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We are trying to get our furnace in the RV to light in -13…

Customer Question
We are trying to...

We are trying to get our furnace in the RV to light in -13 degree weather

Mechanic's Assistant: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?

I mean the furnace pilot light.

Mechanic's Assistant: What year is your Pilot?

You mean the RV? In October 2020, I bought it and it was 16 years old.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Pilot yourself? What have you tried so far?

My son and I tried lighting the furnace ourselves, but unsuccessfully.

Mechanic's Assistant: Is there anything else the Mechanic should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.

The furnace is reliable in near freezing temperatures, but this time it's very cold outside (-13 degrees).

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/10/2022
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 months ago
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,328
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
Verified
Hi, I'm Robert. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply momentarily.

Sorry to hear you are having issues with the furnace.

Will the fan come on when you turn the thermostat ON? IF the fan is coming on can you hear the electrode trying to spark?

Thanks, Robert

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
the furnace fan comes on, but only for a few minutes.This is about an RV furnace, not a vehicle.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 months ago

When the fan comes on does it blow hot air then shut down or can you hear the electrode sparking after the fan comes up to speed?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
No hot air blows and we cannot hear the electrode sparking after the fan has started.Is it possible that the propane gas has frozen?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 months ago

OK

Please allow me several mins to type a response, lots and lots to cover here. 
Robert

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
OK.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 months ago

So the propane does really not come into play if the electrode is NOT sparking. Inside the blower motor housing is a sail switch, as the fan comes up to speed it blows on that sail switch and then a paddle makes contact with a micro switch and then passes the voltage to the circuit board, only then do you get spark. Sometimes debris can get caught between the paddle and switch and not be able to make contact which means no spark. Older model furnaces you have to split the blower motor housing to get to the sail switch, newer models the sail switch is mounted to the outside of the blower motor housing you would see a set of blue wires going to it and two screws on a plastic bracket that you can remove and the sail switch pulls out. You also want to check your battery voltage after the fan kicks on, if the battery voltage is dropping below 12 volts then the fan can slow down and not blow fast enough to close the sail switch.

The temp you are at is very cold as well. Propane will start to have problems at minus 42 F this is where it becomes a problem, I would check the regulator on the tank, the regulator has a screen or vent and you want to make sure that is not frozen, the pressure should also be verified with a manometer to make sure it is correct. Go to the propane tank and shut the supply valve and then slowly open it up, sometimes if the valve is opened to fast the regulator may lock up and you may not get the proper pressure. Slowly open the valve and then run a stove burner for a few mins and try the furnace again while the burner is going. Below is a very informative article for you on propane and the very cold. IF the other appliances that run on propane work it may not be a pressure problem but each can act differently if the pressure is off.

Again if the electrode is NOT sparking the propane is out of play the furnace should spark whether propane is present or not so very important to know when you diagnose these.

IF you have not used the furnace for months then I might blow out the exhaust sometimes mud daubers can crawl into the exhaust and into the burner and make nests and that creates issues.

IF it is sparking then the propane comes into play, the circuit board on the furnace and electrode would also be suspect if it is trying to spark.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
My son says he hears the sparking happening. So, it is either the propane freezing OR the sparking not happening. NOT both?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 10 months ago

It really is a process of elimination, if it is sparking then I would check the vent on the regulator at the tank and make sure it is not frozen, cycle the propane valve as mentioned and then run a stove burner and try the furnace. IF it is sparking it not a sail switch or battery voltage issue. I might also have the propane pressure checked.

Robert

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Robert
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,328
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Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.

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