DSI fault on new Atwood 6 gal Propane heater - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #1
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DSI fault on new Atwood 6 gal Propane heater

Hey all, took our coleman camper on its maiden voyage a couple of weeks ago... had an issue with the water heater, where it won't light. DSI light goes red when I flip the switch then goes off, I hear the fan in the control panel kick on, like there is something drawing power there, then the fan stops, red light goes back on. Repeats this the 3 times, then stays on fault. There is propane going to the heater, or at least the propane is working and no air in the lines that i am aware of, stove, furnace, fridge all work fine. There is water in the water heater as well. Have spoken to the dealer, who said they did the Predelivery inspection and it worked, is supposed to come by and see if they can figure it out. Wondering if there is anything I can do in the meantime to try and fix it, or troubleshoot it? Like drain the tank, etc start fresh... Would rather deal with it before putting to rest for the winter than starting out with frustration in the spring. At the very worst, it is under warranty, but again, if the dealer said it worked and now it doesn't I wonder if they truly did an inspection. When we first hooked it up at the campground, all the water lines had air in them, as though no water had ever been run through them etc. and there are some trim pieces that need regluing, so again I wonder how detailed the inspection was?
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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Sorry, should mention that when I have my wife hit the water heater switch and it runs through it's process, I don't hear any clicking, gas flow etc at the water heater outside. Almost like nothing is happening.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #3
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Sorry, should mention that when I have my wife hit the water heater switch and it runs through it's process, I don't hear any clicking, gas flow etc at the water heater outside. Almost like nothing is happening.

Assuming there is propane in the tanks have you turned the gas valve on at the water heater?
Have you looked in the compartment for any kind of obstruction?


There may be a rocker switch on the heater that might need to be turned on also.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:48 PM   #4
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Assuming there is propane in the tanks have you turned the gas valve on at the water heater?
Have you looked in the compartment for any kind of obstruction?


There may be a rocker switch on the heater that might need to be turned on also.
I have checked in there, and there is no switch that I can see. There is the control board, with a few wires, the fuse and 2 little LED's. No switches at all. Is there a valve I should be looking for? I can't see anything like that either.
No obstructions that I can see, where would the gas valve on the heater be?
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:58 PM   #5
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Usually the gas valve is located close to the valve body. But, knowing the manufacturer it could be anywhere.

Give us a photo of the heater on the outside if you can.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:54 PM   #6
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Usually the gas valve is located close to the valve body. But, knowing the manufacturer it could be anywhere.

Give us a photo of the heater on the outside if you can.
OMG, I am going to kick myself in the ass... I am a grown man, and never even thought... however in my defense... neither did the dealer when I sent him this attached photo from the campsite... is that white thing on top the valve?
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
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Here is a pic with it circled
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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Can't really tell but it would be a good bet that is the valve.
They change the styles from time to time so I'd say let the ass kickin' begin.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #9
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Can't really tell but it would be a good bet that is the valve.
They change the styles from time to time so I'd say let the ass kickin' begin.
Our walkthrough for features was very brief... and this is our first camper, so it's not like I've fired up a camper water heater before, etc... stuck at work right now, wish I was home... want to check that.
does the sensor first check to see that gas is flowing before even clicking the ignitor?
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:41 PM   #10
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Don't feel bad man, the dealers have screwed us all at one time by giving us the bum's rush.
Basically, without getting into a three page dissertation of the operation it goes like this.


The thermostat/limit switch calls for hot water, the gas valve is energized, gas it lit and the flame reaches the flame sensor which tells the control board to leave the gas valve open until the water temperature limit switch is satisfied.


The switches in the ECO panel limit the set points on the water temperature and something else. They are safety switches but can be by passed for diagnostic testing.


That's the down and dirty explanation of it. You may hear from the resident RV mechanic or the professor for further details.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:13 PM   #11
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The igniter will fire and if there is NO flame, it will shut down. What I found was to light a burner on the stove to bleed gas to that are of the water heater. it should fire up. It only uses a limited amount of propane to fire the heater and if it does not light, it won't stay on and then will kick the error code. PS: do you have hot water if you turn on the electric heater?

Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:17 PM   #12
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The igniter will fire and if there is NO flame, it will shut down. What I found was to light a burner on the stove to bleed gas to that are of the water heater. it should fire up. It only uses a limited amount of propane to fire the heater and if it does not light, it won't stay on and then will kick the error code. PS: do you have hot water if you turn on the electric heater?

Good luck!
Our water heater is gas only. According to the dutchmen specs, the Light LX package is supposed to come with the gas/electric model, but alas ours is only gas. Which is fine, we're not showering in there unless absolutely necessary, but it would be nice to have hot water for dishes, washing our face in the sink etc.

We did light burners on the stove to bleed any potential air, etc. but I did not turn anything inside the panel outside, so I am thinking that there is a gas shut off there... can't wait to get home to check. If there isn't, I'll be bummed again!
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:51 PM   #13
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So there is no valve. Has is coming through but only during the ignition phase. Confirmed by using the bbq lighter while it went through its cycle. Then it shuts off, comes back on etc. Flsle only while it's doing those short 3 cycles.

So frustrating, can't figure it out.
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:58 PM   #14
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When you ignite the gas with the sparker do you have a good healthy flame?


I've never seen that extra piece or part on the ECO switch. The brown wire that has the strange thing stuck in it should go directly on the terminal just like all the others.
Those switches need to be closed for the electronics to work also. They can be checked with your VOM or simply jump the connectors to see if the unit will actually fire up.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:20 PM   #15
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I have no idea. It was that way from day one. I'll have to look at the wiring schematics. The dealer was going to come look but I made a comment about the PDI and how things were missed and now he's ghosting me. He's about 45 minutes away as is any authorized service center so I wonder if I should tow it back and let him deal with it. I want to get it winterized and put away but this is holding me up.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:59 PM   #16
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Having lived for 20 years using RV water heaters of various makes and models I've never seen anything other than spade connectors on the switches.



You didn't say if you had a good robust flame when you manually ignited the gas. That will give us an idea of which way to go further.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:09 PM   #17
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Having lived for 20 years using RV water heaters of various makes and models I've never seen anything other than spade connectors on the switches.



You didn't say if you had a good robust flame when you manually ignited the gas. That will give us an idea of which way to go further.
It is only robust for a few seconds then shuts off, it is only pumping gas to the heater when it is trying to light, does the 3 cycles and then shuts off. Even if I light the flame manually it doesn't stay lit and doesn't sense it so there is something goofy. That piece in there is a thermal cutoff, it's in my instructions. It says to bypass it as there is sometimes no way to know if it fused etc. I did that, still the exact same scenario.
So, until i hear back from the dealer or get it to a service center I guess I have trouble shot all i can think of. Just a bummer as it's a pain towing it to a service center, I wish they had mobile service that was covered under warranty.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:24 PM   #18
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Ah so, thermo fuses used in many things. You can check them for continuity or simply move that wire to the left terminal of the switch. If it doesn't fire do the same with the other switch.
This is a process of elimination of course.


If you have a robust flame when manually ignited it's a good bet the orifice and burner flue are clear and there is good gas pressure. I'm sure you don't have a manometer to check gas pressure so let's assume it's fine.


There are a few other things to try if you feel comfortable doing them.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:26 PM   #19
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Ah so, thermo fuses used in many things. You can check them for continuity or simply move that wire to the left terminal of the switch. If it doesn't fire do the same with the other switch.
This is a process of elimination of course.


If you have a robust flame when manually ignited it's a good bet the orifice and burner flue are clear and there is good gas pressure. I'm sure you don't have a manometer to check gas pressure so let's assume it's fine.


There are a few other things to try if you feel comfortable doing them.
I think the problem is something is telling the system to shut down the fuel. It only stays lit for a few seconds, but the flame is ROBUST...
What other things could i check? I am a regular home owner with limited regular tools and not much knowledge of gas products etc.
Not sure what you mean about switching terminals etc.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:38 PM   #20
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It looks as if the thermo fuse will pull out of the spade terminal. Put the directly on the switch terminal and see if it will fire.
Remove the wire on the left side of the switch and place the wire that had the thermo fuse there.


The switch is a bi-metalic stip that reacts to heat and cold. The back side of it contacts the tank and tells the control board if the water is hot or cold and opens or closes accordingly. I forget wht the other one does but it reacts the same. It may be an overrride in case the first switch fails.
They are pretty hardy but they do fail.
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