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Old 10-29-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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Furnace Ignition Problem

I知 having an intermittent ignition problem with the Atwood furnace in my 2007 Safari. The blower comes on and I can hear the clicking sound of the igniter. It tries to light three times and then gives up.

After I turn the thermostat off and back on, and hit the reset switch on the furnace, it may light and cycle through properly a few times before failing again. I noticed this happening after I ran out of gas in one tank and switched to the other. That may just be coincidence since it had no effect on the water heater.

Has anyone experienced this or have suggestions on how to troubleshoot the issue?

Thanks in advance. -Bill
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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This may not be the problem but, it's something to be aware of..
In colder climates, one should be using Propane in your tanks instead of Butane fuel. This usually happens when you fill your tanks in Southern region where the climates are warmer than the Northern regions.(where the winter temperatures drop even lower..)Just something to think about.
For safety reasons~
If your problem is mechanical, it really should be serviced by a licensed tech.
My thoughts and, best wishes to you..
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Exactly the same problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by billberk
I知 having an intermittent ignition problem with the Atwood furnace in my 2007 Safari. The blower comes on and I can hear the clicking sound of the igniter. It tries to light three times and then gives up.

After I turn the thermostat off and back on, and hit the reset switch on the furnace, it may light and cycle through properly a few times before failing again. I noticed this happening after I ran out of gas in one tank and switched to the other. That may just be coincidence since it had no effect on the water heater.

Has anyone experienced this or have suggestions on how to troubleshoot the issue?

Thanks in advance. -Bill
This describes the problem I have exactly. Tries to ignite 3 times and quits. I would appreciate if anyone has some actual advice about this problem...

Butane???

Thanks
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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hi bill

GO HAWKS!

once the furnace has run dry of gas, it needs to be shut off completely (thermostat to full OFF) for a short time 15-30 minutes?

during this time, light the range and water heater to get the lp flowing again.

now turn the furnace back on and it should ignite during the 3 'sparks'...

ok it reads like you've done the 'off/reset' stuff...

if it doesn't light, it's possible the line is fouled with debris that settled in during the empty gas line time....

have you opened the outer skin door and poked around, no bugs, wasps or critter stuff in there right?

i think the furnace owners manual in your a/s kit has a trouble shooting section on 'no heat' issues...

here is the link to their online t/s guide...

Atwood Mobile Products - Troubleshooting

reads like there are a dozen possibilities doesn't it?

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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I called the dealership about this and spoke with the service tech. He suggested that I had air in the line that was likely trapped in the regulator at the furnace.

The suggested solution was to bang on the regulator with a hammer while the furnace is trying to light, so as to move the air bubble on its way.

My problem has resolved its self. I don't know if it was the hammering or the bumpy road home from the river, but I do know the problem started after I ran out of gas in one tank and switched to the other. The air bubble theroy sounded reasonable to me.

I hope a good burp is all you need.

Bill
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
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Hey 2air. Go Hawks!
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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Now
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:44 PM   #8
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Now that brings me to a question about the tanks because I had the source tank on and the reserve tank off. Should I leave the reserve tank on a quarter turn?
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:46 PM   #9
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"all tools are hammers except chisels which are screwdrivers"

you know bill...

i was gonna suggest hittin' it with a hammer...

really, really i was!

but it IS best for that advice to come from someone who knows what they are doing!

i'm glad you've got gas in the line again...

maybe it's was the chili

9 and oh baby!

cheers
2air'


Quote:
Originally Posted by billberk
...Should I leave the reserve tank on a quarter turn?
after having the furnace stop last winter on a 25 degree night, when i had to go outside to fiddle and the plumbing nearly froze...

i always leave both thanks on...

except during removal for fills and then i turn both off...
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:05 PM   #10
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We know precisely the type of problem you have been having. It has occurred many times with our Bambi's furnace. The first time it was fixed by replacing the ignitor board. Then it occurred again and replacing the board again did not work. Talked to the board manufacturer (Dinosaur) and they suggested the sail switch was stuck. Replacing the sail switch fixed the problem for a while. When the problem occurred again, replacing the gas regulator (gas pressure was low ) fixed it. Then the problem recurred and replacing the sail switch fixed it for a week or so.

By then it was obvious that a sticking sail switch was the most likely cause and, figuratively, the hammer came into play. Through an opening in the cabinet, I can bang on the side of the furnace (with a screwdriver handle) where the sail switch is located, the switch comes unstuck, and the furnace works fine. We have now done this for several years and the furnace functions just fine otherwise. It is necessary to bang on the thing about once a year.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billberk
Now that brings me to a question about the tanks because I had the source tank on and the reserve tank off. Should I leave the reserve tank on a quarter turn?
billberk,

You should leave BOTH tanks open FULL if you have an auto-change regulator. This allows the regulator to 'change' tanks when one is empty with no interruption in the flow. It does NOT change the little indicator on the regulator, which will be reading red because it is still on the primary tank. When you switch the regulator knob to the reserve tank, that now becomes the 'primary' and the indicator will be green. You should get the old primary tank (now empty) filled before you run out of your second tank. When you hook up the newly filled tank, that will become the reserve, and you should open the valve fully so that the regulator will change automatically when necessary.

Although LP will be flowing from the second tank after the auto change, it flows at a reduced rate. This is designed into the regulator. You have to remember to manually switch the knob on the regulator to restore full flow. You will notice your appliances acting strangely, like they aren't getting enough LP.....which they aren't!

And in case you are wondering, an LP valve should be either fully closed or fully open, as there are seals at either end of the travel. You have a big potential for leaks from the valve if it is open to any position in the middle.

PS: I do not condone hitting an LP regulator with a hammer (or anything else) to tyr to remove an air pocket. You can and probably will damage the regulator seals, as they are made of a fine membrane....not steel! There are other ways already discussed to remove an air pocket.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:30 AM   #12
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I had the same problem and now I know...
not that I need to tell you that but it will be my 300th post and I couldn't wait more...
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:00 AM   #13
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Congrats on the 300th!
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billberk
Hey 2air. Go Hawks!
Hey Bill and 2air'...that is suppose to be Go Hogs!

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Old 11-08-2007, 09:44 AM   #15
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This is bizzaro football year Gene. It happens about once a century.

Bill
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billberk
I知 having an intermittent ignition problem with the Atwood furnace in my 2007 Safari. The blower comes on and I can hear the clicking sound of the igniter. It tries to light three times and then gives up.

After I turn the thermostat off and back on, and hit the reset switch on the furnace, it may light and cycle through properly a few times before failing again. I noticed this happening after I ran out of gas in one tank and switched to the other. That may just be coincidence since it had no effect on the water heater.

Has anyone experienced this or have suggestions on how to troubleshoot the issue?

Thanks in advance. -Bill
We have just gone through this with our 2006 19 Bambi...three tries to ignite after the blower come on, then goes to an "ignition lockout" mode indicated by a red light flashing 3 times a second behind the grille, and then the blower stopps. We, too, could reset the furnace by turning the thermostat off, lettng it rest a few seconds (and the red light stops flashing) and turn the thermostat back on to repeat. (Wealso reset it with the switch on teh furnace place, too, but found it was not necessary if you turn off the thermostat...it resets itself.) Sometimes it would ignite within 3 tries, sometimes it would not....but it was clear that it was struggling to ignite...rapid click-click-click-clicking noises rather than igniting almost instantly like it's supposed to.

Our situation was compounded by the fact that the LP gas detector (located right next to the furnace) would frequently go to the yellow light "fault" mode with a single "beep" when the furnace would try to ignite...

This just started happening all of a sudden during a recent trip where it was in the high 20s at night...and it started in the middle of the night (of course...nothing like a shrill beep to rouse you in the night...I guess that's why they are shrill)... During the day and early evening it was hit and miss...sometimes the furnace would ignite in three tries, sometimes it wouldn't.

Fortunately we had the heat pump to gve us some heat during the mornings and evenings, but it was too cold in the dead of night for the heat pump. The dogs and the comforter had to do.

We dropped it off at the dealer on our return from this trip...and of course, they couldn't duplicate the problem. So we brought it home 3 days later, quite frustrated with whole thing. WE decided to watch a movie in the Bambi that night to test it some more...and it started it again that night. We could still get it to do it in the morning...so we called the dealer let them know ti was happening again, and were going tobring it back and stay there until they figured it out! We were releived that we were able to demonstrate the problem this time when we got there...

They jumped right on it. Because there was a problem igniting and it was struggling, even with it did ignite預nd it happend during colder temps葉he tech suspected the LP gas regulator was on the fritz...we had not run out of LP gas, however...we have the auto tank switch-over. They tested the gas pressure and found it was inadequate, therefore not delivering enough gas to the furnace to comlete ignition... So they replaced the regulator and the pressure returned to normal... They tested each of the gas applicances individually to make sure they were firing up quickly, then all of them at once..and they all worked perfectly. (We had been having trouble getting the oven pilot light lit, but we thought it was just us and its awkward position...nope...it was the low pressure all along! Now the pilot lights reasonbly quickly!

Then there was that LP gas detector going to yellow... The yellow light indicates that it is not getting enough juice. They replaced the detector to be safe, but when they were installing it, they found there was no power to the new unit... All the fuses were good and all circuits were hot, so they took off the cabinet panel to inspect the wiring leading to the detector... and found a loose wire and fixed it...we figure it was getting adequate power some of the time but not all the time, and that the heat and/or vibrations from the furnace were causing it to expand/contract or connect/disconnect, thus making it seem like it had something to do directly with the furnace, when in reality it was a completely separate and different issue.

We learned a lot today, and the tech at Oasis RV, Ren, was really very knowledgable, helpful and willing to explain what he was doing and what he felt was going on...and how it was gonig to be remedied. They really jumped on it and got it resolved...we are pleased. Particulalry, since we are leaving a couple days after Christmas for a 2-week trip, and we will have some cold nights!

Annie and Sadie (our cockers) will be happy, too...the clicking of the failing ignition scared them something awful, just like the beeps and chirps from detectors do. We are going to have to desensitize Annie to the furnace kicking in on this trip...she's now afraid of it...

I'll let you know if we have an recurrence of the problems, but I am thinking they are fixed...the furnace has been running all evening with no failures.

TB
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:55 PM   #17
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TB,

If you go back to post #10 in this thread, you will see that we also had to replace the regulator. All I can say is, now watch for a sticking sail-switch!
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
TB,

If you go back to post #10 in this thread, you will see that we also had to replace the regulator. All I can say is, now watch for a sticking sail-switch!
Yup...now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will be good for a while...always sorta waiting for "the other shoe to drop"...If it does at least I'll know what to suspect, and maybe then I'll take youir lead and get my screw driver out and whack the furnace into submission!

Thanks!

Ease on..ease on down the road...
TB
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:51 AM   #19
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Thanks for the post TB....I think I'll take mine in for repairs. I tried to fire my furnace this past weekend and the only way I can get it to light is to bang on the regulator while the ignitor is clicking. I thought the problem had resolved its self, but no such luck.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:30 PM   #20
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A note about Sail switches. In our trailer, the more lights we have turned on the slower the blower spins, to the point where it is not spinning fast enough to trip the sail switch, adn the furnace will go out. As you turn off the lights the blower will spin faster, and the burner will light again. This is even with a fully charged battery. Newer trailers may not suffer this condition, but it's something to consider.
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