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Old 04-15-2016, 09:54 PM   #1
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Furnace help

We got a Silver Cloud on Thursday. Last night, the furnace worked. Tonight, we are stuck in Wyoming for a snowstorm and the furnace will not ignite. Any ideas of what we can try?

We have a ceramic heater, so we are not totally freezing.

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Old 04-15-2016, 10:01 PM   #2
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Make sure propane tanks have fuel and are turned on. Light the stove to make sure propane is running through the lines. When stove is working, give the furnace another try.
Only other thing I can suggest is to ask again here, but tell forum members what brand and model of furnace you have.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:12 PM   #3
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Found the igniter; not the furnace. Already tried what you suggested, Glenn. No go.


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Old 04-16-2016, 06:11 AM   #4
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Can you hear the igniter working (sparking noise), or see the spark through a little inspection window. Does the fan run, with many furnaces the fan has to first run to activate a sail switch, which then opens the gas valve. Is there fuses somewhere. You've probably already checked all this, but just throwing it out there. Also has one tank gone empty and not switched to the other.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:15 AM   #5
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The fan runs but no heat. If we can get to the Walmart today, we are looking into more propane on the theory that maybe they have enough to work the stove but not the furnace.

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Old 04-16-2016, 07:26 AM   #6
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I would suspect that where you bought the trailer was not concerned about how much propane was in the tanks. If they are the 20 lb tanks it should be easy to find somewhere to swap them out, if travel conditions are OK. Probably the only way to tell how much is in them is unfasten them and do a lift estimate, that is pick them up, see how heavy they feel. Spark igniter working ? Another idea, IF one tank ran out and you switched to the other with an empty line it could activate the device that shuts down the tank if there is too much flow. To correct this you may have to shut off the tank valves, let it set for awhile, then open slowly. Open stove valve slowly too. I'm a little rusty on this as I've been out of that business for a long time, so look up the OPD valve on the internet and see what you can find about this situation
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:38 AM   #7
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Cindy, we just had the same problem in our Scamp. I called them, and they told me to touch the 2 wires and the fan should come on. That worked, so the problem is in the thermostat, not the furnace. You might have to get a new thermostat.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:41 AM   #8
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It did work the first night, just by turning on the thermostat. The range works; Kevin cooked breakfast on it this morning.

Kevin wiggled the propane tanks like they are very light but did not pull them out. He wants to know where we would hear the sparking though, at the thermostat or at the furnace.

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Old 04-16-2016, 07:59 AM   #9
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you'll hear sparking at the furnace, that's the igniter. The igniter is just a spark jumping a gap, like a spark plug in a car. There may be a small little "window" about the size of a quarter or half dollar that you can look through to see it. Or possibly a little "door", a cover that swivels open.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:10 AM   #10
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Can you hear the igniter even if propane is low? If you don't hear the igniter, would it likely be an electrical problem?

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Old 04-16-2016, 08:49 AM   #11
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Cindy, Karen and I replaced our thermostat last year, because I broke the switch. We bought a new one, and it worked at first, but it is now defective, so I ordered a new one from Scamp (a digital one). So once again, it might be the thermostat. Don.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:51 AM   #12
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The KOA we are at will fill propane tanks. We are trying that first.


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Old 04-16-2016, 09:01 AM   #13
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Good idea Cindy, go for the easiest to the more difficult. Don.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:12 AM   #14
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Didn't work. Can't get the fittings off. Taking them to Tractor Supply.

Luckily, the weather here is not yet impossible.

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Old 04-16-2016, 10:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Can you hear the igniter even if propane is low? If you don't hear the igniter, would it likely be an electrical problem?

Cindy
There will be spark even if there is no propane ( I think, pretty sure). It may be hard to hear, is there an inspection window?
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:10 AM   #16
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Didn't work. Can't get the fittings off. Taking them to Tractor Supply.

Luckily, the weather here is not yet impossible.

Cindy
"Can't get the fittings off" ? Remember propane fittings are right turning to loosen. The old saying "righty tighty, lefty loosey" is wrong when working with flammable gas where it connects to the tank. It sure sounds like you could have a fuel issue here.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:16 AM   #17
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Didn't work. Can't get the fittings off. Taking them to Tractor Supply.

Luckily, the weather here is not yet impossible.

Cindy
Do not know how old this unit is but if it is older and has original fittings they would be left hand thread i.e. turn counter clockwise to loosen .
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:24 AM   #18
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We assume that the KOA lady who fills propane knows the right way to loosen the fittings. My guess is the age of the tanks is a factor here. Who knows when last they were filled? The RV place did not do it.

I found a hint in a Bigfoot truck manual that matches our furnace issue. When Kevin gets back, I am sharing with him.

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Old 04-17-2016, 05:56 PM   #19
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Not all furnaces use a sparker that you can hear. Suburban furnaces like on our Casita have a glow thingy that does not make any noise.
On our furnace when the thermostat calls for heat the fan comes on. The air moving causes a "sail switch" to activate and shortly you'll hear the gas solenoid click once.
Now the fan runs on 12 volts so if your 12 volts are low or the motor is not turning fast enough the sail switch will not activate that turns on the gas.

On your propane tanks, do you have a green plastic know knob or the older brass fitting?

Don't assume the lady that fills the propane tanks knows what they are doing!!

You do know what "assume" means I hope. Anyway the threads are backwards on the older tanks and you'll need a decent wrench to remove them.
The newer ones with the big green knobs have right handed threads (normal) that can be taken off by hand but you may need a glove.

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