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Old 10-11-2004, 11:31 PM   #1
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someone needs help

a woman needs help with lighting her furnace it is very cold were she is shes afraid the pipes will freeze!!

Hey everybody--

Help! I'm in a panic tonight. No hookups, and the temp is predicted
to fall to 28 over night, and my main furnace does not work. I
could weather this, but I"m worried about the pipes. No electric
backup tonight. The Catalytic heater always used to work, but I
haven't needed it in years, and I don't think I'm lighting it
properly. It's a 1976 old style--I get a poof! of propane but the
heater doeesn't seem to stay lit. It has two buttons--one is a
slider, the second is a dial.

This is what I"m doing"

1. put dial to "start" position (solid line area on dial)
2. light match, hold it to heater
3. slide switch, it all goes "poof" so I know propane is getting
through to the heater
4. I release slide switch
5. then move dial to 1/2 setting

It seems to go cold at this point. But if I light the match again,
I get the poof. What am I doing wrong?
Help somebody before I blow up!

Susan please help her guys!!!! john
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:53 PM   #2
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1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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try this

Try this,
light it like you are UP to the point of sliding the switch to on. (slide to "start" - light with match - WAIT 1 minute - and then slide to 1/2 way) I think you are lighting the pilot, but not letting the pilot stay lit long enough before trying to ignite the main burner. Leave the pilot on for about 1 minute, then slide the switch on. You may have to relight the pilot a couple of times before it stays on. My water heater (and furnace) will do exactly what you describe if I try to turn "on" the main burner before the pilot has a chance to heat up.
Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:42 AM   #3
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CO detector?

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector? This is one of my worries...I wouldn't even think of turning mine on until I installed a new one in an old trailer with it's old and uncertain appliances and pipes and the possibility of leaks...I could be overly paranoid...but couldn't sleep worrying about me and my dog getting gassed. Sorry if I'm worrying folks unecessarily.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:45 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
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On my catalytic heater, I have to hold the spring loaded start knob for quite a while, until the catalyst starts heating up. It may take several minutes. I use a butane grill lighter. I wait until I am getting a good bit of heat off the front before I release the knob. It is not a fun job to start, and I seldom use the cat heater because of this. There is a picture of my heater in my photo album.
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:04 AM   #5
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I hope you made it through the night ok. You don't say what brand Heater you have, but there are a few things you should be doing differently if it is an Olympian.

Here is the recommended lighting method for an Olympian. See page 8.

Impossibility. Sorry for the bad reference, your heater can't be an Olympian because they weren't made in 1976.
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