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Old 02-14-2014, 07:56 PM   #1
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Suburban Furnace barely working - blows "lukewarm"

We have Suburban NT-30K propane furnace in our Excella, and it has been very reliable on cold nights.. On recent trip to Tucson, with overnight temps in the 30's, it started, clicked and ignited, and then blew out very un-hot air.. Gave up and fired up electric quartz heater, plus electric blanket and waited for slot at fixit shop...

Discovery was a surprise, as I was imagining major repairs or replacement of original furnace from 1988.. Tech properly did gas pressure check first, as furnace needs 11-12" of water pressure to function well.. One quick check of gas pressure is to try and light all the stove burners at once and see what happens, and by the time I got #4 going, the flames were not very robust... Tech indicated pressure started at 12", and dropped to 4" within seconds... Huh?

Upon further review, the Airstream rubber hose (14" long, approx. 1" diameter) connecting the regulator to the hard lines under the trailer had "failed", and the inner liner had separated, leaving rubbery stuff balled up in the hose, blocking the gas flow... The back-pressure had apparently damaged the regulator as well, so both were replaced (though non-Airstream shops would have to have new hose fabricated, as I did..) and Voila!! Heat occurred... Something to watch out for if heat output declines, or water heater doesn't seem to be as effective, as both were impacted by reduced flow of propane, even though refrigerator worked and stove would work on 1 or 2 burners...

The education continues....
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Good to know, thanks for passing it along.

John
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:02 PM   #3
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The inline filter on my Dometic refer was plugged. New filter media and it works great.
After all these years; 40 that is.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:41 PM   #4
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Never thought about the hose degrading on the inside. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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I had the same problem with the hose on my trailer. It swelled shut from oil exposure.

Perry
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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Yeah, there was a little bit of oily residue on inner hose liner as well.. Not sure whether oil from propane tank fill or from inside old regulator.. Apparently inner liner not compatible with that residue... I suspect Airstream can furnish hose, but if not around dealer, a hose fab shop can make by re-using threaded fitting components at the ends of the hose, if no other options available... Shop should pressure test and leak test before sending you on your way... Lance RV in north Tucson did both...
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:17 AM   #7
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no spark

My suburban NT24SP I don't have any spark, check battery, propane.
I hear the fan come on and the click but no spark
Bud as/65/23
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #8
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There is trouble-shooting guide in Suburban manual/user guide.. Spark igniter may be shorted by piece of carbon or other foreign matter. May also be sparking (really hard to see..) and propane not really flowing into combustion chamber, due to hose/lines or valve in furnace... Could also be connection from control board to igniter... Might need to let RV tech look at it.. (At least it doesn't need to go to an Airstream service center...)
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