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Old 10-16-2021, 10:15 PM   #1
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Furnace ignition

1991 Sunline Solaris and I’m NEW to owning/ operating a TT so bare with me here…… trying to ignite my furnace…… the stove top works, pilot in oven works, but the furnace only blows cold air! Dealership assured me it works when I had inspection done so what am I not doing right?
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:11 AM   #2
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The pilot flame is a bit hard to see. The burner controls are just slightly tricky you have to turn it to pilot and push the control knob down. The best tool is a BBQ lighter push the knob down and keep it under the pilot until it lights (it is a small flame) allow a fair amount of time minute or more before turn the knob to on. If it goes out do it all over again until the pilot stays lit. The pilot flame is the key it stays on all the time so on heat demand the pilot flame lights the burner automatically.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:59 AM   #3
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Hi Sunny,

If you cannot get your furnace going, please let us know the make and model number so we can look it up and give better help to your exact furnace. Some of the older furnaces had electronic ignition, others had a manual pilot light. Not sure which you have by only telling us the year, as Sunline used different furnaces in different models back then. Also tell is what model Sunline your 1991 camper is, this helps too.

Hope this helps

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Old 10-18-2021, 12:24 PM   #4
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I guess if the knob says pilot on it's a dead give away. It's a year newer than mine and a bit bigger so maybe it has electronic ign.
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Old 10-19-2021, 06:18 AM   #5
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Thanks very much, different kind of furnace ( auto ignition) and my problem was ME!�� I didn’t have the TT running on AC it was actually on DC which doesn’t power the furnace! Good grief!!!! I figured it out after a couple of hours. Growing pains. Thanks again and happy camping!✌��
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:46 PM   #6
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I'm pretty certain your furnace is powered by DC battery power. It's possible the battery is low enough so it wont spin the blower fast enough to light the main burner. When you plug into ac, it charges the battery , spins the fan faster. And lights the burner.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:01 AM   #7
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Needed to be on AC!
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Old 10-22-2021, 08:47 AM   #8
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Yes it need to have AC if your battery is bad or really discharged. You have a converter that is taking your supplied AC and converting it to DC to run your furnace. Otherwise you couldn't use your trailer to boondocks in the winter.
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyJackson View Post
Needed to be on AC!

Hi Sunny,

Unless someone has modified your camper, the furnace Sunline installed runs the furnace on 12 Volts DC. The camper has two sources of 12 volts DC. The 12 volt battery on on the trailer tongue and the on board power converter. The power converter uses the 120 VAC you plug into shore power, and it creates 12 volts DC inside the camper. The power converter also charges the battery.

If your furnace works when it is plugged into 120 VAC, that does not mean the furnace runs on 120VAC, it means the 12 VDC is coming from the power converter and not the battery. And or your battery while it may have some power, it may not charged enough or in good health enough, to spin the blower fan fast enough, to close the furnace safety switch called a sail switch. If the sail switch never makes from a slow blowing fan, all you get is cold air as the burner will not start until there is enough air moving to close the sail switch and not overheat the furnace.

You may have a battery life/supply issue . By plugging the 120 VAC in, it boosted the 12 VDC enough to make the fan spin faster and trip the sail switch.

This sounds like your furnace is OK, but your battery is low on charge or starting to die.

Hope this helps

John

PS. If you want to trouble shoot this, we can help if you have a voltmeter or a battery hydrometer. OR, you can take your battery down to a NAPA autoparts store or maybe Advance Auto and they can put the battery on a load tester and tell you if it is deeply discharged or a cell is going bad.

You should have a "deep cycle" lead acid battery as standard. Not a car "starting" battery. An RV marine/deep cycle is not as good as a true deep cycle battery, but is a whole lot better then a car starting battery when used on a camper. Do not let the auto parts place talk you into a car starting battery. Walmart this spring was still selling group 24 and Group 27 deep cycle batteries made by Johnson Controls. Or at least here in central Ohio anyway.
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Old 11-09-2021, 07:33 AM   #10
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Hello there;
I have an entirely different issue. I have a 1995 Sunline Solaris with a Hydroflame 8500- III furnace. My brother has been staying in it on my property. When it started cooling down over the last month, my brother turnrd the system on and turned up his thermostat. When he did, the cooling fan would kick on and the furnace would ignite almost immediately. Then the furnace would run through its heat and cool down cycle but when the temperature inside would drop and the thermostat would click on , the fan would come on but with no ignition. There is a low pressure sail swith on this furnace . Would that make a difference? or is there another possible cause? Please note, I did install a new TDR because I thought that may be the issue but it made no difference. Can you give me any insight so I can know where to look to resolve this issue. Thank you.
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:10 AM   #11
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Are you confident you wired the new time delay relay properly? I replaced mine earlier this year, and the physical layout of the replacement's pins was different from the original.

If you have a voltmeter, it's a pretty simple matter to determine if the sail switch is "making", and if it is, whether the TDR is putting out voltage to energize the solenoid.

Without a meter, troubleshooting becomes more of a guessing game. Have someone inside turn the heat on while you monitor what's going on from outside. If everything is working properly, there should be an audible thunk when the solenoid is energized to allow gas flow, followed by the tick-tick-tick of the ignitor, followed within 1-2 seconds by the sound of the burner flame (assuming the LP line is purged of air).
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Old 11-09-2021, 01:35 PM   #12
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Thanks for responding so quickly. I took the cover off of the blower motor and found that one screw was gone and the sail switch was swiveling on that one screw when the motor started. This has never happened before but I blame myself as I replaced the OEM sail switch with a low volume switch, which does not require as much air pressure to send signal to ignitor. The way I have it set up with the TDR is I turn on the power switch outside and when the system is on inside and the thermostat is moved to call for heat , the blower comes on then the ignition process begins. The TDR that I replaced is from Dinosaur Electronics and has the same markings for motor, 12 volt, ground, and thermostat. I going to have the DSI board tested tomorrow and then begin the reassembly process. I also may need a new harness as the wired look pretty bad. I was wondering where I could by a new wiring harness for my furnace. Any feedback or help is appreciated.
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Old 11-09-2021, 03:14 PM   #13
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Aha! Very likely then, that loose switch is the problem. Maybe put a dab of Locktite (or nail polish) on the screws when you reassemble everything.

Sorry, I have no clue whether that wire harness is even available.
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Old 11-09-2021, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyJ55 View Post
I took the cover off of the blower motor and found that one screw was gone and the sail switch was swiveling on that one screw when the motor started. This has never happened before but I blame myself as I replaced the OEM sail switch with a low volume switch, which does not require as much air pressure to send signal to ignitor.
Hi Randy,

A loose screw on the sail switch is an issue. However, something else may be going on now that you have told us you changed the sail switch to a lower pressure switch.

What prompted you to change the switch to a lower pressure? Need some background on this as this change can affect other areas that could lock out the ignition which seems to be a issue after the furnace has warmed up. That is if I understood your message correctly. You stated this in blue below which sounded like, the furnace worked right on the initial warm up, but once the system reached setup point, and shut down, the next time is called for heat by the T stat, the blower runs, but burner would not fire off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyJ55 View Post
Hello there;
I have an entirely different issue. I have a 1995 Sunline Solaris with a Hydroflame 8500- III furnace. My brother has been staying in it on my property. When it started cooling down over the last month, my brother turnrd the system on and turned up his thermostat. When he did, the cooling fan would kick on and the furnace would ignite almost immediately. Then the furnace would run through its heat and cool down cycle but when the temperature inside would drop and the thermostat would click on , the fan would come on but with no ignition. There is a low pressure sail swith on this furnace . Would that make a difference? or is there another possible cause?
This combo brings me back to what prompted you to change the sail switch to a different model?

Also, what BTU rating do you have? The 8500 rev III comes in different sizes. The 8516, 8520, 8525,8531 & 8534. I have heat data on some of the models which might help.

You may have two things going on at the same time, but need to understand the sail switch change better first.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:39 AM   #15
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Thanks John for your input. I'm pretty sure I have the 8531-III which is listed on the appliance ID list which came with the RV . The rating is 31,000 BTU's. I did suspect that the low pressure sail switch may be an issue because the ignition fires off immediately after the blower kicks on and there use to be a longer delay between the blower motor starting and the ignition process. I truly believe that part of my problem may be the cross referencing of OEM parts for this furnace and the parts listed on Ebay etc. For instance the replacement part number for the sail switch for my furnace is 5050 in the instruction manual but to cross that number with compatible parts is challenging . Once I have the DSI board tested this morning, I will check all connections and reinstall the motor cover and then runthrough the cycling process to see what happens . If I have the same issue with reignition when the indoor temperature trips the thermosta inside then I may have to find a different sail switch compatible with the original.I will let you know what happens. And again, all input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2021, 10:23 AM   #16
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I just found out that my DSI board failed testing as the ignition valve was stuck open. This may explain part or all of my issues. Now I have to find the correct catalog number is 05-309017-153 and the item number referenced in the replacement parts catalog in the 1995 manual is 6215. So far I haven't found the correct one but will keep looking .
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Old 11-10-2021, 09:36 PM   #17
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Hi Randy,

A few comments, on the info below

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyJ55 View Post

snip..
I did suspect that the low pressure sail switch may be an issue because the ignition fires off immediately after the blower kicks on and there use to be a longer delay between the blower motor starting and the ignition process.

I truly believe that part of my problem may be the cross referencing of OEM parts for this furnace and the parts listed on Ebay etc. For instance the replacement part number for the sail switch for my furnace is 5050 in the instruction manual but to cross that number with compatible parts is challenging . Once I have the DSI board tested this morning, I will check all connections and reinstall the motor cover and then runthrough the cycling process to see what happens . If I have the same issue with reignition when the indoor temperature trips the thermosta inside then I may have to find a different sail switch compatible with the original.I will let you know what happens. And again, all input is greatly appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyJ55 View Post
I just found out that my DSI board failed testing as the ignition valve was stuck open. This may explain part or all of my issues. Now I have to find the correct catalog number is 05-309017-153 and the item number referenced in the replacement parts catalog in the 1995 manual is 6215. So far I haven't found the correct one but will keep looking .
The sail switch, I'm not sure this is cleared up yet. I may have missed it,

1. What was wrong, or you thought was wrong with the original sail switch?
2. What Atwood part number did you change it to? (the one that is in the furnace now)
3. Which date of service manual are you using?

Looking over the old and newer Atwood service manuals the sail switch on the 8531-III has being obsoleted and upgraded several times. Let's compare notes: The trail I found is, the 31,000 & 35,000 btu furnaces use Atwood pn 35050 sail switch. This was from the 2003 service manual.

In the atwood January 2015 service manual they call out Atwood sail, switch
36680 for 16,000 through 35,000 btu furnaces.

I also found a few web site references that as of Jan, 2019, 36680 now uses 31377. It appears on a web search you can find all 3 of those part numbers for sale. What you actually get shipped to you is an unknown until you get it or call the place and ask which they are sending.

We need to check that the sail switch you are using is correct for the system.

More comments on the burner running almost instantly.

When the T stat turns on, it applies power to the coil on the TDR to heat up a metal disk in the TDR. After some time has past, (about 20 sec.) the metal disk trips the TDR contact on and sends power to the fan motor to start and run as long as the TDR is passing the power. After the motor is spinning fast "enough", (rather quickly) the sail switch turns on and passes power to the high limit switch. If the high limit switch (normally closed) is not tripped open, then power passes to the ignition control board (ICB) and the ICB should start timing (about 15 seconds) before it allows the ignition to start and open the gas valve.

If the burner is firing is almost instantly when the fan starts, that points to a problem in ICB. It is acting faulty and not timing correctly the 15 seconds. It sounds like you had the ICB tested and it failed. Not sure what failed, but it has issues.

The sail switch is part of a digital signal to turn on the ICB and start it's timing cycle. The sail switch does need to match the correct fan speed to insure the fan and duct work is not clogged so the furnace does not over heat quickly. Enough air has to pass through the furnace due to fan speed to move all BTU's of the heat out of the furnace chamber and not overheat. If the sail switch closes on too low a flow of air, the furnace can overheat quicker, then tripping the high limit switch and that limit trip will shut down the ICB and burner as the blower just keep blowing until the high limit resets when it cools down.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:12 AM   #18
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Thank you John for your information. After getting the ICB board tested , I called the Hydroflame Corp, which is now Dometic in Salt Lake City and they checked the repacement board for my 8531-III series furnace and told me the the new number is 31501. After my conversation with Dometic, I ordered the ICB board and then the sail switch #35050. As far as the failing ICB board, the tech at Meyer's RV stated that the ignition valve was stuck open. Once the ICB board and the correct sail switch come in, I will install them both and then test the furnace , using the correct procedure for start up. In the mean time, I will make sure all the ducts are clear so that the furnace does not overheat when cycled. I will let you know how everything goes. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 11-11-2021, 10:53 PM   #19
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It sounds like good news and you have a plan to get back on track. Let us know how it goes.

I'm a little at a loss of context of the wording "ignition "valve" was stuck open". I can see the ignition being stuck on, and the gas valve hopefully not stuck on, but I cannot quite understand the context of "ignition valve". By chance did the elaborate on that any? May always learn something new.

Thanks

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Old 11-12-2021, 05:46 PM   #20
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Hi there;
I just got my new DSI board inand installed it . I was shocked that it ame in just 36hours after I ordered it from Ebay with free shipping but not expedited. My brother went inside to turn the system on after i turned on the power switch at the furnace and once he turned on the thermosta so it clicked, the furnace fired off like mormal with the full delay between the motor starting and the ignition cycle then into the cool cycle. The real test was reignition so my brother opened the door and waited 5 minutes and the furnace reignited like it was supposed to. I just wanted to give you some feedback. Now my next project is my son's Wilderness Fleetwood RV which has a similar issue.
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