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Old 03-12-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy '69 AS Sovereign Furnace Issues

As I am new to the Airstream world, I have been able to fix the majority of the 'issues' I have found with our 1969 Airstream Soveriegn. The one I cannot get fixed is the furnace. I can get the pilot light to light but as soon as I let go of the reset, the pilot flame goes out and will not stay on. The furnance is orignal equipment. Does anyone have any ideas how to get this furnace to work correctly?? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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It may be as simple (complicated) as a proper cleaning. Be sure the combustion chamber is solid (leaking NO carbon monoxide) Clean it and you should be able to use it. If you are in doubt, have a certified tech to look at it for you.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.
Now, about that furnace. If it is the original from 1969, I would seriously consider getting a new one, just because a 40 year old furnace won't be the most reliable piece of equipment. Also, there was a recall involving some of those furnaces, where there were rubber boots on the end mating with the outer shell that deteriorated, allowing carbon monoxide into the trailer, and at best making the occupants very ill.
Those words of caution said, look for the little wire-looking tube/wire that should be directly over the pilot, usually known as a thermocouple. If it is not close enough to the flame, either too high or not directly over the flame of the pilot, it will think the pilot has gone out, and shut down the gas.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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And another thing...
Welcome! Good to have you with us.
I had to open the pilot light adjustment screw and turn it up, as someone before me had turned it way down and the light would not heat the thermocoupler enough.

I'm with Terry on the issue of old furnaces. It's better to replace one that old even if it works. Some of them are so loud you wouldn't want to run them anyway.

Stay safe, Rich
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks for the help with the furnace. I was able to get the pilot light to stay on by moving the thermo coupling closer to the flame. Now the furnace will not light.
I might be wrong about the age of it as well, with closer inspection it looks like a replacement as there are several screws missing to attach it to the frame and the wiring has been replaced. I am planning on taking it out and try a 'bench test' with the unit. Got any other suggestions?
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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check the thermostat switch to be sure the unit is turned on, and check the wires to the thermostat also. It takes a few minutes for it to kick on
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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In order for the burner to light the fan motor has to reach a fixed speed this is sensed by a sail switch (micro switch with a blade attached) and in turn opens the gas valve.
Bad (slow) motor, low voltage or a faulty switch will cause the problem.

Newer furnace will have electronic ignition.

Garry

If you pull the furnace there is a rubber (hose like) connection between the burn chamber and the heat exchanger the recall was the failure of the hose leaking fumes into the heat exchanger. I replaced mine with radiator hose and it has worked just fine.
I'm not sure what the original hose was made out of.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:11 AM   #8
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Ok, Yippie!!! I bench tested the beast and found a wasp nest inthe exhaust flue, the hose 'garry' mentioned was broke, and a mound of nuts in the intake port. After cleaning and re-wiring everything it started up and ran perfectly. My only problem is that now the piolt won't stay on, will have to figure that out. Thanks to all for the help and support
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:31 AM   #9
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Those rubber tubes were what the recall was about. The rubber tubes need to be replaced by metal ones. The rubber deteriorates and lets CO into the trailer. Radiator hose is not the best solution, as the exhaust gases are very hot, and may cause the radiator hose to fail.
We dubbed these furnaces "familykiller 2000".
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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Ok, one more question. I cannot find any distinguishing marks on the furnace as to what type or make it is. I will take a picture and post later. What type was original?? What is a good replacement?
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
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Heater manuals, keep in mind some parts aren't available on the older heaters.

http://www.bryantrv.com/sitemap.html

http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/ntseries.pdf

SUBURBAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Post Office Box 399
Dayton, Tennessee 37321
SUBURBAN
DYNATRAIL
FURNACES
Service Manual
NT- 12S NT- 16S NT-20S
NT-24SP NT-30SP NT-34SP
NT-25K NT-30K NT-35K
NT-42T
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:03 AM   #12
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Ditto on dump the furnace. They are not safe, parts are unavailable, and no one will work on them. A new Suburban is a lot less hassle.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engtech05 View Post
Ok, one more question. I cannot find any distinguishing marks on the furnace as to what type or make it is. I will take a picture and post later. What type was original?? What is a good replacement?
It will probably be a Suburban NT series, like NT20, NT30, etc. Yours probably is an NT30 or NT32.
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