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Old 10-18-2009, 01:20 PM   #1
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Furnace problem, Help!

I have a Suburban SF-30F furnace, and it will turn on, blow, I smell propane, it sounds like it is sparking but will not light. I pulled the furnace out to track down a problem everything looks clean, and connected. When I look through the view hole I can not see a spark. I tested and power is coming from the circuit board to the igniter, the gap looks to be 1/8" as required. I removed the igniter cleaned, adjusted the gap, and still nothing. Anyone have any ideas? Please help its getting cold. Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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You smell gas, there is spark, but no ignition? Maybe not enough gas, is the burner nozzle clean? Not enough presure maybe, these would be the things I would check first. I had the SF30 in my last motorhome and it gave me fits when it started acting up. Tore it apart several times and replaced almost every component one at a time trying to troubleshoot the problem until I just got fed up and bought a new one. Good luck.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention that before I took the unit out I replaced the regulator with another I knew was good and there was no change. I recently filled my tanks so I know there is fuel. When I had it apart the burner nozzle seemed to flow freely when I blew through it and I did not see any gunk on it.

Am I supposed to be able to see a spark through the view hole while it is trying to light?

I should also add that when it first started getting cold the unit would come heat for awhile then shut off before it reached temp then would not come back on unless I reset the stat, then would do it all over again. I thought it was the stat but the unit appears to be receiving the correct voltage. It was about a week after that when the unit started what it is doing now.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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No you wont see the spark through the window as it tries to light, but you should be able to hear a "click, click, click" as it tries. Unfortunately what you are describing sounds a lot like what mine was doing and I pulled my hair out for a year troubleshooting and replacing parts before I gave up and bought a new one.

One thought and it might not make much difference but does your furnace have a time delay relay? You will know if you turn up the thermostat to start the furnace and nothing happens for about 15 or 20 seconds then the blower should start. For the life of me I don't know why they did this on some of these furnaces as a TDR is only used for things like air conditioners and heat pumps that have a compressor that can be damaged by toggling the thermostat on and off quickly. Newer RV furnaces and the SF30 I bought to replace the old one did not have it. If yours does, try removing it and connect the wires together so that it just isn't there.

I'm starting to get a bad feeling for you by what you describe but I will hope for the best that it can be fixed cheaply.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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How do I test the gas valve? I can not seem to find a wiring diagram to check for power to it. I have determined that the igniter is working so all that is left I can test is the circuit board and gas valve.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Sorry don't know a way to check either the gas valve or circuit board other than replace them with known good ones. I greatly prefer circuit boards made by Dinosaur Electronics in place of the OEM ones. Much cheaper and better made. I would guess that if the gas valve is working correctly you would smell gas during the start sequence although if there was gas and ignition then it should light too. Parts are available online through many outlets and Camping World stocks many of the more common parts. The SF30 is a very commonly used furnace in many different types of RVs.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Well I broke down and took it to be looked at by someone smarter than myself. The problem was gnats had work their way into the orifice causing a blockage. What I learned, always take it apart and never rely on blowing through it to test the flow. Thanks for your help, I am glad it is fixed now.
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