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Old 01-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
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janetpowell
heater woes

We set off on our trip West. New truck running well. Before we left as I was packing the camper I had the furnace on. It was working fine, but then quit. I switched propane tanks and it started again, so I assumed the propane tank was empty even though the dial was green. Tonight when we arrived I turned the heat on, it ran fine, then once again it would not come on. As the temperature quickly approached 50, we made a mad rush to Walmart for an electric heater (did not put the one in at home, duh). We are a bit confused as to our heater woes. The thermostat appeared to be working, we could hear the click. The furnace had a red light flashing on and off. The vents have nothing blocking them and we have no other ideas, anyone have any???
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:31 AM   #2
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janetpowell
heater woes

The furnace worked all night, along with the portable. It was quite cold here in Terre Haute. At least we have backup if the furnace should get cranky again...
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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Janet, in the propane furnace, there is a "stack" of sorts from where the actual flame is leading to the outside of the unit. This stack can be blocked by debris or spider webs. Spiders apparently like the smell of propane and will inhabit the stacks.

Also, it's possible that the igniter is having problems. If the thermocouple is bad or slightly out of adjustment, the flame won't stay lit for very long. You will get the initial ignition ("whooosh" sound followed by running noises) and then it stops.

There is a blower in the furnace that comes on before ignition that clears out any stray fumes. If that blower is not coming on, the furnace won't run.

You said there is a red light flashing on the furnace. If you have the manual, maybe you can look up what that means. If not, give us the make and model and I'll see if I can find the manual online.

One other possibility comes to my mind. If you run a tank completely out and then switch to the other tank manually, there will be some dead space in the propane lines from the tanks to the appliances. It will take a few cycles to get the lines fully full of propane again.

If that is the case, what I do in my trailer is to light up a burner or two on the stove. From what I can figure, the stove is almost on the end of the line so if a burner will stay lit, that pretty much means the rest of the propane piping is once again full of propane. Even then, the fridge and WH and furnace may need to go through a few lighting cycles before they will light reliably once again.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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janetpowell
heater woes

Thanks Steve,
We haven't stopped for the night yet, we will check out the items you mentioned. And keep our fingers crossed.
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