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Old 02-23-2008, 11:31 AM   #1
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mearly65
Need parts for mid 1970's Hydro Flame furnace

Hello everyone. This is my first post on here and I really need some help. I recently bought a 1976 Sunline Competitor model truck camper. It is in beautiful shape and everything works except the furnace. It is a 9,000 BTU Hydro Flame model #ARS-10XL. I can get the pilot to light but once I let go of the pilot knob it goes out and the main burner won't light either. I totally removed the furnace from the camper, took it all apart and found lots of wasps nest both in the intake and exhaust ports. I also found that the orifice in the main burner was clogged so I cleaned it out with a piece of welding wire. Still no luck. I was wondering if anyone knew where I can get parts for this furnace. I found a place in Washington state that has the same used furnace for sale but they want $135 plus shipping for it. I'd hate to replace the whole thing if all I need are a few parts. Can anyone suggest something else to try or recommend a good electric heater to use? I'd really like to get this furnace up and running. It would be a shame to have it sit there and take up space. Everything else in the camper was well taken care of, I know this furnace has life left in it.

Thanks in advance for any help or info.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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Hi mearly65

First off welcome to Sunline Club. It's good to have you with us.

I do not know your exact furnace being that old, a 1976 model. But here are a few things that might help.

First is some trouble shooting manuals. http://bryantrv.com/docs.html This guy is good straight shooter. He has helped me before. He may even have some parts for you or be able to order.

The key is to find the part number you are after, then a web search could turn that up. There are a number of places that sell parts. Only problem is for a 1976 model do they still make the same ones? They might.

These folks also have parts for Atwood Hydroflame. http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...od-parts-1.htm You might have to call them with model and serial number and they look it up for you. I have bought other things from them and had good service.

Now to the problem you where describing. Tell me if this is what you are seeing. Again assuming this is after you cleaned up the furnace and bug nests.

You push the gas knob down to let the fine gas stream flow to the pilot. You light the pilot and it is lit. But when you let your finger off from pushing down, poof the pilot goes out? Is this what you re seeing?

If so this is a classic case of the older gas valve safeties that used a thermocouple. Basically the tip of it is heated by the pilot and the tube then inside expands and allows the gas valve to hold the pilot lit. This also is in the safety circuit that if this does not work the main burner will not fire.

It is the older style flame safety circuit. If there is no flame then it will shut the gas off. In case the main burner or pilot go out.

Hope this helps.

If I knew more what you had may be able to point you more. Pictures help if you get really stuck. Post up a pic of the gas valve setup so I can see it. The newer ones now all use electric ignition. I'm not an appliance expert by any stretch, but have worked on some of these. Most all gas systems work on the same principals. LP dryer, LP heater, RV furnace. If you can get a the manual, then we can back into this. But it might be good to see if you can get parts first for that old a heater. A call to Atwood direct might help tell you if they are still made and what dealers carry them.

Oh electric heaters, we use a ceramic disk heater. There are many brand now a days. Look for those words, ceramic disk. These are different then old ones that had red hot wire showing…. The ceramic disk ones are more efficient and a lot safer as you will not see those red hot wires anymore.

John
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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I agree with John on the thermocouple. I had the same problem with my home LP water heater years ago and paid a hefty service charge for a $10 part. They're available at most hardware stores so I keep one on hand should this problem happen again. This link might be helpful in determining what and where the thermocouple is. http://toad.net/~jsmeenen/gasvalve.html

Mike
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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I tinkered around with the furnace today and I got it so the pilot light will stay lit by itself. I bent the end of the thermocouple so it is now in the flame of the pilot. The next problem is that the main burner won't light. With the pilot lit I'll turn the knob on the gas valve to "ON" and I can smell raw gas but the burner won't light. I know the orifice in the burner is not clogged because I had it apart to clean it. I let it stay "ON" for almost 5 minutes to see if it would light itself but I didn't want to go to long for fear of blowing myself up. Any ideas?
Unfortunately I can't post pics of the furnace or gas valve because the pictures are not on a seperate website, just on my PC. There is a picture of my same furnace on singletonsrv.com in their used furnace section. I've called around to 7 different dealers today and no one can get parts for this furnace so if anybody has any other ideas for me to try, I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:49 PM   #5
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You mean this one?



Came from here: http://www.singletonsrv.com/Furnaces/PJ970-76.jpg

Mealry 65
Quote:
I let it stay "ON" for almost 5 minutes to see if it would light itself but I didn't want to go
That is way too long. Caution: Don’t go that long at one time. It should go in seconds. Like 2 to 3. Even 5 to 10 seconds can be like an eternity. If you go that long, stop, let it clear the smell a few minutes then start over. It still might be the thermocouple or the actual gas valve it self. You might be at the point to get a whole new gas valve. Even if you get it to work. I would want to do a pressure drop leak test on it to make sure the seals in the valve seats are not all dried up and it will shut off completely. I am not familiar with that unit and cannot see much from that 1 pic. So I can't help much more.

To post pics, 2 ways, can get a free photobucket web site. http://photobucket.com/ then link them in to Sunline club. There is a pos t here on how to link them in. Or if you need more help, PM me and you can email and I can post for you until you get setup to post.

Hope this helps, good luck

John
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:32 PM   #6
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Here are some pics of Mearly's setup

Anyone know of this type?




For parts or dealer networks try this phone of emial direct to atwood Moble. http://www.atwoodmobile.com/Service/default.cfm

They should have records on that model/serial number and can tell you what brand gas valve it had in it. And maybe where to buy.

I have seen that style gas valve on propane heaters. I do not remember if it was Robertshaw or Whiterogers brand

These folks sell Atwood parts http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...od-parts-1.htm I have bought from them with no issues.

A heads up, pending the cost of a new gas valve it might not be that much money more for an entire new furnace.

Good luck and hope this helps.

John
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #7
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Here's a few pics of Mark's coach:













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Old 03-08-2008, 05:11 PM   #8
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Well, after two weeks of scratching my head and being told, "nobody makes that gas valve anymore", I finally got my heater working. I took it apart last night as a last ditch effort before replacing the whole furnace, cleaned all the pieces and put it back together. This morning I reinstalled everything and the main burner lit within a half of a second, sputtered a few times and started burning smoothly. I just checked on it and its 70 degrees in there while the sleet is pouring down on a 40 degree day. No gas smells, no strange sounds. Just the beauty of pure warmth. I'd like to thank everyone for their tips and advice...can't wait for spring!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:15 PM   #9
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Mearly

GREAT!!!! Good for you. And by the way, for a 32 year old camper, that sure is in great shape and looks good by design too.

Thanks for reporting back

John
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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This thread was INVALUABLE with my furnace issues! Mid 70's Hydroflame heater was extracted,blew out the burner tube(WHEW),adjusted piezo,replaced one wire(burnt&brittle),reinstalled in TT,lit pilot,turned valve on,she lit,turned on and adjusted thermostat,blower came on,flame lit and presto,I have heat Everything works just like it should,and I'm on to the next project.(Fridge)
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