Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-15-2007, 09:06 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
At the end of my rope with a Suburban NT30MA

Well I thought I was going to have this problem licked. I had the furnace on my bench and found that the limit switch which is normally closed was open. I ordered a new limit switch, fan switch, and sail switch, for good measure.
Replaced them all, cleaned things up a bit and hooked up to gas (with a brand new regulator) and hooked it up to power. Then I fired it up by putting 12V on the thermostat connector pin. The fan turns on, the sail switch engages, and about 10-15 seconds later, the gas solenoid pops open (audible click) and I get a good spark from the ignitor for a good 5 seconds. Problem is I get no flame. Don't know what else could be bad. Is there some sort of gas venturi somewhere that could be plugged? I can smell unburnt gas coming out of the exhaust port so I know it's getting some gas but I don't know how much it needs to get.

Any furnace doctors out there? I really don't think it's the board that is bad but I could be wrong. Will any service centers still service these old gals or do they stay away from them with a 10' pole?

MODERATORS NOTE: LET THIS THREAD BE A WARNING TO THOSE WHO MAY ATTEMPT REPAIRS TO OLDER GAS APPLIANCES!
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
aluminauti
 
whitelight's Avatar
 
Where we , Park it!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 312
Images: 6
We had a similar problem with a one year old Suburban NT30 installed on our '74 31' Sovereign.

Turns out that there was "something" in the propane line that was partially blocking the gas flow. (no, we didn't use any pipe tape on any of the pipe propane system - sometimes, pieces of improperly used pipe tape will break off & clog the lines as well as the regulator.)
Strange, as the stove did work as well as the water heater. Don't know if the furnace requires a greater gas flow than the other two appliances.

We solved the problem by removing the gas line from the heater as well as the front tanks and used an air compressor to clear the line. The Suburban worked flawlessly after that.

If your unit is original, it probably wouldn't have a computerized board.
Good luck!
whitelight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 10:06 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
 
1992 29' Excella
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17
The problem with mine (twice) were tiny little insects that found their way into the orifice tube. The end screwed off, the little critters were tapped or blown out, and the end put back on. Some disassembly required. I have screens on the vents, but these were small enough to get through and gum up the works. Hope this helps.
jimb757 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 12:18 AM   #4
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Well I thought I was going to have this problem licked. I had the furnace on my bench and found that the limit switch which is normally closed was open. I ordered a new limit switch, fan switch, and sail switch, for good measure.
Replaced them all, cleaned things up a bit and hooked up to gas (with a brand new regulator) and hooked it up to power. Then I fired it up by putting 12V on the thermostat connector pin. The fan turns on, the sail switch engages, and about 10-15 seconds later, the gas solenoid pops open (audible click) and I get a good spark from the ignitor for a good 5 seconds. Problem is I get no flame. Don't know what else could be bad. Is there some sort of gas venturi somewhere that could be plugged? I can smell unburnt gas coming out of the exhaust port so I know it's getting some gas but I don't know how much it needs to get.

Any furnace doctors out there? I really don't think it's the board that is bad but I could be wrong. Will any service centers still service these old gals or do they stay away from them with a 10' pole?
Checking the orifice is a good idea.....just use carb cleaner of compressed air to blow it out. Don't put ANYTHING thru the orifice that is harder than that.

You also might have a poorly adjusted regulator, even though it's new. If you have a manometer, connect it to the test port on the regulator and start an LP appliance (that is working). You should read 11 inches of water guage, or about 1/2 PSI. If you're not getting this, the regulator is out of adjustment.

I would think that the orifice is the problem though .
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 05:03 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
Where is the orifice?
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 06:59 AM   #6
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,476
I have to admit, when I read the title, I was thinking, boy this person is really having a tow vehicle issue and as I read on, finally realized it was a furnace.....
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 07:58 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Druupy's Avatar
 
2005 28' Safari
Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 95
You may want to check the placement of the sparker electrode.
Since you have been working in and around the insides of the unit(heater).
The spark has to travel thru the "air/fuel" mixture at a point where the mixture is in the correct ratio. If that little tiny wire electrode wire was bumped, and moved 1/16 of an inch, it won't ignite the fuel/air, cause there might not be any fuel/air where the spark is.
Druupy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 03:12 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Where is the orifice?
The orifice is located at the downstream end of the gas valve. You get to it by removing the gas/air mixing gate, then carefully unscrew it from the threaded end of the tube that holds it. You may have to remove the entire burner head on some models.

BTW, your igniter electrode gap is 1/8"....more or less. If you test fire the ignition without the gas on, you should have a spark jumping from the end of the electrode to the gas supply tube. When the gas hits this spark, it ignites, but if the gas orifice is blocked and no LP is exiting the end of that tube, the result is NADA!

Keep us posted on the progress..........
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 11:21 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
I think the orifice was plugged with rust particles from the internal gas supply line in the furnace. I plan to bench test it again tommorrow.
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2007, 06:41 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
This ended in a very bad way. The orifice was plugged. I took the orifice off and blew the internal line out and it was chuck full of rust particles. I had fired the gas solenoid by itself and had the front inspection plate off to make sure I was getting good gas to the burner which I was. With building optimism I took battery, furnace, and propane tank out to my driveway to "bench test". No sooner than the blower motor starter the thing blew up!! Almost blew the inspection plate door off. The heat exchanger nearest the combustion chamber has it's side largely bent out. Thank God I wasn't hurt... Just scared. There must have been left over propane in the chamber and the spark from the motor must have been enough to ignite it in a bad way. Now I'm totally out a furnace and must try to retrofit it with something.
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2007, 07:39 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
2002 19' Bambi
Lafayette , California
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
This ended in a very bad way. No sooner than the blower motor starter the thing blew up!! Almost blew the inspection plate door off. Thank God I wasn't hurt... Just scared.
This ended in a GOOD way considering the circumstances. Neither you nor anyone else was hurt! And you now have the best possible reason to buy a new, properly functioning furnace and there is no place better than this forum for advice as to what to buy.
Tim A. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2007, 07:53 PM   #12
aluminauti
 
whitelight's Avatar
 
Where we , Park it!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 312
Images: 6
Glad to hear that the only casualty were your wits! At least this didn't happen when you were sleeping with the furnace on.

Although many like to keep their vintage units entirely original, we've always preferred to replace "critical" appliances like the furnace & hot water heater in our vintage units.

FYI, the new Suburban NT 30 will fit in the same space as the old model - you may have to build a 3/4" platform to raise the unit to match the old outside vent holes.
whitelight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2007, 07:59 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
Yeah, I'm very lucky I wasn't looking closely through the window for a spark and got an eye blown out or worse. My replacing the furnace I assume you are referring to the NT-30SP as in this: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f207...0-a-27770.html

My question would be couldn't you use the old case with the new furnace with the addition of cutting a new slit for the gas line at the bottom instead of the top of the case and get better alignment on all the vents?
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 10:03 AM   #14
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
Quote:
I'm very lucky I wasn't looking closely through the window for a spark and got an eye blown out or worse.
yes that is exactly what happened to one of my buddies.

other than a trip to the emergency room to get his eyes washed out nothing else happened.

later that week he crushed it with his tractor as an act of revenge!

LET THIS BE A WORD TO THE WISE! QUIT FOOLING AROUND WITH THESE THINGS AND JUST JUNK THEM!!!

he got a brand new furnace and is very happy and safe with it.

john
__________________
you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 11:21 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
Images: 43
It looks like the Suburban NT-30SP has the same outside dimensions. I am putting it into a 31 1979 International coach. Does this one have to be raised up on plywood to match the external ports? I'm not sure there is 3/4" clearance on the top to fit it in there if that is the case. Can the inards of a new furnace be slid into my old shell so I get better alignment with the existing ductwork?
wacnstac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 12:19 PM   #16
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
1986 31' Sovereign
1975 25' Tradewind
1967 17' Caravel
Sherfield English , Hampshire
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
Send a message via MSN to Moonstruck Send a message via Yahoo to Moonstruck
Tony, what shall I do with his arms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I have to admit, when I read the title, I was thinking, boy this person is really having a tow vehicle issue and as I read on, finally realized it was a furnace.....
I thought it sounded like a line from the Sopranos but Tony's traded up to an Escalade
__________________
Silvertwinkie
Hampshire, UK
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2007, 10:23 PM   #17
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
It looks like the Suburban NT-30SP has the same outside dimensions. I am putting it into a 31 1979 International coach. Does this one have to be raised up on plywood to match the external ports? I'm not sure there is 3/4" clearance on the top to fit it in there if that is the case. Can the inards of a new furnace be slid into my old shell so I get better alignment with the existing ductwork?
Maybe.............

You have to look at teh 2 units side-by-side and be sure that the planum chamber (where the heating of the intake air takes place) fits in exactly the same place to assure that it will line up properly with the existing ducts.

Also, look into the installation manual and be sure that the duct area meets the minimum required for the new furnace. (Pi-R squared, ya know), or you have a potential overheating situation with insufficient output area to the ducts.
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2007, 12:41 PM   #18
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,497
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
It looks like the Suburban NT-30SP has the same outside dimensions. I am putting it into a 31 1979 International coach. Does this one have to be raised up on plywood to match the external ports? I'm not sure there is 3/4" clearance on the top to fit it in there if that is the case. Can the inards of a new furnace be slid into my old shell so I get better alignment with the existing ductwork?
You must use part of the original installation in order for the NT-30SP to fit correctly.

Airstream and a few of it's dealers have a drawing of how to make that installation.

We can FAX or e-mail a copy to you, if you wish.

Andy
__________________
Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2007, 03:55 PM   #19
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,444
[quote=wacnstac]Well I thought I was going to have this problem licked. I had the furnace on my bench and found that the limit switch which is normally closed was open. I ordered a new limit switch, fan switch, and sail switch, for good measure.
Replaced them all, cleaned things up a bit and hooked up to gas (with a brand new regulator) and hooked it up to power. Then I fired it up by putting 12V on the thermostat connector pin. The fan turns on, the sail switch engages, and about 10-15 seconds later, the gas solenoid pops open (audible click) and I get a good spark from the ignitor for a good 5 seconds. ]

You know, on re-reading this thread, something bothers me. When I bench test a furnace after an overhaul, cleaning or repair, I use the pigtail that plugs into the igniter board as follows:

red to +12VDC
yellow to -12VDC

I then use a jumper between the 2 blue wires (thermostat) to turn the unit on and simulate a call for heat from the t/stat.

This is how your furnace is connected in your trailer. There is always power to the board, but it is the thermostat that acts as the on/off switch depending on it's setting and the ambient temp in the trailer.

I get the feeling that you powered the board by directly applying 12VDC to the t/stat wires. This is not recommended, as it is a control source and not a primary power port for the igniter board. It might have done strange things to the board and might have been the source of your explosion by not allowing the unit to properly purge before igniting.

If you ever have any questions about how to bench test a furnace, water heater or any other component in your trailer or MoHo, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!!

We want you around a little longer and sure don't want to be reading your obit or hear of a serious injury that wasn't necessary .
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 10:53 AM   #20
WBCCI 8562
 
Jim in Pima's Avatar
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Pelzer , South Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 225
Images: 5
Might be of interest, I had WATER get in my gas lines, must have come from the propane tanks I had filled, we worked days to figure that out..blew them out finally but ruined the regulator (water did)
Jim in Pima is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Exact replacement for Suburban NT30MA furnace for 1979 31' Airstream wacnstac Stoves, Ovens & Microwaves 4 10-25-2006 10:02 AM
Interior End Cap Removal: HELP! sierrajb Member Introductions 6 02-02-2006 01:19 AM
Suburban Furnace tmeagle1 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 25 02-20-2004 07:18 AM
bike rack mount on rear of AS trailer rmmm68 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 7 11-26-2002 10:55 AM
Trailer weights davidz71 Our Community 6 05-28-2002 10:55 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.