Hey, gang, just wanted to update you on my question.
We finally got back to the office/RV and I just fired up the propane side of the water heater. The flame looks like what Stan mentioned below in boldface:
Originally Posted by Stan
Although I have heard and seen this, it has never happened to me personally. It sounds to me like the W/H is burning incorrectly. Have you inspected your flame? There should be just a little orange in the mostly blue flame. Adjustment is done by sliding an air shutter more open or closed.
It seems to be burning correctly.
This leads me to believe that the soot is normal. The day(s) when this soot developed, the wind was blowing directly into the water heater at about 20 mph or higher. Probably a bit high for the system to be working its best.
I'll keep an eye on it for the next couple of days and test it from time to time to see if the soot starts to build up again.
Thanks again for all of your insights.
Jeff & Laurie -- Full timing in Rockport, Texas
Auggie (our beer-loving English Cocker Spaniel)
Angus (55 pounds of attitude in a 5 pound chihuahua body)
Our home base -- 2018 Grand Design Solitude 375RES -- The "Uno Mas!"
The mobile office -- 2016 Crossroads Hill Country HCT26RB -- The "Poquito Mas!"
Gone but not forgotten: 2015 Heartland Landmark 365 Key West (lost to Hurricane Harvey)