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technotony
technotony, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 305
Experience:  15 years specializing in all electrical problems, generators, inverters, converters, etc.
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Pilot: Pace Arrow..kick..I even changed tanks just to be sure

Customer Question

97 Pace Arrow water heater pilot doesn't kick on. LP tank has fuel (stove lights, no problem). I even changed tanks just to be sure. What and how should I check for problems? We are leaving next Tuesday on vacation.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

Hi, my name isXXXXX your hot water heater have an electric igniter or a manual pilot.

 

If you could get me the make and model of the hot water heater it would help a great deal.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

it is automatic electric igniter. You helped me a few months ago with my converter, all is well in that area!

 

I will have to get the make and model when I get off work this afternoon and pass that info to you tomorrow morning. I thought about getting that info, but I was already at work when the light bulb went on this morning!

Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

I though this was you. Both born in 53 remember. I am so glad the inverter thing worked out but I must say I don't remember the issue just you. I will type up some test for you to do when you get home so we can speed this up for you as you are leaving soon on a trip ok. I will type it up and post it asap so come back to this page and just print it out. Talk to you soon.

 

Tony C.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks, Tony. I appreciate your quick responses!
Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

Ok then, let's do some testing. First thing, when you turn the switch on for the hot water do you hear the clicking of the igniter? You may need to go out side to the hot water heater and have someone else turn the switch on because it will not click for long if it dose not light.

 

If it is clicking, dose the flame come on at all? Dose it come on at and goes off quickly or not come on at all?

 

If the flame comes on and goes off it may be the thermocouple, this is the cylinder thing that the flame heat up almost to red hot, this tells the solenoid the flame is on and stay open. If the thermocouple is not hitting the flame or is dirty bend it and clean it so it is in the flame.

 

If the igniter dose not click at all you need to check the power at the control module, that is the black box secured to the front of the tank and has wires coming out of it. There is sometimes a fuse on the module so if there is check it. If not use you tester and check for power to the module, if you have none then you need to find out why, look for fuses in your house 12vdc fuse panel. If you have power on the module and not clicking of the igniter you have a bad module. This is not uncommon at all and you can get a new one at any good RV store. Modules go bad often.

 

If you have power to the module and clicking on the igniter then put your tester on the gas solenoid and see if you are getting power there. If you are getting power and no gas is going through then bad solenoid.

 

1953, most likely it is going to be the module, but do the testing to be sure. I will be here all day tomorrow so please let me know what happened, Also if you need more help or something else to test.

 

Thank you for using Just Answer and me, Tony C. if you have any other questions please feel free to ask. If you are happy with my efforts please hit accept, hitting accept is the only way we get paid.

 

Thanks again

Tony

 

technotony, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 305
Experience: 15 years specializing in all electrical problems, generators, inverters, converters, etc.
technotony and 2 other RV Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX and thank you. I look foreword to talking with you tomorrow.

 

We 1953's need to stick together.

 

Tony

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Tony: Thanks for your feedback on me!!

 

I checked the power as good as I could, at the wiring harness that goes into the module, or at least what I believe to be the module. It has 4 wires going into the harness, brown, blue, red, and green. Green naturally being ground. The only one that showed power was the blue one that appears to me coming from inside the motorhome, and I presume from the 12 vdc fuse panel under the fridge. All fuses are good. The water heater is an Atwood model G6A-8E. I have a catalog from the RV place where I bought the motorhome, but the parts list for this water heater doesn't list a module as such. The item I think is the module is held in place by two hex head screws, and is in the upper right corner of the panel as I open the door to the water heater compartment.

 

When I had my wife turn on the switch above the stove for the water heater, there was no sound at all. Usually, we can hear the system fire up from inside even when the wind is blowing, etc.

 

By the way, my diagnostics were cut short last evening by Mother naturel If you saw the weather reports from this area, you undoubtedly saw all the storms in this area!

 

I look forward to your advice!

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Ralph (Yes, 1953 was a good year!)

Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

Hi Ralph, I don't remember where you are but I know there is some bad weather around. I am in Florida and we get it at this time of year every knight.

 

Yes, that ugly black box with the wires coming out of it is the control module. I do know your hot water heater I actually have one in my Country Coach. One thing you need to look for is on the module just next to the wire plug in may be a fuse. I say may be a fuse because not all of them have it. My module has a small 2amp fuse on it. Look and see if you have one and if it is good.

 

If you are getting power to the blue wire and you are not getting spark when you flip the switch (providing the water is cold) then you may have a bad module. Ralph, this is not uncommon for the module to go bad all of a sudden. So common in fact they hang them on the wall at a good RV store. Before you run out and get a new module first check the electrode, make sure the contacts are not burned out or to far apart. The gap should be about 1/16 of an inch and directly in front of the burner.

 

Check this stuff out and if it is still not going then I would spend the money and get a new module. If the module dose not fix it then the money is not a loss because I can almost guarantee you will need it someday, and we will just have to look someplace else, but I do think it is probably the module.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I didn't see a fuse when I looked last night, but will look again! I will be going to Lubbock Tx this weekend, as we have our retirement home there, and will see if I can get a module there.

 

I appreciate your help and will keep in touch when/if other problems come up, and if we need to dig deeper into this issue!

 

Thanks again!

 

Ralph

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Tony: I checked for a fuse while home for lunch, and don't see any. Guess I will buy a module. What kind do I buy, model/serial number, etc? Or are they all the same?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Ralph

Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

No they are not all the same. I suggest you take the one you have off and take it with you to a good RV store like Camping World or someplace big like that. The numbers on the module should tell them what you need but bring your water heater model number with you. Let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Well. there is the rest of the story! Took the module to the RV store Saturday, got a new module. While there, the Parts Manager suggested that I also buy a thermocouple, which I did, just in case.

Got home last evening and replaced the module, no luck. (I would have changed it anyway!). Changed the thermocouple, and flipped the switch, and, it fired right up! It was really nice having a hot shower this morning, and even better, we are now ready to take off tomorrow for two weeks in the Midwest!

 

Thanks for your help and guidance, Tony!

 

I will keep in touch as other assistance is needed!

 

Thanks again!

 

Ralph

Expert:  technotony replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Ralph. I have been getting a rash of thermocouple problems latly.

 

Gave a great trip and be safe. Hope to talk to you agian.

 

Tony C 53.

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technotony
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15 years specializing in all electrical problems, generators, inverters, converters, etc.