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Hot water heater was acting strange before but now it seems to have gotten worse

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RVF Regular
Sep 24, 2023
I made this video to show the strange sputtering kind of sound it was making a few days ago. I just got this 2014 Crossover Longhorn Thor RV recently. The Hot water heater is an Atwood made in 06. I had developed some kind of a workaround in that it didn't keep running through the night or during stretches of the day. I would turn off the electric and gas water heater buttons and then back on and I could hear it start. Today I was gone for quite a while so I turned them both off. When I turned them on I could hear a fan running in the middle of the RV inside. I hadn't heard it for a long time. I never could hear the hot water's gas jets kick on though. Later I turned on the heater and it kicked on. However when I tried the water heater again the heaters fan seemed to have reduced power. After that I went outside and could smell a scorched electronics smell by the hot water heater. So I turned it all off. Any ideas on what may have happened? Thanks.

On my American standard steel tank heater, that was a sign that the heat tube had rust flakes forming. A ball shaped brush to remove the scale was all that was required to get it back on the road till the next time.

Good to note, is a wind that would hit the face of the heater would produce the same effect.
I'll give it a try. There is a part that looks rusty. Also, since I wrote that I got to fooling with the switches and the electronic water heater one wouldn't come on anymore but after jiggling it it did. So I guess that has something to do with it. Right now the wh started and seems to be sputtering along like it was earlier when I made that video. Thanks.
There is no fan on that water heater. You heard the convertor most likely. That is normal if it is charging the batteries hard and it warms up. Your problem is in the gas part. Either the propane regulator is not creating enough pressure or you have something block the tube that curves into the opening or the diffuser at the end of the tube in the hole(in the tank) is out of place or rotted out or missing.
Sounds like too much air mixing with the propane. Try adjusting the gap on the tube. If the entire tube is rusted too badly, replace it.


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That air setting has stayed the same for a long time. Most likely it did not change. Better to look at why the mixture has changed which leads you to check the propane and delivery system.
Some bugs are overly fond of propane. Their webs and egg sacs can muck up propane appliances. This is why you are supposed to do routine (yearly or more often) maintenance on your systems.

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