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Old 12-10-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
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Someone is playing tricks on me...

Thank you guys for your input!!! I love this site!!!

I want sooo bad for one of Howie's or Gary's suggestions to remedy the problem WITHOUT having to remove the furnace (I have 1,000 other projects going). I decided to just go ahead and assume the worst. But after reading through posts here again, I decided to take a few pictures before I got started... with the pilot on. While trying to get a decent shot of the pilot with a digital camera (pretty ridiculous), I decided to fire it up. The furnace and fan came on just as expected, and the horrible plastic burning smell wafted through the trailer. Still prepared for the worse, I waited for the audible click again, but it never came. After about 5 minutes, it was still blowing warm. I turned the thermostat off, and checked the pilot. It was still going. I kicked it back on, and it just keeps going...

But there is still the wretched burning smell coming from the vents not to mention a white smoke that comes out of the exhaust vent on the outside. I have all kinds of ventilation going on while it's been running, but it should most likely not be running. The inevitable and horrible fact is: no matter if it works or not, I have reason to believe that my furnace was manufactured during the great Suburban furnace recall of 1966-1977 and is victim to such recall. I am sure the furnace has never been pulled out. According to 'Step 2' of the instructions, a 3" hole would need to be cut out in the shelf above (hole saw in there, how?) in order to unlatch the furnace front panel. You can see what I see; no such hole exists. QUESTION: What sick ____ installed this furnace? Another point, I'm not happy with Suburban right now, and what do most people replace their Suburban with? Another Suburban... This whole thing is just kinda getting to me... probably because it's my own fault I didn't check it sooner, and now there's a sense of urgency because it's freezing. And those tambour doors... thery're so fussy; I don't see how I'll be able to pull it out without removing that lower rail. Disassembling the kitchen counter was NOT on the 'to-do' list.

Time to suck it up, and do what needs to be done.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
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bahh...
wrong instruction attachment..
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #17
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Well you could have a Mud Dabbers or Hornets nest in the exhaust/intake pipe and around the fan, most units do, I'm not sure if that would cause a smell inside.
How about dead mice??

Sounds to me like you will have to remove the furnace but you do not have to make a decision to replace until after you have checked it out.

My furnace was not that hard to remove. If I remember the 2 screws in the front the gas lines, DC wires and the screws on the outside were about it. I'm sure I would remember having to drill holes but it may have been pulled by the PO.
It is ALWAYS easer to R&R the next time.

When reinstalling step #11 is important for the exhaust and intake pipes line up at the outside holes and you will have to have the gasket material that goes around the intake/exhaust holes even if replacing with a new unit. The gasket material will probably be brittle and not reusable. Seems like I bought mine at Ace Hardware.

Also if replacing you have to have a compatible replacement. Some of the newer units are physically smaller and will line up with the outside holes. but a lot of the models will not.

Now for the last part when you tested the furnace did you have the access door open? If yes try it again with the door closed.

Garry
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:30 PM   #18
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Another consideration for this vintage furnace is finding parts or someone willing to work on them. Been there done that.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:55 PM   #19
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Decision Time...

It's out.

That wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be... My only issue was that I had to partially drill out the screws holding the intake plate, because they were stripped out pretty bad.

Gary: It's like you're psychic. I opened the vent cover and BAM! Blackened hornets and a nest that didn't look so pretty. Thanks for the info about the replacement gasket too... The old one is toast.

The serial number is located under the clip-off front panel on the right, can't miss it. Although you do have to drill holes in your galley to make it that far. My serial happened to be 0104047 which falls fairly early within the range of recalled models. This led me to believe I was on the right track. Once I got the furnace out, there was a severed rubber hose, plain as day.

Now I get to decide:
Should I try to repair it?
Or should I be cheap this Christmas and buy myself a new furnace?

It seems like it might be a good time/idea to retire it... but then again it seems in fairly decent shape for its' age.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #20
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Well for me it was a clean it up, go to NAPA for a radiator hose and reinstall, figured I would replace it later.
That was 4 years ago I just don't use it that often and it does work just fine should

I ever have to remove it again I probably would replace it I like the idea you turn the thermostat on and it lights no pilot light to mess with.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:34 PM   #21
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2xs,

Wow, you got it out, alright. Great photos! So, did you have to cut the 3" X 3" hole they describe? When I was at Jackson Center a couple weeks ago, I asked the tech that replaced my water heater why that piece needed to be cut out, and he just looked at me and shook his head like I was crazy.

He showed me the screws on the bottom rail of the horizontal tambour door, and said they need to come out, but those and a few shelf rivets would be plenty to be able to get it right out.

Also, when you did get it out, did you check to see if there was a lot of rust inside? Most of the people that write about removing their furnaces here on airforums.com mention that there was a lot of loose rusted metal that they dumped out of the steel gas manifolds.

They point out that if the innards are "dissolving" in rust, there's not much point in carrying on repairing it; it just won't be safe any more.

What do you feel, having had a good look at it? Yours doesn't look all rusty on the outside, at least.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:56 PM   #22
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Damage Assessment: What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post

did you have to cut the 3" X 3" hole they describe? ...

Also, when you did get it out, did you check to see if there was a lot of rust inside? Most of the people that write about removing their furnaces here on airforums.com mention that there was a lot of loose rusted metal that they dumped out of the steel gas manifolds.

They point out that if the innards are "dissolving" in rust, there's not much point in carrying on repairing it; it just won't be safe any more.

What do you feel, having had a good look at it? Yours doesn't look all rusty on the outside, at least.

I did have to cut a hole; I used the dremel to cut it out... took about 3 minutes...


So, I just went and did a little damage assessment to see if it was worthy of repair...

If this was an electrical system, I'd know instantly, but this is an LPG system...

I blew out the innards of the furnace as well as I could: there were granular black pieces for the most part. The initial dump showed grainy blackish material with a reddish hue. I assume the blackened parts are carbon and the reddish hue is oxidation; I also assume I should mostly be concerned with the reddish hue. There was a steady output of blackened material escaping as I blew through it. From what I see, there is only slight oxidation on the burners inside (from what I can see through the lighter hole cover), and the chamber seems slightly reddish on the outside. That's my rust assessment...

Besides the oxidation... I assume the only parts I would want to replace are: 1) the outside gasket, 2) the asbestos gasket, and 3) the infamous crossover hose.

I am confident that I am capable of performing the repairs on the furnace, or modifying the plenum for a new model.

I also found what I believe to be the best price for a replacement NT-30SP: $569.90+$37.75(S&H) Suburban NT-30SP Series Ducted Furnace 30,000 BTU - $569.90

So presented the same dilemma, what would you do?

To Repair or to replace: that is the question


**On a side note: The original plenum design seems completely flawed. The blower blows warm air in the back left of the furnace, and then pushes through the plenum and apparently backwards through the duct. ?? If forced air is like electricity, why would it choose the path of greatest resistance? Seems like all the air would want to exit out of the front opening of the plenum... I've had it on... it works exactly as physics might dictate...

Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #23
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Well, good sense would dictate that new is better, safer, and more efficient than 38 years old, of course. I mean, if you had a 38-year-old furnace in your home, would you feel good about it?

But something that only gets maybe ten or twenty hours use a year on average, the only real risk is that rust got to critical components.

The real questions is: is it safe?

Outside of the refer, it's the most expensive appliance in your trailer. And yet, if it doesn't work, you WILL be unhappy during several of those "few hours" every year.

I have seen that a lot of posters here get a ceramic or oil-filled electric heater and use that instead of replacing the Suburbana. I would much prefer to have a blower-operated furnace myself, so that the entire trailer is warmed, and not have to depend on radiant heat from the only area those heaters will go in my trailer; on the wall to the left of the cooker.

I'm going to give this lots of thought over the winter and may well wind up buying new, if I can afford it come spring. Please keep us informed if you do go ahead and repair it, as Barry did with the rad hose, and a good clean-up.

Thanks for all those pictures, I really understand it better now. Neither the service manual nor the owner's manual show anything near the detail your shots have.

I noticed that you used two different cameras for those shots, BTW..?

cheers,
Aage
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xS View Post
I assume the only parts I would want to replace are: 1) the outside gasket, 2) the asbestos gasket, and 3) the infamous crossover hose.
A techy told me to use gas tank hose to replace the crossover tube.

Maybe you can get her running again, but would you be able to sleep ever wondering if that is carbon monoxide you smell, which of course you can't. You will still have a finicky 40 year old furnace. You can get a new NT 30 for about $300 from Palomino, or at least you could.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:07 PM   #25
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Not the best poll, right? But the responses here are priceless...

Compiling more data from the archives, it seems as though it's about 50/50 on whether or not to replace or repair... The deal maker or breaker (if unit was salvageable) seemed to be what the frequency of use was: people who didn't use the furnace a whole lot seemed to be happy with their repair, and people who did use the furnace a lot were happy they replaced the unit for their own piece of mind.

So... I guess that may be part of the equation I didn't put in this thread. My GF hates being cold; I mean HATES. For some reason, anything <65 is unbearable to her. So I suppose I have two options now: 1) Replace the heater or, 2) Replace the GF.

For piece of mind... we've decided to replace the furnace.

Lumatic: Thank You for that lead there!!!! I read that the other day and was having difficulty finding where a new NT-30 was purchased for $300. Also thank you for reposting the crossover tube info here! I followed your previous threads on this subject with open ears and great interest.

For those following the thread, you have to call Palomino, there are no parts listed on their website. Here is the number: 800-297-5830. Thank you 'Silver Threads' for that! I can tell you their operating hours are M-F, 8am-4:30 EST. Of course, it's Friday @ 6:30pm PST when I call... I'll be their first customer come Monday morning.


Aage: When you're right, you're right: safety first! I'm with you (as is my GF); I'd much prefer a furnace and blower to any radiant heat. But the catalytic heaters have their merits; the 0A current draw is particularly appealing. Thanks for the pic comments too!!! I try to be as clear as I can, but pictures are, well... you know... And nice eye with the different camera usages good Sir! When it rains, it pours... I managed to drop my nice(r) 8MegaPixel camera while taking shots last night. I'm glad they're still turning out good as it is only a 2MP camera. My Christmas list just keeps getting bigger...
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:15 PM   #26
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is the reset button spring loaded?

Mine just pushes in and out about 1/2" and doesn't feel like it's doing anything. I can see the button and connecting rod that goes to the back of the chambers but what is this actually doing? It is an NT30 model.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #27
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The reset button allows gas to flow to the pilot. The reset button needs to be held in until the thermostat is warm enough to register so that gas continues to flow to the pilot. Refer to the first post's attachment for lighting instructions via the user manual. The button should snap back out when you are done pushing it.

On a side note, I couldn't be happier with the new furnace. The peace of mind it offered was well worth it, and the job wasn't nearly as bad as I made it sound. I picked up a new Olympian Wave 6 catalytic heater as well. No more freezing cabin, no more CO dumping into the cabin, no more furnace pilot.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:42 PM   #28
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I chucked the nt22 and put in a new 30:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...t22-60035.html

safety first!
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