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moonlitsouls

Everywhere

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Posted: 04/20/21 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys, when I turn my water heater on I smell propane from
the back here in the closet. I also have some black soot building on the exterior above the vent area

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2oldman

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Posted: 04/20/21 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I always get a bit of propane/exhaust smell, but no soot like that. I'm thinking you have poor combustion and need a tune-up. I have no idea how to do that, but plenty of youtube vids about flame adjustment.

* This post was edited 04/20/21 11:11am by 2oldman *

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 04/20/21 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have an Atwood water heater
Your Flame is burning Fuel Rich...not enough air
Clean burner/orifice/burner tube
**Disassemble burner tube (clean with small bottle brush), remove orifice (soak in alcohol the air dry----NO high pressure air or poking anything thru it), combustion/exhaust tube (run wire thru then tie rag to end of wire and pull back thru...chimney sweep)

Reassemble.....fire up water heater
Adjust 'air shutter' so flame is BLUE with slight roar


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jimh425

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Posted: 04/20/21 01:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’ve never had the propane smell. I hope you have a propane detector. If you do and it’s working, I expect you are ok.

I’ve never seen soot like that. How do your other propane appliances work?


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AnEv942

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Posted: 04/20/21 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

You have an Atwood water heater
Your Flame is burning Fuel Rich...not enough air
Clean burner/orifice/burner tube
**Disassemble burner tube (clean with small bottle brush), remove orifice (soak in alcohol the air dry----NO high pressure air or poking anything thru it), combustion/exhaust tube (run wire thru then tie rag to end of wire and pull back thru...chimney sweep)

Reassemble.....fire up water heater
Adjust 'air shutter' so flame is BLUE with slight roar


Adjust shutterAt 1 min in-shows adjusting the air shutter which if closed would cause to burn rich.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 04/20/21 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That blackening is a classic too-rich burn, caused by too little air. Generally that's a spider web or something blocking the air shuitter. take off the burner tube and give it a good cleaning.


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toddb

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Posted: 04/20/21 08:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently replaced my regulator after getting just a slight smell in the camper. 12yrs old, drained out about 3 tablespoons of oil from the soft line so I added a trap to capture some of it.

BurbMan

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Posted: 04/21/21 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding the propane smell at the water heater itself, it's probably the gas valve. I had the same problem with my water heater, it worked fine for a few days then you could smell a faint whiff of propane when you walked by it.

The gas valve is spring loaded and opened by an electrical solenoid. When the heater shuts off it cuts current to the valve and it closes. The problem is that the seals inside the valve go bad and so when the valve closes it doesn't completely seal itself.

I found the gas valve here on Amazon and it fits "most" Atwood water heaters, check your model number to be sure it's the right one for yours.

It's an easy change, be sure you have thread sealant rated for gas use.

moonlitsouls

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Posted: 04/21/21 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks guys , im going to start by adjusting the air shutter , that seems like the easier place to start. also , i need to clean that soot asap its really bothering me. i hope it comes off easy

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/21/21 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a brand new camper, correct?
I’m starting to believe you about the schitty quality....


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