Tonight while I was dumping the tanks, I decided to fire up the hot water heater. I was going to leave the slinky attached, take a shower and then dump the grey tank again … just to give it a few more gallons of “cleaner” water. I came inside the motorhome to click on the water heater and it didn’t sound quite right. Typically you’ll hear the roar of the flame and while it was roaring, the pitch was off.
I went outside to pull the panel down and not only could I hear the electronic ignition clicking on, and on, there was black soot on the exhaust cover and the side of the motorhome. If that wasn’t bad enough, the flame wasn’t blue and was coming right up into the vent stack. Immediately I knew something was wrong and went inside to shut it down.
The first thing I am thinking is bugs, spiders or mud daubers somewhere in the propane tube. So I grabbed a small 1/4 socket and ratchet and took the burner assembly tube off. Sure enough, a small spider had built a web inside the tube and was blocking the clean flow of fuel. This is a bad thing because not only doesn’t the propane burn properly and create soot, but it also creates carbon monoxide.
It took all of a couple of minutes to clean out the tube and remove the unwanted guest, and a few more to put everything back in place. Once reassembled I fired up the water heater again, and wala! we have a nice blue flame, with the “proper” roaring, no soot and no flame in the exhaust hood.
I’m glad I was outside dumping the tanks when this happened. I could very well have been in the coach and not known.
Add another item to the checklist …