Propane furnace doesn't work

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Michel, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Michel

    Michel Member

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    Yes, I know, I am asking a furnace question when everybody else is thinking A/C. What can I say, I live in northern Canada and the nights get pretty cool even in July.

    This is my problem: I have a Dutchmen Duck 1996 and have a propane furnace. When I am using AC power (i.e. plugged in to a 15-amp source) my propane furnace works great and blows out a lot of hot air. However, when I switch to my 12-volt battery, no heat comes out.

    Any ideas? I vacuumed out the exhaust and air intake on the outside of the pop-up. Of course, I have a lot of propane and the light on the inside of my pop-up works on the battery, so it is not a problem with the battery. Any other suggestions?

    Michel
     
  2. jim1999

    jim1999 New Member

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    There is probably a switch on the furnace itself to choose between 12v and AC power.

    Its not what we take with us that matters but what we leave behind that counts.
     
  3. Michel

    Michel Member

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    I checked: no luck when it comes to a switch. This might help: I have an Everest Star hydro flame furnace. Have been reading the instruction manual. It says that the furnace works on 12-volts. There is only one on-off switch and that is to turn off all electricity. There isn't a switch in the furnace to switch from battery to converter. I have a MagneTek power converter so the furnace should only be getting 12 volts even when I am plugged in.
     
  4. jhower

    jhower New Member

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    Have you checked to be sure you're getting power to the furnace when you're using just the battery?

    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle> 2007 Flagstaff 620ST, '95 Dodge Dakota
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks

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  5. Retired Alex

    Retired Alex New Member

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    Because your furnace works properly when you are plugged into shore power obviously there is no problems with the wiring, fuses or the furnace. Are you sure your battery is fully charged? Many electrical appiances cut off andwill not work if the house battery is not outputting sufficient voltage.

    Alex & Mary Burnett
    06 Trail Cruiser 26QBS, 2006 F-150 XLT
    http://users.xplornet.com/~burnetta
     
  6. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    The furnace Blower Motor will draw a lot more amps from the battery than a light will.

    I'm with Alex on this one. The battery could be too low to power that fan motor.

    <hr><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper"> ~ Scott
    1994 Chevy W/T 1500 towing a 2008 Palomino Yearling 4124
     
  7. Michel

    Michel Member

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    I topped up the battery and made sure it was fully charged. Tried it again, and still no luck.
     
  8. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

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    The furnace requires between 10.5-13.5 volts DC to operate the fan and open the sail switch. Could be the battery might be just a bit too low. Your converter will also help provide the necessary amperage which may be why you were able to operate the furnace when plugged into CG electric. Remember your propane leak detector draws from your battery 24/7, and if you use your lights, they too draw from the battery.

    You might see if the furnace will work after having everything 12-volt off while plugged into CG electric - giving your converter a chance to charge your battery more....
     
  9. mikbrent

    mikbrent New Member

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    Michel , does the fan run, I too experienced this issue on the weekend, was a little on the cool side and no heat was coming from furnace but the blower still came on. The battery was still at about 12.25v , my only guess is that the electronic ingition requires 110v.

    If you figured it out would appreciate how you solved it, rest of kin is still camping this week along lake Huron and sure could use some heat.

    M Kenn
    97 Rockwood Premier
    TV 2007 Nitro
     
  10. tnchuck100

    tnchuck100 New Member

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    The sail switch is probably binding. As the voltage is somewhat lower when on the battery there is not quite enough air flow to activate the sail switch. Cleaning it and applying a little WD-40 may cure your problem.

    To clear a few points:
    The igniter uses 12V. It doesn't need 110V.
    There is no 12V/110V switch for the furnace.
    The furnace only requires 12V and propane to operate.

    <font color=blue>Chuck & Mary - Sparta, Tennessee
    '00 Dodge Dakota <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> '05 Palomino Pony 280 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
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  11. Michel

    Michel Member

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    That sounds like a reasonable explanation. How do you recommend cleaning it? Where exactly do I find it? And what do you mean by binding?

    Thank you for the feedback!

    Michel
     
  12. tnchuck100

    tnchuck100 New Member

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    Where it is located I do not know. Open the unit and look for a flap that will move as the fan blows air though the system. It actuates a switch which turns on the gas flow and starts the igniter sequence. Binding = not moving freely.

    <font color=blue>Chuck & Mary - Sparta, Tennessee
    '00 Dodge Dakota <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> '05 Palomino Pony 280 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    '03 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"> '04 Timeout <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"></font id=blue>
     
  13. KISMETT

    KISMETT New Member

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    DO NOT USE WD-40 to clean the sail switch!! WD attracts dirt. Use a old soft toothbrush or low pressure, compressed air in a can. Avoid embedding dirt in the switch.
    You'll find the switch inside the blower housing. It looks very much like the lamp cut off switch under the fold down sink but with a paddle at one end.
    Chuck is right. The furnace is 12V powered, not 110.
     
  14. ggmetcalf

    ggmetcalf New Member

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    I have an Atwood Hydro Flame furnace in my new to me Coleman Mesa. Last night, the furnace worked fine, but this morning it doesn't seem to want to stay lit. The fan is blowing, I hear the igniter and it starts burning, but within 30 seconds I hear a deeper rumbling sound from the exhaust and the flame appears to stop burning. A minute later the igniter hits and it does the cycle all over again, and again, and again...but it is COLD in the camper.

    Greg

    2000 Coleman Mesa
    2002 Chevy Astro
    Me, the wife and five kids (4-14)
     

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