this is influenced by the orifice size in the burners. Though I don't know, I am guessing that this too can affect the impact of atmospheric pressure on the regulator. Got the new assembly today, so we will soon be able to do a partial comparison. But complete comparison will have to await another outing above 4500 feet. It uses the same R60 regulator. Can only hope some changes have been made. I'm not sure if the burner orifice size affects gas getting to the burners. Once the gas made it to the burner, then how many BTU's of heat comes out at wide open control knob setting, then yes the orifice size would affect this. The gas control knob for each burner is a variable orifice as it relates to the amount of gas flowing to the burner. Since you can adjust the burner knob from closed all the way to wide open, one would think if orifice size was an effect, that some level of gas would come out of the burner and light or at least smell, throughout the range of the turning the control knob changing the control valve opening. You have the assembly, OK curious minds need to know, any chance of a few pics of the old next to the new some time? And they are using the same R60 regulator?? OK, curiosity is at an all time high now. :h Hope the new assembly works. John
JBarca 04/09/22 06:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Moisture on front area

John, I will get back to you on the other questions, but is there a reasonably priced quality moisture meter? Bought one a few years ago... I think ex got it in the dee-vorce, but the joke's on her. It showed moisture everywhere I checked. I think it would show wetness in baby powder. Yes, I use the General Instruments model MMD7NP. It is about $45 now. Lowes and Amazon have them. Shop for best price. See this post on the Sunline forum, I did a write up on it there years ago. I should do a post of it here on RV net. Any one owning an RV, will need one at some point, especially if anyone is buying a used camper. There is a PDF file in that post at the end that talks about using the meter and how to read the scale in "wall mode" from 0 to 100% wetness. Wall mode is not % moisture, it is a scale of wetness that is very useful in detecting leaks in a camper. I can't figure out how to link that PDF file here, you have to join the Sunline forum to get the whole document. But I took a pic of page 2 and can show the one page with the scale here for you. width=640 In case you cannot read it at 640 pixels wide, here is the larger pic on my Flickr photo hosting site. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/07/22 09:04am Travel Trailers
RE: No gas to cook top

Oh my! Your post is simply outstanding. More than I ever hoped for. And I very much appreciate it! More than aa few have this issue, and you have provided the most thorough discussion anywhere on the web. I do understand in detail how a regulator works and understand and tend to agree with your conclusion. My only question is the insistence of others that the diaphragm is controlled solely by the spring tension; atmospheric pressure has no influence. But as you point out, with a very weak spring as the R60 has, I can easily see atmosphere having an influence. But, in the final analysis, is there a solution? I have that bit. BTW, one thing is beyond dispute: atmosphere is indeed having an influence, regardless of any spring. Hi again enahs, You are very welcome, thankyou. There are a few undisputed facts in all this if we stop and think the whole thing through. The atmospheric pressure in the upper chamber of the regulator "does" have an effect on the on the force holding the diaphragm open or closed. The effect may be very small, or not so small, but there is an effect. The diameter of the diaphragm plays into this as well as the spring force. There is a formula, S=P/A where the units are: psi= lb force/inches squared. The larger the diaphragm, the more force can be exerted for the same pressure applied to the diaphragm. On a larger diameter diaphragm, a very small change in pressure can create a larger change in force exerted. And visa versa with smaller diameters. Lets think of it this way, take the spring out of the stove regulator and for this example declare the weight of the poppet valve as 0 lb. Inside the regulator is 11"WC gas pressure pushing against the gas side of the regulator. At sea level, the atmospheric pressure in the upper chamber is 0.0 psi. It is undisputed that the poppet valve will close tight shutting off the gas flow as there is no spring, the 11"WC acting on the diaphragm is working against 0.0 psi at sea level. Now insert the spring. The spring force and the diameter of the diaphragm now come into play along with the atmospheric pressure in the upper chamber. This is where the issues come. If the 11"WC gas pressure acting on the lower part of the diaphragm is stronger then the spring force combined with the force on the diaphragm exposed to pressure from atmosphere the system is at, the poppet valve will close and stay closed. I do feel we understand the problem, now how to get out of the problem? There needs to be a way to compensate for the lower atmospheric pressure exerted onto the upper part of the diaphragm as this weakens the spring force applied. Granted, there may be a practical max elevation limit where the cost to overcome the issue becomes too much. But 4,500 ft is not much. My first instinct is, the regulator needs a slightly larger diameter diaphragm, a slightly heavier poppet valve or a slightly less stronger spring in some combo to allow the lower atmospheric pressure to not be overpowered by the 11"WC constant pressure and still work with the 1" WC regulation need of stepping down to 10" WC. I'm sure this has been solved as home stoves working on LPG I'm sure work at high elevation in the US. Say Denver etc? They should have the same need for a step down stove regulator. Us folks on the east coast never had to worry much about this. Here is a post for RV.Net in 2014. They got closer to the issue, but they mixed up the low oxygen issue and the main tank regulator and never drilled down into just the stove regulator with it's very sensitive balance of trying to control 1" WC pressure. I'm still thinking on this. I was hoping someone would jump in and explain what changes in the spring, poppet or diaphragm that makes the stove regulator work at higher attitudes. Hope this helps John
JBarca 04/07/22 08:28am Tech Issues
RE: No gas to cook top

Many thanks John for all of your work on this. Yes, I saw the regulator in the manual diagram but dometic told me there was no regulator in the system! I don't think the CS rep actually knew. But the problem in all of this is that there is no gas flow at all at the stove at 5500 feet. None, not even a hint. Yet at the nearby outside camp stove fitting there is gas. Back at lower elevation it works fine. Why? The main regulator at the tank is not influenced by elevation. Not positive but fairly certain the "obstruction" is at the stove "regulator". But why. This will be checked more thoroughly. All other appliances work fine (though furnace now shows a sail switch issue on the board read out). Now, that original part that is called a "regulator pipe" has now been superseded by a new Dometic part that has the "regulator" integral to the entire burner assembly. With no help or sympathy from Dometic, I have one of these assemblies coming. Dometic would not supply it because it is a gas part. But I could buy it on line from an RV parts supplier! BTW, great pic of the R60 regulator. I was also told 4500 feet was the limit. Ill report any findings. the old regulator is going to be disassembled. Hi enhas, Let's compare notes on the Seven Universe R60 regulator. I went this afternoon to my pile of 6 of these regulators and took some pics for you. This thread of mine here on from 2019 is where those 6 regulators started from as FYI. Atwood/Dometic Stove regulator 51062 My issue was, the new regulators would not regulate down to 10" WC. They would pass any upstream pressure to the stove. I called Dometic tech service and got 2 different techs with different answers. I suspect at that time, this was after Dometic bought Atwood and all the techs may not have been up to speed on the new product lines. The outcome of the calls did not help, they would not even want the new unopened regulators back to test. Here are the pics. I suspect in my case, the diaphragm may have a hardness too high that the diaphragm will not flex under the low pressure or something is up with the spring. I tried adjusting the spring tension in one of them, but no change. I am still not sure why they will not work. In case you have not found it, here is good cut away and explanation on how the simple regulator works. This is on natural gas, but the LPG version works the same but at different pressures. Back in 2019 I had a good cross section I found on the web, but could not find it now. This video has a good cross section where there is no lower spring pushing the poppet valve closed. Only gas pressure closes the valve. In my case, the lower poppet valve would not close. The regulator is naturally a normally open valve allowing gas to pass through it and the pressure that builds, closes the valve. In your case, I'm hearing or thought I did, you stated no gas was coming through. But the stove did work at lower elevations. I think I figured out the issue. Read on. Here are the pics, see if yours looks the same when the time comes. The pile of 6 regulators width=640 Close up on part number and mfg dates width=640 Top of the regulator. You will need a Torx T20 bit with the center hole for the security screws to take them out. width=640 The cover off showing the diaphragm, spring and vent hole in the top cover. width=640 There is an spring adjuster in the top cover, it is not user adjustable, or would you need to, but assuming the factory sets it. The adjuster is a threaded ring that hold the OD of the spring. width=640 The valve poppet is peened (riveted) to the diaphragm. It was hard to see, but you can see the stem and the valve seat under the diaphragm. With the poppet stem being swedged to hold it in place, you cannot rewove the diaphragm completely. This is not a rebuildable regulator, you replace it. width=640 Here is the poppet in the down position away from the valve seat looking in the discharge port. width=640 The back side of the regulator body width=640 This is what I think is going on in your case. The upper cover is vented to atmosphere, so the top of the diaphragm is exposed to atmospheric pressure. If the regulator housing was in a vacuum, then I could see the spring in the regulator closing the poppet valve tight as the top of the diaphragm is at negative pressure compared the LP gas side at 11"WC on the inlet port. My vacuum statement triggered me to dig into, that lower atmospheric pressure exists as the elevation gets higher. If I understand it right, gas regulators are set at sea level atmosphere pressure. Since the upper cap of the regulator above the diaphragm is vented to atmosphere, if the atmosphere pressure at 5,200 feet is low enough, it can affect the regulator to act like it was in a vacuum. The small difference in gas pressure of a stove regulator (11"WC stepped down to 10" WC) has week spring tension as they are only a regulating a difference of 1" WC. This may be why Dometic states the stove only works up to an atmospheric pressure at 4,500 ft. As the elevation above 4,500 ft lowers the atmospheric pressure even further, the spring pressure that exists in the regulator is overcome with the vacuum so to speak going on above the diaphragm, and the diaphragm raise up closing the poppet valve and not allowing any gas to flow out of the regulator. A possibly explanation on why the main tank regulator works, the main tank regulator has a different spring and diaphragm size. The 1st stage of the is stepped down from high tank pressure (~150 psi) to say 2 to 5 psi etc. Then the 2nd stage takes it from 2 to 5 psi down to 11" WC. low pressure. In this case, it works at 5,200 ft, but it might stop working at 10,000 feet or higher etc. or whenever the elevation gets high enough to lower the atmospheric pressure. Maybe someone in the know can confirm this, but I can see it happening this way. Hope this helps, John
JBarca 04/06/22 09:45pm Tech Issues
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