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Old 12-31-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Cabot , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Furnace Trouble In Vt

Having trouble with my furnace while living in a northern VT winter is a bit nerve-racking. I have a 74 sovereign 31ft with an NT32, I believe, and the pilot light is out and remains so even when I purge the lines and try to get it going with the reset button. I suspect that the pilot orifice is clogged and needs to be cleaned. When I am lucky enough to relight the pilot, the flame is very weak and unresponsive to the regulator screw. I have a full tank of gas and am wondering how I should proceed to restore heat to my living unit. Any advice would be appreciated (especially for cleaning the pilot, do I have to remove the entire furnace? How do I do this?) I found a manual for the NT series on and have the parts list and troubleshooting guide, and of course, I have read up on the infamous Suburban recall. I am concerned about my furnace being hazardous, but I am not sure if the recall problems apply directly to my pilot going out.

Thank you and hope everyone's having a good new year!

PS:If this appears twice I apologize, the computer is being glitchy.

elliottkatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2006, 12:27 PM   #2
AIR #8691
2006 25' Safari SS SE
Northern , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 374
The information below may help you with your particular problem in the cold of Northern Vermont.

I paraphrased the article for my personal collection of on-board fix-it-here & now notebook. It came from the Maintenance section of the WBCCI web site. Look under Maintenance, and “Phred Sez” or :Schu’s News.”

There is a lot of helpful notes on the theory of operations and on the way things work. I use the data to supplement the owner’s manuals. Good luck and let us know what you did to fixed it, so we can add the problem’s cause & resolution to the general knowledge base.

A furnace is a consumer's friend when the outside temperature gets colder. Unfortunately though, cold is an enemy of LP gas. The BTU capacity of LP per volume decreases as the outside temperature gets colder. Therefore, based on how full the LP tanks are, the ambient temperature outside and how many BTU's the furnace is, there may not be enough gas to sustain ignition on the furnace.
One's first thought might be that the burner or valve is bad. However, the vaporization capacity of the tank in these conditions is lower than the furnace BTU rating. The furnace is not going to perform very well because there is insufficient BTU capacity in the tank.
If you were to put an insulated fire resistant blanket over the tanks and a 75 watt light bulb under that, you would probably raise the temperature of the bottles 10-20 degrees and almost double the BTU capacity of the tank. This in turn would allow the furnace to operate properly. So keep in mind that a furnace problem is not always a component problem.
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