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Old 03-04-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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2002 16' Bambi
covington , Louisiana
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7
furnace problem stumping me

the blower will come on and after 3 attempts will not lite. the
red alarm lite comes on 3 times meaning "ignition lockout fault". so we cleaned the igniter ,made sure propane regulator was ok,and all circuits were ok. what we discovered was on the outside vent,when i lightly covered the exhaust with my hand ,this exhaust restriction made the furnace lite ! does anyone have ideas ? i am thinking there is a hole (s) in the heating units-ie ..rusted , which needs the backflow air restricted a little to ignite. HELP

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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1971 29' Ambassador
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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I had a furnace in a home that the same thing happened, we lived in the country and the wind hit the vent and prevented it from lighting, we built a cover over it and never had a problem again. The cover was somewhat like a tee, straight out from the house and then up and down, the exhaust could exit either up or down but the wind didn't hit it straight on. (I know this sounds as clear as mud, sorry) There might be a ad on shield you could put on it when parked??? Ask Andy from Inland RV, he may have an idea! Dale

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Old 03-05-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Fresno/Clovis , California
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Originally Posted by tenswade View Post
made sure propane regulator was ok
Did you test the pressure when appliances are going ie stove, refer, hot water heater?? I found my pressure was 9 water column, and the heater would sometimes time out. I replaced the regulator and now have 11 water column and heater works every time.
Air# 29488
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
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At least two common problems causing this are:

1. Pressure in the gas line is too low. Even if the regulator looks fine, that does not mean it is providing the proper pressure of propane.
2. The Sail Switch is stuck or malfunctioning.

We have had both of these problems in the past.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
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The other ideas here are good except blocking the vent, that usually indicates another issue.

Gas pressure is a big one, needs to be checked with a monometer. 11" water column is correct for propane.

Another thing to check, on most propane burning appliances there is an air shutter to help control the burners,this can greatly affect how it starts also.

You typically want to close or open this air shutter until you get a nice crisp blue flame, not yellow and lazy or floating.
It's not worth doing if you're not having fun.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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Corona , California
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LPG pressure.

The correct LPG pressure for recreational vehicles is 11 to 13 inches of water column pressure.

If your going to reside or camp out in high altitudes, it's better to have the LPG pressure at 13 inches of water column pressure.

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Old 03-06-2009, 04:05 AM   #7
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2007 20' Safari SE
Springfield , Missouri
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I had the same problem with my heater, and like you, I could do something to eventually get it to light. The culpret was a baffle in the regulator that would stick part of the time.

I never tried the hand over the exhaust trick. Rube that I am, I just banged on the regulator with a hammer. (Not recommended)

I had the regulator replaced and never had the problem again.

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Old 03-06-2009, 04:22 AM   #8
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Denton , North Carolina
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You MAY have a hole in your heat chamber. If you take it out and set it on a bench, and it does have a hole, it should run just like it did when you covered the exhaust. Let it run for a while, and IF does have a hole, you will be able to see it as it will glow red.
I had this problem one time and covering the exhaust made mine run too. Covering the exhaust allowed the Gas to Air ratio to fall back into correct amount to lite.
If you find that it does have a hole it needs to be replaced. The exhaust will escape into the camper to take you away from here. Nothing to play with.
Some people say you can repair a hole. We at Out-of-Doors Mart will not even work on a furnace that has a repaired heat chamber. If a hole comes in the chamber in one place it maybe that another hole is close behind.

Dan Brown
Denton NC
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