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Old 05-22-2018, 04:03 AM   #1
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hot water heater question

So looking at the control panel (the thing that has all the tank level lights on it) there is a button to turn on the hot water heater There is also a light that says "pilot not lit". So is this pilot something I can light before we go camping and have it lit while traveling or do I need to wait until we arrive at our camp and then light it? I have already checked and the heater valves are in the correct position.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:24 AM   #2
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Pretty sure you shouldn’t have to light anything. Again, pretty sure, that light only comes on when you turn the switch ON and something is not working normally (automatic).
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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Regarding the part of your question as to leaving it on while traveling...my opinion is NO. It waste LP and you have a fire going in your camper, fueled somewhat by high winds. Not a good thing at gas stations either. I leave mine off when traveling for safety and conservation as it will continually cycle on and off. If you heat the tank before leaving, it gives you a hot water for lunch stops and hand washing while underway. I also turn mine off after all the morning showers when we will not be using it for the rest of the day and maybe leaving the camper for the day. Let it re-heat after showers and shut it down. I have the dual gas/electric water heater so I use electric when on hookup to save gas.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Good advice
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMac View Post
Pretty sure you shouldn’t have to light anything. Again, pretty sure, that light only comes on when you turn the switch ON and something is not working normally (automatic).
Semi-true: you may see that light come on when you first turn on your water heater (no need to heat hot water).

And yes, turn off the water heater when traveling;

as opposed to your refrigerator which you can leave on while traveling (except for designated tunnels and refueling at gas stations).
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:01 PM   #6
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Well I looked and it has an electronic ignition for the water heater so I am no sure what the "pilot light not lit" light is for. Maybe it's just there for a different water heater. You can clearly see the electronic sparker in the furnace tube
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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The electronic sparker is what lights the pilot light. Piezo Ignition or something similar.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:48 PM   #8
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Gritz is spot on. The water heater doesn't need to be on constantly. When driving, it CAN be on, but why? It poses more of a chance of an issue then just shutting it off before traveling (part of your getting on the road checklist) and when you stop for gas, it is definitely something that should be turned off (like the furnace, etc.)

And yes, the light for the pilot not lit will usually be on for a few seconds when you turn the water heater on until the piezo (electronic) igniter fires up the propane (you can often hear the "whoosh" from it lighting.) There is nothing for you to light manually.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:27 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. I ran water thru the tank bypass set up and it worked fine. Nice hot water. Odd thing though. I half filled the water tank and tuned on the pump and the water thru the sink on cold did fine. You could hear the pump, damned loud lol. I turned the sink control to hot and the water pump would surge. Pumped hot water fine but it did surge on and off. It did seem like the time between surges got longer and longer like it was trying to build up pressure. The service tech at Tom Johnson's said that was normal as it was trying to build pressure. He said if it surged when no taps were open then there might be a pressure leak.
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