Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Convert Pilot WH to Electric Start?
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Convert Pilot WH to Electric Start?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there a kit or some easy way to swap parts without removing the water heater? Thanks

https://www.rvpartsnation.com/rv-water-h........v-water-heater-12-000-btu-sw6p-suburban/


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stay with the standard "pilot light"..

Pilots are dependable, less hassle over "auto light" systems and not to mention retrofiting existing pilot type to electronic ignition is going to require a lot of expensive parts, gas valve, controller board, and any safety parts.. And then you will have additional 12V wiring and now a circuit board which will add to your 12V battery load..

Yes, wind can put out a pilot only but I would rather have that happen once instead of having the tank attempt to relight multiple times under windy conditions (snap, snap, POOF)..

If you can find one, there was a "reignighter kit" which you could add on to a Suburban Pilot only model.. Not sure how well those work and it looks like they may be out of production now days..

HERE

Found a Ebay listing for one NOS..

HERE

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for looking that up. We just hate lighting pilots. Can't remember the drill. Have trouble with the BBQ type lighters. It rains here.

It is so nice to be able to just push the rocker switch inside (when the darn WH is in a good mood and it actually lights of course!)

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been a while since I had a Suburban water heater but I don't recall it being any harder to light than my current Attwood.. Or even sticks and bricks water heater (those were a real pain before the mandated sealed chamber)..

For RVs I just use the long reach disposable butane lighters, cheap and get the flame where you can't reach with a match or regular lighter..

[image]

They also make bendable long reach lighters for those real hard to get places..

Long reach lighters should also be a bit more weather proof for use in rain although wind can blow them out or make it hard to light them.

To make lighting more consistent, hold the lighter flame right at the Thermcouple for a few seconds after the pilot has lit.. Helps warm the Thermcouple up faster which means you can let go of the starting position on the gas valve faster. Makes cold weather lighting a lot faster and easier.

Not much you can do about winds, have run into that while camping near the beach, just grin and bear it and eventually the winds will subside enough to not blow out the pilot..

BFL13

Victoria, BC

Senior Member

Joined: 02/15/2006

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 07:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The lighters are cheap but you have to buy so many! After a few times they have lots of fuel showing in the view port, but it takes two hands to pull the trigger, if it will pull at all. So now you need three hands, one for the pilot light/main burner and two for the festering BBQ lighter.

Another hand to hold your flashlight to see where to put the lighter in there by the "flower". You could hold that in your teeth though.

We just love the pilot light WH. [emoticon]

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 09:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually, the lighter in the pix is a refillable butane lighter..

Was the first pix I saw on a Amazon search.

Never tried one of those refillables since most disposables are pretty inexpensive anyways..

You could also adapt a replacement gas grill sparker button to light the pilot, mount the spark gap near the pilot and the pushbutton in a cool location..

The newer sticks and bricks water heaters actually use a piezo spark setup since you no longer have open access to the burner and pilot assy (sealed combustion chamber) and no longer get a match or long reach lighter in there..

C Schomer

Pueblo West, Co.

Senior Member

Joined: 12/26/2000

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 11/27/20 11:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of my first RVs in the 90s had the water heater at the back corner and it must’ve been the way it caught the wind, pilot light blew out often. I found a 12 V Re-igniter and no more trouble. The The re-igniter would light the pilot light before the safety valve would slam shut. Craig

MrWizard

Traveling

Moderator

Joined: 06/27/2004

View Profile



Posted: 11/27/20 11:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My first MH a 1972 lifetime from Bendix
There was a re-igniter on the fridge flame
That fridge had the pezo push button for lighting, bought it 1992
The RV systems never gave me any headaches
But the Chrysler Motors drive train sure did,
Transmission rebuild, radiator water pump replacement, overheated cracked a head,
Really wore out brake shoes and tires
I was doing brake jobs twice a year, 8 lug wheels, hard to find tire size


Radiate The Happy
....

Connected using Verizon and AT&T
1997 F53 Bounder 36s


Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 

Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Convert Pilot WH to Electric Start?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Tech Issues


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.