No hot water? Do a couple of quick checks before you panic

No hot water? Do a couple of quick checks before you panic

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Taking off for an RV trip is a sure-fire way to relax, right? Ah, but there’s nothing that can drive you crazy and erase the relaxation like a malfunctioning water heater. Can’t get it to light? Here are a few quick things to check that may alleviate the stress easily.

If you recently changed LP tanks, or had the tanks turned off for a while, it’s possible you may have air in the LP lines. Light one of your range top burners and let it burn for a few seconds. You can be especially suspicious of air in those lines if it takes a bit of doing to get the burner to light — just let the gas flow and keep a flame next to it.

Coaxed all the air out of the lines but still can’t get your water heater lit? Step outside, open the water heater door and take a good look-see. Ensure that there’s nothing in there that shouldn’t be there. Mud daubing wasps and spiders have a penchant for putting nests or webs over propane burner orifices.

Have someone switch on the water heater. If you don’t hear the “click click” or “snap snap” of the spark that ignites the gas, shut off the switch and check electrical components for tightness. If you see any corrosion on a connector, loosen it and sand it with fine sandpaper.

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