Question about RTO Atwood Water Heater - 6 Gal LP

2 Answers

After a few minutes of burner heating the water, gas shuts off.

I have a 1 year old Atwood Propane Gas water heater. I light the pilot, it remains on, so I turn to "On" position and the burner kicks on for several minutes, then pops and shuts off all gas and pilot. I can re-start it as soon as I re-light pilot and turn to "On" position again. It just will not stay burning for more than a few minutes. The pilot light will stay on all night, though if I re-light it after the burn-out. This gives me a little warm water in the morning, but not the HOT. There is plenty of gas in the tanks. Any ideas?

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A couple of things to check:

If possible, remove the pilot gas assembly and clean the gas jet and thermocouple - they can get carboned up and stop working properly. Make sure the pilot flame and deflector is aimed properly and making the thermocouple glow red hot. If the problem persists, you may want to replace the thermocouple and also check the propane regulator.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009

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I have the same problem as described above. It just started this year after 14 years of no problems. SWG

Posted on May 29, 2009

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1 Answer

Any idea why my Atwood water heater will shut the main burner and the pilot light off at the same time? Sometimes runs for 20 minutes, sometimes 2. I hear a clicking sound, then they both shut off.


The thermostat shuts off the main burner.The pilot light gas is controlled by the thermocouple which the side of the pilot flame has to envelop. If the flame is too small or too far away from the flame, it shuts the gas off to the pilot. The thermocouple generates a small voltage which keeps the pilot gas open. It can over time fail itself, so look at replacing it. The thermostat sounds like it's failing too.

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I have a Jayco pop up with an Atwood water heater, serial # 37C14U-5. My problem is two-fold. The water heater pilot doesn't stay lit after initial run, and propane is leaking out of the vent on the...


Leaking propane is red flag #1 and fire hazard.
Immediately update your insurance and then turn off gas.
If pilot is not staying lit, then gas leak can be cause of pilot problem since pressure on the line is reduced.
Other causes include bad gas control valve, air in the gas line, bad thermocouple, burner parts need cleaning, or all the above.
After fixing leak, replace thermocouple, clean combustion chamber and burner parts, and bleed gas line to remove air.

More resources:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Atwood-water-heater-resources.html

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Gas hot water tank, pilot light


Look inside the water heater when it is heating the water, the flame should be blue. If it has yellow tips on the flame, it needs an adjustment to the air shutter. There is a nut on this air shutter to make this adjustment. This adjusts the air gas mixture. You may first try just simply tapping on the burner lightly to loosen any debris that may have built up and vacuum it out. MAKE SURE YOU TURN OFF THE GAS BEFORE CLEANING THE BURNER!! Also, check for drafts that may be blowing out your pilot light, Furnace register or outside drafts on windy nights. Some water heaters have an automatic shut down if the water heater gets too hot, so don't have it set to its hottest setting. Most water heaters only last about 10 years or so, It could be you are ready for a new one....Joe

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