Furnace & Propane Line Fix Costs $700? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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I've taken my 75 boler to a local RV repair shop to have them inspect the propane system & make sure that the lines aren't leaking - I don't wnt to blow myself up. I mentioned to them that the old Wagon Master furnace won't stay lit unless the peep hole is kept open.

They have informed me that there's a leak in the pilot line and that if I want to use the furnace they will need to repair the line and install a "Universal Gas Valve" which will cost a total of $700. Can someone explain to me what this part does and why it's so expensive?

Any insight or advice? I do have a rather handy fellow at home, but he's not keen on playing around with propane lines.

Cheers,

Michelle in the Yukon
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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Hi Michelle,

I'm no Hank Hill when it comes to propane, but that sounds a bit steep to me. You should be able to get a universal gas valve for under $200 at the very most and probably around $100. If you've got a handyman, the leak can be found with soapy water.

Maybe someone with more knowledge will post. I'll be working on some propane issues this weekend.

John
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
I've taken my 75 boler to a local RV repair shop to have them inspect the propane system & make sure that the lines aren't leaking - I don't wnt to blow myself up. I mentioned to them that the old Wagon Master furnace won't stay lit unless the peep hole is kept open.

They have informed me that there's a leak in the pilot line and that if I want to use the furnace they will need to repair the line and install a "Universal Gas Valve" which will cost a total of $700. Can someone explain to me what this part does and why it's so expensive?

Any insight or advice? I do have a rather handy fellow at home, but he's not keen on playing around with propane lines.

Cheers,

Michelle in the Yukon

Michelle,

if it's a hydrolic gas valve it probably costs $350-400. If it's a powerpile gas valve it probably costs $150-200. If it is a standard 24 volt standing pilot gas valve it is probable $75-100. this is just the cost of the part. Pilot tubing probably $5. Labor probably 3 hours. But anyone who works on propane pays about double for liability insurance than just working on natural gas. depending on the kind of gas valve $700 could be the correct price. Hope this helps.

Art
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:35 PM   #4
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Any insight or advice? I do have a rather handy fellow at home, [b]but he's not keen on playing around with propane lines.
First of all, I believe 'artspe' nailed it. The problem you will encounter with a service business is that you will have to pay retail prices, and overhead is higher than most people realize. Also, if you have older equipment, many younger technicians won't know how to deal with it, and will recommend that you upgrade to something newer that they do understand.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to learn to do this labor yourself, like I did when my refrigerator caught fire.

If you do not want to learn how, then you're probably stuck paying retail.
BTW, my job is service related, and the retail labor rates I have to charge to my customers are $116.00 per hour. (That's $1.93 a minute)
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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I just went through my 77 boler's propane system and found a little leak here and there. I used the soapy water method mentioned and fixing the leaks was quite easy. I think you should maybe look at getting a new furnace instead of dishing out that much dough for a valve. Look on ebay and you might be able to find a replacement. I've been playing with my suburban furnace in my 77 and i've got it working alright but it still needs some tuning and cleaning. Don't be afraid of checking for the leaks and doing your own work, just be safe with good ventilation and no sources of ignition near by.

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Old 03-17-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
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ouch *hang on for that ride*.....too expensive IMO....I'd shop around or learn propane myself. I did the soapy water trick to make sure all fittings were sealed. Lucky for me I still have two arms and 10 fingers...
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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Our boler is a '72 and we had the propane system completely refurbished a couple of years ago.
You can read about that part of our refurb here Roy has listed all that was done. We paid a bit more than your quote but the peace of mind made it worth it for us.

While not many seem to still be using the old Wagonmasters, it is what we have and we find it to be wonderful. It is silent and efficient. We have camped at sub-freezing temperatures and the indoor thermometer read 70 degrees F.

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Old 03-17-2010, 07:11 PM   #8
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Look at the following site for both New and Tested Used ones for sale.

Call your Propane Dealer and you can get an expert to connect it for you.

You may even B able to get a propane person "On The Side" that will do it for much less than a company would charge. Ask around, or ask a propane truck driver.
http://stores.ebay.com/Tri-State-Sur..._fsubZ16954353
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #9
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Oh my For $700 I'd spend alot of time plugged in at parks and use a cube heater, besides the park pays for the electricity.

This sounds like the ole proverbial "second opinion" needed. Doing that, the price will either go up, or it will go down, but either way you'll feel better about your decision.

Harry Young? Where are you? We need your opinion
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:31 PM   #10
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Donna,

That was my thought, cube heater, electricity. Then I noticed that Michelle lives in the Yukon.

She could consider the Wave 3 that people talk about?

We live in cold climate and only camp when it is above freezing. Have no furnace. If it is rainy and cold we look for electric campsite.

Nancy
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:15 PM   #11
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But the BEST sites are always the ones WITHOUT electricity!
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:45 PM   #12
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Many thanks for the replies gang. I really appreciate the help. Apparently the part is an expensive one... add a few hours labour and the price becomes rediculous. I phoned a few other shops and they all gave the same quote. So... we're going ahead and having it done.

We camp in government run campgrounds here in the Yukon - no electricity, but free firewood! It can get chilly here, so a furnace is a must. How else would I make my tenting friends jealous!

This lil boler is a project for us - we're fixing potentially dangerous items first. This year - propane lines and axle. Maybe next year we can have some fun with windows and paint!

Thanks again for your help folks. This site rules!

Michelle from the Yukon
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:46 PM   #13
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Michelle,
Don't know if this helps but back in early 2007 the labour was about $90 / hour.
Now that you have a boler, you should change the RV type on your profile.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:48 AM   #14
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If I were redoing a camper I would install a new heater rather than putting a high dollar part in an old one. What will be the next thing to go wrong with an old unit?
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