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Old 02-09-2006, 07:09 PM   #1
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The furnace stopped working

It turns on, the cold air starts blowing but I do not hear that "click" that comes on 30 seconds after it starts blowing. Not at all. I tried about 10 times.

Any suggestions what to do, does something need to be cleaned, or replaced?
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:23 PM   #2
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you have plenty of gas?

shut it off and try to light the stove top to purge your lp system. if you can get the stove lit you have verified you have gas. after that, retry the furnace and see if it lights.

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Old 02-09-2006, 07:35 PM   #3
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Do you have a switch on the furnace circurt board. If so, try switching it on and off a few times. That switch prevents the power to prevent ignition. It may have a poor connection in it. Check that the spark electrode is clean. Unplug and reseat all connector and plugs. Then get back to us. Do you have a picture of your furnace electrics. It helps to know what type your dealing with.
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
you have plenty of gas?

shut it off and try to light the stove top to purge your lp system. if you can get the stove lit you have verified you have gas. after that, retry the furnace and see if it lights.

john
Yeah, I have plenty of gas, and I purged the system of air. Hot water heater works, the catalytic heater works, the burners work (which is what I used to stay warm in this weather)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinsel Loaf
Do you have a switch on the furnace circurt board. If so, try switching it on and off a few times. That switch prevents the power to prevent ignition. It may have a poor connection in it. Check that the spark electrode is clean. Unplug and reseat all connector and plugs. Then get back to us. Do you have a picture of your furnace electrics. It helps to know what type your dealing with.
I don't know where the "circuit board" is. Or where the switch is. My furnace is by the entrance, on the floor, under the stove.
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:57 PM   #5
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I thought you had an exterior type entrance to your furnace. I am lost on your 86 Excella. Sorry.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:37 PM   #6
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Ipso,
Are you hooked up to shore power while doing this or just off batteries? Every once in awhile the furnace in my '77 would not light when running just off batteries. It would light every time when hooked up to shore power. The batteries were fully charged but it would do some strange things sometimes.
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Are you hooked up to shore power while doing this or just off batteries? Every once in awhile the furnace in my '77 would not light when running just off batteries
Good question. Most furnaces have a "sail switch" as a fail safe when you have low battery power. The switch is blown out of the way by airflow from the fan, closes the contact and completes the circuit to the ignitor. This prevents ignition in a low-voltage/low airflow situation.

If your batteries are low then even if the fan comes on it might not have enough voltage/airflow to push the sail switch into the "ON" position.
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:22 PM   #8
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Last year after picking up my 96 classic from winter repair at Airstream I headed down to the Kentucky Horse Park for a long weekend. After a day, my furnace stopped working but I was able to get by in the 50 degree weather with the air con heat strip. Gee I just picked up my trailer now what? Well on the way back up north to Canada I was able to drop into Airstream and they were good enough to fix the furnace without an appointment even though they were swamped. I stayed there the night before and showed up at the office first thing. Well they replaced the regulator off the tanks and replaced the furnace circuit board. I think it cost me about $350.00. Strange as it seems, your stove may light but there may not be enough gas pressure to run the furnace or fridge. Sometimes I think what the heck, replace the parts so I don't have a problem when I'm vacationing. Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:10 PM   #9
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Good question. Most furnaces have a "sail switch" as a fail safe when you have low battery power. The switch is blown out of the way by airflow from the fan, closes the contact and completes the circuit to the ignitor. This prevents ignition in a low-voltage/low airflow situation.

If your batteries are low then even if the fan comes on it might not have enough voltage/airflow to push the sail switch into the "ON" position.


Interesting that you mention this, before right prior to this failure, I had a breaker trip and my batteries ran down to 8 volts. The univolt was not working, nor were some of the power outlets. Once I turned the breaker back on, the batteries got charged but the furnace does not cut on.
I may have external access to the furnace, I am not sure. How do I access this fail-safe switch?
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
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Ipso,

The sail switch is located in the blower housing and is directly in the path of the air flow from the squirrel cage. You will see 2 wires coming from the switch. You can test it for continuity with an ohm meter to see if it is working. If you get continuity when you manually activate the switch, you might have a bad igniter board. There is also a thermal limit switch that can be open and will also cause the board to not get the current to open the gas valve and send the spark to the igniter electrode, thus causing a non-ignition condition (a bit of poetry, eh?! )

Anyway, PM me if you need some specifics on the continuity test or further T/shooting.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
How do I access this fail-safe switch?
Ipso, unfortunately, you need to pull the furnace forward and out of its enclosure to access the sail switch. You need to disconnect the flexible large tubes which duct the hot air, disconnect the gas supply union after turning off the gas, disconnect the electrics at the wire nuts resting on top of the furnace(after switching off the 12 volt supply at the master switch, remove a trim piece (2 screws) to the left of the furnace to give access to a hold down screw, and remove hold down screws at the front and right. IIRC, the furnace then pulls out into the passageway. The sail switch has an actual sail which sits in the air stream from the blower. However, before doing any of this, I would check with a digital voltmeter that there is over 12 volts at the front left of the furnace. After removing the trim piece, you should see a round flat disc component with a diameter of about one inch, with two wires leading to it.This is an overheat safety limit switch. The power to the furnace goes through this, AFTER it has been switched on at the sail switch. If there is over 12 volts at the limit switch when the fan is running, then the sail switch is operating correctly. If the overheat limit switch is operating correctly, there will be over 12 volts between each of its connecting wires and ground. If it is defective, there will be zero volts between the output wire and ground , and over 12 volts between the other wire and ground. Testing this might save you unnecessarily pulling the furnace to check the sail switch. At the end of the day, I suspect you may have to replace the circuit board. If you do, I recommend the Dinosaur UIB (Universal Ignition Board). Soldered on both sides, fuse protected, and 3 tries at ignition, for about $110. Good luck in the hunt. If you are not confident on dealing with the dangers of the mixture of propane and electrics and carbon monoxide, I humbly suggest a visit to a qualified professional might be your best course of action.
Nick.
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Old 02-18-2006, 02:46 PM   #12
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Sounds like time to bench service the furnace.
This is the one applaince in the trailer that can KILL you if it malfunctions pumping CO into the trailer.
Bench service by qualified technician is not expensive compared to the alternatives.
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Old 02-19-2006, 04:46 PM   #13
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You may also want to see if there is any blockage of the intake and or exhaust tubes ( mice , hornets) this will also hold back the sail switch. I've learned to cover mine for storage.
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:04 PM   #14
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Ipso..........I had same problem, fan but no ignition. Needed new circuit board. Stove worked. Installed new regulator at tanks.........still no go.......finally discovered gas lines were partially clogged with oil build-up. After new line from regulator to main gas line, it was fine! The replacement line is rubber on mine.
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