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Old 02-20-2004, 02:54 AM   #1
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Main Propane Ignitor "Element"

The way mny propane is lit...is with a spark(er), start with igniting the "igniter' lite under the oven...OR start with the main one (if it's out) UNDER the whole stove IN the furnace.

PROBLEM>?? Ok...& yes, I DO have a problem. IN the furnace where the "ignition" is...it looks like the element of a light-bulb...when it BREAKS.... This is like a smiley-face, with a broken smile.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO BUY THIS TINY LITTLE PART? (the element)....AND REPLACE IT?
Please don't tell me I have to buy a whole new (bigger) part that includes this 'ELEMENT'.
I'm limited for funds, and ('man')power.

ANYONE KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT? ---& HAVE ANY HELP/SUGGESTIONS?

Cat
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Old 02-25-2004, 11:10 PM   #2
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Ignitor not the problem

Hi guys...
If anyone's reading this thread...I've decided to post again the new info I've found.
The "ignitor" was part of my furnace...which happens to be a "Suburban" 30btu furnace.
(I'LL POST THIS IN AS MANY OTHER THREAD AS I CAN FIND THAT APPLIES.)
____________________________________________
Re: My Suburban furnace.

It's not working. What happens is this:
It starts up (ignites) and 10 to 30 seconds later, it dies. STOP!
It has been ascertained that it is due to the main "Mother Board" ("Circuit Board")...
I went to my friendly local RV dealer, and they gave me parts numbers...and costs...yikes!!!!
Then I called our Forum friend, Andy, who told me basically, that parts obtained cheaper are not always the best (who knew?). (In automobile 'spek' we call it "AFTER-MARKET PARTS')
....Not always a good deal.

Like Andy at Inland said, you can save a few bucks at the get-go---by buying an 'off-brand', and then be forced to spend BEAUCEAU bucks later because the cheaper one didn't properly fit with the 'stock parts'. (Should be no surprise.)
(THIS IS WELL KNOWN IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY)

I also got good advise from Andy, that taking the furnace apart (the "S" curve---between the fan and the combustion chamber---and giving it a little shake as it's removed (gently) can shake out close to a whole CUP of rust &/or other CR___ that's gotten into the chamber...which can reduce the efficiency of the furnace (to have the combustion chamber's volume so reduced). He also suggests I do this prior to installing a new circuit board & he says that my '83 (shhhhhhhhh! it's 'really' an '81..right?) is really worth repairing,,,since the original parts & appliances are so well-made that they are worth keeping, rather than replacing.
So, here's what my plan is:
1. Get a space heater to keep Bear warm while the furnace is down.(*see below for question.);
2. Pull the furnace OUT ("S" curve first); the 'mother board' is already out; the 'ignitor plate (with elemments) is also out---and the gasket is being ordered and replaced (after the back of the plate has been thoroughly cleaned with 'gasoline');
3. Thoroughly clean the whole furnace...with gasoline & a toothbrush...and reassemble;
4. Replace the main "circuit board" (Mother Board);
5. Replace the Ignitor plate with new gasket;
6. Put the whole furnace back together and start up.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY OTHER 'WORDS OF WISDOM' TO IMPART TO ME??? (to
give me more advise....?)
DOES ANYONE HAVE A MAIN "SUBURBAN" CIRCUIT BOARD FOR SALE?? I'd actually rather buy a brand new one ($143.00 + shipping)...but I've heard of those who have either totalled their A/S, or are parting them out for one reason or another...and I'd purchase one that was a Suburban that was in good working order if the price was low enough.

ANY SUGGESTIONS ON A GOOD SPACE-HEATER TO PURCHASE? I DON'T MIND SPENDING A GOODLY AMOUNT ($70 to $100)...AS LONG AS IT'S ONE I CAN USE AGAIN AND AGAIN---TO SUPPLEMENT THE PROPANE. (I do want to buy a space heater that is ELECTRIC.)

I will apppreciate all advise
and will be very grateful for any offers to sell a 'second-hand' part mentioned above.

...........Cat
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:30 AM   #3
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Hijacking thread...furnace problem too

I am hijacking this thread because I have a similar problem...

I can start my furnace, and the fan comes on, the sail switch works, the electriconic igniter sparks, and the furnace lights. The burner will stay lit for 5-7 minutes, then the limit switch (maybe?) kicks the burner off, and the fan continues to blow while the combustion chamber cools.
HOWEVER, the 58 degree coach has not yet reached the 75 degrees I set the thermostat to, so....as the combustion chamber cools, and the limit switch opens, the thermostat is still calling for heat, and the circuit board apparently sends the signal to the unit to open the burner because the igniter sparks, and the valve sounds like it is being told to open, but it evidently does not because the furnace does not light...no gas from the valve. I did get it to light again after the 4th of 5th try by tapping the gas pipe lightly with channel locks and on the 2nd tap, the valve opened and the burner lit for 5 more minutes.
The new circuit board, installed Friday for $217 along with a clean and service of the furnace to stop this same problem, gives the burner 3 times to try to light before sending it to LOCKOUT where the fan will run until the batteries are DEAD without lighting again.
This is FRUSTRATIJNG!!!
Instead of turning on the furnace and warming the coach up to 75 degrees, after being completely chilled from jamming bluegrass outside until 2:00am, I have to dicker with the furnace for 45 minutes to get the temp up to about 64 when I finally said to heck with it and went to bed.
This is not supposed to work like this is it? I can see why the combustion chamber might get hot and the burner need to cycle to keep the temp manageable, but when the board calls for the valve to send gas to the burner again, why does it refuse?
What is bad and needs replaced? The circuit board just got replaced Friday.
Is it the limit switch?
Is it the cellinoid on the valve?
Is it the valve?
I would like the expert opinions of this forum for diagnostic assistance before I take it back in and spend more money.
Help please!!!
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:27 AM   #4
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the limit switch would seem to be the likely culprit since it fires ok the first time then screws up after that.

it is also the cheapest to replace of the parts you listed.

don't forget to check all of the electrical connections as you may find a loose one that is causing the problem.

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Old 04-17-2005, 02:18 PM   #5
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Post The furnace

I've been spending a lot of time reading these forums, and I'm not sure exactly how they work. Please forgive my ignorance, if I'm not following proper procedures or etiquette. Bob and I purchased a 1976 land yacht AS recently. The PO had littlle knowledge of what worked or didn't. Bob is the mechanic in the family but the furnace has him baffled. After fixing the electric, all the water leaks and getting the stove to work (had to replace some gas lines, regulator and tanks) and reading both the manuals I bought for this model, we not sure if a PO has modified something or not. This model has twin beds in the middle which is where one of the thermostats is located another thermostat is also located in the kitchen area. This one runs the air conditioner, but Bob thinks it has something to do with the furnace. The other day, Bob was following the instructions and something was suppose to happen or it shuts off in 17 seconds. Well it shuts off in 17 seconds without the furnace kicking on. The fan still runs, but no heat. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Are both thermostats needed to operate the furnace?

Edie

Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
I am hijacking this thread because I have a similar problem...

I can start my furnace, and the fan comes on, the sail switch works, the electriconic igniter sparks, and the furnace lights. The burner will stay lit for 5-7 minutes, then the limit switch (maybe?) kicks the burner off, and the fan continues to blow while the combustion chamber cools.
HOWEVER, the 58 degree coach has not yet reached the 75 degrees I set the thermostat to, so....as the combustion chamber cools, and the limit switch opens, the thermostat is still calling for heat, and the circuit board apparently sends the signal to the unit to open the burner because the igniter sparks, and the valve sounds like it is being told to open, but it evidently does not because the furnace does not light...no gas from the valve. I did get it to light again after the 4th of 5th try by tapping the gas pipe lightly with channel locks and on the 2nd tap, the valve opened and the burner lit for 5 more minutes.
The new circuit board, installed Friday for $217 along with a clean and service of the furnace to stop this same problem, gives the burner 3 times to try to light before sending it to LOCKOUT where the fan will run until the batteries are DEAD without lighting again.
This is FRUSTRATIJNG!!!
Instead of turning on the furnace and warming the coach up to 75 degrees, after being completely chilled from jamming bluegrass outside until 2:00am, I have to dicker with the furnace for 45 minutes to get the temp up to about 64 when I finally said to heck with it and went to bed.
This is not supposed to work like this is it? I can see why the combustion chamber might get hot and the burner need to cycle to keep the temp manageable, but when the board calls for the valve to send gas to the burner again, why does it refuse?
What is bad and needs replaced? The circuit board just got replaced Friday.
Is it the limit switch?
Is it the cellinoid on the valve?
Is it the valve?
I would like the expert opinions of this forum for diagnostic assistance before I take it back in and spend more money.
Help please!!!
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edie99
This model has twin beds in the middle which is where one of the thermostats is located another thermostat is also located in the kitchen area. This one runs the air conditioner, but Bob thinks it has something to do with the furnace. Are both thermostats needed to operate the furnace?

Edie

Welcome!

In a word No. Both are not necessary to run the furnace. They are independent systems.

The front thermostat is for the Air conditioner. Turn the fan on at the AC, if there is a knob, and set your temp on the thermostat in the front. The AC will cycle on and off as the set temperature is reached.

The furnace Thermostat is normally the one in the bedroom. The thing about it is that your furnace could be a pilot ignition model. If this is the case you need to get the pilot lit before you would be able to get heat. The 17 seconds seems a bit short, but if the furnace is not lit or not lighting it is a safety feature for it to shutdown.

If the furnace is a pilot model it will have a knob and a screw off cap on the face that is accessible under the kitchen counter. If there is no knob and cap then it has an ignition system. If you are nor savvy regarding the furnace and it's inner workings it may be best to have it serviced by a service center that is familiar with them.

It could be something as simple as a circuit board needs to be replaced, or it could be a much more involved repair. In 90% of the cases where service is needed the furnace has to be removed form the coach.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:53 PM   #7
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It sounds a little confusing to me. If the burner starts but goes out after it gets hot, is there a over temp sensor that shuts the burner down because possibly the blower isn't blowing enought air and the unit get's to hot. Then flame off and takes longer to cool down because of inadequate air flow before it resets. Maybe the overtemp switch is faulty. Just a guess.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:11 PM   #8
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The trailer is ambient temp of 58 degrees. Thermostat is set to 75. The furnace is turned on and lights and runs.
The burner goes out after about 5-7 minutes after it first fires.
Then when the combustion chamber cools some, the igniter comes on again, and the valve clicks acting like it tries again to allow gas to the burner, but no gas goes to be lit by the igniter....it tries this 3 times as per the new circuit board program, then goes into lockout with the temp still under 65 degrees at the thermostat with it set at 75.
If you fool with it about 30 minutes trying and trying again at 3 times per cycle, it will eventually light again and run for another 5-7 minutes.
I figure it is the limit switch, or the valve itself is sticking somehow.
Limit switches are cheap...so maybe start there since I have already spent $217 for a new circuit board and having the furnace removed for cleaning and inspection.
I still have the above detailed problem though, which is why I took it in for service in the first place.
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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Ok...here is the verdict.
Another $227 in parts and labor on the furnace....New gas valve. New sail switch, New limit switch.
This in addition to the $217 previous trip for cleaning, service and New Control Board.
So, total $447 not counting time and diesel for two 50 mile round trips to the dealer, and my Suburban Furnace is like new....heck, most of it is new.

The gas valve was the real culprit. It was fouled with oily deposits of 21 years that left it intermittantly sticking in the closed position unable to light. It took them a few days to find that it was the problem even though I tried to tell them from the beginning that it was either the limit switch or the valve.

I am not upset to have the new upgraded board that allows the furnace to try 3 times before going to lockout. And, hopefully, it will work without a problem now.

Thanks for the suggestions on the diagnosis. It turns out that the oils that will condense in LP from the odor chemical they put in it, and because it is a petroleum product, will eventually foul a gas valve. I hope this one lasts another 20 years.
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Old 04-22-2005, 12:15 PM   #10
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Thanks Brett G for your help with the furnace. Bob took the cover off again and we were going to try blowing it out. Instead he loosened the screw to the little glass door, where the igniter was located. It was gunged up. After cleaning this, he closed it up and followed the procedures to start. Well hot air started blowing out of the vents. We were two happy campers. Colorado evenings are always chilly, even in the middle of summer. Don't know when we will get on the road. Still have a few cleaning chores and cosmetics to deal with. Thanks again.
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:29 AM   #11
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I highjacked the whole thing...I'm getting with my roving mechanic and after showing him the thread...I'll get back to ya all here.
My furnance is out too...similar/same problem...and he's got a BRAND NEW (NIB) one for $425.00 installed, that's waiting in the wings for me. Right now, I don't need it...weather's been mild enough for my VORNADO which "KICKS IT" big time for the whole rig. I bought it on eBay...and has been a great investment. So great, I'm getting another for the other end. The thing oscillates, and adjusts to the temperature, and has a blower that's whisper quiet; 2 btu settings too. But, I want the furnace to KICK IT out throughout the whole rig on really cold nights---which I WILL HAVE---,,,MORE than I want the storage space --from the empty hole where it was...
So, I'll get back with you.
..........Cat
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:28 AM   #12
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Interesting. I just overhauled my furnace and thinking of selling it. It worked fine 2 weeks ago, went to campground last week and it vibrated the whole trailer after lighting it. Had 3 problems to fix with main one being 3 huge nest of mud daubers in the intake blower that unbalanced the fan when they broke loose by the trip.
I also have a question, how long does it take for gas to light the pilot in the water heater after the gas line got air in it? In my trailer it takes at least 15 minutes the first time. Is this normal?
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