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Old 11-08-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Milford , New Jersey
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How to Clean The Furnace? model NT32CA

Hello all, Well this weekend we spent a wonderfull weekend up at West Point for the football game. By the end of the weekend our furnace was not burning properly. Black smoke from the exhaust and heavy soot deposits around the exhaust. I have always kept the intake covered when not in use, but, something is obviously restricting the air inlet side. Now my question to all of you is how do I clean the soot out of the burner chambers?? Suburban's website is no help. They will only say to let a service tech do any repairs. Thanks in advance for your advice. George.
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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George, a furnace burning with a restricted air supply is potentially lethal. Instead of producing mainly carbon dioxide (as we do when we breath out), the furnace will produce carbon monoxide, a lethal colorless and odorless gas. It kills by converting the oxyhaemoglobin in your blood to carboxyhaemoglobin, if I recall my high school chemistry correctly. The gas can get into the trailer via any imperfection in the gasket joints or corrosion through the tubes. I strongly recommend that you do not use the furnace until it is serviced. Cleaning the furnace is a matter of removing it from the trailer, dismantling it, blowing out the tubes with compressed air, and re-assembling and re-fitting. I paid a professional $90 to do it the first time, watched him, and now I do it myself. I take the burner to the local tire store, and give them $5 to use their high pressure air-line for a couple of minutes. A set of replacement gaskets is required. This is a serious piece of maintenance, only to be undertaken if you are experienced and confident in such tasks.
This thread discusses the issue:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...aps-17954.html?
I repeat that I strongly recommend that you cease to use the furnace, and get it serviced by a skilled professional.
I walked into a sitting room on Christmas Eve 1977, and found a mother and daughter dead, seated round their defective heater, apparently peacefully watching the T.V.
Nick.
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:09 AM   #3
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Milford , New Jersey
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Thanks Nick, I do know not to use it until I fix it. Your points are well taken. I assume I can get a gasket kit from Suburban??. If I understand correctly after removing the unit from the trailer and dismantling it, I need to seperate the burner sections so as to be able to clean them. Hence the need for new section gaskets. Correct? Also need to check for any corrosion or perforations in the inlet and exhaust tubes. One thing that's kind of curious is that the pan under the burner is pretty rusty. I do not know why? Any suggestions?
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Old 11-09-2006, 12:10 PM   #4
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George:
1. My local Airstream dealer has the gasket sets in stock, and any good RV dealer should be able to obtain them, and post them to you. You should ask for the full set of gaskets required for a routine overhaul. When you take the furnace to pieces, you will damage or destroy several smaller gaskets, and these will need to be replaced. One example is the small gasket where the burner tube enters the burner. A competent dealer will have a shop technician who will know which gaskets are required.

2. Yes, you need to separate the burner and exhaust and inlet tubes from the remainder of the furnace in order to clean them, and yes, you will need fresh gaskets available, as the originals will probably be damaged on dismantling.

3. Yes, any perforations in the tubes or burner will lead to a dangerous leak of exhaust fumes into the trailer. Scrape around with a long screwdriver after blowing them out with compressed air, to see if any corrosion is significant.

4. I'm only guessing here, but corrosion under the pan could be caused by pooling of condensation drips from the burner assembly. If the burner is cold from not having been used for a while, and warm moist air from the daytime atmosphere hits the cold metal, condensation will form. I spent several years worrying why I had an untraceable leak in my sailing yacht. I eventually discovered it was pooled condensation from the outside of a diesel fuel tank.

Good luck with the overhaul. It's a good opportunity to tidy up the wiring behind the furnace, wrapping it in tape to make a neat loom. Also, you could take the opportunity to install some wiring for LED warning lights on the outside light switches by the entrance door.....etc etc.....
Nick
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:46 PM   #5
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Thanks Nick! Your prompt reply is much appreciated. George.
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