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Old 09-09-2016, 07:41 PM   #1
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Furnace Will Not Light Up

My brand new 2017 Palomini 180FB has a non-operative suburban furnace.

The blower comes on, the ignitor sparks, but the thing never lights. The first thing I checked was the gas supply. Propane tank was turned on - so that wasn't the problem. The stove top burners right above it work just fine. So gas is getting to the unit.

I turned it on by setting the T-stat. The fan comes on and and within a couple of seconds you can hear the gas valve click open. The ignitor start sparking (I can see it thru the little window), but after a couple of seconds, it quits trying. The unit waits a minute or so and then tries to light up again. Gas valve click, ignitor fires but the burner never lights. It tries to light it 3 times and then gives up -- with just the blower continuing to run.

I read in the furnace FAQ forum that another owner (of a much older trailer) had similar experience and ultimately figured out that the electrode on his ignitor was positioned wrong. That, after he was told by the dealer that his furnace worked fine on the test bench.

Before I drag it to an FR dealer, has anybody seen this before? I am hoping it is some kind of head-slapping rookie (this is my first RV) mistake -- but I don't think so.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:37 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've done all the things you should have done. I don't think it's a rookie oversight.

Sure sounds like the furnace has a problem. Hopefully the service techs can figure it out and get it fixed permanently
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #3
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One More Detail...

One thing I failed to mention...The trailer was prepped in a neighboring state at about 1200 ft above sea level. We live in the Rocky Mountains at 8200 feet. I know that when I bought a new furnace for my home last year, I had to have it jetted for high altitude use.

Could the difference in altitude be my problem? People from all over the country come here to camp every summer and I've not heard of problems with their propane appliances - but I am new to the hobby. I can tell you that the stovetop burns fine -- with a bright blue flame -- just like you'd want it to.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:09 PM   #4
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I don't think the altitude is causing your problem.

Even if it affected it, it wouldn't cause it not to light at all.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:32 AM   #5
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Thanks. I didn't think altitude played a role, either...but wanted to be thorough in my analysis.

I've sent an email to Forest River' technical management asking them about it, and will hopefully get a response on Monday.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:47 AM   #6
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We had more or less the same issue this past winter in Arizona - it turned out to be the "sail switch". No problem since.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:49 AM   #7
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Check the shut off valve on the inside. Stranger things have happened. If you are hearing the gas solenoid click open, it is most likely not the sail switch as if that switch does not activate, it will not open the gas solenoid.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #8
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If there is no other shutoff valve between the lp tank and furnace the gas pressure at the valve should be checked. Just because you hear the solenoid doesn't mean it is opening up. Also check the burner orifice to make sure no obstructions are present. As mentioned earlier it could also be the spark gap or cracked ceramic on the ignitor.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:46 PM   #9
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2 things could cause these symptoms...sail switch as just mentioned and hi temp switch. I've had a stuck sail switch before and also a bad hi-temp switch. Both are safety interlocks but also a potentiometer fault mode.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:17 PM   #10
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I was testing mine before a trip a few weeks ago and the same thing happened. I had to cycle it on and off about a dozen times before it lit. I just assumed it was plumbed with a long section of line and was full of air. My water heater, fridge, and stove were all tested prior and it still didn't want to light. Once it lit I haven't had a problem since.
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