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my atwood heater will not properly ignite...Sort of flutters.

My Atwood heater will not...
My Atwood heater will not properly ignite. The flame ignites but immediately goes off and then back on. Sort of flutters. When it randomly stays running the exhaust heat is quite low. I removed the burner mechanism to ensure no blockages in the propane path including the nozzle. Also clean all electrical connections. I have 2 heaters and the other works properly. Could i have a solenoid valve problem not allowing enough propane through?
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
4/22/2011
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 28,165
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
Verified
Hi: Thank you for coming to Just Answer with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX perhaps I can assist you with this issue.

Most of the time this is caused by low LP pressure at the regulator or a failed regulator.
You can take if off and into a shop to be tested and adjusted if it is an adjustable model.
This is the problem on about 80% of these with this set of symptoms. Please get back to me if that doesn't resolve this for you and we can go from there. Follow up questions are included in our fee. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago
Are you talking about the RV main regulator or a regulator within the Atwood furnace valve and assembly?
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
The main regulator at the tank...........these need to be checked at least once a year. Very much neglected as most dealers don't pass this along. Most I check are about 30% low and cause problems like you describe. It may be something else but chances are good this will resolve this for you. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago

One last question, i promise. I take it this can occur on this heater which is a 30 BTU but not affect all the other devices ie the 2nd furnace (at a lower btu), the water heater, the refrigerator, and the stove burners. The others all appear to work normal without any problem.

RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
You really can't tell from that.............the stove top has another regulator that further reduces the pressure. The furnace and fridge will work on reduced pressure, just not as well. You take a chance of burning up the burner head on the furnace and the fridge won't cool as well. In cool weather this isn't as big a problem. If you don't have insect screens on the exhaust you may have gotten some wasps nests or mud dobbers in there and it is affecting the air intake. If this is an older unit with lots of hours on it the brushes may be going bad..........there are quite a few things that can cause this. We always start with the most common and move to the least likely. Follow up questions are included in our fee and if you give me the make and model of this I can grab a copy of the Service Manual for you.
R.J.
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 28,165
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
Verified
Randall and 87 other RV Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago
No insects or sign of debri. I had removed the whole burner assembly and other than a little rust on the burner surface it was clean. I am going with your regulator recommendation and will try to have tested, but for the price and effort will just replace it although will try to have tested to help verify the fix. Hopefully this afternoon it will be done. Thanks
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
If that doesn't resolve it come back and we can go from there............we work on these until we resolve the issue. All part of our fee. If you want a copy of the Service Manual then give me the model number. And thanks for the bonus............much appreciated! R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago

Randall, It worked. The heater now turns on and runs exactly like it is supposed to. Had to use a regulater with the vent on the end while the original had it on the side. Will run like this until the store has the vent on the side. The regulator is covered with a plastic cover and is protected pretty much from the elements.

One question I have is are there any specs on what the exhaust temperature should be? The 30 BTU that I had the problem with is now showing about 200 degrees at the exhaust. The other heater is less I think about 20 BTU and its exhaust temperature is about 330 degrees. Are either in range and if not anyway I can acquire the specs?

RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
They don't give us exhaust temperatures.............not that it wouldn't be a good idea to have so you can check them with an infrared gun. The regulator should have the vent pointing down. Having the plastic cover helps but code requires that you use the correct one. Glad this corrected the problem. If you give me the make and model of your furnaces I can supply a Service Manual which will give you all kinds of good information and I believe a number to call so you can ask about the exhaust temps. It is pretty hot and not unusual.
R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago
I have the manuals that came with the units, but if yours are more detailed, etc that would be great. They are both Atwood furnaces model #s 8531-IV DCLP and 8520-IV DCLP.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
Go HERE for a copy of the Service Manual for these............very handy to have. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago
Thank you for the Service Manual. Nothing i have comes close to this. Will definitely take advantage of the information it provides. thanks.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
They don't give you those.............they want you to come back to the shop. Print out a copy and keep one in your coach. Very helpful! R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago

Randall, Should I open a new ticket in that the Atwood heater is now exhibiting the same problem. It worked right after i installed a new regulator for the whole vehicle, but today when I prepared the vehicle for a trip, it started doing the same thing. I guess it comes down to either the valve in the heater or the relay board. Since the unit does come on and ignites and keeps trying, my suspicion is the valve, assuming a board failure would not partially open the valve causing the same problem.

If needed I'll open a new ticket. Thanks

Stephen Adrian

RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
Don't give up too quickly..............when this has been sitting for some time it may take 4 or 5 tries to get it to stay on. The air in the LP line is the problem. If it won't stay on after you do this come back to me. We can work on the old posting. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 11 years ago
Okay. It is interesting that it did seem to operate okay after i sent the note to you. Will find time later today to turn it on and watch it.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 11 years ago
I will be around all day..............let me know if you need more help on this. R.J.
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