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 10/23/2014 9:40 AM
 
 Modified By OldColdCamper  on 10/23/2014 9:37:58 AM

Hi - I am, and have, an old camper. I have done a bit of research trying to figure out a problem, but wanted to get some guidance as I've only had the camper a couple of years and I'm not too handy.

Problem: Furnace blower starts, but ignition does not occur, so sleeping in 30 degree temp wasn't much fun!

Question 1: If the gas valve is turned on at the propane tank, should I smell any gas from the exterior door area outside the camper? I do not, but wondered if that would be the case if the various components are working as designed?

Question 2: With a camper that as an exterior door access to the furnace, is the sail switch very difficult to access? (camper is physically located hours away from my home)

Question 3: Acknowledging my limited knowledge, how can i test whether the dual tank propane regulator is working properly? What type of tools would I need, or should I just replace it as it is certainly several years old.

Question 4: Can someone give me any specific instructions on how to test the 'voltage in the furnace'? I've read that I could use a multimeter (which i can probably borrow or buy) and that this furnace should be between 10.5 and 13.5 VDC - but I don't know exactly where to put the connections.

Question 5: When people write about 'blowing' out debris using a compressor - is that done only from outside the camper/around the components visible there?

Question 6: If one cause of the sail switch to not properly operate is low voltage causing a slow motor, would that as an issue be ruled out if I have a generator hooked up to the camper when attempting to run the furnace?

Thank you very much for any help!

Old & Cold

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 10/24/2014 8:23 PM
 
 Modified By RVA  on 10/25/2014 1:03:55 AM

Old and cold - There are lots of reasons why a furnace won't work, but here's some answers to your questions.........

1) You should never smell gas...PERIOD.

2) Make sure the door is an access door and not the exhaust vent. If it is an access door you may get lucky. The sail switch will be mounted just before the fan, so the incoming air can raise it and trigger a micro switch that opens the gas valve and starts the ignition cycle.

3) If your stove or water heater works, the propane tank regulator is also working.

4) There are lots of wires in a furnace and they control different functions at different times. Beyond verifying that power is getting to the furnace and the fan, which it is, is probably beyond both of our skills.

5) Periodically using a vacuum cleaner or compressor to clean around any device is always a good idea. Just make sure all the power is off and you aren't using such high pressure that you could loosen electrical connections or damage sensitive components. Hitting a sail switch with 100 psi of air would probably rip it.

6) Yes, if your generator is running or you're connected to shore power, your fan should be getting enough power to operate at its normal speed. Nonetheless, if the airflow is inhibited in any way there may not be enough flow to lift the sail switch. Check the exhaust vent for any debris buildup or bug nests; some bugs are attracted to the smell of propane.

Good luck. - Dave

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