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Hot Water Problem

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w.o.y View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote w.o.y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hot Water Problem
    Posted: 13 Sep 2019 at 3:06pm
Just got back from 4 days camping in my 2013 , R-Pod model 177.
Hot water heater would start and heat water for about 5 minutes and then stop. Would not allow a re-set for about 4 or 5 hours and then would repeat the same thing. Got a little bit of lukewarm water each time  .
I am not sure if the red light should stay on after ithe burner kicks in or not but it also went out when the flame stopped .
Hopefully someone here has experienced the same thing and can suggest a fix to this problem . 
Happy Camper
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furpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2019 at 6:41pm
The red light should go off if it lights. that is a FAULT light. No light it's working correctly, the "reset time"sounds about like the amount of time it takes for the water heater to cool enough to need to relight..

I suspect you have an outside shower control in the wrong position, or a WH bypass valve configured wrong. (bypass valve by far the most probable)
Signature removed, so as not to trigger any non Ford owners, non Irish Setter owners, current R-Pod owners, unhandy or mod negative Pod owners, or single campers of any gender.
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w.o.y View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote w.o.y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2019 at 11:29pm
Originally posted by furpod

The red light should go off if it lights. that is a FAULT light. No light it's working correctly, the "reset time"sounds about like the amount of time it takes for the water heater to cool enough to need to relight..

I suspect you have an outside shower control in the wrong position, or a WH bypass valve configured wrong. (bypass valve by far the most probable)
Thanks for your reply. I had the topic set for email notifications but it didn't come through so I just now came back here to check.  Yes the red light is going out after it lights. It just doesn't stay lit for near  as long as it should even though there is a nice large blue flame when it is working .  I  am trying to figure out your theory about the bypass configuration. If the tank is full of water , does that not mean that the bypass is set properly .? Sure would like to get this one figured out 
Happy Camper
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Post Options Post Options   Quote podwerkz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2019 at 11:37pm
If the winter bypass knobs are set for winter OR if the outside shower knobs are turned on, the hot and cold water will mix and you will only get warm water, not hot. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote w.o.y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 10:30am
Originally posted by podwerkz

If the winter bypass knobs are set for winter OR if the outside shower knobs are turned on, the hot and cold water will mix and you will only get warm water, not hot. 

Well , there is no outside shower in mine . Only the sink and  hand held shower in the bathroom.
Wish I could get it through my thick head how those bypass valves have to be set if that could be the cause of the burner shutting down way too soon . .It is such a terrible  place to get at under the mattress and plywood floor crawling in there with the plywood propped up on a stick .  .I figure if it is set the way I have it that the water tank fills up in summer and then set it so it won't  fill in the winter when draining it from the bottom from the outside  for winterising the plumbing  that the valves must be set properly spring and fall .t
If the tank is full and no other water is being used anywhere else then I figure the burner should stay on until the water is hot instead of shutting off within five minutes which only provides a  bit of lukewarm water in the tank . I Would love to see a picture of the bypass valve settings the way they should be set for both winter and summer.
Of course , I can continue heating some water  in a kettle on he stove like I have been when doing dishes but it would be nice to know why I can't use the  water heater the way it was designed to use and of course could never use the shower with the burner shutting down so prematurely . 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote podwerkz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 11:13am
Ok, there is a bit of a problem in that we don't know if you were hooked up to shore power and had the water heater electric element on. I was assuming maybe it was. 

Lets start over. 

When you started having this problem, were you hooked up to electric power, or were you 'boondocking'....'dry camping'....and running the water heater on propane only?

Is the electric element switch on the water heater itself (outside, under the water heater vent)  ON or OFF?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote w.o.y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by podwerkz

Ok, there is a bit of a problem in that we don't know if you were hooked up to shore power and had the water heater electric element on. I was assuming maybe it was. 

Lets start over. 

When you started having this problem, were you hooked up to electric power, or were you 'boondocking'....'dry camping'....and running the water heater on propane only?

Is the electric element switch on the water heater itself (outside, under the water heater vent)  ON or OFF?
I have only had this trailer for three years . Bought it used .I have winterized it twice and will soon be doing it again.I have never had it hooked to outside power since I owned it.. I always do dry camping and run on batteries  and propane. Fridge and stove work perfect on propane so I am not expecting it to be a lack of propane  that would cause the short shutdown on the water tank. I see no  electric element switch anywhere in the outside viewing area but there are two round rubber covered  things about the size of a dime.My  operator manual says to press the  right one for propane and the left one for outside electricity. Pushing on either one does nothing so I assume they are circuit breakers and would be popped out if they had ever tripped . 
I sure do appreciate your interest in this and would like to get to the bottom of why the burner will not stay on long enough to heat all the water in the tank to a normal shutdown temperature instead of a tiny bit before it shuts down on it own . 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote podwerkz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 3:09pm
If you have winterized the camper then you have most likely turned the bypass valves on the water heater...so be sure to check those.

Now....the round rubber covered caps are the tops of the ECOs'.....(energy cut-off)....essentially a safety thermostat. 

If you have not been hooked up to shore power then the switch I am referring to will not do anything....but if you DO hook up to shore power, the switch on the water heater itself will energize the electric element, assuming you have a dual energy water heater. If that switch is on when you are hooked up to shore power, the gas operation may appear not to be working since the water is already hot.

The switch is a small black (or maybe red) switch located on the water heater itself. Not inside the camper. 

It is most likely at the bottom left of the water heater, visible after opening the outside cover/vent.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 3:20pm
Try the troubleshooting guide in the water heater manual, here:


It suggests perhaps a few possibilities: the flame color, the flame probe adjustment, and the thermostat. 

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w.o.y View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote w.o.y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2019 at 4:26pm
Originally posted by podwerkz

If you have winterized the camper then you have most likely turned the bypass valves on the water heater...so be sure to check those.

Now....the round rubber covered caps are the tops of the ECOs'.....(energy cut-off)....essentially a safety thermostat. 

If you have not been hooked up to shore power then the switch I am referring to will not do anything....but if you DO hook up to shore power, the switch on the water heater itself will energize the electric element, assuming you have a dual energy water heater. If that switch is on when you are hooked up to shore power, the gas operation may appear not to be working since the water is already hot.

The switch is a small black (or maybe red) switch located on the water heater itself. Not inside the camper. 

It is most likely at the bottom left of the water heater, visible after opening the outside cover/vent.
I do not have that switch so I am assuming mine is a gas only with electronic start and has no electric element for  shore hookup. My tank does not have a variable thermostat  for low , medium , high like other makes  of trailers did in the past  . It must be built in somewhere to shut off on high when it reaches it's safe temperature. The  manual that member offgrid supplied seems to be a general operating one for many makes and models but with   my proper flame and other adjustments  ruled out because the flame is correct when it "is" on , I am assuming it must be an electrical problem with the igniter or with the mystery thermostat "wherever it is" being defective. 
Looks like I will just be boiling a kettle  for hot water and not be able to use the shower. I know a service center would charge an arm and a leg to diagnose  and fix  it so I am not prepared to go that route .When I bypass the tank for  winterizing I will  probably just leave it bypassed year 'round.
My only hope now would be those bypass valves .If I could see a picture of how they are supposed to be turned in open or closed position  for either season it might show I have one set wrong even though the tank is full of water .If I recall I think there are three valves down under there but maybe it is just two .Too bad they are in such a terrible place to even get hands on them to turn them less being able to take a picture of them .
Thanks guys for trying to help but I see no simple solution to the problem  at this time .. 
Happy Camper
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