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Post Info TOPIC: Water Heater DSI Fault


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Water Heater DSI Fault


 

I have what seems like a strange malfunction of my six gallon DSI gas only Atwood water heater. 

The malfunction has evolved over the last year.  Back in January the heater would start and heat okay but when hot water demand called for it to cycle back on it would attempt several times then I would get a DSI FLT on the control panel.  I could hear the audible clicking of the DSI but it would not fire.  After turning the unit off them back on, the heater would fire up again, but still would not cycle back on when required.

Fast forward to July and the heater will not come on at all..until I open the water heater cover.  It works fine as long as the cover is open.  It cycles on and off as long as the cover is open.  Once it starts, I can close the cover and it will continue running but will not restart when needed. 

Currently I just leave the cover open while running the water heater but I’m afraid the next evolution of the problem will be a total malfunction of the heater.  I hope to find the problem before that happens.

Do any of you have an idea of what is malfunctioning?

P.S.  I have not been running the water heater unattended while in this condition.  I start it when we need hot water, then turn it off.



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2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2004 Toyota Tundra TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan



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First thing I would look at is the physical distance the "sparker" is from the gas tube.  If this gap is too great a long / strong enough spark isn't possible.  Temperature and humidity conditions can impact this as well when the gap is marginal.  While it could be the position of the air mixture inlet - typically a physical slider adjustment which opens more vent holes in the tube - I'd look at the gap first - make it less.  You might want to check the manual for this gap / distance spec.  

BTW, if this gap isn't adjusted properly - i.e. too much gap - one can have an issue at higher altitudes as well.  "Ask me how I know this."  :)

Bill



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Bill & Linda



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The fact that is works fine with the cover off suggests to me that it may be a thermal issue with something. Are there air inlets or outlets that have become blocked but some sorts of furry or flying critter? Just my imagination running wild.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks Bill, I’ll check both.

The air/fuel mixture idea sounds intriguing.  Several times I have tuned the water heater on and, while the DSI is still trying to strike, I’ll open the cover and the gas immediately ignites. I’m sure opening the cover, as least temporarily, effects the air/fuel mixture.



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2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2004 Toyota Tundra TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan



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Are there any wires that the cover might be hitting when it's closed?

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Dutch

34' 2001 GBM Landau Class A

2011 Toyota RAV4 4-down toad



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Dutch wrote:

Are there any wires that the cover might be hitting when it's closed?


 Yes, and that was my first thought.  The igniter wire loops out enough that the cover does touch it when closed.  One reason I discounted that as the cause is that I can hear a clicking sound and I assumed that was the igniter sparking; meaning the igniter is working.  I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.



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2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2004 Toyota Tundra TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 59
Date:

arcaguy wrote:

The fact that is works fine with the cover off suggests to me that it may be a thermal issue with something. Are there air inlets or outlets that have become blocked but some sorts of furry or flying critter? Just my imagination running wild.


 No, it's pretty darn clean.



__________________

2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2004 Toyota Tundra TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2051
Date:

MAYBE2021 wrote:

Thanks Bill, I’ll check both.

The air/fuel mixture idea sounds intriguing.  Several times I have tuned the water heater on and, while the DSI is still trying to strike, I’ll open the cover and the gas immediately ignites. I’m sure opening the cover, as least temporarily, effects the air/fuel mixture.


 The air fuel mixture, if properly adjusted, usually results in a nice blue flame that doesn't make a lot of noise.  I know that sounds weird, but it's true.  I'm still betting on the gap of the "sparker" being too great.  1/16" can make a lot of difference.  But this is just experience speaking without seeing the problem close up.  Just keep in mind, if you can't hear the spark standing next to the water heater when it is trying to ignite it probably isn't sparking robustly enough, it at all.  Again, just experience.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Community Member

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Mine has gone into DSI fault twice in 5 years. It was because of bad thermostat sensors. I replaced the sensors and fixed the fault. A year or two later had a leaking overheat valve that created corrosion between same sensors and the side of the tank-replaced valve and cleaned sensors...cleared fault. That's why I replaced it with a tankless water heater. Here, you can see the reviews and benefits of using tankless water heaters bestazy.com/best-tankless-water-heater/.

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