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  • Wind blows out pilot light

    Does anyone else have this problem? On windy days, I'll be in the middle of bathing a dog and I notice the water gradually starting to get cold. That's how I know the flame is out on the water heater. I have to take the dog out of the tub and put him on the floor to get out of the van and re-light it. Does anyone have a suggestion on this? It's a Wag-n-Tails van. Thanks!

  • #2
    I've never had that problem...I wouldn't even know how to light it if I had to. (Guess I'd have to pull out the manual, lol!). To turn off the heater you flick the switch. Could you just turn off the switch and then turn it back on?
    don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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    • #3
      I was thinking too, maybe you're using too much water with one dog? The water does gradually get cooler as you go...maybe the heater just hasn't turned back on yet since it is a 6 gallon heater???

      I'd give WNT a call on Monday and see what they have to say..and then let us know, just in case.
      don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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      • #4
        Doesn't the area have a vent cover? Mine has a cover over the actual pilot light that I have to open to get to. That keeps the wind from blowing it out.
        And believe me we have had some gusts. Felt like my van was going to tip over. But the water was always warm... lol.

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        • #5
          I'm not sure what year your WNT Van is, but mine is a 2006 and I don't have a pilot light. It has an electronic ignitor. All I have to do when the flame blows out from the wind is shut off the switch for the hot water heater and turn it back on and it will relight. You shouldn't have any pilot lights, how would it stay lit when your driving? Do you have to light it manually everytime you arrive for an appointment?

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          • #6
            Ahh, so glad I have electric hot water heater.
            If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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            • #7
              The WNT water heater is propane with an electric starter. It also has a backup electric heater in case you run out of propane. Almost everything in the WNT is set up so that if something fails there's a way to keep grooming.
              don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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              • #8
                YES. I had this problem continuously over several windy days. At first I thought something was wrong with my heater. It would not stay lit due to the wind blowing into the vent cover and the water went cold. I could see the red light coming on over and over again as the wind put out the flame. It gets windy here and if you are parked at a bad angle this happens. So, I solved this by putting my heater switch onto the position where it runs on electric as well (it also runs on the propane in this position). The guys at the RV place told me that this would be best and that they recommend all RVers to use this position on their rigs). No problems since. In fact, I have stopped getting propane altogether and just run on electric since. However, if the dog is very big you will still run out of hot water and the electric function does not heat as quickly as the the propane.....but this is rarely a problem for me as I don't run out of hot water too often since i don't do too many large hairy dogs that use up boocoos of water.

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                • #9
                  Hi.
                  My WNT van is a 99, so I don't think it has a back-up electric heater. What year is your's, Furrybest? The electric starter is broken so I have to manually start up the propane heater in the morning, and if the wind blows it out, I have to start it again. I know when it's out and when it's just getting a little cooler from using too much water. I have to get the starter fixed. If I leave it on the "on" position, it clicks and makes tiny sparks. These sparks cause small explosions! I thought it was my generator back-firing and I took it in to be checked out. The service man said the generator was fine. I figured out on my own that it was the propane because if the switch is "off" the mini-explosions don't happen. One day a customer came running out because she thought someone got shot! It's probably a small fix, but I can't seem to find the time. However, even before the electric starter was malfuntioning, the flame went out on windy days - the wind goes right through the vent cover. I'm curious about this back-up electric heater. Great idea. When did they start putting them in??

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                  • #10
                    mine is a 2004, so a good bit newer than yours.

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                    • #11
                      The back up electric is not actually an addition, but a feature of the water heater itself. There it a tiny switch behind the gas line on the front left bottom area of the water heater that if switched to ON, will use both electric and propane. The electric doesn't heat as fast or as hot, but it allows the heater to use much less propane as it only needs the propane to heat it fast or to top off the heat. If you turn it on though, you do need to keep it plugged in at night or remember to turn it off each day when you get home. (If your unit has this feature)

                      If you had an electric start on your heater, I would get it fixed ASAP rather than manually start it each day. The gas shuts off once the water is at the right temperature and comes back on when it needs more heating. Though I do know that high winds can blow the flame out once lit, your problem may actually be more the case of the normal feature of the gas shutting itself off when needed and if you aren't there to relight it the moment it comes on, you are not only wasting propane, but putting yourself is a very dangerous situation.

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                      • #12
                        Actually the electric function is wired to the genset and therefore you do not have to turn it (the electric function) off at the end of the day. I have mine set to the electric function constantly for the past two years and I do not have to plug in over night (unless I want the water to heat overnight which i do over winter). It does not draw off the battery so there is no fear that you will drain the battery overnight if you do not turn it off at the end of the day.

                        I have operated this way exclusively since I ran out of propane over a year ago. I only use the electric function for my water heating and just leave it flipped to that all the time.

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                        • #13
                          sorry, doggiestyles...I've been away at APF so didn't read your post until now . Mine is a 2006. I do see, however, that others did answer your questions.
                          don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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                          • #14
                            doggiestyles

                            If your getting mini explosions then there is a problrm with the fuel vapor mixture or the exhaust side is getting blocked or the heat baffle is missing or fell in some how. It should never go pop or bang,you should'nt use it the propane heat for the water heater untill you get it checked out.Eventually the bang is gonna get bigger.

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                            • #15
                              Using electric for heating water

                              If you have turned the switch to ON for your water heater to use electric, be VERY SURE your water heater is full. It will ruin your elements if the electric is ON and your tank is empty or nearly empty. To "fill the tank" turn on the hot water only and let it run for at least 15-20 seconds so that enough water is in the tank.

                              I had to have the element in my propane + electric tank replaced because the tank wasn't full and the electric stayed on.

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