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Old 07-15-2007, 08:58 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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NT30MA 1979 furnace woes

This furnace is old but pretty clean. Has served me well for 2 years. Yes I was using it this weekend (it got down to upper 40's). Anyway the thermostat calls for heat, I get spark at the ignitor (replaced two years ago), and I get gas (can smell it on the outside of trailer) at ignition time. Problem is I rarely get flame. Any ideas? I get a good spark going between two points on the ignitor for a good 4 seconds at ignition.

Will any RV places service such a beast anymore? I had to try and retrofit something in there that won't fit very good. BTW my Airstream is parked and I don't move it but was thinking about taking the furnace out and bringing it home for some bench testing. Any suggestions on that and where to start looking for the problem?

Steve
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:13 PM   #2
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Check for an obstruction in the burner orifice. Spiders and such have a habit of building webs there.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Can you explain a little more what you mean by smelling gas? Do you mean merely that there is gas available to the furnace? The more we know, the better off.

BTW, I've had our older furnance out and in the shop a couple of times; parts are still readily available. However, I've also learned the pattern of misbehavior of our furnance (namely, that the sail switch craps out consistently) and now do the servicing myself, for a huge savings of cashola.


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Old 07-15-2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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Where exactly is the burner orifice? Is that something I can get at without removal of the furnace unit?
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:21 AM   #5
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It's the burner jet where the gas exits to mix with air. You would possibly be able to get at it with a blowgun.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank
Can you explain a little more what you mean by smelling gas? Do you mean merely that there is gas available to the furnace? The more we know, the better off.

BTW, I've had our older furnance out and in the shop a couple of times; parts are still readily available. However, I've also learned the pattern of misbehavior of our furnance (namely, that the sail switch craps out consistently) and now do the servicing myself, for a huge savings of cashola.


Lynn
You can smell raw propane coming out of the exhaust port which tells me it's getting gas. Maybe not enough gas (tough to measure by smell), but it is getting gas.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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Hummm. That's kind of ugly, but if there's gas in the chamber, it sounds like it's not the sail switch. (When it's the sail switch, you generally get spark and blower fan, but no flame; the sail switch cuts off the propane to the burner when it thinks that the fan is not running.)

I think I'd probably remove the unit from the rig and take it to a shop. (When you remove the rig, be sure to remove the screw in the middle of the outside vent. Not doing so tends to make the unit want to stay in place permanently since the screw holds the unit against the wall.)

Like I wrote before, the unit is probably worth saving if the burn-area parts are not fried up. Aux parts like boards and switches can be replaced for a reasonable cost.


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Old 07-16-2007, 09:22 AM   #8
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How does one go about finding a shop that will service one of these. I've heard a lot of shops will not service them.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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Good question. I just hauled ours down to the local RV repair shop (two different ones on two different occasions), and they did the work.

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Old 07-16-2007, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quite honestly if a drop in replacement was available I'd buy it and be done with it. Can one of these things be bench tested with a 5 or 10lb propane tank and a 12 volt power source.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:26 PM   #11
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Yes, but use a regulator with the tank.
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